You may sometimes feel like you’re trapped in a rut. For many people, it’s often easier to remain comfortable in the status quo than to face a change, even if it’s potentially for a greater outcome. Perhaps you’re struggling to get over a bereavement, or recover from a long illness. Maybe you’re doing your best to salvage a broken relationship, or it could be that you’re simply ready for a change at work.

Whatever the reason, it’s possibly time to reboot . . .

Step 1: Decide exactly what you would love to change

You can fall into a rut whenever your daily actions are not aligned with your highest values. A rut is a by-product of not giving yourself permission to go after what you truly love in your life. The result is a feeling of being trapped in something that is not meaningful.

When your daily actions and highest values are aligned and the reason you’re getting up in the morning is to do something that will get you where you want to be in life, you will wake up bright-eyed and bushy tailed. But if that’s not the case, then it just may be time to change.

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So, list your top four or five values. For example, ask yourself what energises rather than drains you (at work or at home). What do you always find money to do? In social settings, what do you most commonly talk about? What are the top three goals you can’t wait to achieve?

Step 2: Learn from past experience

While it’s unwise to dwell in the past and beat yourself up about the previous decisions you’ve made, looking back over what actions have led to the least results can often help you identify what might work most effectively for you in the future. For example, if there is tension in your relationship, have you been burying your head in the sand instead of reflecting on what is working and not working in your communication? If this is the case, perhaps now is the time to decide on a more effective course of action.

If you applied for a new job and didn’t get it, where did you possibly not effectively communicate your value, possible contribution or skill, and what can you do differently next time?

Step 3: Be SMART

In your professional life, you may well have come across SMART goals in your performance appraisals, and you can apply this very same theory to your personal life. Set goals that are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.

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For instance, rather than your goal being: ‘This year I’m going to fall in love’, you might decide you’re going to join an online dating website, ask friends to set you up or get involved in some new activities to meet new people. You can measure the results by how many dates you have. Be realistic. For example, set yourself a goal of one date a month.

Rather than deciding you’re going to win the Lotto, decide to get your finances in order and budget to purchase a ticket a week. Or, instead of deciding to lose half your body weight, aim to lose a kilo a week and work out realistically how you’re going to do this.

Don’t expect a quick-fix. Break down what you would love to achieve into bite-sized, achievable goals and make sure they are congruent with your highest values. Every goal you meet, you’ll feel more and more inspired to see it to its conclusion.

Dr. John Demartini is a human behaviour specialist, educator, author and the founder of the Demartini Institute. Visit: www.DrDemartini.com