Getting Back on Track When Your Goals Get Derailed

You set a goal and have the intention to keep it. That means it matters to you. It is important for some reason. You may struggle with getting started or get started only to veer off track at some point.

Most efforts at changing or reaching a goal involve three phases: 1) having a goal or intention, 2) deciding how to implement it, and 3) too often, falling off track and feeling a sense of failure. But it is possible to implement a fourth phase. This phase takes determination and a willingness to support yourself: 4) getting back on track and continuing toward your goal. And you may have to do it more than once.

It can be frustrating to be derailed. It often hits a blow to self-confidence and self-esteem with questions like “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I stay on track or stick to my plan?” Getting off track happens. It’s part of the process of making changes. Whether you view it as a remedy or a plan of attack, it’s important to be prepared for the inevitable lag in getting to the gym or onto your yoga mat (or whatever your particular goal is). Your goal might be something personally significant like being determined you will not return to a hurtful relationship in spite of your grief over losing it. It’s important to your wellbeing that you be compassionate with yourself and be willing to try again.

Making changes and achieving goals require energy and determination as well as being very clear about the result you want. I love the saying “Begin with the end in mind.” Knowing clearly what you want increases the likelihood you will achieve it. And keep your goal reminders clearly visible so you see them daily.

If you lose momentum and get derailed, pull on your determination and get some support! Here are some helpful tips to help you get back on track and continue moving forward:

Create visual reminders of your goal (pictures, affirmations, vision boards or postit notes with your goals

on your bathroom mirror).

Read motivational quotes and books.

Talk to someone who will encourage you.

Encourage yourself with a pep talk about your goal.

Write down personal strengths that could help you.

Write down the rewards and benefits of staying on track and achieving your goal.

Refocus on the goal and concentrate on a plan. Write it down.


Starting again in the quest of a goal is admirable and makes us stronger within. Wherever you are with your goals today, do what works for you to stay on track or get back on track!

Kathleen Grace Santor

January, 2016


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