It Works: Try This (Easy!) Personal Challenge to Get Out of a Rut


Do you ever feel overwhelmed by, well, being underwhelmed? You know, that nagging feeling in the back of your brain that something is just… off. If so, it sounds like you’ve fallen into a rut, my friend.

That’s the thing about ruts. They kind of creep up on you and, before you even realize it, you’re stuck in one. You have your routines, and your days all have a comforting structure about them. Listen, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, routine and structure can be very important. Sometimes, though, they can also tinge your existence with a bit of the blahs.

The expression “variety is the spice of life” may be cliché, but it’s true nevertheless. Just as we crave normalcy, we crave that which is different. Just as we need parameters, we need to stretch them. That’s where growth happens—in the stretching.

So, in such times, breaking out of your rut is merely a matter of shaking things up. What are you waiting for? If you’re tired of coasting through every day on autopilot, I challenge you to try something new. Or, to be more accurate, try a lot of somethings new.

Throughout the rest of this month (you’ve got 20 days or so left!), step outside of your regularly scheduled life and do something different every day. For example, here are a few ideas to jumpstart your rut-wrecking journey:

  • Message someone you haven’t talked to in a year
  • Say hi to someone new at work or in your neighborhood
  • Add a daily fitness class to your routine you would normally never attempt (hello, aerial yoga!)
  • Go to bed—and wake up—an hour earlier
  • Take a picture of something beautiful but unexpected
  • Turn off the TV… and don’t turn it back on for at least 24 hours
  • Pick a recipe you’ve never tried and attempt to make it
  • Buy a lottery ticket
  • Ask someone out on a date: a love interest, if you’re single; your partner, if you’re coupled up; or a friend you’ve been neglecting, for a bestie date
  • Do something small that’s good for the planet
  • Sign up for a seminar, sit in on a lecture—just learn something new
  • Read a book everyone is raving about
  • Pay a total stranger a compliment
  • Plan a trip (get carried away; it’s more fun that way)
  • Book a massage/mani/pedi/whatever-pampering-pleases you
  • Take a hike
  • Try meditative chanting, non-ironically
  • Apply for that job you really want but haven’t felt nervy enough to pursue
  • Ask a senior citizen about how they managed something you’ve been thinking or worrying about tackling

You get the gist, right? If you challenge yourself to do something fresh and new every day, you’ll wind up feeling revived. We’re not suggesting you do something entirely outside of your wheelhouse, like go skydiving—rather, make manageable yet exciting adjustments that are big on impact.

Although, who knows… when all is said and done, you may just feel inspired enough by your month-long bravery to strap on a parachute and jump out of a plane, too.

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