Stuck in a Rut? Here’s How to Get Yourself Out

The low-point strikes again, except this time it was REALLY hard to get back up. Sometimes we get in ruts. And it’s NORMAL for everyone. The trick is getting yourself out. I’m usually pretty good at being aware when I’m in a rut and knowing how to get myself out of it. This one was different, this one was debilitating. Nothing really major happened to me, I just couldn’t keep going. There were a handful of reasons that may have caused the rut: overworking, not enough rest, duties of parenthood, maintaining a household, bills, etc. It gets exhausting. And if I’m not careful to balance the fun stuff with the hard stuff, I can get myself into a major rut.

This past one was a whopper. I knew in the back of my mind I needed to pull myself out, but I could not muster up the strength to do it alone. So I sought out help. The first thing I was told to do was make three goals for myself.

And typed up, in outline form, I made three goals:

  1. Read a book and finish it.
  2. Run a ½ marathon.
  3. Direct my attention to things that fulfill me and do more of it! This will include creating more of a work/life balance, having fun, rediscovering old interests as well as new, taking up a hobby, and focusing on building God-filled relationships with those whom I’m called to. 

The idea of setting goals was so exciting for me! I’m obviously a goal-oriented person, because I got right on it! Something about a means to an end got me up and moving. I was careful to make one goal easily attainable, another a little bit harder, and the third was the overarching goal for this season of my life.

Goal #1

Within the week I started (and finished) the book, “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. It seemed fitting since I was on a journey to rise. I used to say, “I don’t have time to read.” I had to learn to MAKE time or stop filling up my free time with more work. I brought that book with me wherever I went – work, the car, home. Any spare minute I could find, I dedicated it to finishing the book. 

Goal #2

I decided to sign up for the Silos District ½ Marathon in Waco, TX because, hello, what’s more motivating than to see Chip Gaines in all his sweaty marathon running glory? Although it’s not an ideal timeline for training (6 weeks, agh!), I can hustle-up! I’m on my 2nd week of training and it’s been difficult to stick with it, but I’ve pushed through, and I already feel better! Within the week, I run four days, strength train one day, and rest the other two days.

As a single mother, I have to get creative in fitting all this in my schedule. Mondays, while my daughter is at church for an hour, I run in the neighborhood nearby. Tuesdays, I take Les Mills Body Pump class at our gym, with childcare. Wednesdays, I run while my daughter is at dance. Thursdays, I bring her bike to the park and she rides alongside me while I run. Fridays, I rest. Saturdays, I do my long run and my daughter goes to her dad’s or her grandmother’s. And Sundays, I rest. 

NO excuses. If I can find the time, so can you!

Goal #3

My last goal is very broad, but it’s my focus for this season of life. I’ve given so much attention to work and raising my child, that I forget about myself. As most women do. I can’t even remember what I like to do for fun anymore because any free time I have is spent getting caught up on household duties, grading papers, or thinking up ways to get ahead for the next week. So my new mission is to have fun. I will rediscover what used to bring joy to my life and discover new things that I haven’t yet explored.

My daughter loves to cheer me on and she sees me working towards my goals. I’m a firm believer in leading by example. I hope when she grows up, and finds herself in a rut, she will remember watching me work my way out of mine in a healthy way! 

Had I not made these goals, I’d still be in my rut not knowing which way was up, feeling sorry for myself, and wallowing in self-pity. These goals gave me something to work towards and achieve and that’s something to get excited about. Just by reading the book within the first week, I now want to read more books, and I will find the time to do it because I NEED that in my life. Just from running the past two weeks and following a schedule with an end-goal, I want to run more, and I will find time to do it because I NEED that in my life. Seeking out things I enjoy doing has been an adventure, and it makes me want to do more of it, because I NEED that in my life. And your life may need it, too.

**Special thanks to Jamie for guiding me in the right direction, Jennifer for holding me spiritually accountable, and Devin for holding me physically accountable. I couldn’t have picked myself up without y’all. 
Brooke was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and grew up in Denham Springs. She attained a degree in English from Southeastern Louisiana University. After she graduated, she went on to become an English teacher to a variety of different age levels. Brooke is a single mother whose number one priority is to guide her beautiful eight-year-old daughter, Kameron, through a Christ-centered life. Some of her favorite things to do are run the LSU lakes, go to festivals around the area, and drink an immense amount of coffee! Travels, adventures, and weekend getaways are a necessity to balance out her busy and often-times chaotic life!

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