Healthy & Happy  

What to do when you experience a setback

Setbacks happen to the best of us, yet watching yourself taking a backwards step may result in feelings of failure and negative self-perception. Sometimes, we hold ourselves to such high standards that even a slight slip-up feels like the indication of an end to an era, even if we’re on the brink of achieving our goals.

It’s important to keep motivated, especially in the toughest of times, because that’s when changes are made and habits are instilled. Don’t let setbacks turn into excuses, and excuses turn into reverting back into old practices. Learn to accept your mistakes as learning experiences and catapult yourself to success with these tried-and-true coping mechanisms.

Tips and Advice to Help with a Setback

Remind yourself why you started

What was it that finally made you put your foot down and commit to a new lifestyle? Whatever event it was or epiphany you had, put yourself back into that moment. Imagine continuing life the way things were before – would you be happy?

Identify the cause of your setback

Identify the root cause of your setback – not just “I was craving X, so I indulged,” but what it was that brought about your craving, or why you didn’t have the strength to resist. There’s more to failure than the actual act of it; an underlying factor is ever present.

Trying to fix the surface-level issue will solve the problem in the short-run, but enable it to reappear in the future. Though it may take a little extra reflection, identifying root causes of issues sets you up for success, as you will be able to identify triggers and become more mindful about yourself and your habits.

Switch-up your previous routine

Sometimes, all it takes to get back on track is a “fresh start”. After a while, it’s natural to tire of repetition, so revamping your strategy is a great way to re-instill proper practices. Introducing something new and exciting to your routine has the potential to excite, which has direct ties to motivation and long-term success.

Talk about it with someone you trust

When setbacks occur, it can be a first instinct to conceal and pretend like it never happened. Regret is an ugly feeling, so we often do our best to swallow things and move on, which can ultimately result in a buildup of stress and an even bigger setback when everything we’re holding back finally boils over.

To avoid this type of catastrophe, put your feelings into words. Whether that be vocalizing with a trusted friend or journaling — get your feelings out in the open. Self-realization is key in preventing larger issues from occurring, and getting yourself back on track.

Remind yourself of everything you’re doing right

Feelings of self-doubt can lead to feelings of helplessness, which may result in falling off of the wagon completely. Engage yourself in a self-evaluation, and congratulate yourself on everything you do and have done right. When you realize that not everything you do is a failure, it’s easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Life cannot be modeled by the domino effect; Just because one thing went wrong doesn’t mean that everything else has to go wrong, too.

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