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3 Super Simple Tips to Get Out of Your Rut…FOR GOOD!


As some of you know, I started working out at a gym in January. For nearly four months (and with the exception of a few setbacks), I’ve diligently gone to the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

I’m proud of myself. I really am.

Yet, last week I wasn’t really feeling it. My heart wasn’t in it. My mind was elsewhere.

I was so “not feeling it” that one of my new gym buddies noticed and asked what was up.

“I don’t really know. I’m just not feeling it lately,” I answered.

“Well, maybe you need to shake things up. You might be bored. I change my workout routine every couple of months just to get out of that rut,” he offered.

He was right. I was bored. I’d been doing basically the same workout routines (albeit, on different days) for nearly four months!

So, I’m working on setting up some new routines—you know, finding new ways to use the weights, new machines to try out, new cardio workouts to push through—and in the process, I started thinking about how the same thinking I’ve put into getting out of my exercise rut can be used to getting out of life ruts.

1. Set a Goal

Sure, you already want to get out of your rut, but setting a goal gives you actual steps to do so.

Setting a goal might sound like it’s easier said than done, but it’s not. Setting goals is easy; it’s working toward them and achieving them that’s a bit more difficult.

Yet, all that work is what’s going to get you out of your rut, right?

Maybe you want to run your first 5K, master a difficult yoga sequence (or finally conquer that one scary pose), or learn how to make a new delicious dish.

Whatever it is, set it as a goal and start taking steps to conquer it.

MY PLAN: Tackle that scary elliptical machine! I’ve stared at it for months now, but never given it a go. I might not like it, but I plan to at least try to master it before I decide whether or not it’s for me.

2. Find Your Passion

Maybe better than finding your passion is giving into your passion.

Many of us already know our passions; we just don’t act on them. We’re full of excuses that pretty much boil down to fear of failure.

I’d say let go of that fear but, again, that’s another one of those things that’s easier said than done. So, instead of letting go of the fear, plow right through it. Start nurturing your passion and let the fear take care of itself.

It will. I promise.

What do you spend more time wishing you would do instead of actually doing?

MY PLAN: Start running outside again. Now that it’s spring and the ice has finally melted (don’t hate me if I end up jinxing it for all us east coasters), I want to start training in the fresh air again. I want to feel the earth instead of a mat. I want to feel the wind instead of a fan. I want to smell the flowers instead of, well, gym funk.

3. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Ultimately, it all comes down to this: GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.

Everything about your comfort zone contributes to keeping you stuck in a rut. You’re comfortable running the same path each day. You’re comfortable attending the same yoga classes each week. You’re comfortable cooking the same meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

You’re comfortable because you know how to do them. You know what to expect. There are no surprises—pleasant or otherwise.

Guess what, though—with all that knowledge, with all those expectations, and without all those surprises comes—you guessed it—your comfort zone rut.

Sometime today (not tomorrow or next week—today!), do something outside of your comfort zone. Even if it’s just one thing. Even if it’s just sleeping on a different side of the bed tonight. Do it.

MY PLAN: Increase my weights! I’ve used the same couple of sets of weights for months now. They’re comfortable and I know I can lift them. If I want to keep moving forward, I’m going to have to bust out of my comfort zone and increase the pounds.

Now it’s YOUR turn, sweet readers! Are YOU stuck in a rut? What steps do you think you can take to get out and get moving?

3 Super Simple Tips to Get Out of Your Rut…FOR GOOD!

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2015). 3 Super Simple Tips to Get Out of Your Rut…FOR GOOD!. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 13, 2020, from


Last updated: 8 Apr 2015
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