Set Backs Don’t Have to Keep You Down

The Comeback Plan……

How many of us have been side lined, gone off track, lost motivation or reverted back to old habits? These are called set backs. Most of us have at one point or another. It’s easy to do. But there are steps you can take to prevent challenges and barriers from getting in the way of your goals and progress. We all have challenges and barriers that have turned into set backs. But it’s how we react to them that matters. The key to success is planning ahead. Even though we all will have unexpected things come up, there are many things we can plan ahead for. Things we know “might” happen. Things that have derailed us in the past. If we plan ahead for these “maybes” or these “just incase” scenarios we already are a step ahead. It’s one of the BIGGEST ways to increase the odds of long term success. Once key habits are developed it becomes easier to stay on track even when the unexpected arises.

Almost a month ago I had to have a major organ removed. I knew the date of the surgery. I knew the recovery period. I knew everything I could possibly know. Why? Because I knew I needed to make a plan BEFORE surgery. A plan that would allow me to recover, be well, and still stay on track with my goals. If I waited until after it would be too easy to put it off. A loose plan was not going to get me back where I was pre-op. So what did I do? I gathered all the information I could. I asked questions. Talked to doctors. Researched. I did it all. Then I made a plan. My plan started BEFORE the surgery, I prepared myself mentally and physically. The plan for after was very detailed. How I would still “move” post surgery in the first few days. How I would get back to cardio. And eventually back to lifting. I had a plan and I was ready! I felt confident I would not lose ground on my goals.

But guess what? The unexpected happened even though I had a plan! I had a big complication during surgery. A complication that caused a major change to my recovery. This made my recovery period last much longer than anticipated. So all of a sudden the plan I made was no longer appropriate. When I was told about the complication post – op I was so frustrated. It would’ve been easy to quit. To just say forget it. To fall into a pity party. But that would have taken me farther away from my goals. I knew how easily habits and thoughts build on each other. When you are in a routine (good or bad) its SO easy to stay in that routine. Thoughts build on each other. If I could keep thinking positively those thoughts would multiply. But if I had negative, pitiful thoughts, those would also multiply.

So as I sat in the hospital I started making a new plan, for the current circumstances, even if just in my head. I was stuck there for a couple days so I made the best use of the time I could. Already planning how I was going to overcome this unexpected barrier. Remembering that this journey is as much about training the mind as it is the body. Train the mind and the body can do anything. I had the unexpected come up but as soon as I was able I started making a new plan and Ive been following it since.

Not everyone is going to have challenge or barrier that can be 100% planned for, but some will. And those are easy. Maybe you are traveling a lot and wont have access to your equipment. Maybe you have a surgery coming up and you know ahead of time. We can plan for that so when the situation arises you are staying on track to your goals and not letting the situation derail you. But, sometimes we don’t know what is coming. You could get sick, injured, have an emergency in the family. You could have a relative end up in the hospital long term. Or sometimes it’s as simple as losing access to a kitchen for renovations for at home healthy meal prep. Or just the holidays! The holidays can be a barrier for many. The list is endless. But for every situation you can make tentative plans, expected or unexpected. There is always a way, and I mean always a way to stay on track with your goals. Sometimes we lose a little progress because life really throws us a curve ball, and it takes everything we have just to get through it, but we can get it back after. In these cases, the plan starts after we deal with what was thrown at us. Its better than giving up all together. It’s part of life. And in life we have to be adaptable and flexible.

The goal with any barrier/obstacle plan is to keep you as close to your goals as possible while you deal with life. And these plans always involve stress management, sleep quality and health as well as anything else you want/can add. Those are all important aspects of dealing with challenging and barriers and also making a full recovery. Sometimes it is appropriate to add exercise and nutrition into the plan. Sometimes it is not. It all depends on what you are being thrown. Either way, you can make a plan to prevent you from going way off course.

This is where health coaches are helpful. It can be hard to see anything outside of the unexpected situation. It can be hard to know what to prepare for. Health coaches know the questions to ask you. The answers are used to create the best possible plan for YOU. And health coaches are there to keep you on track through accountability when it gets hard to see the path. Health coaches also understand life gets in the way and short goals are adjusted as needed during appropriate times, all while keeping the long term goals in sight. Life getting in the way is not a reason to quit. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Always a way to keep moving forward.

But guess what, if you get off track. Or if you quit for a little while. You can always start again. Always. You get endless restarts in this journey! How cool is that? So never let life get in the way forever. Opportunities are endless. Options are endless. Possibilities are endless. Remember that every day moving forward has the potential to be the best part of your life. It’s all a choice. It’s all perspective. It’s all planning.