Getting Unstuck: 5 Ways to Pull Yourself Out of a Rut When You've Become Complacent

Getting Unstuck: 5 Ways to Pull Yourself Out of a Rut When You've Become Complacent

Recently I’ve been in one of my better creative periods in quite a long time. I have been reading more, as well as writing every day and planning a future podcast.  When I noticed how productive I had been, I wasn’t quite sure how it happened.

You see, I was in a rut for awhile. No new projects were being planned. Books were started and unfinished. I was enjoying a few too many beers and not enough time at the gym. I wouldn’t quite call it depression. I had just grown complacent.

SMART Goals and Productivity in Charles Duhigg "Smarter Faster Better"

It's been awhile, blog. Life has been busy. One of my goals in the near future is to post more, and realistically short, smaller posts are the way to go for now. Speaking of goals...

I've been reading and listening to a lot of articles and podcasts about productivity. One idea that has been helpful is the idea of a SMART goal in Charles Duhigg's "Smarter Faster Better." SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timeline. This differs from a Stretch goal, which I will discuss in another post.

The problem is that a traditional to-do list isn't very useful. It's easy to cross off a bunch of items on your list that are small, easy tasks, leaving you with a sense of accomplishment. But often times, we focus on tasks that don't really apply to what we really want to accomplish daily. Plus a traditional to-do list doesn't give much of a plan on how to achieve something. THE SMART goal is much better way to be productive about the things you care about. 

So how does it work? Well let me give you an example. As I said, I want to write more on this blog. Let's use that as an example: 

Specific Goal: I will write a blog post once a week for the next two months.

Measurable: It has to be within a Monday-Sunday time frame. 

Achievable: If I write for 1-2 hours a week, it is more than achievable.

Realistic: Yes, I think so. If I said 5 blog posts a week, that might not be very realistic. 

Timeline: I'd like to work on this goal, 1-2 hours a week on the weekends. 

It's as simple as that. It's been very useful for me thus far as well. Next week, I will talk about why the SMART goal isn't enough and introduce the idea of stretch goals. 

I'm a psychotherapist in Brooklyn, NY. Please contact me at 347-927-4856 or You can look at my blog for more information.