12 Irrefutable Steps to Getting Back on Track Fast


Ever notice when you set your sight on something you really want to accomplish how something big seems to come up, get in the way, and take you off course? What I am about to share with you cost me over $16,000 and has taken me 3 years of study to learn.

If you have recently gotten derailed from your dreams, goals, or desires, then you will find this useful. So what are the best ways to getting back on track?

StepActionDescription (topics covered below)
1.Adopt Big Picture ThinkingLearn how to zoom in and out of the specifics in your life
2.Figure Out Which Game You Are PlayingRecognize what you are really up to in life (not what you say you are up to).
3.Reframe Your Relationship with FailureSeparate failure from failing to execute on something.
4.Tweak the GoalCautiously assess your goal. Break it down into smaller goals.
5.Change the DateDon’t change the goal, change the date.
6.Change Your Self-ImageLearn how to reframe your self-image so that your goals happen automatically.
7.Deal with Deeper Issues – RecalibrateWork on discovering hidden effects of past traumas that are holding you back.
8.Learn to Win the Battle in Your HeadPractice forgoing your automatic in favor of activities that get you to your goals.
9.Rewire Your SubconsciousYour subconscious drives your behavior. Reprogram it for better results.
10.Sign Up For SomethingSign up for an event that you must be prepared for to put you on track (Marathon, Public Speaking, etc.)
11.Surround Yourself with Like-Minded PeopleFigure out how you can spend time with people who are on the same mission. Grow accountability.
12.Put Something in OrderFigure out ways to bring order to the space around you. Clean up your environment.

We all experience setbacks especially when we are trying to make a positive change in our lives. The bigger the “thing” is you are up to, the more resistance you are likely to encounter. It comes with the territory.

You need a strategy when you get off track to quickly regain your bearings and move back into position.

Successful people have told me that life is a series of failures that somehow keep trend upward.

Fail forward. But how do you do it when you are busy putting your mind back in order.

Here’s the problem. When we fail, we make it mean something about ourselves.

We set a goal or try to create a new habit and the next thing you know, we fail. We break our commitment to ourselves maybe even to others.

It plain sucks.

If you’ve ever thought- What’s the point? You are in the right place. Keep reading.

I’ll tell you what I’ve learned from tens of thousands of dollars I’ve paid, coaches, and mentors and sum it up into as few words as possible. The next time you find yourself at a loss, remember it’s the perfect time to reassess, and the good news is that through the act of taking a step backward, the next step will become clear. Given enough time, you’ll realize that it is the only way to deal with the areas of your life that hold you back.

The goal is for you to have a clear path and game plan so that when life hits you between the eyes and things go as unexpected, you can turn setbacks into fuel to further you to your goals.

These steps will work whether you are going after fitness goals, have recently started a diet, or are trying to hit social, career, or money goals.

Here is a list of twelve important things you can do to deal with the things that derailed you in the first place.

Adopt Big Picture Thinking

By adopting big picture thinking, you will most likely discover that it’s not that bad. It’s actually a great way to get clarity so you don’t waste much time in getting through the setback.

A business coach taught me to learn how to zoom out and zoom in when it comes to goals.

Let me be more specific. Let’s say I want to earn $100,000/year. Zoomed all the way out, I see my bank account balance with 100 large. As I zoom in, I can work backward or start breaking down what that means on a monthly, daily, and hourly basis. I could begin to quantify activities that I can do, and figure out how I could do more of that. As a result, I can create a strategy and identify the small steps that I have to do to make that $100,000/year.

If my goal is to lose weight. Then, I could determine how many calories there are in 1 pound of fat, approx. 3,500 for instance. Then I can figure out how many calories I generally burn in a day. Now I know what kind of calorie deficit I have to run to achieve my goal.

When you fall down on the way to your goals, the first thing you should do is zoom back out above the situation and reassess. While you may have failed today or this week, perhaps overall, you are still on track. This mindset can lessen the blow of getting off track and helps you get back on track more easily.

Recognize What Game You Are Playing (and Winning)

If you take a look at people around you, it’s often easier to see what kind of game they “might” be playing.

I think we have all have met people who say no one ever helps them, but the moment you try to help them, they reject your help. They say they have got it or come up with some reason that you can’t really help them.

The payoff is that they get to continue to play the victim card, maybe to garner sympathy, or make feel people guilty around them so they are more easily manipulated.

The problem is we don’t realize we are all playing a game. It’s a game we are winning at. I often play what I call the “I’m too busy game.”

What does it get me? I get to avoid having to show up for my kids or for my wife when things are uncomfortable or not exactly what I want to do. For example, how to deal with struggles in step-parenting.

Take a look at what game you might be doing that is leaving others disempowered or lacking. When you get real with yourself, you will finally have access to start reshaping your life and actually accomplish what you want.

As the last example… maybe you have played the “I can’t lose weight” game. That’s a lot easier than showing up at the gym every day and tracking your meals. Ya feel me?

Nothing wrong with this. We all do it. But it will keep you stuck.

Reframe your Relationship with Failure

One of my favorite sayings is “fail forward.” -by John C Maxwell 

Most of us take a fatalistic approach to failing. If we fail, it means we don’t measure up, aren’t good enough, and won’t be accepted.

Funny thing is that the more rooted in reality you are when it comes to your capabilities, the more you will come off as authentic and that is one of the most endearing human qualities.

I have a friend I work out with. He is an impressive athlete. The only problem is he can’t handle it when someone beats him. He gets totally bent out of shape. He gets obnoxious.

But… he has extremely redeeming quality.

He readily admits to it and isn’t ashamed to talk about how he can’t handle it.

The best way to cope is the following:

When you fail, remember it only means you failed to execute. It doesn’t mean you are a failure. You are only one try away from succeeding again.

When I was on a rigorous diet plan, I realized I was only one meal away from eating in the “zone” again. When the Twix bar, ice cream, or cake won, I could always find redemption in the next perfectly weighed macro meal.

I believe that the more you can love yourself for the worst parts of who you are, the better your life will become. This choice comes with a side effect. You will make new friends. The more you accept your flaws, the more you will be able to love others for their worst parts as well.

Don’t be Afraid to Tweak the Goal

The goal should be something that inspires but is also realistic. It’s important to find the sweet spot.

You made the goal, so you can change it. If you experience a setback, change some aspects to the goal. Otherwise, the added pressure can have the opposite effect. You may choose to give up on the goal entirely.

Here is an article all about setting goals. I think it will help you set the right kinds of goals.

Set new goals. Find easy ways to get yourself a little closer to your goals. For example. Instead of losing weight make a commitment to eating fresh fruit every day or to choose healthy snacks. Maybe find a new recipe that helps you stay on course. These simple ways to do the right thing when you feel like you have a lack of motivation will pay off.

Change the Date (set a new date)

The alternative to this is to keep the goal you set and just move the date.

When you experience a setback, it’s easy to feel like you just can’t do it. You may feel like giving up.

One way to combat this is to set a new date. This could be a longer timeline than the original goal, but it’s important that it’s still achievable.

Go to Work on Your Self Image

If you don’t have the right self-image, it’s going to be hard to push through any kind of setback.

First, you have to win the battle in your head. Then you can win the battle out in the world. If you have a fat self-image, it’s going to be hard to lose weight.

It’s helpful to think of the self-image as a thermostat. Just like a thermostat is programmed or set to a specific temperature, and when the temperature deviates, the heating or cooling system kicks in to bring the room back to an ideal range, consider you are programmed to have a certain level of success, be a certain weight, and have specific kinds of relationships.

The first step is recreating a new self-image. If you have seen the recent Netflix show “Inventing Anna,” the main actress does this right before the viewer’s eyes.

I’m not saying to start trading in lies in deception, but what I am saying is that how you see yourself plays the biggest role in whether or not you get the results you want.

If you see yourself as a victim, you will get the same results. If you see yourself as someone who is working hard and doing their best, you will get different results.

Start by writing down 5-10 adjectives that describe who you want to be.

Then start thinking about the things you would need to do to become that. Write that down 100 times per day, or create a script in which you see yourself living that way. Go over it in your mind every day. Watch what happens.

Coping with Deeper Issues, Recalibrating and Finding Alignment

We often experience setbacks because of deeper emotional and psychological issues that we are not yet ready to face.

These could be childhood wounds that have not been healed, core beliefs that are no longer serving us, or traumatic experiences from our past.

If you are coping with any of these issues, it is best to address them before trying to hit new goals. Face the trauma head-on with a licensed, professional therapist.

The only way out is in, so to speak. If you find yourself just not wanting to “go there,” maybe it’s time to take it there.

Once you have addressed the deeper issues, you may find that your goals change or take on a new direction. You may no longer want to achieve the same things you did before. This is perfectly normal.

Win the Battle of the Bed – Head

Monday morning, don’t snooze that alarm. Navy Seal, Delta Ranger, Ultra Marathoner, David Goggins, says that if you can learn to win the first battle of the day, you are going to be stronger to accomplish the things you want.

In an interview, he said to consider that you wake up already behind.

You have to commit yourself to winning that first battle to even have a chance to get to where you want to go. It’s like a muscle. Exercise forgoing on the comfortable in little ways to get used to strengthening your determination to accomplish what you have set out to do.

Rewire the Subconscious Mind

Willpower alone isn’t going to cut it. People are like machines. We kind of do what we always do. You have to break the pattern and rewire your main operating system.

The subconscious mind is the part of our brain that is always on and always working. It never takes a break.

This is the part of our brain that controls our habits, emotions, and behaviors.

If you want to achieve a goal, you have to change the subconscious mind’s programming. You have to make it believe that.

How do you rewire the subconscious mind? Spaced time repetition. Read through the self-image part of this process for some great ideas on how you can do this.

In the absence of progress, keep trying. Celebrate small steps.

Sign Up for Something New – That is Alignment with Your Goal

Want to lose weight? Sign up for a half marathon.

In order to get out of a rut, it’s helpful to do something new.

Sign up for a new class, go on a new trip, or start a new hobby.

This will help to stimulate the brain and get you out of your funk.

It’s also important to celebrate small steps along the way to your goal.

If you only focus on the end result, you are going to get discouraged when you don’t reach it right away.

But if you celebrate each step along the way, even if they are small, you will be more motivated to keep going.

Surround yourself with like minded people

The people you surround yourself with have a huge influence on your life. Consider finding an accountability partner or family member to help you stay the course.

If you want to achieve a goal, it’s important to be around people who are doing or have done what you want to do.

This will help to motivate and inspire you.

It’s also helpful to be around people who share your values and who support your endeavors.

If the people in your life are not supportive or do not share your values, it might be time to find new friends.

Create Order Around You (Put Something in Order)

I know this sounds strange, but this is what I have found. If you can’t seem to get and stay on track, take action to put something in order.

Good examples are:

  • Clean a messy drawer of “stuff” you avoid
  • Organize your closet or garage
  • Make an appointment you’ve been putting off
  • Meticulously clean your bathroom or car

It really doesn’t matter. The rule is, it has to be something you have been putting off or avoiding. It needs to be something that you KNOW needs to be done.

Kat and I talked about why this works. I think she nailed it recently. She said, “I think it resets your brain into a solution-oriented mindset.”

I think she may be right. Whatever the reason, try it! It works. The best part is that it doesn’t have to be directly related to what you are hoping to achieve.

Paul Clukey

Paul is an author, business owner, online blogger, kite surfer, fitness enthusiast father of three, who loves personal development and spends his free time learning and implementing new concepts to grow personally and help others achieve success.

Recent Posts