Get Out of a Rut in 3 Simple Steps

January 1, 2019

Here's my simple system for pulling myself out of a rut and a few of my favorite rut-busting resources. 

Heads up, this isn't one of my science-based wellness articles (you can check those out here).  Today I want to share what I do when I don't exactly feel ready to conquer the wellness world.  From years of helping others I know I’m not alone in the way I feel right now, so here's how I'm feeling and what I plan to do about it.


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 for 2019:

To reset, revamp, and break free from this rut!


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 winter 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.



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.


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 will certainly help us make it a great year, 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 year can be pretty darn fabulous, regardless of any crazy resolution.

My Favorite Rut-Busting Resources

The Five Minute Journal


1325 Buddhist Ways to Be Happy


The Big Life Journal: A Growth Mindset Journal for Children


Earn Your Happy Podcast


Simple Families Podcast


Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in his Presence


Team Valentine Project is all about finding realistic, simple, and science-based ways to make wellness work.  Make sure to see all of our wellness content by "Liking" us on Facebook, following us on Instagram @TeamValentineProject, and subscribing to



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