Getting Back on Track: 7 Steps to Meet Yourself Right Where You Are and Move Forward

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Have you let your meditation or wellness practices slide due to being swept up in the busy-ness of life? You know, the days when you have too much to do, and not enough time in which to do it. The days where you are on auto-pilot going from one destination to another, not really noticing the stuff in-between. Days when it takes all your being to keep up with your schedule, responsibilities and job or role demands, that at its end you feel exhausted physically or emotionally? Or worse yet, feeling like your brain will explode from too much mental stimulation and over thinking? On days like these it’s easy to postpone your meditation or wellness practices. And when these days begin to add up and become the norm, you can see how easy it is to lose your practices all together.

You might start feeling bad about not meditating, exercising, or whatever it is that you SHOULD be doing for your health. You may even beat yourself up over having “fallen off the wagon,” and give into alternative behaviors that are more destructive than healthy. In fact, these behaviors most likely conflict with your meditation or wellness practices. You may say to yourself, “I’m going to start back up again tomorrow,” however, tomorrow never comes. You may think, “Well, I’ve let it go this long, what’s another couple of days more?” As a result, this vicious cycle ends your practices all together. Don’t let these days add up and become the norm. Make your choice: meet yourself right where you are, and move forward.

I know about this intersection of busy-ness and wellness first hand. Although I’ve been meditating, engaging in gratitude practices, and other wellness exercises for some time, there are days where my practices are interrupted. Generally, these interruptions are due to legitimate life events that arise. If I don’t carve out an alternative time slot for the practice, it doesn’t happen. I’m sure this situation is common to many of us.

So how do you meet yourself right where you are, to reset your health and well-being? Experiment with the suggestions below, and notice what you experience as a result. Make a commitment to your health and well-being, and begin NOW!

7 Steps to Meet Yourself Where You Are and Move Forward

  1. STOP and BREATHE: Whatever you are doing, stop and focus on your breath. Take three slow, deep breaths in and out, taking in life and releasing what no longer serves you.
  2. RELEASE JUDGEMENT: Along with the breath, release judgement of yourself for letting whatever it is slide. Release the inner critic and any shame or guilt you feel.
  3. GIVE SUPPORT: Give yourself compassion and understanding. We are more likely to take action when we are feeling supported as opposed to feeling critiqued.
  4. LEARN to ACCEPT: Accept where you are right now, and let that place be alright.  Knowing that today, you will make a choice to move you along in a healthy direction on your journey.
  5. ENGAGE in REFLECTION: Reflect on the importance of your practice, calling to mind why you value it, how it helps you and how it supports your life goals. Write these down reflections down (and post them in a visible place so you can  re-visit them).
  6. PUT YOURSELF ON YOUR OWN CALENDAR: Take out your calendar and schedule in your practice, realistically. Include an If-Then plan, noting that IF an interruption arises, THEN you will practice in an alternative time slot. Identify that time slot before an interruption happens.
  7. SET SMART goals:
  • SPECIFIC- Why are you practicing? What practice will you do? Where and when will you do it? Be as specific as possible.
  • MEASUREABLE– How much time will you devote? How many sessions? How will you know you’ve met this goal? How will you measure that you are back on track and succeeding?
  • ACHIEVABLE– Is the goal reasonable enough to accomplish? Is the goal over or below standard? How will you attain the goal? Do you have the skills/knowledge/support necessary to achieve it? Will you be required to stretch and seek further skills and knowledge?
  • RELEVANT– Does your practice or goal fit with your long-term plans? Is it in alignment with your overall objectives? How relevant is this practice to your life?
  • TIME BOUND- How much time should it take to accomplish your goal? Set a deadline by which to motivate yourself. Track your practice at a given time interval. Were you able to stay with your schedule and accomplish the goals for the week? For the month? For the time frame you identified?

Try implementing these 7 steps for meeting yourself right where you are, and notice how they move you forward.  Start now and recommit yourself to investing in your well-being.  As the philosopher and wisdom teacher, Lao Tzu, once said:

“A Journey of a Thousand Miles Must Begin with a Single Step.”

It’s up to you to take that step today! Start now, meeting yourself right where you are. Plan to practice, and practice to progress. Your current and future self will thank you for it later.

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