5 Things To Do When Your Life Goes Off Track

life goes off track - sunflower in snow

Is your life perfectly on track?

Or have all your plans been derailed?

We all have goals we hope to attain, but sometimes life goes off track: illness, layoffs, and other unexpected events can disrupt our plans.

If you take longer than you expect to reach your goals, you might feel like a “late bloomer” going through a second adolescence.

You might feel anxious, discouraged, and confused. You wonder when you’ll feel like a “real” adult. You question how long it will take to reach your goals, wonder if your dreams will ever come true.

Fortunately, even when life doesn’t go according to plan, there are ways to make the most of it. Read on to find out!

1. Scrap the plan.

Of course you should have dreams, work toward your goals, or save money for the future.

But when you set a rigid, long-term plan that maps out your whole life years in advance, you’re asking for disappointment and heartbreak when those plans are disrupted.

Take one day at a time, and stay flexible. And if you must map out your future, have a Plan B … even C or D.

2. Break up with social media.

Like an unhealthy relationship, you might think you can’t live without social media. As with any other relationship, however, boundaries are essential.

Though it’s a useful tool, social media makes it too easy to compare ourselves to friends, coworkers, and celebrities. When you struggle with late-blooming adulthood, these comparisons are discouraging and soul-crushing.

It’s time for an amicable breakup with social media. Stay friends–not dependants.

 

3. Nurture relationships with people.

Difficult life phases can be isolating, so friends are more important than ever.

When your life takes detours, be open and honest about it. You don’t have to bare your soul to everyone; share your struggles with a few trustworthy, compassionate people. Don’t be afraid to let on that life isn’t going how you originally planned.

They may reciprocate and share some of their own difficulties, and you’ll both feel less alone. (After all, no one’s life is perfect, however it looks!)

 

4. Live outside yourself.

There are benefits to mindfulness, introspection, and self-care. However, they also make it easy to be self-absorbed and to wallow in your disappointment.

It’s time to get out of yourself.

Volunteer at a local nonprofit, invite a neighbor over for coffee, or email a friend you haven’t seen in awhile. Try a new hobby, or take a class–even if it has nothing to do with your goals.

You don’t have to ignore problems or live in denial. Just give your brain a break. This can help ease anxiety, reduce stress, and give you a chance to make life better for someone else.

 

5. Use it or lose it.

When your circumstances aren’t ideal, it’s easy to just wish the present away as you work toward the future. But you could miss the chance to learn from–and even enjoy–the here and now.

It may take a little creative thinking, but it’s worth it.

If you’re working hard to find a new job, for example, take some time to really think about what you’re learning in the process. Is there a way you could share your experience and teach others?

Reach out to others in similar circumstances. Think about what you can do with your time now. Not only will you help someone else, but you’ll feel less isolated. You might even find yourself enjoying the present after all!

 

If life goes off track don’t worry.

Humans are not plants. We don’t have specific seasons in which we grow and bloom. Everyone is different in how long they take to blossom, and what that blossoming even looks like.

When you do finally achieve your goals, how will you look back on this time?

Will you remember it as a time of discouraged moping and miserable waiting?

Or will you remember it proudly as a time of growth and learning?

The present is not just something to endure–it is the only time we really have. Let’s get out there and make it worthwhile!

 

image courtesy of Pixabay

About the author

Emily Jacobs

Emily Jacobs is a freelance writer and content marketer living in Northwest Ohio with her bearded dragon, Aravis. When she’s not working for clients or writing for her website EmSpeaks.comshe enjoys cooking, road trips, jogging, and reading morbid history.

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