Don’t Get Stuck In A Rut

Don’t Get Stuck In A Rut

Instead, choose to live your dreams


Making Ripples

Stuck in a rut? So are the deer! This is their mating season, called the rut (when bucks can be more aggressive, so be cautious). Unlike male deer pursuing females as though there were no cars in the way, humans tend to perceive obvious obstacles in our path toward a goal. It’s the subtle hurdles that are hardest to surmount, and the biggest of these is psychology. This creates a challenge for those wanting to make a difference by changing their habits.

Getting out of a rut can be difficult because routine is familiar, new purchases can be expensive, and so on and so forth. There are plenty of metaphorical walls in which we must find the door, but not least of these is the mind. Ironically, the mind is often what stops our progress, but it’s also exactly what we need to get out of a rut and change bad habits into good ones.

Transforming our lifestyle into a sustainable or more ethical one (whether that means going vegan or changing careers or building an eco-friendly house) is already a huge dream that some people carry in their hearts. And that is where the dream will stay, unless the mind both gets out of the way and lends a helping hand to make that dream a reality.

Idealistic dreamers are important, too; they inspire more practical doers into doing what they believe is right. But the world could always use more doing, so if you want to haul yourself out of that rut and actually live your dream, ask yourself a few questions.

Do you really want it? Sometimes, what looks good on paper feels awful in the real world. Our minds are quick to talk us out of taking risks if there are too many unknowns. If there is any way to test drive your goal, maybe by observing the habits of someone you feel is closer to where you want to be, go for it! You may love the experience in an ecovillage or your weekend stay in a tiny house.

How does it feel when you frame your habits as a choice? “I am choosing not to live my dream.” This helps us logically think through why we’re making the choices we make. It could be because we prioritize family, or Netflix. Either way, you learn about your top priorities in life. If you’re in a free situation where choosing your dream is an option, this question also keeps the mind in check so it can’t make excuses for why you’re still stuck.

This is just a start. Working towards a better world takes a lot of tangible and psychological effort. Just don’t forget the psychological aspect, and you might get there sooner. The next time we get stuck in a rut, it may only be in our minds.

Amanda Bancroft is a writer, artist, and naturalist living in an off-grid tiny house on Kessler Mountain. She and her husband Ryan blog about their adventures and offer tips to those wanting to make a difference at

Categories: Making Ripples