Are you stuck in a rut? There are many things going on right now that are not particularly pleasant or enjoyable. Many of those things, though, are out of our control. What we can change and what we do have control over is how we think, approach things and apply solutions. I see people putting way too much focus on what they can't do and not nearly enough focus and action on what they can do. Fear, routine and habit can be such action and progress killers. If you want something to change then you have to put the actions in place and create the motion. Make a plan, have a process and work on it every day.\u00a0 Don't let a lack of motivation and willingness lead you to hopelessness. There is always hope and a way through. Take actions you probably don't believe in yet and trust your instincts. Here are 12 actions you can take that will help you get unstuck, move you in a new direction, improve your way of thinking and lead you to more hope and optimism: Look at what you are doing, who you are hanging out with and what habits you have settled into. Change people, places and things that are not motivating and moving you forward. It will make a big difference. Change your routine. Go a different direction, change your route, switch the time of day you do certain things. Connect more with others. Don't isolate; be more social and interactive. Don't try to handle everything yourself. Call friends; don't wait for them to call you. Reach out and connect with people who make you feel good and with whom you can talk honestly. Read positive, uplifting information daily that educates and motivates. Try a new hobby, be it cooking, tennis, painting or playing the guitar. Finish a project. Completing things (even small things) and moving on to others can give us a sense of accomplishment. Volunteer at something you believe in. Nothing works better to cure feeling discouraged or sorry for yourself than getting outside yourself and helping others. Change a bad habit. It really is powerful for self esteem. Take a calculated risk or chance. What do you have to lose, as long as the risk is thoughtful and proactive? Be adventuresome and try something different. It's actually quite exhilarating! Act "as if." It's a great way to practice and eventually move you closer to how you really want to be and feel. Get into action and shake things up - it will shake you up. Stop talking about what's not happening and what you can't do. Shift your focus to what you can do - and do it. Shaking things up doesn't have to cost a lot, either.\u00a0\u00a0The Simple Dollar site offers ideas for 100 things you can do on a money-free weekend. Guaranteed full refund if it doesn't dramatically change your mindset and outlook!