Let’s face it, setbacks happen. My own setback is the whole reason I decided to write this post.
You see, my husband and I are planning a vacation in a months time and it will involve beaches, buffets, and bathing suits! While I’m super pumped to get away for a week, I thought this would be a good time to put some extra focus on my eating habits until vacation time. Sounds simple enough, right? I did really, really, well for about 3.5 weeks, then had a day where I just went overboard. No excuse for it honestly. I ate a lot of healthy and unhealthy foods, and felt like crap for it. Naturally, my first reaction was to beat myself up about making such poor decisions regarding food, and wreaking havoc on all the hard work I’d put in over the last month.
Then a switch flipped in my head and I thought there are likely others out there who react the same way as me and could use a little motivation to NOT beat themselves up about it. I knew deep down my reaction to one bad day was not ideal, and I also knew I wasn’t alone in this thought process. Welcome to being human.
From a missed workout to bed ridden sickness, things will always come up that cause you to sway from the path you have laid out for yourself.
The question is, how do you deal with the setback when it happens? I decided to break it down in 4 easy steps to help you (and me) move on from such setbacks and get back to life!
#1) Acknowledge The Setback and Reaction: So you hopped off the healthy eating wagon or skipped a week of gym sessions, now what? Do you talk down to yourself about being a failure and sit in your bedroom crying for three hours? If you react harshly/negatively it’s vital that you recognize those feelings and work to turn them around. Sulking will not propel you forward, so get out of the rut and get ready for the next step.
#2) Accept Imperfection: I admit to being a perfectionist. But I also know it is impossible to be 100% every.single.day. GIVING 100% each day is a better goal to aim for. Run a little faster, study a little longer, work a little harder. Know that things will never be “perfect” but they can be a hell of a lot better than yesterday if you work for it!
#3) Show Yourself Respect: Earlier I mentioned that for almost a month I did really well with my eating habits. When I had that ONE off day, I focused on the bad part instead of acknowledging how well I did every other day before that! It ‘s important to step back and look at the big picture. One day out of a month will not make or break a person, appreciate yourself for the effort you give every day.
#4) Make A Plan: This is where you get back where you left off. If your setback was sickness, assess how you’re feeling and pick a day you can start back and ease into your regular routine. Check out your gym’s schedule and make a plan to head to your favorite classes in the week ahead. For myself, the very next day I went back to eating whole foods, moderated my calorie intake, and even made room for a treat despite the day before. It’s not about restricting yourself or showing your body hate, it’s about setting up for success and gaining peace of mind.
While I used this post in regards to diet/exercise setbacks, the steps listed could be applied to any aspect of life. Understand where you went wrong and work to actively change your mindset and avoid dwelling on the negative! Recognize that you are more than a bad day. Keep smiling and stay positive!