First, remember that a setback is not a failure! It could be a sign that you don’t have a workable plan in place. Motivation is sustained by your successes, not your slip-ups. Acknowledge that you can start over again the very same day, even at the very next meal.
Setbacks occur to everyone with everything that they are trying to accomplish. The difference between those who achieve their goals and those who don’t is their attitude to those setbacks.
Will you use setbacks as a reason for no longer carrying on with your program, or can you view them as lessons that will help you reach your goal? Mistakes can be the best teachers, especially in the beginning when you are learning which parts of the program are the toughest for you. If you know baseball, then you’ll understand that a great hitting average is .333. When you think about it, this means that the hitter misses two out of every three times that he goes to bat. However, every time he misses a curveball, a fastball, or a slider, he tries to understand how he was fooled by the pitcher’s arm motion in order to prevent a miss the next time. It’s a process in his journey.
Let’s say you missed lunch. Your kids order pizza, and you eat it. Next thing you know, you’re filled with negative, chastising thoughts. You’re thinking, “I give up. I can’t do this.” Remember that you are embarking on a lifetime weight management effort. The setbacks you encounter should not stop this effort, but focus it so that the same setbacks do not slow your progress by happening over and over again.
Harvey’s Quick Rules for Overcoming Setbacks
- Think about what happened. Did you skip breakfast or lunch? Did you eat during the day?
- Learn from mistakes: sweeping setbacks under the rug does not help.
- Forgive yourself quickly … success is failure turned upside down.
- Get rid of or fix whatever it was that set you back.
- Record what you ate, and where and when you ate it.
- Put it behind you by getting right back on the program for the next meal.
- Eat next as if nothing had happened.
- Remember, no one can be perfect, so you haven’t failed!
The words on the medallion each member receives says it best “Success is a journey, not a destination.