How to Get Out of a Rut

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Last month, you found yourself finding the time for exercise, cooking your own healthy meals, getting to bed on time and just in general feeling like you were really winning at life. Life was pretty great!

But then last week you got sick.
You went on vacation.
You had a stressful week at work.
Your children had a dozen extra curricular’s going on.

Maybe it was one of the above, or maybe it was all of the above.

But regardless, you don’t feel like you’re winning at life anymore and all of a sudden one or two bad weeks, or maybe months, has you feeling pretty down in the dumps. A failure. Like everyone else has it all together except you.

You only made it to the gym once or twice that week, or maybe not even at all. You ate too many dinners from the drive-thru than you’d like to admit. The laundry is piling up. Energy is low. Your motivation level is rock-bottom zero.

How are you even going to get from “here” back to where you once were? It seems impossible.

If we can press the “reality check” button once here, let us remind you:

It’s okay to veer off the tracks for a bit. We all do it sometimes.

But you don’t have to stay off. It’s never too late to change the course and even the smallest steps forward are still steps forward.

If you’re in a rut, let’s take some steps forward. Here are small changes you can make to get out of a rut and back into winning at life:

1.) Unplug. Many times when we’re in a rut that we can’t get out of, we simply turn more to our devices to numb the feelings we really have. Turn off the tv and your phone in your free time. This naturally leaves you to more time with your thoughts so you can think about what it is you really want to accomplish. And then “actually” having the time to accomplish them!

Bonus tip: If you have an iPhone, you can check to see how much time you’re spending on your phone each day, and where you’re spending that time (scary!).

1. Open Settings

2. Swipe down and tap Battery

3. Tap the clock icon to the right of Last 24 Hours and Last 7 Days

4. You’ll see the amount of time in hours and minutes that each app was used in the last 7 days or last 24 hours.

This will change your perception on how much time you really have!

2.) Do the thing you want to do the least. Seriously! If it’s exercise that you just can’t get motivated to do, go do that! Start with simply putting on your workout clothes and shoes. Then drive to the gym. Once you get there, that’s half the battle. That will likely keep you from turning around because you already put in the effort to get there.

If it’s cooking a healthy meal at home, find a recipe that makes you excited, but doesn’t overwhelm you.

Our two favorite go-to websites: RDRx Nutrition and The Real Food Dietitians — healthy and not over-complicated.

Bonus tip: plan to go with a friend, family member or children. Having an accountability buddy adds an extra layer of buy-in. If you’re a member at CrossFit Helix, find someone that you see during the class time you go to and ask them if they want to meet up with you next time (bet they’ll say “yes!”). Chances are, your friends are dealing with motivation to get into the gym at times, too and they will likely welcome the extra accountability for them as well.

3.) Set a new goal. If you don’t change your goal(s) to fit your circumstance, you’re going to fall into the vicious cycle of coming up short and feeling like a failure. Maybe making it into the gym 5x/week was realistic in the past, and isn’t anymore, but 3x/week is!

Change your goal. Try setting a newer, more attainable goal to gain some momentum. And then set new goals when you’re consistently attaining them.

Need some ideas? Sign up for our Intramural Open, climb “The Incline” with us, sign up for a 5k race, a cooking class or a book club.

Bonus tip: At CrossFit Helix, you can sign-up for classes on Wodify in advance. Take a moment on Sunday to look at your calendar for the next week and schedule all your classes for the week. If you use Google calendar, the classes will automatically add to your calendar so you can treat it like an appointment!

4.) Change it up! Maybe you’re in a rut simply because you’re bored with your current routine. Try something different whether it’s exercise, new recipes, starting your day with some light exercise, adding in some outdoor exercise, etc. Re-assess your day and see if there are opportunities to accomplish your goals in a different way.

Bonus tip for Helix athletes: Try doing some ROMWOD workouts at the end of class (free for all CrossFit Helix athletes on the tv on the Black side), the new “After Party” workouts we have posted at the gym for you (to be done either before or after the workout), or maybe even try a different class time and meet some new friends. We also offer one-on-one private training if the class times are conflicting with your schedule and private skill sessions if you’re looking to accomplish a specific movement-related goal.

Getting out of a rut can be hard. But we’ve all been there. And you don’t have to stay there forever. We all go through different seasons of life and that’s okay.

Try one of these strategies, or all of them, and slowly get yourself out of that rut!

If you want some help, that’s what we’re here for! You can book a FREE goal review session with us and we’ll discuss ideas together to help get you back on track!

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