152: Getting Back on Track | Tanya Dalton
December 10, 2019   |   Episode #:

152: Getting Back on Track

In This Episode:

Oftentimes, we’re way too hard on ourselves when it comes to our habits and discipline. We spend so much time feeling down about veering off track that we forget that nobody is perfect. It’s okay to have off days. Today I talked with Stacy, a busy career woman who has a two-hour commute to work and on top of that, manages income rental properties out of state. We dive into how she can use the 4 A’s to overcome the hurdles she faces and the tiny steps she can take to get back on track. I touch on discipline, how to acknowledge that you’re doing a lot better than you give yourself credit for, and why you should find an accountability partner to support you on your journey toward your goals.

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

You are never really off track.

Questions I Answer

  • What can I do if I get off track with my goals?
  • Is it okay to change a goal?
  • How do I recover when I lost momentum?

Actions to Take

  • It’s okay if you have veered off track or if sometimes you don’t feel motivated, let go of what you’ve done in the past. I want to encourage you to stay focused and not to waste a single moment second-guessing what you’ve already done. Move forward and realize that tomorrow is a new day and a unique opportunity to use those four A’s for overcoming obstacles.
  • Sign up for my free live video series, Let Go of the Holiday Hustle, to help bring more joy into your holiday season.
  • If you haven’t already picked up your copy of my book, The Joy of Missing Out, head to joyofmissingout.com, or your favorite retailer.

Key Topics in the Show

  • Veering back on track when you realize you aren’t quite where you want to be

  • Realizing that what you see in other people’s lives isn’t always accurate

  • Acknowledging that you’re doing better than you give yourself credit for

  • The 4 A’s to overcoming an obstacle

  • Finding an accountability partner to support you

  • Considering what tiny steps you can take to get back on track

Show Transcript

Welcome to productivity paradox with Tanya Dalton, a podcast focused on finding 

true happiness through productivity. Season 12 is different from any she’s done before with real conversations with real women, applying strategies and concepts  explored in The Joy of Missing Out. 

This season, you’ll learn how to live more by doing less. And now here’s your host, 

Tanya Dalton. 

Tanya: 

Hello, hello everyone. Welcome to Productivity Paradox. I’m your host, Tanya Dalton, and this is episode 152. This season is all about the joy of missing out and taking those concepts and tactics that we talk about in the book and applying them into our real everyday lives. Last week we had our very first live training on Letting Go of The Holiday Hustle, and it was fabulous. 

We talked about how we can use one question to really hone in on what you want for the holidays. I love how so many of you want to take the stress out of the holidays. I mean, way too much stress in December, am I right? But, I love too, how so many of you want to make this crazy hectic season, and flip it on its head, and choose instead to focus on what matters most. 

Now, if you missed that live free training, it’s not too late. I’ve got another training on Thursday. Just go to Tanyadalton.com/holidayhustle. You can see the replay of this past week, and sign up so you can join in on the next few. I feel like so many of us, myself included, have gotten off track, and lost sight of what the holidays are really about, so let’s choose to make our holidays feel a little more meaningful and memorable. 

Which brings me around to today’s episode. It’s really easy to get off track with what we really want, whether it’s our goals, or our dreams, even when they are things that we really, really want. It happens because we think that the path to goal should be this nice straight line when in reality there’s lots of detours, and pit stops, and pitfalls, and divots all along the way, and that’s what my conversation with Stacy is all about today. 

How do we veer back on track when we realize we aren’t quite where we want to be, even when we have the best intentions, it happens. It’s okay, it’s easy to get back on track, and that’s really what I want us to focus in today, and the other part of the 

©Productivity Paradox 

Page 1 of 11 

conversation that I want to dive into, into the second half of the show is this idea of discipline. We touched on this a little bit last week in that episode, but you’ll notice during my chat with Stacy how she talks about wanting to be more disciplined. 

And, those of you who have read my book, The Joy of Missing Out, this is definitely something that we talk about in there. I want to dive deeper into this idea as well. How do you get back on track? And then, let’s dive into that idea of discipline, and what that really looks like. But before we do that, let’s talk about this conversation with Stacy because I think you’re really going to hear a lot of yourself in there, because we all had these times in our lives when we’ve gotten off track. Stacy is a woman with a full plate. She has a growing business, and she’s simultaneously working full-time, which happens to also include a two-hour commute. 

And, after applying a lot of the live well concepts that we talk about in the book, she feels like she’s gotten to a place where she’s finally for the first time being intentional, and purposeful, and then, she hit not one, but two roadblocks. Okay, I don’t want to give too much away, so let’s have you listen in on what Stacy, and I chat about. Stacy, thanks so much for coming on the show today. 

Stacy

Oh, thank you Tanya, I’m excited to be here. I’m trying to grow a business. I work full-time at what I consider a heavy job. It requires 

a lot of brainpower. I commute two hours. I have rental property out-of-state, and I would love to be the disciplined person that gets up and does the same thing every day, gets tons accomplished, have a clean house, and they’re organized and they’re effectively managing their growing business and other income-generating activities. All while staying mindful of moving forward with goals, personal mission, et cetera. 

I’m not that person. I get a little crack and I find it really hard to get back into a groove. Not that I’ve ever been caught up, but I’m trying to find a way to kind of stay on top of things. So how can 1 instill more discipline in my life? I seem to set myself up for success, but I’m unable to sustain that. Can you help? 

Tanya: 

Okay. So, first of all, you are working a job full time. You’re running rental properties that are out of state. You’re commuting two hours, you’re doing a ton of things. And then I know that there’s been a couple of kind of the side things that have 

©Productivity Paradox 

Page 2 of 11 

happened recently in your life. You mentioned that to me, you, you got pneumonia and you were out for three weeks and then summer happened. You had six events, six, that’s a lot. And then you broke your foot, right? So, first of all, let’s just stop for a second and let’s think about that. You do all of these things and then you had all these monkey wrenches basically that happened in your life, correct? 

So, let’s stop for a moment and look at the fact that you’re doing amazing things. You’re doing a lot, you have a lot of things on your plate, right? And I feel like you’re holding yourself up to a really high standard. This story that you’re telling yourself that you want to be a person who does all of these things, who has a clean and organized house, is managing your growing business and all the other income-generating activities and being mindful. That’s a lot of different things. Especially when things happen where life gets off track, life happens. You start off strong and then an obstacle pops up and that derails us. 

I first want you to think about this, that does not make you a bad person, that you got derailed. It makes you human. That’s what it makes you. And discipline is one of those things that we look at 

and we think, oh, this idea of being a disciplined person that that sounds really appealing to get up and do the same thing every day. But when you stop and think about it, is that really what you want? Does that really fit the life that you want or is that just this standard that you’re setting that’s really, really high? 

Stacy: 

Well, I guess I’m comparing myself to other people and I see it, my friends, who seem to have a lot going on, it seemed to be able to manage better than I am able to. They may not be commuting 

two hours a day and they don’t have a broken phone, things like that. So, comparing is probably not the smartest thing to do. 

Tanya: 

I wouldn’t say it’s not the smartest because we all do it. It’s not the healthiest, we’ll say, right? And listen to what you just said. You said, “Okay, so maybe they’re not commuting two hours and okay, maybe they’re not managing rental property out-of-state,” and there’s a lot of things that you’re doing that you’re doing really well. And I think that’s the first step is to first stop and acknowledge and realize that, and that oftentimes the things that we see in other people’s lives aren’t really all the messiness because we’re all really good at hiding that, right? We kind of shove it under the bed when the company comes over. Don’t we? 

©Productivity Paradox 

Page 3 of 11 

Stacy: 

Well they might, maybe they do that sometimes. 

Tanya: 

I think we all do that to a degree when we’re just, you know what? We want to put our best foot forward. There were people in our lives who appear to have it all together and probably if you dug into it with them, they probably don’t feel like they truly have it all together. But I understand that. So that’s the first thing I want you to acknowledge. Just, I want you to acknowledge that you’re really doing a lot better than you. You’re really giving yourself credit for, but you’ve hit the snags in the road. You hit these couple of things that have happened, the broken foot, the extra events, lots of things, getting pneumonia. That’s really hard to recover from. This is the thing is we created a path for ourselves and we create this idea of we want to have happen and how we want it to happen. 

And then life happens. It gets in the way and we hit these obstacles. So, I like to say that there are four A’s that we have to work through when we hit an obstacle. The first one is acknowledgement. Acknowledging, first of all, that you’re doing a really good job and boy, this has been a really rough season for you, right? 

Stacy: 

Yeah. 

Tanya: 

I mean all these things happening at the same time essentially. That’s a lot to take in. Would you agree? 

Stacy

Yes. 

Tanya: 

So, I think that you have to acknowledge this has been an obstacles. There’s a lot of power in that. Acknowledging that this has been a derailment and that’s okay because there’s two types of obstacles. The things we can control, and the things we can’t. This has been stuff you can’t control, getting pneumonia. I mean obviously no one can control whether they get sick or not or, or breaking your foot. That’s the first step I want you to then do step number two, which is assessment. Now that we know there’s an obstacle, lets kind of think about what kind of obstacle this is. Is this something that’s ongoing or is this something in the past? Can you, how can we work around this? Are you now healthier where you’re able to do more or how’s your foot doing? 

Stacy: 

Rough. So the boot, I’ve been in the boot, I think about six weeks now and then the orthopedic surgeon put me in a brace looking 

©Productivity Paradox 

Page 4 of 11 

at another three to seven weeks. So, I’m supposed to keep my foot elevated and not walk. 

Tanya: 

So, in moving forward, we need to keep that in mind. We’re not going to be able to go out and run any marathons tomorrow, right? So, I think we have to think about that, about the grace that you, you’re giving yourself while we have this idea of what you want to do. Let’s take into account that you’re still dealing with healing, literally physically healing. 

Stacy: 

Okay. 

Tanya: 

Then if we get to that third A, it’s assistance. I want you to think about, no matter how big or how small our obstacles are, it can make you feel overwhelmed, but there’s nothing that says you have to do it all alone. Is there anywhere that you can go for 

support or assistance or getting encouragement from anyone in your everyday life? 

Stacy: 

Yeah, I have. I have some wonderful friends I can get support from. 

Tanya: 

Okay. Have you thought about really kind of bringing together a support team for you as you’re working through? And it’s not just about like, Oh, I need you to bring me meals. It really is okay. I have these goals and these things that I’m wanting to accomplish. I need you to help support me in this. Let’s dive in really quickly into what is one of the goals that you have that you’ve gotten derailed from? 

Stacy

Well, one of the things I’ve gotten derailed from is just staying mindful of my goals and my priorities. 

Tanya: 

So really keeping them front and center and really continuing to, okay, so for your support system, can you have an accountability partner with some of these goals? Can you have a friend that you check in with? Maybe not every day, but maybe you check in with them once a week or once every other week and maybe you do the same for them. It’s kind of a reciprocal relationship where you keep each other accountable. Would that be something that you’d be able to do? 

Stacy: 

It’s absolutely something I can do. I’ve tried to find accountability partners in the past, but it’s kind of like a fireworks, there’s big boom and then there’s a little spark and then 

©Productivity Paradox 

Page 5 of 11 

Tanya: 

Yeah, so here’s the thing too. Your accountability partner doesn’t necessarily have to be someone that you already know. Let’s say that your goal is something that is an activity. Could you find activity groups that are doing these kinds of things, either on Facebook or in-person meetups? A lot of cities have these different hobbies or groups or clubs. Let’s say that your goal is to write a book. Is there a writing club or if it’s running a marathon, is there a running club? So maybe your accountability partner doesn’t need to be someone that you immediately know but is somebody who has that same interest, because then maybe you wouldn’t get that fizzle. Would that work for you? 

Stacy: 

Yeah. 

Tanya 

Okay. 

Stacy: 

I’m hoping, 

Tanya: 

I think that’s the thing. It really is being open to these ideas of this hasn’t worked this, you’ve hit these snags. So, let’s look at it from 

a different angle. We’re going to use a little bit of squirrel strategy here to try to look at it from different angles. So we acknowledged there was an obstacle, we assessed it, and then we need to start looking for assistance so you can get back on track, 

And then that last A is really the action steps. So in thinking about what your goals are, I really want you to think about what is one tiny little step that you can do to get you back on track. And here’s the thing. I think what happens is a lot of times we get caught up in this idea that we’ve got to take a big step. It can’t be a step, it has to be like a jump or a giant leap. But I want you to think about, you’ve gotten off track. What’s one teeny tiny step that can get you closer back to that track? Getting back to where you want to be. 

Stacy: 

The thing that i think of is like habits, getting back, just doing something to kind of start that to get me back in alignment. Maybe making my bed every day and keeping track of that so that I have that little boost of dopamine. So, I feel better keeping, I’ve done something today, 

Tanya: 

We all like that little dopamine hit though. Don’t we? Okay, so in thinking about being mindful as your goal, and thinking about the actions, what’s a habit that you think would be really easy for you to begin with? Like what, you said, making your bed. So what 

©Productivity Paradox 

Page 6 of 11 

would make making your bed even easier? If we think about those steps we take for creating that habit. If you get out of bed and you don’t want to make the bed right away, could you do it after you brush your teeth? Like what would cue you to want to make your bed? Would putting your pillows right in front of your doorway to your bathroom where you have to step over them before you went and brushed your teeth with that act as a cue to get you to make your bed until you could get that established as a habit? 

Stacy: 

Yes. 

Tanya: 

Okay. Really thinking about what is something that you can do that’s teeny, tiny, itty bitty, not a giant step, but just one tiny thing to get you on that path. I like to tell people that it’s often the little steps that really make the biggest difference in our lives. It’s because you don’t have any momentum when you’re standing still, but if you take that first tiny step, even that little bit, that little movement that gets you a little bit of velocity and that makes 

that second step easier, which can be a little bit of a bigger step and then that third step even easier. And before you know it, you’ve got several steps going in a row. 

Stacy: 

Okay. 

Tanya: 

So that’s really what I would encourage you to do. Going through those four A’s of acknowledgement, assessment assistance, and then action and really creating an action plan about how do I get back on that path I want to get on. 

If you’re really wanting to be mindful about the habits that you’re establishing for yourself, let’s start with making the bed and let’s focus on that and don’t worry about the other stuff. Don’t worry about trying to implement a bunch of things all at the same time. think that’s one of the big mistakes that people make is they’re like, I want to be mindful, so I need to be mindful about everything, right? 

Stacy: 

Yeah. 

Tanya 

Let’s just focus on making the bed. Just making the bed for two weeks and then after two weeks I want you to add one more little thing and do these two little things just for a month and then you can add two more things and then you can add two more things and then you can add two more things and you can have three 

©Productivity Paradox 

Page 7 of 11 

more things, but really not overwhelming yourself as you’re trying to get back on track. 

That’s the best type of action that you can really take. Taking these itty-bitty steps, getting yourself some solid wins so that when you look at how you’re doing, you’re going to think, okay, you know what? I’ve had some success. I’ve made my bed every day for two weeks, I’m doing much better, and that’s what makes you want to add that next step of mindfulness, that next habit that you want to build into. Does that make sense? 

Stacy: 

Yes. 

Tanya: 

I think a lot of it is you stopping for a minute and realizing that you have a lot going on in your life. You have a whole a lot of things that are causing you to have to pivot and really acknowledging that the tiny steps are still steps. I think maybe you’re thinking that you need to go so much bigger and I want to encourage you to go smaller and then we’ll grow to bigger. Does that sound good? 

Stacy: 

That sounds great. 

Tanya: 

All right Stacy, well I really appreciate you chatting with me. 

Stacy: 

Oh I appreciate you Tanya. 

Tanya: 

I love that Stacy wants to be more intentional and mindful and in the second part of the show I want to explore how she talked about this idea of wanting to be more disciplined. Before I do that, let’s give a quick minute for today’s sponsor. 

Today’s episode has been brought to you by the University of California, Irvine or UCI. Their division of continuing education is a great resource for anyone who is looking to gain credits or who wants to reenter the workforce after some time off or even just learn some new skills. Now I know many of you are juggling work and family at the same time while you’re trying to pursue maybe a career change or a promotion at work. And the great thing is UCI has 100% online courses, so it’s convenient and flexible. 

Plus they have a diverse assortment of courses that are taught by industry practitioners with real-world experience. So no matter what you’re looking for, UCI has tons of specialized studies, healthcare, project management, human resources, digital 

©Productivity Paradox 

Page 8 of 11 

marketing, paralegal, so many options and choices. And the great news is registration is now open and they’re offering a nice deal for my listeners, simply go to ce.uci.edu/productivityparadox. Enter the promo code paradox and you’ll get 15% off one continuing education course. So again that’s ce.uci.edu/productivityparadox. And don’t forget to put in that code paradox to get your 15% off. This offer is valid until December 31st, 2019. 

Okay, let’s get into that idea of discipline. We touched on this briefly last week and then we talked about it a little bit at the start of the show, but I want to dive into this because what I loved about that conversation l had with Stacy was the realness of it. 

How yes, we go out there with the best of intentions, with our goals in mind, but then something happens and we get off path. What impresses me about Stacy is that she realized this and she’s saying, “Oops, okay, this is not where I want to be. How do I get back? And I think that’s the first step. It’s a big one. The first step is always the hardest and a lot of times it is realizing or acknowledging that, oops, I got off track, I want to get back on. I think way too often we get off track and then we just think, Oh gosh, I’m just off track and I’ll never get back on. So, I love how she’s wanting to work her way back. And as I mentioned, I do want to dive into some of what we just touched on in that first part of the conversation. 

The idea of being disciplined. I think we so often look at other people out there, whether it’s people we know or people that we see on social media or in the news or wherever, and we think, well, of course, they’re successful. Life seems to come easily to them because while they’re so disciplined if only I were disciplined, I could do that too. If only, here’s the truth. There’s no one who is disciplined all the time. Let me rephrase that, okay? There’s no one we would want to hang out with that is disciplined all the time. Am I right? Can I get an amen on that? Seriously? Do you want to hang out with someone who’s disciplined all the time? | just feel like it would be not very much fun, but here’s the truth. We think we need discipline to be successful. We love to blame our failures on our lack of willpower, and when you see people who appear disciplined, it’s just really people who’ve mastered the habits. 

You know the habits they really want to have in their life. They take the thinking out of it and they allow their habits to run on 

©Productivity Paradox 

Page 9 of 11 

autopilot. And the good news here is we’re actually going to be talking about habits in next week’s episode. I think what’s really important to note when we talk about willpower is it’s one of those things that science is still grappling to understand. And some recent studies are finding that willpower is not so much grit, but more about emotion. And according to the Harvard Business Review, it’s the same as any other emotion. It comes, and it goes. 

Just like we can’t be happy all the time. We can’t have optimal willpower either. It’s just not possible. So the question here becomes, if willpower is an emotion that’s triggered by 

something, Hmm, hold on a second. That sounds an awful lot like habits, doesn’t it? 

We need to be cued. So that may come from external places. So if we take these new findings, that means we can make our willpower increase by using intentional triggers. We can set ourselves up for success. And I think it’s so important because you know what this means? It means we have a choice. 

Now if you’ve read The Joy of Missing Out? You know, a lot of it comes down to that idea of choices. We have a choice in how we feel. We have a choice in how our willpower ebbs and flows and you can really take control of that. So, let me give you an example because I love this example of Marshall Goldsmith. You probably have heard of Marshall Goldsmith because he is considered by many people to be one of the top business coaches. So, he’s obviously a person that others look to as being disciplined at having this willpower. 

But Goldsmith has famously talked about how he has hired someone to be his accountability partner and he uses this accountability partner to help cue his willpower. He openly acknowledges that he hires someone because this accountability does not come from within himself. So he’s got someone to check in with him. There’s no threat of judgment and she checks on him daily. This is what works for him. This willpower, this discipline that we’re seeing from him comes from an external source. So this accountability partner, she asks him a series of questions that he himself has actually come up with. So these questions that she asks them are generally focused around his goals. So for example, if he’s working on a goal of better health, it might be a question about how many steps he’s taken that day. If it’s a project, it might be a question about how he worked towards getting that accomplished. 

©Productivity Paradox 

Page 10 of 11 

What I love about this example of Marshall Goldsmith is it would be so easy just to look at the books he’s created and the way that he coaches and the way that he speaks and just make this assumption that this guy just is self-motivated and he’s driven. He’s got so much willpower and discipline when in truth it comes from somewhere else. But he has chosen to make sure that this willpower is being increased on a regular basis. He’s actively taking control because he realizes willpower isn’t something that’s just innate within him. Discipline is not something that happens automatically for most people in all areas of their life. So what I want you to take away from today’s episode is that it’s okay if you have veered off track. It’s okay if sometimes you don’t feel motivated, let go of what you’ve done in the past. 

I want to encourage you to stay focused and not waste a single moment second-guessing what you did in the past. Let’s move 

forward. Let’s realize that tomorrow is a new day and using those four A’s that we talked about in today’s episode and what we’re learning about willpower, we can be even more successful. Now, I know I just kind of skimmed the surface there with habits, with talking about how it’s triggered and it can be triggered by external sources, but we’re going to definitely be diving more into this next week during that episode. And of course, we dive into all of this and more in the book. If you haven’t gotten your copy of The Joy of Missing Out, please do. I wouldn’t tell you to get the book if I didn’t think it would help. In fact, I know it will, based off the DMs and the emails and the messages that I’m getting from so many people, they are really shifting around their lives, making it really work for them. 

I love that so many people are turning that ideal day into their every day and that is exactly what I want for you. So head to joyofmissingout.com with all the information on where you can get the book or just head to Amazon, head to Target, head to target.com anywhere books are sold, grab your copy of The Joy of Missing Out. All right, we’re going to continue talking next week, as I mentioned, about habits. So we’re going to build off this idea and talk about what to do when habits just aren’t working. All right, until next time, have a beautiful and productive week. 

Thanks for listening to Productivity Paradox. Want to learn more about your unique productivity style? Simply go to Tanyadalton.com to take her free quiz and get free 

resources designed just for you. That’s Tanya, with an O and a Y. 

©Productivity Paradox 

Page 11 of 11 

Site Design & Development North Star Sites