We've all been there, I think. We get stuck in a rut, we push too hard, we try to keep going in the way that's worked for us until now and why isn't it working?!
I hit that point recently, and honestly I didn't even realize that was what had happened until I'd already fixed it. Let me break it down.
At one point or another, it happens to every house. Well, every house that has gutters, anyway. When we let things go the way they have been and just let them keep working the way that has been working, eventually that stops working.
Because we use that method to deal with things that it wasn't designed for. Much like trying to heat your house with the oven, letting the gutters deal with the leaves and detritus of the days and weeks and months and seasons that have passed since the last time we even looked at the things.
This is a lot like what happens when we follow a routine that doesn't change, or that is unsustainable and must be modified every day or every week to make it work. Forcing that routine to deal with all the things that come with life that it wasn't designed to handle can clog it up, especially when things like productivity and self-worth get tangled in ways they really shouldn't.
So here's an interesting little trivia fact for you - there's a study out there that says a large proportion of America's population, once they've decided to buy a car, will do so within 48 hours of their first test drive. It may not be the car they planned on, or that they wanted, or that they and their spouse agreed on, but the odds are drastically in favor of them purchasing a car within 48 hours of test driving that first vehicle. Car salesmen know this, and that's why they work so hard to sell you on a car in their lot before you leave. You might say "I'll be back after I think about it," but chances are very good that you won't be back.
I follow this trend in a lot of ways. A couple weeks ago, I decided to cut my hair. I had been considering it for a while, but as soon as I decided I was going to go through it with for sure and started making plans to make that happen, I became impatient for it to happen.
Once I've decided to replace my phone, chances are very good I will end up purchasing a new phone within a week, regardless of whether or not I'm still uncertain about which one I want.
As soon as I chose to buy myself a Nintendo Switch, even though I said I would wait until Black Friday and get it on sale, I bought it within 10 days.
And every now and then, I turn around and look at these things and realize that it's much more likely to happen if I feel stuck in a rut. If my current routine or work schedule is driving me crazy, rather than changing the routine, I change something else major in my life.
I didn't realize until after I got my hair cut (it was quite a big thing, too, since my hair was almost knee-length, and now it's shoulder-length) that I'd made a series of big changes because I felt stuck. I rearranged the furniture in my bedroom, deep-cleaned my closet, got rid of a bunch of possessions I don't use, cleaned my car, cut my hair...
In short, I addressed almost everything except the thing that's really bothering me.
I'm not making progress on my novel.
But now that I know what's bothering me, I can try to make the change that will make the most difference. They say knowing is half the battle - but they don't tell you that sometimes you fight a bunch of unnecessary battles before you get to the knowing.