It happens to all of us. We create goals and a to do list and have determined to stay focused on them but suddenly, it seems, find ourselves busy and overwhelmed with tasks and commitments that have nothing to do with what we want to accomplish. We have been derailed by distraction.

Getting Back on Track

Since this is a familiar state for all of us, let’s get into what to do about it. In addition to creating systems and habits for staying consistently focused and preventing distraction in the first place, consider this formula for getting back on track once you’ve been derailed.

  1. Pray about it. Ask for eyes to see how your derailment happened. Ask God to show you how to adjust your systems, which create your habits, to help you get back on track. Let the Holy Spirit lead you to any area of the Bible relevant to your situation.
  2. Write about it. Writing is immensely therapeutic and tremendously powerful for helping us order our thoughts. Write what God reveals as you pray about it. Integrate any applicable Bible verses in this part of the process.
  3. Talk about it. Have those closest to you help you work out how you became derailed. This may mean you just explain it to them, which can help you sort it out, or it can mean having a discussion where they express their observations and give advice.
  4. Act on it. We are often so good at knowing what the problem is but not always so good at taking the right action for solving it. We resist changing our systems and habits. Sometimes it’s laziness. Sometimes it’s comfort even in what’s not working. Finally taking the right action usually starts with one small step. Take that step and see how it can be a catalyst for lasting change.
  5. Learn about it. Learning about systems, habits, etc. can be immensely motivational. So, too, can understanding more about your specific areas of struggle. Take time to learn from experts in these areas to help you not just get back on track but stay there.

Staying on Track

Once we get back on track after a derailment, we want to establish ourselves in systems and habits to help us stay there. While not always an easy accomplishment, you can be less easily derailed as you learn to pursue a simple life, regularly refocus your focus, and work toward balance.

A derailment may feel like a setback, but it can be a great tool for making the adjustments needed for progress. In fact, being derailed by distraction can be the impetus for growth if we choose to let it motivate us toward change.