We all have those days and times – you’ve managed to stick to something – a diet, a new fitness plan, developing a new habit etc – and then you slip up. And then you do it again. And soon, your new routine seems like a sweet, distant memory. And you wonder how to get yourself back on track.
Well here’s how.
A few weeks ago, regular readers (hey! Join us!) might remember that I missed a week of sending out my weekly email. When I finally got around to writing it, I explained that I had been on vacation – but that wasn’t actually the full story.
Yes, I had been on vacation for the past week – however, during that time, I had found it so difficult to stick to all my routines (especially eating properly) – and it had made me sick.
Going on vacation can be tough, when you have a fitness plan and a healthy eating system to maintain. Especially in some parts of the world, where food is either more expensive than you’re used to, or just doesn’t look so appetizing. In 5 days, I lived off fish, bread (wholewheat, but still), as many healthy-looking vegetables as I could find, green tea and – I’m ashamed to type it – quite a bit of pizza.
To me, pizza is like a drug. And, it was so cheap and easily accessible where I was vacationing, that adding a very hungry Fliss together with the kryptonite that is pizza, it made for a very bad combination indeed.
Of course, once I got back home, I managed to get back in the routine pretty quickly – however the way those few days made me feel – miserable, sore, starving – not to mention the physical symptoms of bloating, headaches and stomach problems – continued even after I returned to my routine.
I got to thinking about all those times before, in mu previous life, when I had tried my best to get back on track, and failed miserably. It was one of the things which kept me a prisoner of my low self confidence for the longest time.
So here you go: this is the routine I used when I eventually managed to crack the code to getting back on track – in every situation.
The Sweet Clean Living Guide to Getting Back on Track – for Every Situation
A quick note – these are general guidelines, not a list which you need to take in chronological steps. Read the below, and put the advice into place either together, or in any steps you feel you can. the key here is to do your best, not do it all at once, or you’ll find yourself trying to get back on track fairly often.
The key to anything – trying something new, reintroducing a routine – is not to go into it, cold turkey-style.
It doesn’t matter if you’re really well-prepared or a complete newbie, either – getting back on track is all about transition, so easing yourself into it – whether it’s a diet, fitness plan or new habit – requires a gradual approach.
Of course, this can be more like 50:50, than 70:30 – for example, with a diet, you would cut down on eating non-healthy foods first, rather than cutting them out altogether; for fitness plans, you could work out three times a week initially, rather than 6 days a week.
Look At Your Triggers
In the example I gave you about my vacation, above, it was pretty clear what my triggers where – being hungry, and being around my first true love – pizza (my second true love, my husband, was also stuffing his face, but that’s another story for another time).
What can be seen from this is that my triggers were both an emotional need (being hungry) and a specific temptation or object (pizza!). If you’ve fallen out of your routine or plan etc, and want to get back on track – understanding your own emotional and temptation triggers is probably one of he most helpful, not to mention important, things you should be doing. If you can’t understand why you did something, how can you possibly know how to fix it, after all?
Set – And Stick To – Your Routine
If you look at the cause of your new routine or plan going wrong, you’ll find 90% of the time that it was due to a change of your daily routine.
By removing yourself from your usual rhythms of life – e.g. waking up in the morning, going to work coming home etc – if you change even one element of that, it will throw you off your new work out plan, or diet etc.
For example – if you’ve started planning your meals and are expecting to go home after work and eat once of the healthy meals you planned, and then go away for a week and don’t know what you’ll be eating and when, it’s much more likely that you will fall out of your healthy meal planning routine.
Obviously, there are ways around this, such as –
If you know your triggers, and have previously tried to get back on track before, you might find that your obstacles happen when you don’t prepare enough. In the example I gave above of the healthy meal planning, going on vacation could have been planned slightly more, in order to keep on track: finding healthy restaurants, and menu planning around your hotel or places of interest, and even tracking down the nearest supermarket would be, in order to buy snacks and other healthy treats.
Set Your Goals – and Stick To Them
Getting back on track is not the easiest of tasks to do – and, like I mentioned in my own example, the consequences of not sticking to your routine can be felt even once you are successfully back on track, which only makes it harder.
The way around this is to plan little by little – start by setting yourself a goal – ‘by X day, I want to be working out X times a week – and make sure you stick to you it, by building up slowly.
Remember – there is no timeline. You can get back on track when you decide to, but in general, the slower, more gradually you do so, the better. The more you pressure yourself, the worse the fall, after all!
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Also published on Medium.