Have you ever made an awesome set of plans and goals?
You made a long to do list. Or finally had that conversation with your parents about your future. Or you declared to the world on social media that you are going to accomplish your goal no matter what. Nothing can get in your way!
And then those plans quickly get derailed.
You have to work over time. Your family plans a surprise that takes up your time. You get sick. Motivation goes right out the window and it feels like you made those plans for nothing. Your long checklist now feels impossible. Sometimes a rough day turns into a rough month or year.
Feeling completely derailed from your goals is a case of "all or nothing" thinking.
Once we get derailed from our goals, it is easy to throw our hands up in the air and say, "Well, I give up." If we don't start our plan exactly on the day or time we intended, we decide to give up on the entire month. Or if we check a few things off our to do list, but ignore the rest for a few days, we crumple the list up and forget about it.
All or nothing thinking is also referred to as black or white thinking. Read more about it in this article. Either "I'm going to accomplish this exactly the way I intended and do it perfectly" or "I won't do it at all." That's too simplistic. We all fall for this cognitive trap sometimes.
Instead, recognize there are may be multiple layers to accomplishing your goals.
Alright, so maybe you didn't get to studying yesterday for that upcoming quiz. But that doesn't mean the whole thing is ruined. Study today - even if it is only for fifteen minutes. Or if you were starting a new sleep habit and got distracted for a few weeks - try it again tonight.
Little habits and actions add up to a lot of change in the long run.
Every action and habit adds up over time, even when you skip a few days or get derailed. The most important part is to get back on track. Don't view the derailment as a catastrophe - just view it as one step. Two steps backwards and one step forward, right? You can even reach out to someone in your life who motivates you and can get you excited again about getting back on track.
Recommit yourself to your goals.
And tell us in the comments - what else has helped you get back on track when you get derailed?