5th March, 20203 min read

How to get back on track when things go wrong

How to get back on track when things go wrong
Medically reviewed

If you’ve tried and failed to develop healthy habits in the past, you probably already know how easy it is to slip up. From everyday stress to ill health, life can often get in the way of the best intentions.

Developing a new habit is difficult and going off track is completely normal, but it’s important to be prepared for a slip up and know how to bounce back if you’re to succeed at creating a healthier lifestyle.

This article will show you how to pick yourself up when things go wrong.

How to get back on track

The next time you fall off track, try to respond constructively instead of beating yourself up. A slip up can help you establish which healthy habits suit you best, and it can take several attempts to find your ideal strategy.

Ask yourself how you can start working towards your goal again, and perhaps make more sustainable change.

Follow these 4 steps to make the process easier.

  1. Think about what went wrong. Ask yourself what may have caused you to return to your old habits and how you can deal with setbacks in the future.
  2. Remind yourself of what you want to achieve. Make a new plan to recommit to the goal you initially set yourself. You can write it down and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day.
  3. Revise your goal if necessary. It’s possible that your original goal is no longer realistic or important to you. Change your goal to suit your situation.
  4. Take the first step. Once you’ve set yourself a goal and identified your weaknesses, take the first small step. For example, have fruit for dessert instead of a cake. This will help to ease yourself back into a positive mindset.

Woman achieving lifestyle goals

How to stay motivated

It’s not the setback that matters, but how you handle it. It can be disheartening when you find yourself returning to unhealthy habits, but it’s important that you don’t lose motivation.

How can you get motivated again? Recall how you felt when you first decided to change your lifestyle for the better. Remind yourself of why you originally accepted the challenge and the reasons that motivated you.

At the same time, forgive yourself for the occasional slip up. You may have eaten too much on vacation or stayed up too late after a party. Allow yourself a treat every now and then, but return to your routine when you can.

Give yourself time

It can be frustrating when you don’t see results quickly, but try to remember that change isn’t immediate.

Focus more on your everyday achievements and congratulate yourself for each step you take towards a healthier lifestyle. Keep a record of positive changes so you can reflect on them.

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Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.

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