We all have goals and great intentions when it comes to improving our health and fitness, but for so many it seems that the same goals are hopelessly pursued week after week after week. So often people commit in their minds to change their diet and eat more mindfully, or to start a new exercise plan and stick to it, yet as soon as they slip and make a wrong choice they fail to get right back on track. It’s always more convenient to “wait until Monday” to start over again; it’s never today, or right now.
I’m not sure if this analogy I’m about to share will help, but when I heard it on the radio recently I thought it could be used as a useful tool to help break those bad habits that sabotage good intentions. The analogy referred to “slips” and “falls,” implying that a slip can be quickly and easily remedied, whereas a full-on fall can result in more damaging and long-lasting consequences. Most people “slip” frequently, but only a few acknowledge slips for what they really are; the rest act as if they took a crippling tumble or fall.
For example, think about all those times that you committed to eating healthier, but as soon as you slipped up, you used that slip as an excuse to start all over again, but – on Monday of next week, or worse still, next month. It could have been Wednesday at a staff lunch meeting that you over-indulged, but for some reason it makes sense to slip back into old eating patterns until once again, Monday comes around.
Here’s where the analogy comes into play; imagine that you are living in a city where the winters bring snow and ice, and the sidewalks and parking lots are so slippery that it takes careful footwork to make it from your office building to the car. As you’re attempting to get across the parking lot during your lunch break, you slip on some ice but thankfully it’s just a slip and you’re able to catch yourself from falling too hard. You quickly get back on your feet and start moving forward again.
Why did you get back up and keep going? Because no one in their right mind would stay down on the ground if they were capable of getting back up. Yet when it comes to a slip in one’s diet or exercise efforts, most will choose to stay down on the ground, despite having the ability to get back on their feet.
With that in mind, the next time you slip and momentarily hinder your goal efforts, visualize yourself in that icy cold parking lot and ask yourself if you want to be a fool who stays down on the ground, or if you’re smart enough to brush yourself off and keep moving forward, towards your goal.
What are you going to do next time you slip? Stay down, or get back on your feet and keep moving forward?