We’ve all noticed it. You learn something new in a class or reading an article or book, and you feel committed to change. You’re motivated, energized, excited. The world looks bigger and brighter.

But what about a month or two later? How do you stay on track when you hit your first bump in the road? What do you do when you find your old negative thoughts return? What happens when you feel disconnected from your hope?

Reconnect: There are five ways to reconnect with yourself and your vision for change. Doing them, especially doing them in order, can bring your right back into that sense of purpose and motivation.

1. Reconnect with your inner self.

Try meditating, praying, walking through the woods, journaling—whatever activities makes you feel refreshed and whole, whatever centers you. Only you can say what they are. Reconnecting with yourself is as natural as falling asleep and waking up refreshed. If your favorite activity doesn’t work, try another. Something will help.

2. Reconnect with your core passions.

Once your are centered, visualize what you want. Don’t ask yourself if it’s possible. If you are discouraged or depressed, nothing may look possible. Even getting out of bed can look overwhelming! Instead, find that deep desire in yourself where you know you want to open a flower shop, travel the world, or become more creative in your work. That passion doesn’t change just because you haven’t achieved it. In fact, it’s what leads to achievement. Rediscover it. Be revitalized by its energy.

3. Reconnect with (or establish) a support network.

Tell them what you need--support, encouragement, ideas for next steps, help in reconnecting with your passions. Don’t look to them to solve your problems, but to stimulate you to meet your own challenges. Do look to them for networking help and help finding resources of any kind. Remember to be a good listener for others as well.

4. Reconnect with your process by acting “as if.”

Just because you are feeling sad, angry, or hopeless doesn’t mean you must act in a sad, angry or hopeless manner. Acknowledge your feelings. Write about them, and certainly resolve issues behind them, but don’t wait until you feel better before taking action on your dreams. Ask yourself what you would do if you were feeling wonderful about your situation. Ask others what they might do. Then do something, anything that moves you forward. Remember, while feelings affect how we act, actions can also affect how we feel and regenerate the momentum we need.

5. Reconnect with success.

Give yourself another experience of what it’s like to do what you most want to do. If you want to be a novelist, find a place to do a reading of a chapter where people will at least applaud you for what you have done (even if you know your novel needs tons of work). If you want to go to medical school, volunteer to work in a clinic or hospital to remind yourself of what it tastes like to help people in need.

If you do all or even most of these steps, it will give you something concrete and positive to do during a time of difficulty and will get you back to a place where you can initiate bolder and bigger actions. The main thing with creating something new in our lives is to keep going. Just remembering to keep on going can help you through the tough times.

Author's Bio: 

Leading jobseekers through his innovative career building program, career coach and creativity trainer Leonard Lang, Ph.D., helps people who are successful in their jobs but are struggling to find purpose and fulfillment at work.   He has put the best of his successful career coaching and training exercises in his book, Guide to Lifework: Working with Integrity and Heart. To sign up for a free creativity Ezine, or to learn more about Guide to Lifework and career coaching, go to www.beardavenue.com. You can reprint and share the copyrighted article “5 Steps for Staying on Track” as long as you do not change it in any way and include this entire paragraph with it.