A couple of weeks ago you were on your A game. You would read 3 to 5 times a week, meet targets at work, sleep well and wake up early in the morning — motivated and pumped to take on any challenges thrown at you.
But, there was a moment of weakness, you messed up and went on a binge. Your old bad habits start creeping back to your life again.
Whatever the reason — a vacation, breakup, illness, injury and so on — you fell off your diet plan, skipped workouts, fell behind in the quality of your work and lost the motivation to take good care of your life.
Now you’re stuck in a downward spiral of negativity because it seems like all the progress you’ve made has been ruined.
What should you do next?
1) Forgive yourself
First things first, forgive yourself. To move forward and focus positively on what you want to achieve, you need to let go of your disappointment and frustration. Like the old saying, no point crying over spilt milk, negative emotions serve you no purpose and will not help you to make any progress in life. Leave the past in the past and focus on the future.
2) It’s not All or Nothing
One reason people fail at creating habits is because they set their goals too high. If you want to wake up early everyday, it's better to do it just 50% of the time than giving in and not doing it at all.
It’s good to set high standards for yourself but not to the extreme that it sabotages your success. Remember to forgive yourself and move forward. It's ok to mess up every now and again, accept the glitch in the plan and commit to starting again.
3) Start Small
If you have missed a couple of weeks or months of your good habits don’t try too much too soon. Jumping back into an hour of reading everyday might be too much to hope for. Try starting with ten minutes and slowly build up. Start small and create the momentum to continue.
4) Remember Your Why
It's easy to forget why you commit when you stop practising your habit. Remember your why. Why did you want to practise this habit? How did you feel when you achieved it? What were the rewards? Pick up the motivation to getting back on track by understanding your original intention and make sure you feel the joy of already having mastered the habit.
Try to do more than one thing at a time. If you have gone off track with all your good habits start getting back on track with one at a time. It won’t take you as long as it did the first time round. Each habit you create, strengthens the neural pathways in the brain so all the hard work you did was not for nothing. When you stop practising they don't disappear straightaway, once you start again, recreating those habits become easier and quicker.