How to get out of a rut
A few weeks ago I was stuck in a rut.
A big fat rut.
I didn’t want to do anything.
My motivation was low.
I didn’t want to write any blog posts (and I love writing blog posts!)
I didn’t want to go for a run (and my day starts so well when I go for a run).
And – while I know this happens from time to time; we can’t be productive every minute of every day – it was making me feel crappy.
After a week or so, sick of wallowing, I asked myself the following question:
Am I being a “five percenter” right now?
Am I behaving like a “five percenter” would?
The answer was - without a doubt - no.
I was way off!
If the Five Percent was a club, I’d have been kicked out of my own club ;)
Now, we all need time to rest and recharge.
No question about it.
But there’s a difference between giving yourself a break, and being stuck in a rut.
I knew I needed to do something about it.
So I set myself a little challenge...
To do something that makes me feel alive, each day.
To live, each day.
(Not just exist.)
See, I’d gotten into the rut of work... zone out... sleep... repeat.
And that’s not the life I want to live.
But it’s tricky, with everything we have to do in our daily lives!
We still have to work, right?
We still have to do the laundry... and clean the toilet... and turn out the wilting veg at the bottom of the fridge (or is it just me that always forgets about the damn spinach...)
So when I say “living life”, I don’t mean quitting your job and blowing all your money on a wild 3-week adventure.
(Although that is tempting sometimes.)
I mean adding in moments that enrich your normal life.
Thinking about how you're spending your week.
And finding ways to add in calm or joyous moments.
They don’t have to be big or groundbreaking.
What did I do?
Well, I added little things in to my week:
It’s not always possible every day; I get that.
I don’t do it every day.
But I am committed to trying.
To push myself a little each day, so each day is not the same.
So at the end of the month, or year, or five years...
I can look back with excitement and pride.
Rather than confusion, wondering “Where the hell did the time go? What was I doing for the past three years?!”
This is something you can think about, too.
How can you make this week more memorable?
What can you do to feel alive this week (or the one after)?
How can you make one of your mornings more enjoyable?
Or shake things up one evening?
How can you add joy or excitement into your week, so every week doesn’t look the same?
It’s easy to get into a rut or a routine that doesn’t inspire us (wake up... commute... work... commute... TV... bed...)
But we can make each day a little better, if we make a conscious decision to.
Some ideas to start you off:
Who can you talk to that you wouldn’t normally talk to?
How can you make your commute different?
What can you do in the evening that you’ve never done before, or always wanted to do?
It is possible to break out of a routine – with a bit of creativity and awareness.
Ruts are part of life.
But they kill our dreams and inspiration.
So shake it up!
Do something a little different each week.
And let me know what you get up to – I’d love to hear!
8/10/2017 03:13:19 pm
It really does take vigilance to stay out of Rut City, doesn't it? I'm going to spend several hours on the beach this weekend reading George R.R. Martin's A Clash of Kings.
8/12/2017 11:38:23 am
Thanks for your comment, Amanda - yes indeed! I'm hoping not to visit Rut City again for a while ;) Your weekend sounds amazing - enjoy that beach time! (Also - I haven't read any of that series so your comment was a great reminder, as I'm looking for new fiction books to read... thanks!)
8/10/2017 06:24:55 pm
I really love this post! This really resonates with me since I am the type of person who likes to set up a routine to put my life under control but after a few days of it can feel so boring. I like the idea that we do not need to do crazy things like a 3 week vacations to Hawaii to feel alive;)
8/12/2017 11:48:04 am
Thanks for your comment, Alice! I agree - there's a balance between having a good, helpful routine and feeling bored of that routine! Yes exactly - we can get excitement from the little things, not just those trips around the world ;) I love your methods and the idea of being present and enjoying the little things... really really cool! :) (and the walnuts sound yum!)
This post was a challenge for me because I am SUCH the creature of habit. I love routines. To shake things up, I have to get out of my comfort zone. But like you said, if I shake things up, it'll get me out of a rut (or keep me from falling into one). After thinking about it, I came up with: new recipes. I will try new recipes, and this week I found a recipe for Hawaiian chili. (Yum!)
8/12/2017 11:53:18 am
Thanks for your comment, Patricia! There is definitely something to be said for knowing what works for you - if you're a creature of habit, that's a great strength to have! I struggle to put in routines (and probably get less done because of it!) But yes indeed, it doesn't hurt to shake things up once in a while to avoid getting stuck in a rut or having that feeling of "drifting". I LOVE the idea of trying some new recipes out... that Hawaiian chili sounds delicious! Enjoy! :)
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.