4 Actionable Tips to Get Out of a Rut and Change Your Life

how to get out of a rut

Did you know that only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions? That’s a BIG failure rate.

What’s stopping so many people from getting out of their ruts and changing their lives?


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Are you wondering how to get out of a rut and confused why nothing is working?

If the answer is yes, I can already tell you EXACTLY why you’re failing.

Because you’re sitting there thinking when really you should be TAKING ACTION.

Don’t worry. If you’re reading this blog post, you’re already moving one step forward to getting out of your rut.

Why? Because unlike those cutesy inspirational Instagram accounts you’ve been following, this post offers ACTIONABLE advice for how to get out of a rut.

And why is actionable advice so important?

Because no amount of positive thinking, reading self-help books, or scrolling through Instagram will EVER help if you don’t take ACTION.

Read on to find out the top actionable tips on how to get out of a rut.

1. How to Get Out of a Rut With Baby Steps

Maybe you’re stuck in a rut that feels deeper than the rabbit hole Alice falls down in Alice in Wonderland.

If you try to reach the top of that hole by taking one giant jump, you’re going to fall flat on your face. Every time.

Instead, you need to take small steps and slowly climb your way up.

Translation? Set small goals with realistic deadlines that you can tick off on the way to your big goal.

But don’t just set a bunch of goals that are super easy to achieve and then start patting yourself on the back. That’s not getting you anywhere.

Renowned psychologist Edwin Locke conducted a study on goal-setting and discovered that 90% of the time, specific and challenging goals lead to higher performance than easy goals.

Action Time:

Let’s take weight loss for example. Say your goal is to transform your body and get into shape. That’s the abstract, big goal.

Now, you need to break it into smaller, yet challenging goals. For example: run three miles three times a week, cut out drinking beer, or drink eight glasses of water a day.

Eventually, those little goals are going to add up, and pretty soon you’ll be peering out of the top of that rabbit hole.

2. Shake Things Up a Bit

Okay, I know I was ripping on the corny quotes a little bit earlier, but this one is super applicable to what I’m about to explain:

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein.

We humans love routine. While routine can be great for keeping grounded and staying focused, there are also benefits to shaking it up a bit.

When you shake up your routine, you’re making your brain do things it’s not accustomed to doing on a regular basis. This helps you tap into your problem-solving skills and seek creative solutions.

By doing so, you’ll be introducing your brain to new stimuli, allowing you to think about new things, see new things, and make new connections.

Back in the day, psychologists used to think routine shaker-uppers (yes, that is the scientific term) were nothing but trouble.

They even have a term for these people who love chaos- novelty seekers.

However, psychologists and psychiatrists are changing their attitude about this personality trait. According to psychiatrist C. Robert Cloninger, novelty-seeking can help keep you healthy and happy and even foster personality growth as you age.

Action Time:

So just how much shaking are we talking about here? Don’t worry, you don’t need to buy a red-eye flight to the Bahamas and sell all of your possessions (although I give you total props if that’s what you want to do and you do it).

Shaking up your routine can actually be fairly simple.

Here’s what you can do to get started:

  • Drive a different way home from work
  • Walk your dog on a different route
  • Sit somewhere you’ve never sat before
  • Go on a weekend excursion
  • Wake up ten minutes early and eat breakfast outside
  • Try an unusual recipe
  • Rearrange your furniture

Okay, you get the idea. Now start shakin’.

3. Fake it Til’ Ya Make It

Now that we’ve done some shakin’, it’s time to do some fakin’.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t involve plastering a fake smile on your face and waving your hand back and forth like a Stepford wife. It’s not that kind of faking.

What we’re talking about is confidence faking. Specifically, overconfidence faking.

But won’t people be annoyed with me if I act overconfident? Actually, not at all.

Studies show that people react positively to overconfidence. We tend to put more trust in those with greater confidence, even if their ability isn’t up to par.

Action Time:

If the whole overly-confident idea is making you want to curl up into the fetal position and hide under the covers, there are easy to implement self-confidence exercises you can try out.

These exercises will help you manage your nerves and stress. And pretty soon you won’t be fakin’ it, you’ll be makin’ it.

4. Put Me in, Coach!

Afraid of going at all of this alone? Good news. You don’t have to.

If all these strategies seem a bit overwhelming, and you feel like you need some help along the way, consider investing in a coach who will help get you where you need to be.

A great coach will help you identify and focus on they key factors to help you get out of your rut.

Studies/references for the effects of great coaching? Um, how about every successful professional athlete ever?

Alright, now that you know how to get out of a rut, it’s time to get moving!  If you’re confused on where to start or feel like you need help implementing some of these strategies, drop me a message in the comments or send me an email.

Or, if you’ve figured out how to get out of a rut and want to share your inspirational story, drop a comment as well,  I’m sure our readers would love to listen.

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