I know when I have “nothing to wear” it has nothing to do with the clothes in my closet.
When I have nothing to write, I know it has nothing to do with the words, or creativity or imagination.
I know when I can’t react to someone with patience (even when that person is clearly testing my patience), it has nothing to do with them.
When any of these things are happening, I know I am off track. Something isn’t right. I can’t always pinpoint what’s wrong, but still I move forward and consider these signs little invitations to get back on track.
For me getting back on track usually means …
- cleaning up my diet
- spending more time exercising
- getting on my yoga mat more consistently
- finding more time to spend with friends
- clearly defining boundaries
Because I simplified my life, and eliminated most of the stress in my life (not all, but most), I’m able to recognize when I’m struggling and get back on track more quickly and easily than I did before.
Some of the stress I eliminated from my life includes clutter, debt, a toxic work environment, a big house that required lots of money, time, and attention, and a wardrobe that was always reminding me I would never have enough.
Before I did that, my go to response to getting off track was more frustration, more blame, more junk food, and eventually exhaustion and illness.
Getting off track means something different to each of us, but if we are paying attention, we can feel it in our bones. We know when it’s happening and what we have to do to resolve it. Sometimes it feels easier to make excuses, blame busyness, stress and everything else, but by noticing the early signs, we can avoid the spiral and prevent heartache.
If you’ve been feeling like something isn’t quite right, or that you’ve lost your way or gotten off track, remind yourself about the things that help to bring you back. If you aren’t sure, experiment with new, simple ways to get back on track. Try one of these 7 simple ways to get back on track.
1. Take a walk. Don’t measure your speed or distance, just walk and connect with the outdoors, and with your heart and soul.
2. Call someone who makes you smile. Even if you haven’t talked for awhile, call someone who you enjoy connecting with, someone who lifts you up when you hear their voice.
3. Send a care package. Put a small package of goodies together for someone. Often thinking about someone else is the perfect way to get out of your head and back on track.
4. Change your measuring system. If you are overwhelmed with busyness or to-dos and tend to measure your day or your worth by how much you get done, try measuring more by what’s in your heart and less by what’s on your list.
5. Create boundaries. When we create boundaries around things that distract us from what matters, our engagement in things we care about becomes boundless.
6. Simplify. When you are overwhelmed, stressed, or tired, the solution is almost always … less. Get rid of something, lots of somethings.
7. Be inspired. Find books, blogs, and other sources of inspiration to help you get back on track. If simplifying is part of getting back on track, you’ll find great inspiration in Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things.
If it’s time for you to get back on track, don’t waste time beating yourself up for falling off in the first place. It happens to all of us. Instead, stand up, dust yourself off, and choose one simple way to get back on track. You’ve got this.