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How to Get Out of a Rut in 3 Simple Steps


Here's my simple system for pulling myself out of a rut

and a few of my favorite rut-busting resources.

Today I want to share what I do when I don't exactly feel ready to conquer the wellness world. Keep in mind I originally wrote this article at the start of a new year, but it serves as a good example any time of year. From years of helping others I know how easy it is to fall into little ruts throughout our journeys, so below I share exactly how I was feeling when I was in a rut and what I planned to do about it! When in doubt, keep it simple. Here's how to get out of a rut using 3 simple steps.


How I'm Feeling aka My "Rut"


With the start of a new year it's easy to feel the need to set an ambitious health goal. However, I'm just not feeling those vibes right now.


To be honest, coming down from the high of the holiday season doesn't feel so great. I’m sad because I miss my home state, family, and friends. I also feel frustrated because I spent my vacation time traveling to visit others and now have an out-of-routine family that isn't exactly well rested. Add that to all the messages to “make something great” of this new year and it can be a recipe for making me feel like crap about myself. Not exactly something a tired mama needs right now!


I do have high hopes for the upcoming year, which includes running, body composition, and health-related goals. However, I know what I really need right now is to focus on feeling like my normal empowered and healthy self again. That’s the foundation from which all those other goals can be achieved!


So, I’m writing this post with one goal in mind: To reset, revamp, and break free from this rut!

Woman running confidently

How I Break Out of a Rut

1. I think of a mantra that summarizes what I want and I write it down. This isn’t as easy as it sounds because it means I have to roll out of bed on a cold morning and sit quietly with my feelings (note: clinging to a warm cup of coffee helps!). However, if I ask myself questions like “What is it that’s missing from my life right now that has me feeling kind of blah?” and “How do I wish I felt instead?” I can create a simple phrase that helps me feel rooted in who I am and how I want to live my life.

The phrase I came up with this morning was “I am strong, happy, vibrant, and healthy.” I know this is how I usually feel about myself and what’s missing right now. It’s the version of myself I am proud of and the one I want to show up for my family and the world around me. By writing it down it becomes more real and something I can hold myself accountable to.

Healthy mindset intention setting cards

2. I immediately do one thing that makes me feel "strong, happy, vibrant, and healthy."

Today, I took 15 short minutes to do some yoga and backbends. It helped me feel alive, aligned, and ready to take on the day. The magical thing that happens next is that by taking these 2 small steps early in my day I am a more positive, uplifted, and health-centered version of myself. This results in me making better choices for myself and others throughout the remainder of my day.

Smiling mom with two happy kids

3. I set a reminder to have my mantra pop up on my phone later the same day.

Let’s face it, by mid-day I may have already forgotten my intentions! When my reminder pops up on my phone I take a deep breath and one quick minute to visualize myself being "strong, happy, vibrant, and healthy."

Now, it's your turn to feel better!

If you too are feeling a little crummy let’s commit to creeping out of our ruts together! The more time we focus on all of the junk that got us stuck here in the first place, the longer we prolong our pain. I believe it’s 100% possible to start feeling better NOW, but we have to want it and we have to take the steps to make it happen.


Remember this simple system to get out of a rut:

1. Find your mantra and write it down.

2. Take one small step to live out your mantra.

3. Set mid-day reminder to breathe and visualize.

(Repeat the following day) Goals and game plans are great, but sometimes it’s the little things we do to gently push ourselves in the right direction that help us to see everything else through. What we focus on we find and what we say to ourselves matters. So, cheers to one foot in front of the other and making it one hell of a strong, happy, and vibrant day! After all, we are ALL amazing, beautiful people who are perfectly capable of achieving great things. I have a feeling our journeys can be pretty darn fabulous, regardless of any ruts that pop up along the way!

My Favorite Rut-Busting Resources


My Best-Selling Book - The Art of Breaking Through: Five Simple Steps to Take on Any Challenge & Tackle Self-Doubt


Learn more about Louise's one-of-a-kind health & performance academy & coaching program, Badass Breakthrough Academy here


View Louise's free training: "Maximize Your Mind-Body Performance" here


Team Valentine Project Mindset Articles


The Five Minute Journal

1325 Buddhist Ways to Be Happy

The Big Life Journal: A Growth Mindset Journal for Children


Hear Louise share simple tips for overcoming obstacles on Holding Down the Fort Podcast

Earn Your Happy Podcast

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in his Presence

Louise Valentine is an award-winning wellness expert, best-selling author, competitive athlete, and fierce military spouse. She owns Badass Breakthrough Academy, empowering you with practical ways to master your mind-body physiology so you can be unstoppable & burnout-proof! Learn how to combat the effects of stress, optimize recovery, and confidently achieve your health and performance goals. View the FREE TRAINING "Maximize Your Mind-Body Performance with an Efficient, Sustainable & Scientifically Sound Approach" here. As always, you can find Louise & Team Valentine living life out loud on Facebook and Instagram @BreakingThroughWellness.

Love this article about small, effective mindset shifts that go a long way to drive results? You'll LOVE our best-selling book, The Art of Breaking Through. Find it on Amazon here.