Five tips for getting back on track:
1. Look at the Big Picture
Ask yourself: In the grand scheme of things, what’s your goal? You don’t necessarily need to figure out your grand purpose or the meaning of life but think about the big picture. Now that you’re getting back on track, what exactly do you want to be on track toward? Do you want to advance your career? Get closer with your family? Develop a stronger relationship with your partner?
Having a big picture goal and remembering your “why” can motivate you to stay on track. This can help you set smaller goals to get to where you want to be.
2. Set Your Goals
Sit down and think about what you want to accomplish in the near future. What steps can you take to get back on track? A good first step includes making a list of tangible goals and actually writing them down, not just thinking about them. You can make the list on your phone or computer but writing the list on paper and being able to physically cross things off to-do list style is so much more satisfying!
You don’t have to have huge lofty goals on your list — in fact, it’s better if you don’t at first. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself when you’re just starting to get back on track. Break your goals down into small, actionable steps. You’ll feel good accomplishing the little things and it’ll give you confidence and motivation to do even more. Reference the list often, to remember what you’re working towards.
If you’re more of a visual person, you might want to make a vision board to reference as well. Cut photos and words out of magazines (or print them out) to create a collage that represents what you want to accomplish. Keep it handy in your bedroom or bathroom so it serves as a reminder of your intentions.
3. Get into a Routine
Creating a routine and sticking to it is a sure-fire way to get yourself back on track. Oftentimes when we get off track because of some life hardships, our normal routine becomes compromised. If you want to get your you-know-what together, sticking to a routine can really help.
It can be hard to get into a rhythm, especially if you’ve recently been living with no routine at all. But the more you keep at it and actually follow the routine, the easier it’ll be. By forming good habits and following a daily routine, you’ll feel less stressed and be ready to work towards meeting your goals.
Start small and work your way up. For example, instead of deciding your brand new daily routine is going to include waking up at 8AM, one hour of cardio, a meditation session, and a healthy meal, start off with just one or two of those, and then build up. If you’re feeling stuck, having a routine takes away the stress of “What am I supposed to do now!?”
4. Create Boundaries
To get back on track, you might need to create some boundaries, both with yourself and with others. You don’t need to implement so many rules that you feel like you can’t have any more fun (definitely not the point!) but you want to make sure that you have the self-control that will prevent you from falling off track.
An example of this, is setting boundaries around alcohol. If you easily get carried away with partying and tend to fall back into old habits after drinking too much, setting some ground rules for yourself can help change this. For example, you might decide you’ll only drink on weekends and when you drink, you have a three drink limit. Sharing this boundary with someone can help, too. If you’re going out to a bar with friends, tell a buddy that you’re setting this limit for yourself and ask them to help hold you accountable.
You can also create boundaries with people, especially if you feel like they’re energy vampires. If you want to spend less time with someone who you feel like is draining your energy or someone who’s a bad influence, be up front and firm about it. It’s not being rude or selfish, it’s taking care of yourself.
5. Go Back to Self-Care Basics
If you’ve been having too much fun or living on vacation mode (in an unhealthy way) it’s time to take care of yourself, and you can start by going back to the basics, like getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising. These simple things aren’t always so easy, but they do get easier the more we get in the habit of doing them. This can help restore your health to normal, which can make a big difference. When we’re well-rested and are getting all of your nutrients, it makes us ready to thrive!
You can also do some mental self-care like journaling, meditating or channelling your emotions into some kind of creative outlet. Simply talking about how you’re feeling to a loved one, whether friend or family member, can also be self-care. Get your feelings off your chest and know that you have people who love you who are there to support you. You can also share your goals with them for accountability.
You may not get back on track right away, but don’t let that discourage you. It takes time to get things back in order, so don’t sweat it if you’re having a rocky start. Follow these steps and be persistent. Stay strong and motivated and you’ll be back on track before you know it.
For further support & advice contact EAP Assist.