How To Break Out of Your Rut

I read a cool article in More magazine recently, “71 Ways To Bust Your Rut Now”. I’m all in for busting my rut (there’s a sentence I have never said before.) Not sure why 71 is a magic number, but sure, more than 70 ways sounds like a winner!

Here are some of More’s ideas that resonate with me:

  • Commit to something publicly. I love this idea. About ten years ago I got very involved in Congressional politics. Our candidate lost, but I was out there, knocking on doors, waving signs and making noise for something I felt passionate about. It was a great, life-changing experience.
  • Spend an extra minute with someone and just listen. Listening is such an under-rated activity. I do it for a profession but in my private life I often revert to sloppy listening.
  • Read outside your field. I am listening to Brian Greene’s book The Hidden Reality, about multiverse theory (yes, multiple universes, cool!). I only understand about 25% of the science but it’s still mind-blowing.
  • Have a real-life adventure, like adopting a rescue dog, getting a master’s degree, learning to ride a motorcycle (these are actual examples cited in the magazine). It gets harder for me to shift into adventure mode at 58, but I am pushing myself. We’re moving toward a part-time life in NYC, we did move to the oceanfront, I am going to go platinum . . . and more!

And here are a few of my own ideas about busting a rut, and I would love to hear from you in the comments. How do you like to change things up, or are you looking to slow things down?

  • Try a new sport, as participant or spectator. We just went to an Arena Football game for the first time and had a blast. I am buying a boogie board this weekend so I can “surf” with Sandy without maiming myself.
  • Eat a completely new food for a week. My doctor told me to eat more superfoods, like blueberries and kale. I love blueberries. My “rut-buster” will be kale. Does kale come in chocolate?
  • Rescue some forgotten wardrobe pieces from the back of the closet and give them life. Include necklaces, shoes, even forgotten lipsticks. I am loving my orange and white Banana Republic sundress that used to live on my mannequin!
  • Change your radio station. Did you know that (embarrassing confession) AARP has a live radio stream where you can choose your music genre? Try Latin or Gospel instead of classic rock.

Your turn! Have a wonderful Thursday,

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  1. Mmmm! Chocolate covered kale. Sounds like a definite improvement. But maybe stick to chocolate covered blueberries as a side. And as long as it is 80% dark chocolate that is three super foods! Yay for adopting. A greyhound. A Staffordshire terrier-whippet. A mongrel. They're all fabulous! Great list. Love that there are seventy-one!!

  2. I also read this article, thanks for the reminder. I've been trying new restaurants which has been quite enjoyable.

  3. Yay, I'm all for rut-busting! Moving from New Zealand to England was mainly rut-busting in intention and while I'm here I'm trying to focus on 'doing something new' instead of getting into too many habits here. Travel is great to encourage new things like new food, new shops, new experiences, new friends and much more.

  4. Interesting post. My love and I are contemplating a move. We love Florida, but want to expand our horizons. We are currently considering Oregon and Virginia. I'm a former Connecticut girl, although my love has always lived in Florida. I wonder if it will happen? Thanks for the information, busting out of a rut…hmmm

    Barbara @

  5. I think this helps to keep you young too! I'm always changing up my habits and looking at things from a different angle. Great Post! xoxo

  6. wow – kale smoothies. I have to research this recipe : >

  7. I did rescue a piece of jewelry the other day – I bought it years ago and never wore it. I finally had just the right outfit for it and that little piece of jewelry had its day in the sun!

  8. I drink kale smoohies almost every morning!!
    I need to check this list out!

  9. Platinum Patti – I am looking forward to seeing that! I imagine you in a white maxi length gown, looking like Jean Harlow. Don't disappoint me now…
    Oh I am in a dreadful rut. Is it really dreadful though? It's comfortable. And reliable. And safe. But that does sound dull, now I type it out. Ok, I'll try a different kind of book and some new music, I'll eat anything (but I don't like kale…) and I find stuff I had forgotten about in my cupboards all the time. If I think of anything more adventurous, I'll let you know! xxx

  10. I decided to reread some classics instead of my usual Chic Lit fare. Downloaded Jane Eyre for my Cape Cod vacation. I guess that doesn't sound too exciting, does it? Have to think of something a little more challenging.

  11. Love the topic and I am going to look for the article….I would say number one..START A BLOG! Beginning to blog has taken me out of my rut and opened doors of opportunity I NEVER would have pursued prior to three years ago…I feel as though most of my days now are mini-adventures!!

  12. I just totally got into swing jazz a few weeks ago, and it's made a huge difference in my life already. A genre of music I hadn't really ever explored, and now I love it and have my internet radio station set to a swing/blues station all the time.

    I also went on a mission to eat all the vegetables, and it turns out, I love pretty much all of them, except I still loathe beets. I also frequently just up and decide to learn how to cook a new world cuisine, and then do that.

  13. Lol! I try every new food I can at least once. I never outright order something unknown, but if i get the chance, I'll happily try anything once or twice. Of course I do the "anxious person" version of real-life adventures, like answering a phone or talking to the cashier instead of self-check out. XP

  14. Rut busting – your ideas sound great! I like my rut, for the moment at least. It's deep, dark, full of mystery, and flooded with light from above. And I can burrow into the sides.

  15. I've also been trying to listen more — good one to keep in mind. It's always fun 'shopping' in one's closet, pulling out some long-lost item and wearing it in a fresh way.
    At age 40, I started learning and performing a new type of dance (the video from 2001 that I recently posted on my blog Facebook page). it was one of the best experiences of my life, and I'm still dancing with this troupe 12 years later!

  16. !!! My husband just bought kale today, for the first time ever! He felt he needed more antioxidants (to go with the cinnamon rolls). Kale aside, I find the hardest thing about rut-busting is how it impacts our two-wheeled ruts. We do little things on our own, but I'd like to break some of our couple routines (didn't want to use the word ruts there!). Maybe we'll take a class together this winter.

    Great suggestions, and I can't wait to see the platinum Patti.

  17. I make an effort all the time! I 'm going back to uni this fall!

    Ariane xxx

  18. Reading something outside your usual fare is a good summer project. Go to the library and pick up something from the staff recommendations shelf

  19. This is great, Patti! Loved your personal examples. So glad to brought up the subject of listening more. We could all benefit.

    I did make a partial shift lately from mostly classic rock to more Middle Eastern, Indian and Egyptian music. It's been a refreshing change.

  20. Blogging has helped me not be the same old same old, that's for dang sure. I feel I have to be unique in order to be appealing and attractive as a writer of my blog as well as posing for my pics. Great inspiration here. Thank you!

  21. I love it! We are on vacation and I told the girls and hubby we need to bust out out our rut tomorrow! So, instead of chicken wings tomorrow we are trying sushi! :). Great article sis!

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