It was all going so well. I was making significant progress toward my goals. I established a consistent yoga practice. I was eating healthier. I was keeping up with my blogging schedule, doing well in school, and just feeling great about life and my direction in general.
But then a week ago, I realized that almost everything was off track. I hadn’t been to a yoga class in almost two weeks, my eating habits weren’t healthy, and my focus on work and projects was abysmal.
Why? Well, as most of you have probably experienced in your own lives, the unexpected happened while a major life event was underway.
We lost a member of our family. Our cat jumped out of a tall tree, and was injured so severely that he had to be put down. It was an unexpected and jarring tragedy. Sherman had been with me for many years. He spent a good part of the day sitting on my lap while I worked. Putting that sweet little cat down was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. For days, it took everything I had just to complete the bare minimum required for work and school.
We are also in the process of moving – selling our house and buying a new one. All of my free time has been spent getting the house ready to sell and identifying potential new homes. While the move is a positive change, a major event like that can easily get in the way of schedules and routines.
Needless to say, no matter how good your plan is, life has a way of throwing you completely off track once in a while. The key to success is recognizing that you’ve gotten off track, and then mindfully and positively getting yourself back where you need to be.
Here are five ways to get back on track when things fall apart:
1. Accept the Current Situation
Stop wishing things were different and accept how they are. Accept that there is a new reality, and know that you can handle it. I fell into the “wishing-things-were-like-before” mindset for a few days myself. In my mind, I kept replaying the events of the day we lost Sherman, as though I could somehow change the outcome. It wasn’t until I accepted he was gone that I could even think about things returning to normal. The less you resist your current situation, the easier it will be to find a way forward.
2. Be Kind to Yourself
Everyone gets off track from time to time. Whether it’s because of loss, or transition, or both. Or maybe you just have a bad week. It happens. We all get off track. Don’t beat yourself up, because it only makes things worse. Instead, be kind to yourself. Take some time off if you need it, get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, and find ways to nurture yourself. Acknowledge that you’re off track, and then ease your way back into your habits and routines.
3. Communicate with Others
When you’re experiencing a loss, going through a transition, or just not feeling great, it’s easy to disengage from the world and keep to yourself. Instead, communicate with others, let them know what’s going on. If necessary, ask for assistance or some time to work through things. In my situation, we talked to our real estate agent and delayed listing our house for a few days while we got our lives back on track.
4. Revisit Your Life Vision
Take a few minutes to revisit your life vision and remember what you’re striving for. Recall what it would feel like to achieve your goals, and visualize success. Remember why those things are important to you and write down your feelings.
5. Take the First Step
You probably already know one or two things you should do. Even if it’s a small step, take it! Head in the direction you want to go. I started eating healthier and I’m working out again. As you can see, I’m even back to writing. Taking these small steps feel like progress, and they make me realize I can get back on track. When things fall apart, I no longer feel like I’m in charge of my life. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting that feeling back by getting some small “wins.” I’ve also been focusing on my anchor habits, those powerful baseline habits that help stimulate other positive habits.
I’ve found that the more “on track” you are to begin with, the easier it is to get things back in order when they do fall apart. Having a Dream Life Plan provides a road map that brings you back to where you want to be. Get your Dream Life Plan with a free copy of my eBook, Design Your Dream Life today.
Now it’s Your Turn!
What steps do you take to get back on track? Let’s discuss in the comments below.