How to Get Back on Track!
Many of us have been vaccinated. Springtime has arrived. After a year of quarantine, we’re ready to move forward. Get back on track. Get outside with others. Make positive changes in our lives.
With so much optimism, they’ll be days when you feel that whatever you want to do, you’ll do! You’ll get to the gym, you’ll see friends, you’ll work on that new project, you’ll eat healthy, you’ll get organized. Yay!
Then there are the other days.
On those days, you don’t take baby steps toward your goals. You’re too tired to get to the gym; you don’t feel like calling friends; you lack the desire to work on your new project; the hell with eating healthy, and the clutter in your space will just have to wait!
Laziness, listlessness and lethargy rule the roost. Attempts at get-up-and-go have gotten-up-and-gone. You are, or so you believe, beyond redemption. The prior year has made it easy to give up working toward your goals. Why even try?
You shrug your shoulders. You tell yourself that it’s a losing battle to fight the fickle finger of fate. Just admit that in the DNA lottery, you won the idle and inertia genes. So wouldn’t it be a good idea to stop torturing yourself and accept yourself as you are – warts and all?
I agree. Stop torturing yourself is a great idea. Accepting yourself is also. But, if you’ve lapsed into old habits, do not despair. You can still take steps to reach your goals. Indeed, when people start a change program, the norm is to fall off track. Only a few very well-disciplined folks are so consistent that they never falter, vacillate or backslide. The rest of us are more inconsistent.
We don’t feel motivated every day. We don’t respond to self-imposed schedules. We dawdle with tasks we know we should do. We go for immediate gratification rather than long-term goals. We have days when it feels too difficult to do anything constructive. Such days challenge our confidence and belief in ourselves.
But remember, we’re not machines. We’re human beings. And human beings are imperfect. When we’ve gone through a challenging year, we may not want to do anything that feels burdensome. The key to getting back on track, however, is not to be perfect but to view your setback as temporary.
One morning you wake up and remind yourself why you want to change. You picture how proud you’ll be when you achieve your goal. You begin by focusing on little steps, easy stuff you know you can do. Accomplish a simple task…organize your desk …send that text…make that call. Take care of these things and you’ll get renewed energy and determination. Then, more significant steps become less challenging.
You might dream of having an understanding, energetic coach alongside you, motivating you every step of the way. Good idea. But if you don’t have one, consider becoming your very own coach.
- Start by giving yourself a pep talk. You’re good! You’ve got the energy, you’ve got the smarts! Now, get going!
- Psych yourself up to do what needs to be done. You can do it! You know you can do it, so get started now!
- Reward yourself for taking action. You did it! I’m proud of you!
What matters is not how fast you reach your goals, but maintaining the energy and fortitude to work toward them day by day.
Linda Sapadin, Ph.D., psychologist, coach and author specializes in helping people overcome procrastination and debilitating anxiety and fear. Contact her at DrSapadin@aol.com. Visit her websites www.BeatProcrastinationCoach.com and www.PsychWisdom.com .