It’s a common cycle amongst humans. To get into patterns only to fall out of them.
While frustrating, it’s not entirely abnormal. In fact, cyclical changes are not only normal. They’re often a good thing. Making the problem not in the change itself but the lack of preparedness for the change allowing it to throw you out of balance. Crashing your expectation of perfection that was set in the season before.
But just because you’ve fallen off track and gotten out of a routine doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. It doesn’t have to become a defining pattern of your life, where you are “really good” for a week only to hit the weekend where all bets are off. You can get back on track with a few simple steps.
The most important step being awareness. Which is the first and most critical step in anything. Because you can’t change what you do not see or know. Of course, you may feel it out of balance, but more than just feeling it, it’s important you work to understand what it is you feel.
Why do you feel out of balance?
What caused you to fall out of routine?
Dig into it and get to know this space. The more you understand it, the more easily you can change it.
Once you understand what threw you off, you can start to understand if this thing you’re working for is working for you. Is that healthy eating plan really working, or is it so outside your routine that you don’t even desire it? There truly is a lot at play when we can’t get ourselves to stick with the thing we know we should.
Stop trying to hate yourself healthy.
Perhaps, it’s time to start over, create a fresh beginning instead of repeating the same pattern and jumping on the bandwagon that you’ve fallen off of one too many times. Maybe that thing you’ve been trying to get yourself to do, you don’t really want to do.
Don’t get me wrong, healthy living practices should be the foundation of our routines. But we can’t force ourselves into them. We can’t hate ourselves healthy. Yet, at the same time, we know all good things come with a bit of work and discipline.
So perhaps the question you need to ask yourself the most is, what are you willing to struggle for?
What are you willing to lay down or say no to, in order to achieve what it is you’ve been working so hard to achieve?
What are you willing to do that pushes you, but you also know is the very thing you need to do to move toward the goals you’ve set?
Failure is our best teacher.
Healthy living doesn’t come easily, but it shouldn’t be complicated either. If you can’t keep yourself engaged, perhaps the things you’ve been trying just aren’t working. There is no shame in that. In fact, I’d argue that failure is our best teacher. Allowing you to learn and grow and make movement in the direction you desire.
Remember, falling off track is not a setback. Don’t let it get the best of you or make you believe you are anywhere less than where you need to be. Don’t let the shame and guilt of this place keep you stuck here. It’s okay to be here, but the most important thing is that you know you don’t have to stay here.
Especially when it comes to your healthy living patterns. Just because you fell off your plan doesn’t mean you need to wait or start again next week. It only takes one choice to get back on track. Showing up and doing the right next thing.
Here are a few simple ways to get back on track when you’ve fallen off your healthy living plan.
01: Calculate Your Energy Level
Most likely, you let your routine slide because you lacked the energy to follow through with it. And when you lack energy, you also lack willpower because energy produces willpower. So go back and understand where your energy level falls.
Do you feel like you’re just surviving or in a state of thriving?
If you feel like your energy levels are out of balance or lacking, do one or two things that fill you back up.
Create a list of energy fillers to come back to in times of need. Here are a few ideas to get started.
- Get outside and move your body.
- Soak up the sun and read a good book.
- Take an Epsom salt bath.
- Call a friend and catch up.
- Turn up your favorite playlist and sing to it.
- Try an energy fix.
02: Do the next right thing
Humans were designed to work. It’s in our DNA and a part of who we are. Action produces energy which produces the drive to keep you moving forward.
If you want to change, you have to do something to change the situation.
But don’t overcomplicate it. Do the simple things or the next right thing. Action not only produces energy, but it also reminds you that you will show up for yourself. Creating the safety your body needs to change.
Here are a few simple things to do when you’ve fallen off:
- Make a smoothie and enjoy it.
- Pick up the ingredients for your favorite home-cooked meal and make it.
- Stop by your favorite gym for a quick workout class.
- Pour a glass of water and drink it.
03: Schedule A Sabbath and Keep It
Overscheduled weeks are a leading culprit in derailing our plans. Sometimes we ask our minds and bodies to do the impossible by trying to do too much and do it all well.
But we weren’t created for all that. And we certainly weren’t created to take in all of the information we have been. Make sure you balance your life by scheduling in a sabbath. A day of absolute rest, play, and enjoyment.
Plan one day a week free of work, social media, and your computer. I promise it will make you much more productive.
04: Get back to the basics with planning.
I don’t like to think of a plan as a hard and fast rule or another set of expectations, rather a set of boundaries. Lines that keep you squarely in the location helping you arrive at the destination with less work and struggle than life outside of a plan.
We know planning is critical in healthy living, but don’t get so caught up in the perfect planning method that you fail to plan.
There is no right or wrong. The only thing that is wrong with planning is when you do it outside of how you naturally work. When you try to force your body and mind to do things you don’t like to do. It’s like fitting a square peg in a round hole. It just doesn’t work well, even with force. So trust yourself and what you need and make a plan that works for you.
Buy a good planner, one that has plenty of space for you to make it your own, and create a weekly planning session to create boundaries that keep you on track.
05: Drop the expectations – for real.
Unmet expectations are a draining mindset that can leave you wallowing in shame and guilt, stealing all of your energy. While expectations feel like a necessary evil, you don’t have to set expectations.
Expectations are not the same as goals. They’re quite different. Expectations don’t leave room for margin or learning opportunities. Instead, keep your mind open and learn how to embrace the unexpected. Rather than moving away from it, use it to re-center your rhythms and routines around.
Set priorities for the day but leave the expectations at the door. This means you create margin in your week. Understanding that life, while outside of much of our control, will take more time than anticipated. Plan for it by scheduling fewer tasks each day and more space to get them done instead of fearing this. That way, if or when the unexpected happens and the day doesn’t go as planned, you have room in your schedule tomorrow to make up for it.
Life is not about living a certain way – it’s about living every day.
Maybe you need more than a plan to get you back on track, but a perspective shift that reminds you there is no wagon to fall off of. Life is not about living a certain way. It’s about living every day. And the only way you can live every day is if you stop worrying about where you are or what you’re not doing and live fully aware of the present.