Getting Back on Track

Whether you’re actually driving on a curvy road or trying to navigate the twists and turns of life, you don’t always get the advance warning sign of a risk ahead.

Do these unforeseen hazards sound familiar? You’ve just gotten your finances under control when you bite down on an olive pit and break off part of a tooth. How will you fit the cost of a crown into your budget now? Or you’ve worked hard to make your new exercise routine a habit – but over-doing it, you’ve torn a muscle that will take months to heal. So now you’re back on the couch, trying to regroup. And the diet that you followed so successfully after the holidays was thrown away with the arrival of your weekend guests. Will you be able to get back on track once they leave?

When these kinds of threats materialize, they can put your carefully worked out plans in jeopardy. What can you do to meet these challenges and move ahead? Here are two tips to guide you in turning setbacks into opportunities:

Act as if you are committed. Make a plan outlining the objectives you need to meet in order to accomplish realistic goals. You’re more likely to succeed when you are optimistic and enthusiastic about working to bring your aspirations to reality and give yourself reinforcements along the way to motivate you. Draw on your strengths – both personal and spiritual – as you act to break through barriers. Use all the support and resources available to bolster your own efforts.

Have a Plan B ready for flexibility. Your path will not likely be a straight line but you don’t have to be defeated by your slip-ups if you’ve worked out a contingency Plan B ahead of time. Now take the opportunity to brainstorm novel ways of getting to your goal and continue to refine your strategies as you learn from your mistakes. When your reactions are not set in stone, you can improvise along the way as you discover what works best and then modify your behavior based on the feedback you get.

There may be limits to what you can accomplish but give yourself permission to begin the process without expecting perfection in your results. Especially if you’re a sandwiched boomer, faced with the responsibilities of growing children and aging parents, these tips can help develop the resiliency you need to thrive.

With the price of gas going up and up, you may not be doing much driving right now, but when you do, here’s to the joy of an open road – without dangerous curves or hidden perils.

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