Being on the journey to weight loss, happiness, mindfulness or whatever it is you seek can be a hard one.

Like any challenge, there are some good days and there are some bad days.

When we’re on the right track, everything feels great. We feel good about ourselves and we’re optimistic about all the possibilities the future holds. It’s what keeps us going and powering through!

But when we fall into those slumps and stray just a little off track, that’s when things start to go downhill.

I used to feel so discouraged when I fell off the wagon—whether it was missing a day at the gym or eating a few extra bites of food that I didn’t intend to. I was just overcome with guilt.

It not only took over my mind and my day, but it also ended up taking over my life. To put it simply, my mind became my biggest enemy. I felt like a failure for not sticking to my exercise routine or diet. I felt bad for not being strong enough.

How many times have you felt that way before?

Now I’m a little older and a little wiser. This isn’t my first rodeo, and I’ve found that beating myself up over and over again doesn’t help anything.

And since I’m here to support you, I want to share with you three ways to let go of guilt that have served me well over the years:

1. Take a step back

Negative thoughts can really do a number on our minds and bodies. We’re so caught up with our guilt that we don’t even take the time to realize what’s really causing it. Take a step back and meditate, write in a journal, go for a walk, or do whatever it takes to pull you out of that mindset and find the source of what’s making you feel so guilty.

Once you can pinpoint what’s causing you so much angst, you can start to let go of that negative energy. It’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders once you start seeing things from an objective point of view. Trust me!

2. Find the silver lining

Instead of focusing on what’s going wrong, be thankful for what’s going right. Repeat positive mantras, and find the good in every situation. If you feel bad for eating that piece of cake, congratulate yourself for sticking to your diet so far. You didn’t give up and you’re still on the right track to your goal. A little stumble won’t take you off your path. You’ll do better next time!

3. Let it go

Obsessing over what you could’ve done, should’ve done or would’ve done won’t help you feel any better. You can’t change the past, so learn from what happened and move on.

These steps may seem simple, but trust me—they work! Focus on these three things the next time you feel guilty for falling off track, no matter what that looks like for you, then get back up and keep going!

Photo credit: gradyreese, Getty Images