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Life happens, and it will continue to happen.
There are many areas in life that you may “fall off track.”
You could fall of track with:
- your diet
- your routines
And there could be a number of reasons for this.
Getting off track may be a result of a vacation, emotional or physical trauma, a break-up, stress, getting sick, losing focus, or any other setback.
Whatever it is that caused you to fall off track, I’m here to tell you you can get back on track.
First, I want to talk about your mindset when you do fall off track…then I’ll share some tips on how to actually get back on track.
Falling off track
Don’t dwell on it
It doesn’t feel good to fall off track.
It’s easy to feel disappointed, frustrated, and as if there is no point in trying again.
However, falling off is failing. And failing is an amazing thing. It may not feel like it, but this is your time to fall, get up, and go at it again.
There is no point in dwelling on it.
Whether there is a good reason you fell off or not, it is irrelevant.
This moment is a brand new moment, and so is each one going forward.
Each week, day, hour, minute, and second is a new chance to start again.
Learn from it
You don’t really need to “learn” anything after falling off track from a vacation or getting sick. That is just kind of expected with those things.
However, if you got off track for a different reason, a reason that was a direct inaction on your part, then you can learn from it.
Why did you fall off? It’s important to identity the true cause.
Your brain may have taken advantage of you during a moment of weakness.
If you were doing great, being productive, working out, eating healthy, waking up early, or whatever, and then you end up binge eating junk for a few days or watching hours of Netflix, think about what triggered it.
Were you eating too healthy or working out too much? Maybe you weren’t consuming enough calories and as soon as you had the chance to stuff your face, you did.
Were you being so productive that you forgot to schedule some down time? Did you not get enough sleep? So as soon as you felt sleepy and lazy you decided to watch Netflix for hours instead?
These triggers are important because you can learn about yourself. You can figure out what your temptations and weaknesses are.
Once you know those things, you can prepare for those obstacles or prevent them from happening so often.
Don’t punish yourself
What many people do after falling off track is try to get back on track, but with too much intensity.
Subconsciously or intentionally, many people try to punish themselves.
This is an unhealthy way to go about the habits and lifestyle you want to have.
If you fall off track with your fitness and diet, it’s a bad idea to exercise for 2 hours every day and eliminate carbs.
If you end up losing control of your finances, it’s a bad idea to force yourself to completely stop spending.
This is going to burn you out. Those feelings of lack or scarcity are going to pile up and you’re going to crack.
You will fall off track all over again and this cycle will never end.
Getting back on track
Plan/Get organized/Create a schedule
One of the best first steps you can take is to plan things out by getting organized and creating a schedule.
You can do this a number of ways, but keep in mind that you don’t want to overwhelm yourself.
You probably already have a goal in mind, but if you don’t, start there.
What exactly do you want to get on board with again?
Let’s say you’ve been slacking on exercising.
Like I said above, you don’t want to go all in the next day. You’ll leave yourself exhausted and you won’t be able to maintain it.
Instead, try breaking the goal of regular exercising down by each day of the week.
Monday = light cardio
Tuesday = walk at lunch
Wednesday = light strength training (lower body)
Thursday = rest day/long walk
Friday = light strength training (upper body)
Saturday = yoga class
Sunday = rest day
Obviously this is just an example, so you may want to incorporate more/less or have a different workout style.
The same technique can be applied to eating healthy or being productive.
I suggest you get really specific here too. Determine how long you’ll do something or what you’ll accomplish.
Create a plan focused on results.
If you want to get back into writing and all you say is, “Monday I will write,” this is too open-ended. You’ll write what? You’ll write 5 different posts? You’ll write for 10 minutes?
Instead, you could say, “Monday I will finish writing [blog post title] in 2 hours.”
Planning is a great way to get inspired all over again and should help to push you to get back in the swing of things.
Get back to the basics
After a setback or other disruptive event, the first things to usually go out the window are the basics of life.
Sleep, movement, and diet.
Starting with the basics is always a great place to begin, simply because they are going to cause the largest ripple effect (in a good way).
Go to bed at a reasonable time, and set your alarm early but ensure that you get enough sleep.
Before bed, I suggest winding down.
This means putting away any screens (phone, computer, tv) well before bed and entering a state of relaxation. You can enter this state by meditating, journaling, reading, taking a hot shower, etc.
To get quality sleep, make the room as dark as possible, and set the thermostat to a cooler, comfortable temperature.
When your alarm goes off in the morning, DO NOT hit snooze. Get up, stretch, think positive thoughts, and start your day. Maybe start with a nice morning routine.
Getting enough sleep will help you feel more energized to get active and get more done. It should also help improve your mood.
Even taking a slow, long walk can make a world of a difference.
Slip into some comfy clothes and make the effort to raise your heart rate.
Practice yoga, swim some laps, jog on the treadmill, lift weights, jump rope, etc.
Physical activity is one of the best things you can do to get your life together.
Movement is so rewarding for you physically and mentally. You’ll probably gain the energy to be productive, you’ll be in a better mood, and it should help you to sleep better.
Have you ever heard of the mind, gut connection?
You’ve probably felt it. If you’ve ever eaten really clean, and then end up eating really bad, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Eating highly processed or high sugar content foods will likely leave you feeling groggy, in a fog, tired, grumpy, and unmotivated.
If you clean up your diet by increasing your fruit, veggies, and grain intake, drinking more water, and consuming more fiber, you should feel the opposite.
Your digestion should improve, meaning your gut improves and therefore your brain health.
Book to Read:
This too should increase your energy levels and your mood.
The three basics of life should be really helpful if you don’t know where to start.
They all have a huge positive impact on everything else in life.
Once you implement these for several days and weeks, you should easily be able to get back on track.
RELATED BLOG POST:
How to Transform Your Life When You Don’t Know Where to Start
Motivation is fleeting, so I don’t want you to rely on it.
However, I love to watch motivating videos or listen to inspiring podcasts when I need to get my life together.
There is something about watching people clean/organize their space, being productive, and having healthy habits that gets me really excited for my own goals.
These videos, podcasts, books, or speeches may help you to feel that sense of inspiration, especially if you can’t find the will to get things back in order.
I also find a lot of inspiration in the communities I am a part of in the online world.
I love the Slack and Discourse communities where we can help each other out. There are also challenges that take place that make me excited to get things done!
Take it easy
As I mentioned above, don’t punish yourself.
Don’t go in too intensely, because you’ll just end up burning out and may end up worse off.
Ease into things and don’t be so hard on yourself.
Give yourself enough time to plan everything out and take it one step at a time.
As you’re trying to get back on track, you may fall off a little bit a few times before you get into the flow of things.
This is totally normal.
Just embrace it and keep going.
Focus on what you can control
You can’t control that you fell ill, or that someone broke up with you, or that you didn’t get paid on time, or whatever it is that may have caused a setback in your life.
Even if there are parts of the situation you could have controlled, it doesn’t matter.
The past is over with, what can you take control of right now?
You can control the food you put in your body, the content you consume, the physical activity you do, what you spend your extra money on, the words you say, etc.
If you’re in a situation that feels like you’ve lost control, always resort to focusing on what you CAN control.
Even if the only thing you can control are your thoughts about that situation.
Stressing and worrying about anything else is useless. It’s a waste of time and energy. Focus on your choices, your actions, and your thoughts.
Implement/Get back into routines
If you know me, then you know that my routines run my life.
I love my routines, because I incorporate things that are important to me, improve me as a person, and help me feel my best.
If you are trying to get back on track, think of a time where you seemed to have everything in place.
What did your mornings look like?
What about after work?
Chances are, you had routines even if you weren’t aware of it.
Right now you may have a poor routine in place.
Your alarm may go off at 6 am and you snooze 2-3 times, you get up and get dressed in a rush, you barely brush your teeth, you pick up a coffee filled with sugar, and you get to work in a bad mood.
That’s a routine if you’re doing it just about every day.
Instead, start implementing some positive habits into your every day.
Create a routine that makes you happy and fits into your lifestyle, even if it’s just a few minutes.
Falling off track can be frustrating and getting back on track is challenging.
Just keep in mind that you’ll probably fall off track repeatedly in all areas of your life.
This is normal.
As I mentioned in my post, How to Transform Your Life When You Don’t Know Where to Start, “Life is a series of ups and downs for most people. However, the more you practice personal development, the smaller the difference between the peaks and pits are that you experience.”
With time and practice, you will find that you won’t fall off track as often or as easily. And if you do, it’s easier to get back on track.