Stuck In A Rut? How to Refire in Four Key Areas

Everyone finds themselves in a rut from time to time. The new year is a time to look ahead and refire! The takeaways from Ken Blanchard's latest book, Refire! Don't Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life, apply to work and life, and they can supercharge your new year and the rest of your life. This is the real fountain of youth that will re-energize and focus you on your goals, to keep you reinventing yourself.

Ken Blanchard and his coauthor Morton Shaevitz, a psychologist and expert on aging, worked to identify the factors that cause some people to become old before their time. They found four characteristics that distinguish people who feel innovative and vibrant from those who feel as if they are in a rut intellectually, emotionally, physically, or spiritually.

Refiring Intellectually and Emotionally

For Ken Blanchard, refiring intellectually is a habit he developed early in his life through his process of coauthoring business books. Going all the way back to his first business bestseller The One Minute Manager, which he coauthored with Spencer Johnson, Blanchard has worked collaboratively with coauthors on more than 60 books that have sold in excess of 20 million copies. Blanchard’s philosophy is simple: “I already know what I know—what interests me is what I can learn from others.”

Are you doing the same things, with the same people, in the same way, over and over again? The key for refiring intellectually and emotionally is to build relationships with people who have different ideas and can suggest new ways of looking at and doing things.

People often get locked into patterns of behavior that keep them from exploring and having new experiences. You can start with small things, explains Blanchard. For example, creating what Blanchard and Shaevitz call a Last Minute Gang. The idea here is to default to saying yes to invitations and opportunities—even those presented at the last minute—unless you have a compelling reason to say no. They also write about the Nothing Ordinary rule, which sets a standard of seeking out unique activities and purchasing items that inspire you—rather than doing and buying the same old ordinary things—whenever possible.

Refiring Physically and Spiritually

A key element to refiring is to stay in good physical shape. Drawing from concepts learned from Tim Kearin, his personal coach and coauthor of the book Fit At Last, Blanchard recommends staying fit through strength, endurance, and flexibility training. In his own fitness regimen, Blanchard puts special emphasis on balance training and aerobic fitness together with diet, nutrition, and rest.

“It’s a process,” explains Blanchard. “When I first began looking at my own physical assessment, the only area in which I was highly advanced was rest. The other skills I had to develop!”

When Blanchard and Shaevitz use the word spiritually, they are not talking about religion per se; it’s more about getting out of your own way and considering that maybe there is a higher power—something bigger than you—at work in the world. For example, Blanchard’s personal spiritual focus is on inner peace.

As Blanchard speaks about refiring, he finds the message resonating not only with older audiences but also with people in their 30s and 40s who may be feeling bored with the status quo and looking to refire aspects of their own lives.

Getting Started

Are you in a rut? Have you lost the spark? If so, Blanchard and Shaevitz suggest you consider what you can do to break out intellectually, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And the beginning of a new year is a great time to get started.

“Take a look at these four areas,” suggests Blanchard, “and you’ll probably find one or two that stick out as the most important areas for you to refire. Then you can put together a plan.”

You don’t necessarily have to refire all by yourself, say the authors. Find a friend to be your learning partner. Seek out new friends or neighbors for social activities. Or identify a coach if you decide to focus on the physical aspect.

With a little bit of work and an open mind, it is possible to rekindle the spark that will make every day an exciting adventure instead of something to endure. “Life is a very special occasion,” Blanchard reminds us all. “Be sure to make the most of it!”


Would you like to learn more about creating a vibrant and fulfilling life at home and work? Then join us for a free webinar!

Refiring In All Areas of Your Life: Four Essential Strategies
Thursday, January 29, 2015
9:00 a.m. Pacific Time / 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time / 5:00 p.m. UK Time / 5:00 p.m. GMT

What’s the difference between people who remain innovative, essential, and vibrant, and those who grow old before their time? That’s the question best-selling author Ken Blanchard will explore in this webinar designed to explore four characteristics that define people who keep themselves engaged, motivated, and growing in all aspects of their lives.

Drawing on the four key points Blanchard explores in his new book, Refire! Don’t Retire: How to Make the Rest of Your Life The Best of Your Life, you’ll discover that self-renewal begins by refiring in four key areas:

  • Intellectual – Learn key strategies for staying focused and engaged mentally
  • Physical – Learn how to create a healthy body and a sense of well-being
  • Spiritual – Learn how to move beyond a focus on self
  • Emotional – Learn how to create a connection with others in all aspects of your life

Join Ken Blanchard as he shares the secret to creating a fulfilling life by consciously growing in all four of these areas. Blanchard will share some of the secrets he personally employs to build relationships, collaborate successfully with others, and turn dreams and plans into action. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn firsthand how to refire in your own life—and prove to yourself and others that the best is yet to come.

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