how to get out of a rut.

Last week, I wrote a little something over on Sidda Writes about being in a rut. Since then, I've managed to start digging myself out of it. Here's how.

1. I changed my to-do list format. Stop writing the same lists over & over, like I was doing. It doesn't make you want to do the tasks any more the next day, if they are presented to you in the exact same way. It just doesn't. Trust me.
2. I made a brand new playlist. And on it, I put songs that relax me in some way. I reached back into the early nineties to grab those songs that always make me feel safe [namely, anything by Matchbox Twenty]. I kept up with the Joneses & put some of the hip stuff I listen to on alt nation on there. I added John Mayer, because his voice reminds me of the safety of my freshman year dorm room bed, which looked out over the residence hall courtyard. I added all of the things like that. And, I tell you what, when listening to that playlist, I feel like I can do anything. And it helps. A lot.
3. I gave myself the day off. And it was challenging. When I feel myself slipping into a rut, or when I've been in a rut for a long time, & I've just then realized it, I'm always eager to jump out immediately. I keep plugging away, trying to force myself to get results. Sometimes it works, in a nose-to-the-grindstone, never-let-up way, but usually it just frustrates me. I've found that sometimes all you need is a day to relax - to stop hating on yourself - to feel more in the mood to try again the next day.
4. I pressed the reset button. Similar to number three, this one allowed me to forgive myself for making no progress in the past, & to move on from that feeling. Being too hard on yourself may work for a little while, but everyone has a breaking point. Press reset & allow yourself to feel new again.
5. I got excited about my tasks. I know. This may be easier said than done. Obviously everyone wishes to be excited about their to-do lists, because then, getting everything done would be fun. I find that I am so much happier when I'm 100% behind the things I have to do. That isn't always the case, & when it's not, I rarely do anything. I've found that if i simply try to think about my tasks from a different angle, I'm able to remember why they're on my list in the first place.
6. I started a new workout routine. You know that old adage that says something about how if you keep doing the same thing, you'll keep getting the same results? Well, that's what was happening with my workout. So, I started the Blogilates program. I've done a video here & there before, but this time, I signed up for the newsletter & gained access to the beginners' daily workout calendar. I'm loving it so far, & in conjunction with my pre-existing cardio routine, I think I'll begin to see some results soon. And if that's not enough motivation to push you out of a rut, I don't know what is.
7. I rewarded myself. Yes, it was just hot chocolate & an everything bagel in between two of my Thursday classes on a cold, misty day, but it was a hot chocolate & an everything bagel well-spent.
8. I shared the journey. I texted my friend, asking why I was sucking so much as a person. Haha, I know, harsh. But sometimes, a reassuring word from a loved one will go far to put you back on the right path. It always helps me, that's for sure. And, more than likely, as your friend spills to you, you'll realize you're not alone. Everyone has bad days... everyone catches an occasional case of the Mondays. But knowing we're all in this thing together can prove to be extremely comforting.

I thought Monday was the best day to share something like this, as Mondays tend to have that stigma of being a horrible, no good, very bad day. I understand this, trust me. But Mondays are also good for new beginnings. And I think that's what I'll be focusing on today.

What do you do when you find yourself in a rut? Do you wallow for a while, like me, or do you snap into action immediately? Do share your tips & tricks below. I need all the help I can get in this respect!


photo: inside my planner | taken Sunday night | find other photos on instagram


siddathornton said…
Girl, I am in SUCH a workout rut right now. Ruts are the most terrible thing. Sharing helps, I do think. Great tips. :)
siddathornton said…
i really think sharing is the key to getting out of it. once my friends know about it, i feel even more compelled to pull myself out & get on with my life. i have to say: workout ruts are my least favorite type of rut, for sure. it's hard to go to the gym/get outside & run/etc., when you're not excited about it.
siddathornton said…
#3 is very important to me. Great post and blog! :)

Feel free to visit my blog as well! <3

siddathornton said…
Yay! Good for you! I loved Blogilates, but I haven't done any of the workouts in quite a while. I, too, find that doing new things keeps me happy and feeling alive.
siddathornton said…
Monday is a perfect day to share! So glad I saw this. I'm going to rethink my lists, every single day it's the SAME list! You are so right. I didn't want to do it any more today than yesterday, and I already don't want to think of it for tomorrow!
siddathornton said…
good luck with taking a new approach with your lists! it has been helping me a LOT this week so far. i've just been writing things down a different way, & it really does affect my desire to complete the tasks. it seems so silly, but it works! :)
siddathornton said…
haha, i would want to meet her, too! she seems like such a bubbly, fun person. and i'm REALLY enjoying her workout videos - i feel GREAT!
siddathornton said…
i'm really excited about following the blogilates beginners' calendar. it's a relief to know which exercises i need to do each day, & i'm excited to move up to the monthly calendars after i complete the beginners' one. it's fun :)
siddathornton said…
i couldn't agree more. nothing is more mentally taxing than trying to FORCE yourself to be creative or witty or to put pen to paper & write something good. this method of putting it away & coming back later worked for me last night: i was SO frustrated with my statistics homework, i just had to go to bed & forget about it. when i approached it today, i did it 100% correctly. what a relief!
siddathornton said…
YES, endorphins are such a help. and exercise just clears my mind. it's such a great escape that helps to refocus me, i've found.
siddathornton said…
There are so many things about this post I could comment on, but I'm just going to say this:

MATCHBOX TWENTY!! Great choice. I used to listen to my Matchbox Twenty Pandora station when studying in college. It was very carefully curated after years of liking and disliking songs on that station. :)
siddathornton said…
I love the idea about writing a to do list differently. Then it's not the same thing over and over.

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