Personal Development

8 Ways to get out of the rut

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Last week I went to a football game with a good friend, Celtic v Hibernian. He had tickets for the executive lounge at Celtic Park and asked if I wanted to come along. I was hesitant at first, knowing that family time is at a premium as I work a lot of hours between my job and my online work. I was also hesitant as I hadn't been out without the family for a while. It might sound crazy but I had gotten so used to going out with my family whenever I had free time that I was a bit apprehensive about going out with a friend and meeting new people. It turns out the day was fantastic and we were treated to a champagne breakfast, the game and dinner. I have followed Celtic for years, I'm not a true supporter, but my team won that day. The atmosphere was amazing at the game and the people we were sitting with were nice.

I had gotten into a rut, albeit a very nice rut, by being with my family all the time. When the chance to step out of my, now, comfort zone, came along I took it and it was a good feeling. We are not anti-social people we just want to spend most of our time together as a family as we know the boys will be grown up and will not want us hanging around them in a few years time.

A lot of us are stuck in a rut in a lot of areas of our lives, whether it be work, relationships, friendships, hobbies and our free time.

Here are 8 ways to get out of the rut.


  1. The first step is to recognise you are in a rut. You will know this instinctively but maybe not been able to put a name to it. It's that feeling you get when you think you just can't be bothered doing the same thing that you've been doing for ages like going out drinking every weekend with friends, being stuck in the house yourself every night, doing the same old thing day in day out with your job. When you recognise this feeling, you can then do something about it.
  2. Once you have recognised the feeling of being in a rut start to think about what you can do to mix things up a little. If you are used to going out drinking with friends every weekend suggest something else you can do together or go and do it yourself or with other friends. If your job is your rut , start thinking about what you want to do with your life. People are stuck in a rut as they don't know what else to do and haven't really thought about doing something different.
  3. When you have thought about other things you can do in your life start thinking about ways of implementing them and incorporating them into your life. It may be just a case that you are stuck in a comfort zone and it can be scary breaking out of your comfort zone.
  4. "˜Small moves Ellie, small moves' (Contact, 1997), this is a quote from one of my favourite films and it is so true when trying to get out of a rut. Some people like to change their whole life and turn it upside down and that's great if it works for you but the period of adjustment can be overwhelming. When you take it slowly and take "˜small moves' to get out of a rut it is not so overwhelming and you can ease yourself gently out of your comfort zone.
  5. If your job is your rut start taking action to change it. Think about what you REALLY want to do and start taking steps to getting there. See in your minds eye the outcome and how you will feel when you reach that outcome. Your imagination and your thoughts are key to change.
  6. If your friends and your social life is your rut do something different from the norm. Sometimes we outgrow our friends and it's okay to make new friends, give yourself permissions to do this. It might be hard for you and your old friends, but you have to recognise that you are growing both spiritually and mentally and it can be good to have new friends.
  7. Changing your routine can also be a good way to start changing your life for the better. If you are used to getting up late every morning, rolling out of bed, going to work, going back home, lying on the couch and falling asleep to TV try changing this. Get up early, yes you have to force yourself, go for a walk and then relax until it's time to go to work. This is a small change to a routine but it can have a major impact on your life. When you are up early and possibly walking you start to think about other things you can change, when you think about this you are more likely to act on your thoughts, when you act you will change.
  8. If you are not used to being a sociable person start getting yourself out there. Even if you are quiet, you can practice the art of small talk and get out of your comfort -zone of being alone.

We have to realise that being in a rut is down to our thinking being in a rut, it's not our lives it's our thinking. When you recognise you are in a rut you will start to think of ways of doing something different. When you think of something different to do you will see in your imagination something new, when you can see it in your mind it is possible to do it, when it is possible to do it it's time to get out and do it.

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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.