7 science-backed ways to get out of a rut and start afresh to achieve your goals

Updated on:7 January 2020, 12:01pm IST
Read this if you can’t seem to find the motivation to step out and conquer the world.
Sonakshi Kohli
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It’s time to give your monotonous routine a break! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

So you skipped a couple of days at the gym and that short gym holiday turned into a permanent exit from the gym? Or maybe that ugly breakup made you spend days in bed with a bucket of ice cream and eyes full of tears and now, stepping out of the house seems like a task that you just don’t feel like fulfilling? Or are you one of those who has actually found comfort in their boring, non-challenging job and can’t seem to throw in your resignation and follow your passion?

Emotional, psychological, or physical—whichever type of rut you’re stuck in is probably pulling you down more than you can imagine.

An article in the Harvard Health publishing blames it on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a.k.a., brain’s “pattern seeker”. This part of your brain is what’s responsible for associating or matching rules from your past experiences with the current context and forming patterns and ruts, which can be extremely hard to break.

How to achieve goals
Give your 2020 an amazing kick-start by learning how to achieve your goals. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

But, when you’ve got science and well—us–in support, there’s no task in the world that’s impossible for you, girls.

So, here’s presenting science-backed ways for you to break through these patterns and find your motivation to succeed again.

1. Make pen and paper your weapons of rut destruction
A study, published in the open journal The Lancet Digital Health, touts doodling as a great way to overpower the DLPFC and switch on your creative buttons.

Defined by The Oxford English Dictionary as “An aimless scrawl made by a person while his mind is more or less otherwise applied,” doodling is proven to alleviate conditions such as impatience, boredom, and indecision that are a part of the rut you’re stuck in.

Additionally, you can even pen down your day’s schedule in order to analyse, realise and acknowledge if you’re actually stuck in a rut before you set off to rectify your state.

Also read: Make sound mental health a part of your 2020 goals. Here’s how

how to achieve your goals
Doodle it away!
GIF courtesy: GIPHY

2. But get up on time
It is easier to form new habits when the cortisol hormone in your body is at its peak, i.e., in the morning, says a study, published in the journal Health Psychology.

So, if you’re looking to break old patterns and form new ones, becoming a morning person can be your best bet.

3. Make you friends your partner in crime
We don’t mean that you should influence your partner to become lazy and demotivated like you, silly!

What we mean is that you should talk about your intentions over and over again with trusted friends and check on each other’s progress regularly. Doing so can help you a great deal and help you stay motivated, according to a study conducted at the Dominican University, California.

4. Start taking naps
According to a study, published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, taking a 90-minute nap a day can help you break out of the rut by turning off the brain’s DLPFC and enhancing your creativity.

With all those fresh ideas brimming, you may find it easier to take the first big step that leads you out of the rut.

oversleeping
Short naps can fill your mind with ideas!: GIPHY

5. Set goals smartly
There’s no denying the fact that setting and defining goals is the first step to actually achieving them. But it makes absolutely no sense to set long-term goals with an undefined deadline.

According to a study, published in the journal Psychological Science, you should set short-term goals with deadlines that are a few-days long and not a few months/weeks long. This way, you’ll be left with no choice but to get out of the rut even if you don’t feel like working towards your new objective.

Also read: Want to achieve all your goals and resolutions in 2020? Start by setting an intention

6. Don’t forget to be your own cheerleader every step of the way
No matter how filmy ‘main apni favourite hoon’ sounds, you’ve got to say positive, sweet things to appreciate yourself every time you take even a small step in the right direction.

According to a study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, these positive self-affirmations and praises can make you feel awesome and help you stay motivated too.

how to achieve your goals
You are your own hero, girl!
GIF courtesy: GIPHY

7. Stay physically active
Countless studies, including the one conducted at the Yale University, have concluded how physical activities and exercising can boost your mood and energy level by boosting the production of endorphins, the happiness-causing hormones.

This simply implies that you’re likely to beat depression, anxiety, sadness, or a bad mood that could be adding to your stubbornness of sticking to the old patterns.

Try it to believe it, we say.

Also read: 5 ways to motivate yourself to workout through the winter–no matter how cold it gets!

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Sonakshi Kohli Sonakshi Kohli

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.