3 Ways To Recover From A Setback

Date: 
Thursday, April 30, 2015

We’ve heard from some of you that it can be extremely challenging to get back on track after life and busyness have come between you and your goals. Meetings run long, kids get sick, vacations and too many treats happen. Figuring out ways to bounce back from these obstacles to keep your health and fitness momentum going is really important.

It can be tempting to throw in the towel on your goals to eat better because of that extra slice of wedding cake or few too many happy hour cocktails. For whatever reason our minds easily jump from “Oops, I overslept and missed my workout this morning” to “I might as well skip my other three workouts since this week is already ruined.” This black and white, flawed reasoning happens almost instantaneously. Here are some tips on how to tune in during these “off track” moments so that you can remember your goals, make a plan and right the ship:

1. Challenge the negativity. We are often our own worst critics. Generally when a setback occurs we also attach meaning to it. Instead of objectively recognizing that we overslept we might additionally think to ourselves “Why can’t I do anything right?!” or “I’m so lazy!” This type of negative self-talk will not help you get back on track. Instead try asking, “What would I tell a friend if this happened to them?” You would probably tell your friend to not worry, set an extra alarm next time and get after it during the rest of the week’s workouts. Which is actually really great advice! Making it a point to weed out your initial unhelpful thoughts and replace them with a more positive perspective will be a big part of overcoming hurdles.

2. Give yourself some time. Instead of following that knee-jerk reaction to give up when you hit a bump in the road take the time to really think through your options. Ask yourself, “Am I making this decision based on good information?” Does missing one workout really ruin the week? No. Maybe you can reschedule it for later that day, or maybe there’s enough time to do a quick circuit of bodyweight exercises in your living room. Furthermore giving yourself a little space from the emotional frustration of waking up late will empower you to commit to the rest of your week’s workouts instead of letting one slip up derail your progress.

3. Make a plan. Let the friendly advice from tip number one help you strategize ways to turn things around. Perhaps you slept through your alarm because you aren’t sticking to your bedtime. So you focus on getting to bed on time the following night, set an extra alarm for the morning and reward yourself with your favorite brand of espresso when you do get up. This process will take some getting used to but it is well worth the mental energy. Setbacks are going to happen to everyone; taking control of how you react to them makes the difference.

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