We’ve all been there. You set an ambitious wellness goal for yourself at the beginning of the year and then get busy crafting an amazing, fool-proof plan to achieve it. You hit the drawing board, cover all the bases, and then hit the ground running. You get off to a great start and everything seems to be going swell, when—all of a sudden—it happens.
You hit a setback. And then, without warning, all your hard-earned progress gets thrown out the window as you struggle to regain your momentum. A few weeks pass. Then a month. Then, before you know it, you’re looking January 1st straight in the eyes, ready to roll up your sleeves and begin the cycle all over again.
So, what can you do to make this the year that you finally finish what you started and accomplish your goal once and for all? Undoubtedly, you’ve already been hit with article after article chock-full of useful advice to help you get started; however, many of these articles fail to address the reality that sometimes things just don’t work out the way we planned.
Sometimes, the unexpected happens, and we’re left to pick up the pieces and confront one obstacle after another on our quest to better ourselves.
The truth is, everyone faces adversity at some point. And dealing with those troubled waters is the real key to achieving your goals. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common setbacks regarding wellness goals, and what you can do to get back on track.
No matter how strong your willpower is, there’s going to come a time when you cave in and turn to the dark side. Whatever the situation, just know that even the most disciplined give in to temptation from time to time. You know what? That’s OK.
Instead of sticking to an unrealistic and inflexible plan, it’s best to give in once in a while and enjoy yourself. That way, you’re not really cheating. Instead of beating yourself up and guilt-tripping yourself into inaction, look at these times as a natural occurrence as you work to build better habits. After all, one bad day isn’t going to make or break you. It’s only after you’ve let it become a habit that you get yourself into trouble.
You Don’t Feel Motivated
Let’s be honest, some days you’ve got it and some days you don’t. It’s common early on to viscously attack your goal like Batman in a room full of evil henchmen. But it’s hard to maintain that excitement when you’ve stuck to the same food choices or workout plan for weeks and months at a time.
The easy solution to this is to mix things up and experiment with new things. Another great way to keep the motivation train rolling is to talk to a friend who can share some inspirational words and remind you what you’re working toward. If you’re a Viverae® member, why not call your Health Coach when you feel yourself floundering?
You Feel Stressed
Stress can lead to all sorts of issues, both mental and physical—none of which will help you reach your goal. Are you really going to feel like eating healthy when your blood pressure rises, or are you going to reach for the comfort food? Do you really feel like hitting the gym when you feel overwhelmed? Probably not.
When you’re feeling the strain of stress, it’s important to recognize the symptoms early and then address them head on instead of ignoring things and letting them get worse. Perhaps you should consider adopting some stress management techniques to help you get through the rough days. Some people find that daily meditation helps. Others turn to Yoga or deep breathing techniques. The choice is yours.
You’re Injured or Sick
This one can be tough, especially if your goal is physical in nature: trying to run your first 5K race, build more muscle, or just getting to the gym more often. An injury or illness can derail your plans in no time. The trick here is to do what you can.
Doing something, anything, is always better than nothing. Just because you’re not feeling 100 percent is no excuse to undo your progress. Try turning down the intensity. Maybe work on a different muscle group, walk instead of run, go with less weight and more reps. Get creative, and stick with the game plan. You’ll be glad you did when you start feeling better.
You Bit off More Than You Can Chew
Sometimes our goals are just a little too ambitious for their own good. We set the bar high for ourselves and try to do too much too soon, and then we wonder what went wrong when we inevitably fall flat on our face. Instead of going for an all-or-nothing approach, try to set some realistic benchmarks for yourself and shorter time-frames. Breaking your big goal down into bite-size pieces can help you build momentum as you achieve success after success over time.
Life is full of adversity. But how you choose to deal with hardship shows you who you really are and what you’re made of. Once you’ve learned to embrace and overcome these routine challenges, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals.