I’ve got a wedding this weekend. Screw it. I’m not going to eat lettuce all weekend and not have a drink…no way! I’ll start on Monday instead.
Shit! I way overdid on that Halloween candy, but now we’re heading into Thanksgiving and Christmas and I know I can’t lose weight then. I’ll just wait until January.
Ugh. Why does everyone have to bring cake or treats to work on their birthday? I was bad and ate that cake I really hadn’t planned on. My day is ruined! No point in eating a healthy dinner now. I didn’t stay on track today so I’ll just get back at it tomorrow.
All of these statements above were me at one time or another. Once I made a choice I deemed “bad”, or I didn’t know how to handle a situation without being 100% “on plan,” or I ate more or differently than I wanted to, I operated with the idea that ALL was lost. I acted as if every “good” thing I had done up to that point was all of a sudden not even in consideration.
All in. One hundred percent ON. No deviation. Anything less than that was failure and crap and worthless effort and laziness. I screwed up. Totally wipe the slate of any further effort. Draw a line in the sand. Start over.
Doing this was my perfectionism tendencies at their finest…well, worst actually! If I declared a “Start Over!” then I could simply erase everything that has happened before. No learning had to be done. No reflection had to happen. No failure had to be acknowledged or admitted. It was a chance to get it right this time! No sense doing it, if you can’t get it right!!
It actually makes me sad to think about what my mindset used to look like. I’ve learned and changed so much, I can see now how really critical and awful I was to myself. How my constant need to throw in the towel in pursuit of perfection held me back from getting exactly what I wanted.
Changes in your health…and your overall mindset and believe in self…don’t happen overnight. You can’t fix yourself in 21 days. You don’t achieve long-term, sustainable habits when challenged for 30 days. You don’t learn all your need to learn about yourself in a few short weeks.
Lasting change and long-term health is built over many, many months and years. And building up those months and years, means resilience and perseverance. It means learning to continue stepping forward despite the curveballs of life.
You need to learn the skill of bouncing back and continuing on EVEN WHEN it sucks and life is crazy.
Here are my suggestions for building those EVEN WHEN SKILLS.
I’ve got a whole blog post on this one for you to check out. Perfectionism actually breeds inaction. If we think we might *not* hit a home run, we don’t try. Or if we falter we simply give up. That is not the way to get results! You have to fight inaction and realize bumps, twists, and setbacks happen. Learn to deal with them.
We often assume everyone else in the world is getting it right. We see what people want us to see…it’s a rare person that shows the hard and ugly moments of their life. Remember that!! You are NOT the only one struggling with areas of your life. You are NOT the only one trying to keep it all together. You are NOT the only one making mistakes. God forbid, we aren’t shiny and polished all the time.
Let that shit go!! Try. Then keep trying. Then keep trying some more. Big deal if you messed up–you tried, now try something else!
2.Get back to business your VERY NEXT opportunity.
That is to say “When you fall off the horse, you must stay the course!”
After we falter, it is super important to get a win right away. We need to remind ourself we can do this! Mistakes, less than stellar choices, whatever you want to call them are going to happen. They aren’t the end of the world, so bounce back and prove to yourself your capabilities to keep on going.
Ok, you had bagels and cream cheese at the office. Eat that lunch you brought with you even though you feel compelled to eat out after a crappy breakfast. Dinner out kinda went haywire with chocolate (a lot) and wine (even more a lot!). Next morning, have a super healthy breakfast with lots of protein, add some veggies, and even a piece of fruit.
The baby doesn’t go out with the bathwater. Each choice you are presented with during your day is an opportunity to take a step in the direction you want to go. The MORE steps you get heading where you want, the more likely you are to get there.
3. Pave your own way instead of simply following what you are told.
I think you will have a much easier time of staying the course when you actually are doing things in a way that works for you. When you are choosing things in line with WWFY and you are willing and ready to change, the missteps are easier to recover from because you are vested in the choice!
Try making choices in your health changes that *actually* mean something to you and make sense in your life. I’m willing to bet you have a much easier time staying the course when you are steering the ship.
When you are simply following a canned plan, a one size fits all plan, it is hard to have a deep-seated desire to keep going at something that maybe doesn’t particularly matter or have an effect on you. And because you are following a plan for everybody you are expected to do it the same as everybody. No customization, no personalization, no insight into your life…then you are left wondering why you couldn’t do it and everyone else could. The answer to your wonder is this: you weren’t following a plan that was meant for YOU.
There is no better path to your own personal health than creating it yourself. Learn and reflect and use your instincts for choices. You know down deep what makes sense for you. Honor the voice inside and learn to trust it! Try! You will falter, but with each misstep you will learn and get better and better. Refer to #1 in case you are paralyzed with fear of failure.
4. Take stock.
We often magnify our mistakes/weak points and minimize our wins/strengths.
When you’ve made a choice that didn’t align with your goal, try immediately reminding yourself of the mountain of good things you have achieved for yourself. Think back to last month or the last six months…or even a year! What are you doing TODAY that you weren’t doing a month/3 months/a year ago? What great choices have you already made this week?
Take stock and remind yourself of your wins!
I’ve been digging into my mindset in 2016. There are days I slip into my old patterns…my self-talk is scathing. Sometimes I simply want to quit. Why try so damn hard?? Then I remind myself of how I have improved. I don’t compare my body and my business to others to the degree I used to. I am beginning to settle into actually liking the person I am. I remind myself that I have made a point to live life as the person I want to be: I’m making a conscious effort to be the person to smile/wave first, I’m making a conscious effort to look at my reactions and figure out ME versus continually be irritated with the actions of someone else, I’m looking more at my improvements than my shortcomings.
Take stock and take responsibility!
Reminding yourself of the good you are doing is not some ego trip. It is not the job of others around you to give you constant tummy rubbing and gush on your achievements. It is YOUR job to offer yourself compliments and grace and remember how far you’ve come!
Life will always hand you something to contend with. It’s your ability to bend and then recover that will help you achieve lasting change.
Finally, please don’t mistake this post as me saying there is NEVER an instance where you simply cannot focus on your health goals. There is…there will be! And, when you are in the midst of one of those excruciating life moments you won’t actually feel guilty about missing that workout or eating the fast food. You will instinctively understand that your energies need to be focused on the moment at hand. And, when that particularly overwhelming life event passes, then use these EVEN WHEN SKILLS to help get you back to business.
Keep working on you. Don’t give up! Get a toehold by working tirelessly on one thing and getting that win. Keep stacking those wins up and eventually, when you aren’t expecting it, you will find this “living a healthy life” stuff is now easier than it used to be. Remember I’ve walked a similar path, so I know of what I speak! 🙂
Just keep grinding, a bit at a time, and the payoff will come!
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