4 Steps to Escape an Unproductive Rut

Life is difficult. It comes with no manual. We are supposed to figure out most of the stuff on our own and then make a meaningful life out of that. Truth is, we fail. We fail often. Things don’t always go as planned. Situations don’t always work out as imagined. What we imagined our lives would be doesn’t always materialize. It’s not a bad thing really. Sometimes what we imagined and what we really need are two different things.

Stuck in a Rut

If you are anything like me, you have felt “stuck” in your life before. You feel like nothing is going according to plan. You give life your best and still can’t seem to make any progress. Or perhaps, you make slight progress and then descend back into the pit. You try, but nothing seems to be working. Be it in your relationships, your finances, your career. You just have this feeling that things could be much better.

There is a way out. It’s not easy, it is not quick, but it will start the process of slowly getting out of the rut. From studying people who have put their lives back on track, here are the four things you can do to get yours rolling

1. Accept What Is

We are where we are today because of the choices we have made in the past. The first step on the path to recovery is owning up to that and taking responsibility. Accept yourself the way you are. Acknowledge that what has happened, has happened and you have no control over the past. What you do have control over is the present and how it shapes your future. Acknowledging what is, clears the way to figuring out solutions.

2. Gratitude

Be grateful for who you are and what you have. Even in our worst situations, there are are others who are doing even worse. There is this quote by Regina Brett,

If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

Keep a daily gratitude list. Be grateful for the small good things happening in your life. Gratitude teaches us contentment. It opens up a world of possibilities. It let’s you focus on the positive things happening in your life. Optimism breeds more optimism. Gratitude fuels your journey to a better life.

3. Take Baby Steps


Change won’t happen overnight. It takes time. Whatever you want to change in life, give it time. Write down what you want to accomplish. Dream. Let your mind explore the possibilities. However, you won’t successfully tackle everything at once. That is a recipe for disaster. Pick the top 3 things you want to work on. Break them down to concrete steps you can take each day and get to work.

You want to lose weight? Set the intention of being healthy instead. That way you have the motivation to show up daily and do something to keep healthy. Consistent effort adds up at the end to transform your life. It works with other intentions too, be it finances, career, hobbies. Set small targets. Work towards them consistently and celebrate small wins along the way.

4. Persistence & Consistency

Whatever your vision is, work towards it consistently. Be persistent. Everyday, do something, however small that brings you closer to your intention. It might seem difficult at first, but with time as you build the habit muscle it gets easier. When you look back, you’ll be amazed by how far you’ve gone just by sticking with it.

Final Thoughts

At times, we do not chose our circumstances. They are thrown right at us. However, we don’t have to suffer under their weight. We have it in us, (and we owe it to ourselves), to fight, to overcome, to dream and work for a better future. If you find yourself stagnant or moving in circles, pick yourself up, dust off and do something about it. If nothing, at least you’ll have taken the first step to turning round your life.

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