How To Quickly Get Out Of A Rut – With A Worksheet

Women at a desk staring at her laptop

By Azzy Aslam

Habits, Routines, & Behaviours

17 Jun, 2021

How Do You Quickly Get Out of a Rut – With A Worksheet to Get You Started

At various times in life, we will find ourselves in a rut. This is quite normal. But feels like being stuck at the bottom of a pit, and sometimes you don’t even want to work out how to get out. We can get into a rut at work, at home, in relationships, and you even start to let your health and wellbeing spiral downwards. It’s a place where each day looks the same and the future isn’t clear anymore!

To quickly get out of a rut start by do something.  Because inaction results in even more inaction. When you start doing something, you are more likely to take more action. So, stop reading this and get up and do something, anything. And right now, I want you to go for a walk for 10 minutes. That’s it. There’s lots of things you can consider, contemplate, or plan but right now get outside and go for a walk. You can come back to read the rest of the blog and hatch your plan to change your life and start living.

The first step to making any change is to become aware of the situation you want to change. You are clearly aware of it as you are reading this blog and wanting to make a change. Awareness is the beginning, and the first step is to take action. So, what are you waiting for? Go for the walk!


First step to dig yourself out of a rut.

How was the walk? If you can’t get out right now, then make it happen tomorrow. In the morning, lunch time at work, or later in the day. Get out and go for the walk.

Movement and physical exercise, no matter how little, gets the blood flowing. It gets the neurotransmitters flooding into your brain and bloodstream, particularly Dopamine, the ‘feel-good’ natural drug!

I use the word ‘dig’ in the heading above because there is going to be some effort involved! But you already know you must put in some work, some effort. However, we are going to start small and easy.

Next action you can take; Save and print the image below. You can right click and ‘Save the Image’ somewhere on your device and then go to it and print it. (Or create your own!)


Get out of a rut worksheet


This is going to be your starter plan:

  1. I want you to pick up to three small things you can do each day – or you can start with just one – walking. Pick activities which are going to create some space in your life, your mind. Activities, which are going to improve your physical and mental wellbeing.
  2. Add how much time you spend on each – you can change this over time. In time, increase it just a little. To start with, pick the minimum amount you are prepared to do AND know you can commit to. It’s better to say five minutes for a walk and achieve it. We want to encourage progress, not hinder it.
  3. Each day when you have completed the activity put a big X in the box under the day column.
  4. Build up a streak of X’s without breaking the chain. If you do break the chain, then start again the next day.
  5. Keep going.
  6. When you reach the last column, take another printout, and start again. This time, up the challenge by increasing the amount of time etc.

This is the first step to get you moving to get out of an unmotivated rut. Simply Do Something. If you want to know more and next steps you can take, keep reading.


Why do we get into a rut?

Understanding why we get to a rut is important, because if we get to know what takes us down the path of our own rut then we can avoid it in the future. Although we have our own lives, traits, strengths, there are several things which affect us all and can lead us on the path to a rut.

Our brain loves habits. It’s the way it deals with the many things we do each day. It automates things, so little thought is given, and less energy is used. At first, it’s useful to have habits and routines which help us through the day.

However, over time the same habits keep us in daily loops. When progress at work becomes slow (no promotions or better job opportunities), or relationships become quiet, or you see little progress for your efforts this saps our energy.

It becomes difficult to be excited about anything. The little or no progress in different aspects of your life start to ‘grind’ you down. Your thoughts circle around full of negativity.

Then each day you feel there is no excitement, no future, no progress. All of this pushes you into a corner, where you start to believe there is no point in doing anything. Here again the negative chatter flows every day and throughout the day. It becomes a cycle.

Even your brain seems to start working against you. It will find all the reasons for doing nothing. It will find all the fearful scenarios and replay them to you regularly, keeping you where you are. It will convince you that nothing you do is going to make a difference. The world is conspiring against you!

And it’s all utter nonsense!


Next Steps to Get You Out of The Rut and Start Living

A quick reality check is in order at this point. I suspect you know this deep down. There are no quick hacks which after a few days will magically lift you out of the rut.

Although there will be someone out there who will want to sell you the ‘secret to getting out of a rut in 5 easy steps’, you know in your gut it doesn’t really work. And it’ll be money wasted!

Getting out of a rut or making any change in habits, behaviours, or mindset is a process and will take time. It may not be what you want to hear but it’s the truth.

Which is why the first step above is important. It gets you to break the cycle by doing something – anything. It shows you can do something, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort. This is the start.

Keeping it simple, these are the next steps you can take – after getting your daily walk (or other small physical activity) in place!

  1. Write down all the things in your life you feel are not working for you. Things which wish could be different, or better.
  2. Pick ONE – just one from the list you want to work on. You may well feel several or all the things you wrote down need to be tackled. For now, focus on ONE. By focusing on just one thing, you are more likely to make progress. Sometimes when we work on too many things, we miss the small amount of progress and feel nothing is moving forward. So, one more time – pick just ONE from your list.
  3. Next, write down the benefits you will see and expect when you tackle/fix this one thing. Write down how it will make you feel. Write down all the positive things it gives you and the positive emotions and feelings.
  4. Now, start to consider all the things you can do to get you to tackle or fix your chosen task. Write down as many as you can. The more options you can come up with the better.
  5. Pick the easiest of the options you can action immediately. Circle it. Write the action(s) which will make it happen.
  6. Now take action – each day. One small action each day. Don’t over do it. One small action each day is all you need to get out of a rut and change your life.

Once you have completed the activity you picked and circled, or are well on the way, you can start with the next thing on your list.

Before you know it, you will start to see a marked change in your mindset, outlook, and the sure but steady change in your life and wellbeing.

Stick to your plan!



Start with one thing and make it your health and wellbeing. Going for a daily walk and then progressing to perhaps a jog or a run will start the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters kicking in. This will also begin to open your mind and give you the energy to tackle the things in your life which are keeping you in a rut.

Start small and building up very slowly is key. It’s like an icy path up a hill. Trying to run up the hill will simply bring you crashing back to the bottom. Walk up slowly, one step at a time and you will make progress step by step.

If you could do with help to work out a plan specifically for you, then start by booking a free 30-minute call below.



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