Advice for Getting Back up on the Wagon

It happens.

Maybe it’s something simple. Maybe you forgot to water the plants.

Maybe you’ve turned away from your daily word count.

Maybe you really wanted to sleep in this morning and skip your morning pages. (cough)

Falling off any wagon, no matter how hard or long of a fall, sucks.

Here are some fast and hard ways to get back on the wagon before you regret it.

Make a List; Check it Twice

I’ve talked about using Work Breakdown Structures (WBSs) for goals before, so I’m not going to go into the major details. You can click on the link for that (hint: there’s even a pdf download over there!).

Draft a WBS to evaluate what you need to do to get back to whatever it is you need to be doing. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got to do a lot or a little. Make a list; you won’t regret the ten minutes you spend on it.

Any time I’ve done a WBS after slipping in my goals, I’ve always found one or two things (usually minor) that I would have forgotten to do… which would have ultimately lead to me falling back off.

The moral of the story is:  if you value your wagon, you will make a list.

Square your Shoulders

You want to get back on the wagon. It doesn’t matter what your wagon represents. You wouldn’t feel guilty about falling off it if you didn’t want to get back on. But you can’t get back on until you realize why you fell off in the first place.

That reason is Fear.

Oh, sure, maybe you can make another excuse for it. The cat ate it. You overslept. It was just once.

The point is that you let it happen. The universe doesn’t just crap in your general direction because it can.

You were afraid, and you let the Fear push you off the back of the cart.

So, do whatever it takes. Square your shoulders against the fear and just get back to the wagon. You’ve got your WBS to guide your way; find your path and get back to it.

Is that it?

I get it. Self motivation is hard. Pulling yourself up by the huevos and making a change in your life isn’t easy. That’s why self-help classes, books, movies, etc. exist. I can’t possibly tell you how to do that, other than to make a list of all the things you need to do and steel yourself against the fear. It’s just too complicated. Everyone motivates differently.

If you took the time to read this though, maybe that’s enough. Maybe all you needed was a friendly little reminder that everyone falls… and the best medicine for getting over it is to just get over ourselves and try again.

Fall off any wagons lately? Want to share with the class? Maybe, instead, you’ve got some tips for getting back on without skinning your knees. Let’s hear ’em!


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