*Originally written by True Image Consulting on trueimagegroup.com*

Getting back on track after a hard hit isn’t easy. Getting back on track after you slowly slide off over an extended period of time may be even harder. At least when you get hit once, you know you got knocked off track.

I like to be as transparent as possible in the reality of the world of image consulting. We put together amazing looks, styles and overall images for our clients- and ourselves- and typically that’s most of what you’ll see presented in our social media and portfolio but you should know based on the very basic laws of physics that for every action there is an equal an opposite reaction.

In short- there are always going to be days where your image isn’t hitting just right or where you’re running around in leggings and a baggy sweater with no makeup and a messy bun, just trying to make it through the day. Maybe there are whole weeks of that. Or because it’s 2020 and we are all generally a mess, whole months or years.

So how do you get back on the proverbial horse after you’ve fallen off the wagon? In my head I always imagine me trying to ride a horse but sliding off the saddle and desperately trying to hold on to the reigns as I get drug behind a horse that will not be stopped.

In fact, before Veronica and I started TRUE, I went through an entire year feeling like I was being drug through the mud. Sure, I’d have small wins here and there to celebrate, but overall I was on a very bumpy road. And to further my full transparency, it didn’t magically get better the next year either.

So here I was, months out of a personal development program, reading every book I could get my hands on for the answers to life, rebuilding meaningful relationships- but still two years into an absolute personal hell. I was still trying to achieve. Still trying to better myself. Still trying to overcome each obstacle- but how was I doing it?

The short answer? I had to do the hard stuff. Sounds terrible, right? It was. It is. I had to feel every painful moment that came up. I had to explore, truthfully and honestly my own part in where I was and how I’d gotten there. Then I had to slowly start changing those behaviors (there’s a book to come here) when I recognized them happening in real time.

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn was that there is no final end point. I will, and should be, always evolving in some way so it makes sense that there will always be a series of small steps to take. If you look at the whole challenge, its too much- so just pick one little thing at a time.

The further off track you are, the smaller it will need to be. Are you an emotional eater? Resolve that you’ll start with a smaller portion and wait 30 min. If you still want more, then try again. If you don’t- you had success in that small win. Can’t control a sharp tongue? Next time you catch yourself being mean, apologize as soon as possible then stop sooner in the next argument. Then eventually you’ll get to a point where you don’t even start.

You don’t have to move mountains when caring for yourself. And since I’m an image consultant I’m almost obligated to say that also applies to style and fashion. Just take the first step. Then the next. Be kind to yourself when you fail (because you will) and you’ll get back up a little quicker than you would if you spent a week punishing yourself.

In TRUE connect, our six week course, we work with you to create a life plan as sort of a true north (pun not intended, but definitely a happy accident). You can do a small version of that yourself. Set a series of small goals. We have rules for goal setting to keep them obtainable but for your own purposes, the smaller the better.

Your small goals + open and truly honest self reflection + self forgiveness and celebration are the key to getting back on track. And can’t we all use a little bit of that as we start to wrap up this wild year?

xo, elle