13176: Ruts and Goal Trauma

Hey there, hero!

It’s easy to get into a rut. You get used to doing something, you’re not challenged any longer, and it starts feeling monotonous.

Even if your goal was to create a reliable ritual. It just gets old. You get stuck.

Then Ajarae Coleman jumped in with a new concept.

You try to shake things up, and strike out for something more challenging. Something new.

And it doesn’t quite work out.

The feelings you have when you try something, fail at it, and reflect on the process can range from the thought that you learned something to “meh” to disappointment to outright sadness to…”goal trauma.”

(Yeah, I didn’t know what that meant either, until I used the google to find out what Ajarae was on about.)

Please discuss, once you’ve watched the episode. What’s your go-to reaction when you try something and fail? Let me know in the comments below.


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  1. The timing of this was just great! I do have a morning routine when I am working from home. And I love my morning routine! So my challenge can be being willing to change that routine on days where it doesn’t necessarily serve me best. Today was one of those days. I had stuff going on in the afternoon and evening and so I realized I would need to be willing to adjust my morning routine in order to get something else done earlier in the day. I was so proud of myself for observing this and embracing it. Then I watched your video. Oh the glorious validation! Of course, then the afternoon thing got cancelled suddenly and I found myself needing to adjust again. But that’s good. Our business provides for constant change and we have to be flexible and just go with it sometimes.

  2. Ruts can be good or bad. They “pre-plan” your schedule so you don’t face a blank agenda each day. For me, it’s yoga and exercise in the morning and writing in the afternoon. I enjoy yoga (and the women in the class), and it helps my neck and back with “chair fatigue.” I’m free to vary it sometimes, though, so it’s not a “bad” rut. Sometimes, if I don’t have the word in my brain, I’ll take a break from writing, but very soon, I feel restless if I don’t write, so I get back at it. Sometimes, you have to force those words out!

    Goals can be very frustrating (and traumatic), so it’s important to make them realistic. I don’t set a goal of talking about my books on Colbert (I can’t control that, and it’s probably pretty unlikely), but I can set a goal to finish a book and then start another one. And maybe I’ll even set crazy stretch goals like learning how to narrate audiobooks!

  3. Good timing for me as well. I can become so disciplined about my routines that I become numb after awhile from the monotony of them. Honestly, I just had an “awakening” about this recently so your topic just affirmed what I have come to believe. Thank you!

  4. I have a somewhat unusual approach to goals. morning rituals, etc. I used to beat myself up a good deal for “failing” to do things the way, what seemed like, everyone was doing them. So I have to come to realize that, I am exactly where I need to be and I am doing what I am meant to be doing. This is not to get out of things like writing, practicing, reading to inspire, looking for auditions, classes,…. rather, sometimes I have to let things percolate for me. And once I have owned as much of the lesson as I am able at that point, I move on.