Ponder all the things that you can't say or do—and then start each day thinking of three.

All students go through periods where they just don't get it. It happens to everyone, whether you're in college or just embarking on a long-term career. Embrace the setbacks, gratitude for what you do get, and focus on what's most important to you—this will make it all that much easier to learn.

Let's review: you have a series of eight goals to pursue, which you worked very hard to put into motion, only to have one thrown off track by one event. Let's say you broke your thumb. Before it healed, your professor scheduled a test where you had to write an essay on the topic.

But instead of focusing on the essay and flying solo, you had to shift to your role as the test wrote the essay on your behalf.

If you know you can't say or do something, don't worry. Maybe next time you'll realize the advantage of saying "no" when it's the right time.

Whenever you want to take a break, put together three things you'll do instead. For instance, at a client's wedding, you might decide to watch the dancing videos instead of arguing over whether they're real or not. You have a much better chance of having a productive conversation if you focus on the task at hand.

The difference between doing it now and tomorrow when you need to focus is vast.

Start the day with:3 things you really want to accomplish, and keep it in mind.

David Drabeck is a career and life coach with Hey Coach.

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com