Bad habits are hard to break and good ones are hard to start. But what if you’ve gone back to something you’ve given up or lapsed from something you should be doing I’m here to tell you not all hope is lost! Though it doesn’t usually feel that way. When we have a back-slip it feels a lot like failure but never trying in the first place is pretty neutral. I’ve back-slid lots of times in my life, I quit quitting smoking after 8 months, I’ve lapsed from running for a few months to 4 years and I think I’m a lapsed yogi right now! When that happens we tell ourselves things like “I’m starting from scratch”, “all that hard work is lost” and “I’m such a fool!” Here’s the thing though literally none of that is true!
No matter what you’ve stopped or started doing that hard work will never, ever be lost. Just today I came back to running after 2 months off for injury and you know what I ran the whole 5k. So it doesn’t matter if you’ve stopped exercising, gained the weight back, started drinking again or let the house get totally out of control. We need to look to the world of addiction treatment and take a page out of their book a lot more than we do. I started to become aware of these ideas when talking to my doctor about options for smoking cessation years ago and the more I dig the more the information resonates. While we don’t really want addicts to just ‘stop for a while’ or cut back we want them to quit. But we meet the person where they are now and celebrate any sober periods they have. The skills gained in getting there and the return to heath for that period has value as well.
No matter how you’ve let yourself down the damage is less than you think it is. You either learned something valuable last time, gained skills and are definitely closer to your goal than you were before! Rarely is black and white thinking helpful in any situation and that’s true for this one too. If there’s something you really would like to get back to or leave behind again for good. The anxiety and negative self talk really is the worst part of getting back to a good place. So this weekend take some time and turn all that talk around what part of your previous success is still totally with you? Then, when you’re ready, make a new plan to make it work!