I’m sure everyone can relate to this problem. You’ve set a goal, are working towards it and feeling great, then suddenly something happens which throws you off track. Maybe you were feeling stressed after a crappy day at work and bought a bag of chips with the intention of just having a few… then suddenly the bag was empty. Or, you’ve been feeling sore and tired so you skipped the gym – all week.
Do you automatically think all your hard-earned progress is gone and there’s no point in trying to get back on track? Stop! Your progress hasn’t been reversed, you haven’t done irreparable damage. The bigger problem in these situations is usually our negative outlook. We tend to beat ourselves up excessively, feel guilty, and throw in the towel on our goals.
The first thing you need to do is stop looking at it as a failure on your part. You haven’t failed – you’ve learned a lesson. This is a dynamic process, one in which each day is different with its own set of challenges. The best way to handle these situations is to sit down at the end of the day and ask yourself what you did well, what you could have done better, and what you learned.
Life happens. Everyone experiences set backs and stress – unfortunately it’s unavoidable. How we choose to react to these situations is what we have control over. Recognize the common stressors in your life and be prepared to handle them successfully – learning from our past. Instead of reaching for ice cream or chips, grab your running shoes and iPod and run off the stress. Sweat out the frustration!
Take your progress one day at a time. It’s always hard to get back on track when you’ve been out of the routine for any length of time, that first step back on track always seems so tough. Rather than getting overwhelmed by thinking of the long-term and how much work you have left to do, focus on today. What are you going to do TODAY to be successful? Get your food prep done and pack your meals so your nutrition is back on plan. Go to the gym (even if you have to drag yourself in) and do your favourite workout. Once that “first time” is over, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you fall right back into your healthy routine.
Someone very smart once told me that quitting is the only “for sure” thing you can do. When you make the decision to quit, you know exactly what the outcome is going to be. But, if you stick to it, you have NO IDEA what amazing things you can accomplish or where you’ll end up. So, take the risk, be daring, challenge yourself, and enjoy the journey.
Don’t let a set back derail the work you’ve already done. The time is going to pass anyhow, might as well make it worthwhile. XO
“Your success is determined by how much you learn from your failures” –Joel Brown