How to get back on track when you slip up

Sometimes you find that no matter how hard you work on your goal of making your health and fitness a priority, you inevitably slip up or “fall off the wagon” a few times when you’re taking action towards it. You might slip up so many times that your goal starts to feel out of reach.

This post is about what to do to get back on track. But before we go into the details though, I want to emphasize that slipping up is part of the process.

I want you to know that slipping up means that you’re trying.

And I want you to understand that slip ups can give you good information for what comes next.

Now let’s begin.

Objectively identify “how” you slipped

When we slip, our tendency is to exaggerate the situation. When this happens, missing two workouts becomes “I’m not disciplined” regardless of the fact that you never missed one before this.

Exaggerating your slip up this way doesn’t help you recover. It just makes you feel like you’ve failed and less likely to pick yourself back up when you feel like a failure.

Instead of looking at what your slip up means, look at what it is.

For instance, if your action towards a more active life was to get 10,000 steps a day to stay active, not walking an average of 10,000 steps a day for the last 14 days doesn’t mean you’re lazy (even though you feel that way when you think about it). This slip up just means that you didn’t walk 10,000 steps.

To objectively identify how you slipped complete this sentence with what you didn’t do:

I slipped up because I didn’t (insert what you didn’t do)

Objectively identify “why” you slipped

As I said in the beginning, a slip up can give you valuable information as to what comes next. Understanding why you slipped can show you if your actions was unrealistic in the first place or if the obstacles that caused you to slip can be removed. 

For example, if you’re a boss lady who spends hours on client calls or preparing deliverables for your clients, shooting for 10,000 steps a day like in our earlier example might not be practical. It’ll either require you to invest in a treadmill desk or step away from your work for long periods of time. 

If you just look at your slip up as a sign of a character flaw or further proof of your lack of discipline, then you won’t spend the time digging into why you slipped up in the first place.

But like our example shows, not being able to be consistent with your actions might be a sign that you need to simplify them to suit your life a bit better.

So set aside the judgement, and bring on the objectivity.

And revise your planned actions if needed

If what you uncovered from understanding why you slipped up points to the fact that your planned actions were unrealistic, then it’s worth revising.

Revising your actions doesn’t mean you are a failure or that you’re “copping out”; I say that because we all fall into that trap, and this type of thinking does nothing for your future success.

Revising your actions doesn’t mean you’re a failure or you’re copping out. On the contrary it can set you on a course to reach your goal faster and more effectively than sticking to a actions that are unrealistic.

If we go back to our example of of trying to walk 10,000 steps to be more active when your business requires you to be in one place for more periods of time, a more appropriate action for her would be to do a 30 minute workout first thing in the morning.

This helps you “get ‘er done” instead of trying to walk thousands of steps. And you can stay “active” during the day by pacing for a minute every hour to get your blood flowing.

Then start as simple as you can to get back on track

An alternative way to get back on track is to start with the simplest actions you can take to get to your goal. This is especially effective if your original actions proved so unrealistic that you couldn’t revise it in a way that made it doable.

Starting simple has the benefit of helping you achieve success and build your confidence enough to start the tough stuff.

Here is how this would work:

  • First make a list of the things that will make you feel good about your lifestyle
  • Rank the list from hardest to simplest
  • Pick the simplest one to do (the item at the bottom of the list)
  • Set a SMART Goal to do it

There’s this idea in fitness that you need to go big or go home. Cut out the carbs, join a gym and start attending classes everyday, or insert “other action that’ll take a herculean amount of effort to execute.”

The truth is you just need to start with something that’ll give you easy wins to show you that winning is possible. 

And winning at the easy will give you the sense that you can do this and start trying for the harder stuff.

Getting back on track after a slip up doesn’t have to be hard

Getting back on track doesn’t have to be hard if you don’t want it to be. It’ll require you to take some time to reflect on what you’ve not been doing and why you haven’t been doing it. And it will also require you to sit down and use the information from “how you slipped up” and “why you slipped up” to figure out what comes next, but I promise the work is worth it.

One of the things I do to help my clients get healthy, lose weight, and get in the best shape of their lives is to create tools to that make staying on track easier. One such tool is The Healthy Eating Made Easy Cheat Sheet, which allows you to put your healthy food choices on autopilot.

With this cheat sheet, you’ll have a tool that’ll help you choose one thing to do to get your healthy eating back on track and you can get a copy of the cheat sheet by clicking the button below.

It’s time to take action

Take some time today to write a list of the things that you would like to do to feel good about your lifestyle. It could be committing to wearing makeup everyday or exercising three times a week.

After you make the list, commit to starting with the simplest thing to give you a taste of success. 

P.S. Don’t forget to grab The Healthy Eating Made Easy Cheat Sheet by clicking the button below.

One Reply to “How to get back on track when you slip up”

  1. This post and many others really are a great help to getting back on track. I have slipped so much that my back is flat on ground. But I’m not staying put, I’m getting right up. 🙂 Thanks Ejogenyi for always thinking of us as you think of yourself.

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