I hear this phrase used a lot. Whenever I talk with friends about what's happening in their world I'll often hear things like, "Yeah I'm trying to get back on track to lose 10 pounds." Or, "I'm trying to get back on track after the holidays." Or, "I need to get back on track so I can look great for my trip."
My first thought is that this statement is ambiguous and a little daunting. It's not specific enough to understand what "getting back on track" really means and suggests that things are disorganized. It's small talk. It's filler. I know that you know, the feeling you get when you say something that goes much deeper than you're making it sound. It cuts to the core and makes us feel unstable or annoyed with ourselves. I've been there MANY times. We write it off like, "Yeah you know, I'm working on it. I'm getting back on track." In reality, we're struggling and may feel lost.
Let's figure out ways to tweak this phrase so it works for us and generates excitement around reaching our goals.
When you say, “I want to get back on track,” it insinuates that at one time you were on track but have fallen off. At one point you were doing things that worked well for you and your lifestyle. Maybe you had a solid morning routine going, you were eating all the right foods and worked out a bunch but something happened. Let that time of being "on track" lead the charge here and then take a closer look at what happened leading up to the disruption.
What did you like about that routine and how did it make you feel? Who was in your life during that time and where was your focus? Were you writing things down, following through on your commitments and eager to get things done? What motivating components did you surround yourself with? Where did things start to break? What fell off track first? Take note of these answers. My motto is that we already have all the resources we need to succeed, we just have to find them (again). We should take a closer look at what went on so we can learn from it and not let it happen again.
Getting specific is key. "Back on track" could mean any number of things. Let's expand that phrase to something that gets to the point, “I’m working on improving my fitness routine by taking 3 HIIT classes a week before 7 am." Boom. That's a GREAT way to set things up. Do you have one in mind? Write it out now.
Stop saying this phrase altogether. You can take this a step further by nixing it from your vocab. I've noticed that some people I talk with tend to go on auto-pilot with their responses. I get it, things can get uncomfortable when it comes to discussing a change. Why? Because we don't always want to face facts or imply that we don't have it all together. It's hard to tell yourself something has to change and it's even harder to follow through because we don't always know how!
Try replacing the phrase with something like, "I'm working on establishing..." or "I'm implementing healthier habits so I can..." This way it implies that you have taken the time to think about this. You're intentional and clear on what you have to do to reestablish a healthy routine.
This can become a really positive conversation starter when talking about healthy habits with others. You can start to position yourself as an influencer too. Its like, "Wow, they're really working on their strategy. Sounds like I need to do more of that." That's where a real shift can start to take place.
These are the foundations we have to take time to build in order for ANYTHING to remain constant in our lives. I built my fitness subscription around this idea. If we can get ourselves to nail down a healthy morning routine, things will start to line up in other areas of life. I bet you can look back and say that when you had a strong fitness routine going, you were on point as a whole. Its easier to "get back on track" when you have at least one constant in your life. It's your lifeline.
Next time you're writing out your goals, chatting with friends or talking in general, get really specific. Don't use filler words or ambiguous statements. Talk and live with intention. Grab ahold of your aspirations, search within your personal Rolodex of resources and take action. You know what you have to do. Make the calls you have to make, write emails to people who can help you create a routine and watch yourself grow, evolve and improve. So many great things will stem from this. I promise!