Ever felt like an eraser that was near rubbed out? That even with much effort your ability to string two thoughts together was all but gone? This is what it feels like for many when they’ve gone off track in taking care of themselves, and recently, this happened to me. Embarrassing for a guy who specializes in wellbeing? Not really. Like everyone else, staying in the high performance zone is a fluid thing. It requires vigilance. And sometimes, in the swirl of activity around us, we lose that focus and hit the wall. The key is getting back on track.
Face Meets Wall.
In a perfect world, the first step to getting back on track is noticing when you’re first beginning to feel yourself slipping. You notice your fuse is extra short or that you’re extra bagged. This is when you take corrective action and head back to the gym, get back to your meditating or spend some hang time with friends or family. In reality, this is not always the case, nor possible. Sometimes life is unpredictable and even the most dedicated leader may suddenly have their life upended by a personal or work crisis. Still, the sooner you can pull yourself back to your regular routines, the better.
Stand Up, Dust Yourself Off
Here are some tips to help get you in motion again:
- Ditch the guilt: likely one of the biggest things preventing you from getting back on track is simply the guilt you feel over having been off track. Ok, so despite your best intentions you didn’t stick to your usual retinue of healthy food choices, moderate alcohol consumption or punctuality with direct reports. Feeling guilty about this is wasted energy. Instead, choose to spend your energy doing something productive.
- Make some tough decisions: decide not to take on that extra project or client if it isn’t mission critical. Decide to lighten your load. Apply the same rigour to your personal life that you do your work life. Decide to take lunch breaks. Decide to go home at a reasonable hour 3 times this week. You get the idea.
- Dump the extras: be it excessive food, alcohol or whatever it is you know you shouldn’t be doing, get back to your normal routines as soon as you can.
- Get social: no one can go it alone. We are social creatures and it is our friends and family that make us tick along happily. Pick up the phone and arrange a dinner date with your spouse or take a walk with a friend.
- Take action NOW: nothing like the present moment to get things rolling in the right direction again. Don’t delay. You’re only one meal, workout or phone call away from getting back on track. Nothing will help you feel better more quickly than by simply taking action.