So you’ve got this thing you want to do.
You’ve got a plan.
And you get started.
You do one or two things, and you get some traction. A little bit of progress. You see a glimmer of your dream coming true.
It’s fun. It’s kinda easy. It’s good.
Then something totally unexpected barrels in from left field and you get knocked completely off track.
Your kid gets sick, or your spouse gets sick, or you get sick.
Your mother, your father, or your dear aunt needs to transition into assisted living.
The value of your retirement account drops by fifty percent.
Your new driver gets sideswiped on the freeway by a smug young dude – talking on his phone, of course – and suddenly you’re looking at repairs adding up to thousands of dollars.
Your spouse asks for a divorce.
You ask for a divorce.
Whatever the cause, things change and the goal you’d set for yourself, the goal you’d actually started to make progress on, seems very far away and utterly out of reach.
What do you do? How do you get back on track?
First, you have to come to terms with how mad, frustrated or sad you might be that you’re not where you want to be. It’s not a failure, you’re not a failure. There are always bumps in the road, sugar, and you just met one. Might have been a doozy, and one you’d rather not have faced – but you did, and now it’s part of your reality. Own it.
Wallowing in the unhappiness of what happened will just take you farther from your goal. So drop the unhappiness and shame you might feel about not doing what you said you would, and pick up some self-love. The kind of healthy self-regard that supports you, and gives you the strength to move forward.
But do you want to move forward on the goal? Are you holding on because you think you should? Because you told a lot of people very publicly that you would accomplish it? If so, realize that there is no shame in revising your plan. Whatever abruptly came into your life may have provided you with important information that radically changes the landscape. Smart people take new information into account and modify as necessary, don’t they? And you’re pretty smart. So go ahead – revise and amend your plan.
Because, honey, it’s your plan – no one else’s. And you get to decide what you do.
Then, if the goal is still important and you still really want to do it, take that first step.
Maybe it’s a wobbly first step.
Maybe it’s an incredibly small first step. Like maybe you just sit and visualize what it’s going to be like when you’ve accomplished what you’re setting out to do.
Doesn’t matter. Even if it’s small, or wobbly, or undramatic – it’s good.
It’s movement. It’s movement in the direction you want to go.
And it’s entirely likely you’re going to get there, because even if you have a changed goal and meet with yet another bump in the road it’s not going to be a problem.
Because you met a big bump before and that didn’t stop you, did it? You kept moving forward and growing and loving and learning.
That’s kind of a big deal, you know.