How to Climb out of a Rut

We've all experienced rut time. Whether it's brought on by stress, confusion, an intense work schedule, or simply a lack of motivation, a rut is no place to camp. Here are seven things you can do to escape from a rut:

1. Recognize You're in One - Ask yourself if you're feeling bored, unmotivated, listless or stuck. Because of my task-oriented, nose-to-the-grindstone personality, it sometimes takes me a while to become aware that I'm in an overloaded work rut. Once we're aware of our rut status, change can begin.

2. Pray - Ask God to help you get back on track. Whether we need a break, divine motivation, or direction, we need the Holy Spirit's power to grant discernment and show us the next step.

3. Rethink Your Priorities - In today's multi-tasking world it's easy to allow less important things rise to the top of our do-lists, causing everything else to shift. A wise woman uses wisdom, seeks balance, and asks God to establish her priorities--every day.

4. Create a Plan - Relax! It doesn't have to be an elaborate, 10-page, alphabetized document. But sometimes, just honestly writing down a couple of prayerfully considered simple steps and goals can help us get on track--and keep us there.

5. Reach Out - Nothing puts a fresh light on things and encourages us like meeting with a friend to share our hearts. Laughing, relaxing, and discussing the issues we find most challenging with someone we trust and respect will stimulate and relieve us. Just hearing another person's perspective is often all that's needed to get us moving.

6. Give Yourself Permission - Whether you need a day off, a lighter work load, the opportunity to pursue a fresh idea, or a self kick in the pants, allow yourself to do what you feel is necessary to help you move in the right direction. It's okay. Really.

7. Spend Time Worshiping - Never underestimate the power of God's presence at a time like this. I've been amazed at the difference time with the Lord makes when I'm stuck in a rut. When we put on the garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness (see Isaiah 61:3), our entire countenance and perspective are transformed.

How about you? Have you felt like you're in a rut lately? Do you think you need more of a break or a kick in the pants?


Cindy in PA said...

Are you a mind reader? I had finally recognized that I'm in a rut last week and determined that I need to spend more time reading scripture. Like daily.

I wish I could say I needed a break but I think I needed a kick in the pants. And reading your post today is the kindest "kick" I could have received.

Thank you!

Cheryl Barker said...

I'm a creature of habit so getting into ruts is super easy for me. The things is -- I like lots of my ruts :) Guess I find comfort and contentment in the normalcy of routine.

But sometimes I need a break when I push too hard, and other times I need the kick in the pants to shake things up a bit. The Lord has directed me to both over the past few months. And yes, the changes are usually a challenge for me :)

Kelli Williams Wommack said...

Realization of the rut is the key for me! Prayer and worship, just sweet time in His presence pulls me out of that mirey clay and gives me a new place to stand and a new song in my heart.
Thanks for sharing, Julie.

Unknown said...

Julie, so true! It is easy to get into a rut and miss out on the excitement of really walking intimately with Christ. Love this practical plan to find a way out of the rut!


Great practical ideas, Julie.


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