If you can stay on track with your habits, your goals, your morning rituals; then time is on your side. With every passing day, life is getting better. You’re evolving. If you’re not on track, if you’re not making regular, meaningful contributions to your higher goals… then time is essentially being wasted.
Therefore mastering the art of being on track and getting back on after failing is crucial.
In this post, I’m going to share with you a handful of tips and techniques for getting back on track in the shortest possible amount of time. These are sustainable – so they won’t lead to burn out – and they should work for anyone. They will minimize the amount of down-time you need in between your attempts at self-discipline.
It goes like this:
Look further into the horizon.
Don’t panic; relax!
This is more of a frame of mind than anything else.
If you’re reading this, then there’s a good chance that you’ve ‘been around the block’ and you’ve attempted to put some massive habits in place, only to have it work for a short while before dropping everything and returning to square one. Has this ever happened to you before?
The trouble that we run into is that we invest far too much importance in this one attempt working out.
We need it to work out. If we fail it would be terrible. It would be humiliating and we may never be able to pick ourselves up again!
Right? It’s a lot of pressure and it makes the whole thing too serious and not at all fun.
So the key here is to recognize that whereas we’re going to do our very best on any given attempt: failure is totally forgivable. It’s utterly forgivable. In fact, this game is much more about getting as many attempts in as possible – as opposed to just one single successful attempt. See?
Because every time you put a sincere effort toward becoming the person that you wish to become, you grow. You gain experience. You’re out of your comfort zone. The territory is that much more known and mapped out. Your next attempt will take you further. You build on your experience.
Look further into the horizon. Give yourself more time to get this habit in place! There’s no rush, even if it took you ALL YEAR, you’d still have the rest of your life to enjoy this habit that you’ve created. There’s lots of room for failed attempts. So give yourself a break and see if you can even enjoy the process!
I really hope you hear this because most people don’t know this and there’s so much trouble that you can avoid when you find this out.
Again, it’s very common to fail when we attempt to put a habit in place. When this happens it’s okay! Most people don’t think it’s okay. When they fail, suddenly they turn on themselves with cruelty, wickedness, and deep spite. Resentment. “What’s wrong with me?” they’d ask. “I can’t get myself to do the thing! How to fix myself!?” As if you need fixing! People take this seriously disrespectful tone of voice when speaking about how lazy and weak they are.
Let’s skip all that. Because it’s all just unnecessary suffering.
That’s all it is.
So if you fail, if you mess something up, relax. Stay loose. Breathe. Be kind to yourself, respect yourself. Understand that if you’re not carrying out your habit, then there’s some sort of reason why you’re not. Some sort of need is not being met. Tune into yourself and ask what’s going on. What do you need? Do you feel supported? Cared for? Loved? Maybe it’s time to start giving that to yourself.
Allow yourself a little bit of downtime. Give yourself all the time you need to relax your efforts. Reclaim your energy. Your motivation WILL come back, this won’t be forever. Go out of active mode and into passive mode. Follow your body – what does it want?
If you do this, then your downtime will be reduced by a large margin. At least half, I estimate.
It’s when we contract on ourselves, get harsh, and hurt ourselves, and push ourselves to injury, that we make things unnecessarily hard. This increases the amount of down-time we need.
When your motivation does come back, put the pieces back together, but better.
Take a moment to look at what your habit is, your routine, your plan. Does it still suit you? Does it appeal to you? Are the outcomes that you’re after truly worth it? Do you still want these things, or do you now want something else?
Become clear on what your highest aspirations are. What’s most important to you? What do you care about? What kind of person do you want to become?
Answer those questions, and then create habits that all POINT to these higher outcomes. You will be more motivated, and more satisfied along the way.
If you do these things, then you’ll be skilled at GETTING BACK on track. This is an under-emphasized skill, but it’s the perfect complement to all of your other learning on how to BE on track.
The most important skill now is cultivating patience. If you have patience, then you know exactly how to meet your level of ability without exceeding it – which leads to burn out, and ironically slows you down.
Remember: In order to go fast, you need to go slow.