The New Year begins. Self-reflection stirs. This is the time of the year when many people look back on the previous year. Many will smile and nod, on the goals accomplished, pressing forward to new challenges, to further their destiny.

Others may ponder on the past and realize some achievements were met, while others were not. They begin to devise plans to complete unaccomplished objectives.

Then, there is the group of people who perceives the past with sadness. Considering each month, of the previous year, and discover they are stuck in a rut and wonder why?

Ask the, who, what, when, why, where, and how questions to yourself.

  • How did you get in this rut?
  • What was the chain of events?
  • Where did it occur?
  • Why did it happen?
  • Who played key roles?
  • When did occur?

The truth is, sometimes you don’t realize you’re in a rut, until you do self-reflection, someone tells you, or you notice people of your age group are doing and achieving more than you.

You must return to the scene of the crime. Go back to origin. Of course, self-preservation will kick in. You want to protect yourself from hurt. No one wants to admit or accept the hard reality that nothing has changed for you. After the various excuses have been conjured and the blame game has been played, you remain in the rut. Or, maybe you will beat yourself up for long periods of time, crying, being depressed, playing the should have, could have game. I should have done this, or I could have done that; mulling over all the bad choices made and feeling sorry for yourself. Guess what? You are still in the rut.

Stop the madness. Forgive yourself. Make plans to move forward. Follow the basic steps below, to at least get yourself going.

  • Get help. Ask God for help. I cannot emphasize enough that you can do all things with God on your side. You cannot make this journey alone. You do not need to travel on this venture alone. God will, lead, guide and protect.
  • Concept of change. Things will need to change. You must change. Because your previous way of thinking did not work. Change comes from within. If you refuse to change, you will remain.
  • Get a firm mindset. Set your mind and keep it set. This journey should be more than a verbal commitment it should be a mental agreement.
  • Fear is a key component why people do not change, come out of a rut or do anything challenging. What if I fail? What if it does not work? If God has guided you in the correct direction: You will not fail. And, it will work. You will not know until you try. Stop living in fear. Take the plunge.
  • Comfort zones. Today, people are addicted to comfort and convenience. If anything is outside of the comfort zone, many people will not push beyond their security sector. Nothing outstanding or rewarding will occur living in a restful region. Stir things up.
  • Prepare. Do your research. Get the tools needed. Gather information on your quest. Talk to other people who have taken this journey.
  • Baby steps. Take small steps. Test the water. If it is working, keep going. If not, step back, rework and step out again.
  • Expect roadblocks. Things will happen. Unexpected events will emerge. Expect them. Deal with them. Move forward.  Nothing worth having will ever be problem free.
  • Do not expect all people to cheer you on. If you are leaving people behind in the rut, do not assume they will be happy for you. Misery loves company. Be prepared for guilt trips, anger, snide remarks and departures of friends and family.

Step out of the rut, and put your feet on solid ground and live.

 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19King James Version (KJV)