I have something I need to get off my chest.  The past few weeks I have been completely sidetracked and have fallen out of my routine.  I’ve felt like my writing wasn’t good enough to post and started to feel like what I was talking about wasn’t relevant. The goal is to get back on track.

I took some time to think about why I fell off track and in part it was fear and the other piece of it was just life.  It’s a sneakster sometimes.

I let myself slip up on my writing and allowed the holidays and life to disturb my rhythm.

So there. I’m airing it out here for all to see.  Why?

Because we all slip up sometimes.  We all veer off track.

Whether its an ex you’re trying to move on from, pounds you’re trying to shed, a bad habit you are trying to kick or even giving the sober wagon a ride for the first time – we all have goals and things we are striving or reaching for.

The important thing is that when we lose sight of the way it allows us to re-center and we can always come back to what is important to us.

6 Steps to Get Back On Track

1)   Acknowledge that it happened.

This is first and foremost. Which is exactly what I’m doing here.  Ok, I lost my way a little, but guess what? I’m going to look at it as a good thing.  It’s OK to regroup sometimes.  In fact, it’s really healthy and normal.  I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  I’m going to get back on the saddle. So if you fell off track, admit it and then move forward.  Simple.

2)   Recommit.

As I’ve seen the error of my ways and I’ve noticed that I let life get in the way of my writing, it allows me the space I needed to get back to my dedication.  It also helped me to realize how important this is to me. I’ve decided I will give myself 30 minutes a day to write whether it means waking up early or staying up late.  I look at this as a good thing because I’m going to have a better schedule now and a set time for what is essential to me.  Whatever you may be trying to accomplish, a little recommitment never hurt anyone.  It just emphasizes how hard you are willing to try.

3)   Let your slip be your fuel.

We are human. We make mistakes and we let life get in the way sometimes. I feel more motivated now that I had a small break than I ever have.  Sometimes we need to fall off track to be reminded that we were on one! Turn the negative into positive and use it to re-energize.  It’s all there for a reason.  It’s how you use it that counts.

4)   Get back into a routine.

This was a small slip in the grand scheme of things, but in my eyes I put my passions and my motivation on the back burner for a minute, which cannot happen.  Without fuel, we lose speed and once you fall out of a good habit it’s hard to get it back.  Just like going to the gym.  You have to keep at it or before you know it tomorrow turns into next month, next year and sometimes never.  Knowing how easy it is to allow a good habit to turn into a bad one is exactly what we can use to get back into or start a new routine.

5)   Accountability.

I don’t know how much more accountable I could get.  You all know now that I am recommitting to writing more often.  I’m going to give you weekly updates.  Hold me to it.  Find someone to hold you accountable.  Not only does it help the process, but it gives you one more reason to stay with it.  Because you know if you don’t, you’ll have to explain yourself to someone.

6)   Remember that sometimes we need to take a step back to take 3 steps forward.

Even though I feel like I went backwards and I let myself down, maybe it was exactly what I needed to make me a better writer.  You can be the judge of that. Just remember that a pause is not a stop unless you let it become one.

I hope you can see the value in these tips as I’m applying them out loud to my own bumps in the road.  What ever the case may be, they are universal and can be applied to any situation where you are feeling like you might have made a mistake, fallen short, gotten off your path or let yourself down.

This morning I prayed that God would help me to get back on track and as I sat down to write tonight, not knowing where to start again, it hit me.  I decided to write about the very thing that I’m struggling with – writing! And isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

A Mission For Michael  – Orange County Substance Abuse Rehab and Treatment Center