Two steps forward, one step back. We’ve all been there, and we want to remind you of something important—focus on the two more than the one. You’re still moving ahead.
Rather than quit or berate yourself for falling short, look at setbacks as an opportunity, says Laura Salazar-Hopps, MDiv., BCC, Supportive Medicine Chaplain at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center.
“This week is a great chance to reflect on the past four weeks,” she says. “Take time to appreciate the progress you’ve made, whether it’s been due to exercise, healthy eating or kindness and compassion for yourself.”
Reaffirm Your Goals
It’s time to pause and ponder, Salazar-Hopps says.
Remind yourself of the accomplishments you’ve made and the joy you’ve felt over the past month. Also think about what you’ve learned and how you can use these new tools throughout 2020.
Decide how you’d like to feel a year from now. But keep it real, making new goals that build on your steps so far.
Resist self-criticism. Getting in touch with positive results from the last four weeks will help propel you and be more sustainable.
Be Kind and Unwind
Don't forget: Research proves you're more likely to reach goals if you self-love rather than self-loathe, Salazar-Hopps says.
Remember, too, self-care isn’t selfish. “You need to maintain kindness and compassion for yourself in order to have it for others,” she says.
Just as with healthy eating and exercise, your actions toward recharging and rebounding speak louder than words. Show your loved ones that you respect not only them but yourself.
Make sure you have someone who wonders how you’re faring with your healthier lifestyle or is waiting for you at fitness class. “Accountability really motivates us to sustain healthy habits,” says Salazar-Hopps.
Analyze Your Setbacks and Seek Help If Needed
If you spot a pattern to your personal roadblocks, you may need to adjust your approach and fine-tune your schedule and priorities.
Or, you may need backup. Consider who can help you prevail—perhaps a mentor, fitness trainer, dietitian, doctor or wellness coach who’s knowledgeable in the areas you feel need improving.
But insights don’t need to come from professionals.
“We’re social creatures, and we’re influenced by people around us. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with people who are working toward the same goals,” Salazar-Hopps says. “You’re not alone. Anything you’re coping with, others have gone through as well. Finding support normalizes your challenges and helps motivate you going forward.”
You can share recipes and bounce ideas off others in like-minded communities like the Resolution 2020 closed Facebook Group, fitness classes and wellness apps. Or, check out podcasts and YouTube videos.
“See what resonates with you,” she says.