Welcome back to my series on setting and keeping a resolution in a way that works. If you haven’t already, check out Part 1!
What’s the hardest part about keeping a goal or resolution? Turns out, it’s not rearranging your schedule, getting started, or even ponying up the willpower to keep on truck when you’ve been doing it for a while without any slip ups. It’s getting back on track when you slip up. When you eat one cookie, it’s really easy to eat the whole box. And once the box is gone, well the day is blown so might as well get takeout for dinner! And after the take out, the new diet you resolved to follow is pretty much out the window so why should you try so hard to resist the cake you know you’ll give in to anyways? It’s hard and you screwed up so just give up and indulge.
Our little stumbles kind of spiral out of control. Too many times I’ve decided that, if I’ve eat half the bag of chips I might as well finish it. Or that I missed Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday’s workout so maybe I’ll just call it a week and start fresh next week. If I miss a couple weeks, well maybe fitness isn’t my thing. Sound familiar? When we don’t hit our resolutions, it’s not the stumbles that get us, it’s the snowball effect that we invite.
Stay with me for a second: What if we stopped at half the bag of chips and forgave myself? What if I stopped at 3 missed workouts and got back to it without the guilt trip? After all, my goal is to workout and eat healthy, not to be perfect all the time.
All too often we beat ourselves up over our minor slip ups, thinking that if we are hard on ourselves then we won’t slip up again. Why do we do this only to ourselves? Why are we harder on ourselves and compassionate to others? For instance, you wouldn’t tell your son that he’s a failure because he missed one math problem on a test. You’d celebrate! That’s a fantastic job! So when we slip up and make one wrong decision, why do we treat ourselves so badly? After all, berating ourselves for being less than perfect isn’t more likely to make us want to try again. Just like berating the child wouldn’t make him want to try again. The missing ingredient to getting back on track after a slip up? Self-compassion.
So next time I skip a couple days at the gym I’m going to forgive myself, make the next workout, and celebrate. Can you do it with me?
Check out Part 3 for more awesome tips!