At some point, we’re all going to find ourselves falling off the wagon. We’ve set up a routine, and through the workings of unexpected events we wind up breaking it. As a result, we end up feeling stuck in the chaos of uncertainty. We don’t know how to dust ourselves off and resume the routine. So how do we get back up after falling down? I’m talking about fitness but you can use these points for other things in life, too, such as goals or work. But let’s stick to fitness for the sake of consistency.
The first tip is to cancel out any negative self-talk. For some people, there’s shame in not doing what you “were supposed” to do. (Working out.) And in that shame, we bully ourselves. We speak critically; we compare our motivation or willpower to someone else’s. It’s a spiral of self-demolition that leaves us being crushed by our own worst critic: ourselves. That’s why it’s important to cancel out this type of communication. Immediately deny it. If even a single criticism comes out, speak to it. Tell it, that’s not true. Whatever you do, stop yourself from being a bully.
The second tip is to take a step back and figure out what made you fall in the first place. Was it something beyond your control, like an emergency? If it’s something you had not anticipated, it’s all the more reason not to get angry or bitter about the fall. Just know that it was a rare interference that won’t be happening regularly. The past week or so I have been struggling with my Fibromyalgia and probably feel at my worst, most probably after a too much indulging of food and alcohol on top of being stressed with my website people letting me down and handing it over to a new provider, making me feel like my business is stalling rather than progressing. I’ve been eating the most crappy foods, way too much Halo Top ice-cream and drinking way too much wine in the attempt to curb my stress, and I haven’t exercised properly (all half hearted attempts) for a couple of weeks . Stress can be stronger than any of your healthy habits you’ve been cultivating for years. I know it’s only a temporary state, and I don’t feel guilty or mad at myself at all. I know I will pick myself up again when the time comes.
However, if falling of the wagon is something you could have controlled, you have the option of learning from it. For example, if your fall was the result of having a busy schedule for the day- work, errands, family, social gatherings, appointments- then put on your thinking caps and adapt. If you’re short on time, but still want to invest progress towards your fitness goals, then get smart. Shorten your workout, but make it more intense. I have tons of quick workouts at MyFitZone to fit into busy schedules, intact I have a Busy Lives Workout Zone and they are anywhere as short as short as 5 or 10 minutes, anything is better than nothing and those that are doing this month (September) challenge – which is how many burpees you can do in 2 minutes – will realise that after 2 minutes of that, your done! Try it and you will see, current reps to beat is 64 so aim for that. Most of my workouts are around 15-20 minutes. My workouts are about training with the maximum amount of effort for the least amount of time for optimal results. That means no second is wasted. If you are not already a member then get signed up – if you are wanting results that are achievable and sustainable for life and fit into your busy life then come join me.
Another option is to schedule in your workout. Get out your planner and write it down at the best time possible. Treat it like you would any other appointment.
And finally, there’s good old-fashioned time management. It’s not exactly glamorous, let alone comfortable, but if you have to wake up earlier than you’re used to for your training, then so be it. If the goal is truly that important to you, you’ll find a way to make the earlier call time a part of your lifestyle. On the flipside, you could also fit it in during the evening; some people choose this an alternative. If there are any “gaps” during the day where you can spare 20 minutes to train, use it to your advantage! Play around with the times and find your perfect fit.
The third and final tip is to reflect upon your goals and intentions. Remember the first tip about canceling out negative self-talk? Now turn it to positive self-talk. Be your own best coach. Instead of saying to yourself, “I’m back to square-one now. I skipped a workout. I’m bad. I can’t do this. It’s impossible. I’m not like that person who has the freedom and discipline to be able to do this everyday,” tell yourself instead, “OK. So I skipped a day. Big deal. Tomorrow, it’s business as usual. Since I didn’t do anything yesterday, I can make up for it on my rest day, if I feel up for it. I’ve got this.”
Another thing to is to think about the goal. How realistic is it? Are you expected miraculous results within a short amount of time? Don’t assume you’re going to be cover-model ready for a beach holiday in just under a week. Or my latest one I heard “I’m getting married in a week, can you give me a training plan to give me sculpted arms for my dress’ – ummm – hellooooo – that is not possible in 7 days to suddenly have Jennifer Anniston arms! Consistency is key, often you won’t see results from a training programme until 3 months in, then it all of sudden starts happening. You’re also not going to be breaking world records at the gym if you’ve only been at it for a month. Have realistic expectations and goals! And make sure the life you’ve created to support them is sustainable. If hours upon hours of working out and extreme, socially distancing eating are what it takes, then you may want to re-evaluate things. Look online and you’ll see countless accounts from people who have gone to extremes. They will all tell you the things they did couldn’t be done forever. Some of them may have gotten serious health ailments as a result. I’m not telling you it’s impossible to achieve your fitness goals, but you also need to understand that nothing happens overnight. It’s a long process; a journey. And during that time, you’re going to make mistakes. Learn from them. There will be parties, holidays, and emergencies. That’s life! You can’t control everything. And the things you can control shouldn’t be ruled under an iron fist. Be flexible, but otherwise consistent. Don’t beat yourself up. You’re better than that. And if you’re in shock of having been off the wagon for a long time, welcome to the club! You’re not alone.
What matters most is that you get back up and continue on.