How to Conquer Setbacks

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When the clock struck midnight on the new year, many of you made a commitment to yourself that 2017 was going to be the best year for you! Maybe you decided to workout more, eat healthier, or lose weight. No matter what goal you set once the champagne wears off and “2017 real life” starts to set in you are faced with choices that do not support your midnight goals.

For instance, if you planned to start a workout regiment during your lunch break then at lunch you go through the checklist: Clothes? Check. Shoes? Where are your shoes? You forgot them at home. So much for that walk. Now, it seems, you have a choice to make. On the path to meeting your goals there are bound to be setbacks, slip-ups, and discouragements. In moments such as these do you throw in the towel or do you find another way to keep going? Use these tips to stay motivated at times like this.

Setbacks will happen, but it isn’t the end of the world. Just remember to keep it in perspective. It is okay if you forget your shoes one day – you can re-schedule your walk later or instead turn on some music and dance once you get home. When your original plan does not work out, come up with an alternative. Start a routine to help you continue toward your goal. Pack your bag the night before and put it next to the door so you almost trip over it walking out. Write your fitness plan on your calendar and treat it like a scheduled appointment. When someone asks, you can say I have an appointment at that time. Remember to keep that time for yourself.

There is no such thing as perfection. Skipping a workout or sneaking in an extra snack does not spell failure. It does not mean that you have blown any chance you have at achieving your goals. Always remember that you are human and that this is just one small setback. Use these setbacks as a learning experience. Think about what caused you to trip up. Think about ways to avoid that same situation in the future – and if faced with the same scenario again, how could you react differently?

Focus on the positives. Each day is a new day and a new chance for you to be physically active. Remember how far you’ve come, not how far you have to go. Be your own cheerleader or find a workout buddy who can motivate you to beactive. Sometimes this makes you more accountable. You can also post your workouts on social media so that all your friends can cheer you on.

Remember that feeling you had when you finished a brisk walk or followed your eating plan for the day – were you confident and proud of your accomplishments? Set small goals each day – these are stepping stones along the path to reaching your larger goals and celebrate each success no matter the size! During the holidays there are many reasons to put off being active, healthy, and achieving your goals, but remember to always make time for yourself. It is especially important in such busy times when we can be particularly stressed. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and can also be time spent with friends or alone to relax and reflect.

For more information on healthy lifestyles please contact Olivia Jones or 252-232-2261. Visit to get up to date information about healthy lifestyles programs held by N.C. Cooperative Extension.

Woman doing stretching exercises at stadium