Many of us head into the New Year with great intentions to get healthy or lose weight. We often take on exercise plans, begin weight loss programs, or start a diet. It is not uncommon to start off feeling very motivated. We keep to our plans and see progress being made. But as the weeks pass by we slip up a bit and sometimes the weight comes back on.
This can be frustrating and discouraging. We think that we have failed or even consider ourselves to be failures. However, part of taking on new programs or making lifestyle changes is making mistakes.
Many of us look around and see people who appear to have unstoppable amounts of will power. They appear to be able to hold off from touching everything that seems tempting. However, the truth is that each of us has a set amount of will power. It is not an unlimited thing.
Will power diminishes as the day goes by, meaning that when we wake up in the morning, we are at our peak amount of will power. This is why it is so much easier to make great decisions like eating well or hitting the gym earliest in the morning. Later in the day, we have less will power and it is far more difficult to make these difficult decisions.
Stress is also one of the biggest causes of derailment from our healthy plans, quickly diminishing will power. When we add this to our hectic schedules you can see that is very easy to find ourselves making poor decisions.
When this happens, it is important to remember that a lapse from your healthy plan is not a relapse. One mistake or a few mistakes does not make you failure. It does not send you back to square one. We can all learn from these mistakes.
Take a step back from your situation. Why did you make a different decision from what you had planned? Did stress cause these decisions? If so, it is important to figure out what triggered your stress reaction and then find a way to plan for the next time this might occur.
When we understand our triggers, we can make a game plan to sidestep these potential derailments.
Don’t get down on yourself. You are not a failure. Do not compare yourself to others.
We often look at celebrities and see how they always eat healthy and always look great. While this may be the case, remember that this is what they do for a living. They have a healthy living entourage to keep them on track. Celebrities have trainers, nutritionists, and even cooks to achieve their goals. And when all else fails, they have stylists and doctors to help them too.
Just as athletes need coaches and students need teachers, anyone who is trying to make healthy living changes needs a support crew. That includes family members, friends, and peers at work. Let people know what you are trying to do. Ask for their assistance in supporting you. Maybe a friend at work would be happy to join you in the lunch room instead of grabbing fast food. Perhaps your family would join you for a walk after dinner each evening. Enlist your crew.
Don’t forget your biggest asset. You are the biggest and best support you could possibly have. Don’t get down on yourself for making mistakes. Remind yourself that this is part of the process. When things don’t go as planned or you are having a rough day, be your best friend and sit back and help yourself assess the situation. Figure out where things went wrong and help yourself determine how to make everything work better in the future.
Enjoy life. Learn from your mistakes and move forward. Don’t dwell on the past and remember that a lapse is most definitely not a relapse.
How do you get yourself back on track when things don’t go as planned?