It has happened to all of us at one time or another. We’ve been working hard on doing something on a regular basis, sticking with it, making it part of our routine – and then WHAM! – “It” happens (whatever “it” is that throws us off course) and suddenly we find ourselves back at square one. Having to start all over - again. AGH! It is enough to make you want to give up right then and there. So, what do you do? When it has happened to you, how did you (or did you) get back up in the saddle again?
We usually think of this happening with exercise plans or diets we start, but it is really true with ANY goal we are working toward. We work so hard at following the plan (1,200 calories a day; 5 work outs a week; whatever it is). Perhaps we even start seeing some results. We are feeling motivated. Things are looking good. We are on track. No sooner do we think that then Life gets involved. Perhaps to test our resolve. Perhaps to see how we handle a curve ball or two. Perhaps just because that is how Life goes for the majority of us.
Usually something happens. Company or clients are in town -- meaning bigger, heavier dinners and more food around than you normally would have. A sudden overload of meetings you have to attend that cut into your normal workout time – and your day is such that that was the only substantial “free” block of time you had. One meal blown or workout missed is no big deal. But have this happen a couple times in a row and you start finding your momentum is gone too.
If we can catch it there, and jump back in the saddle right at that moment, we can usually salvage it. But so many of us get discouraged. The number of the scale is now higher than before. The gym no longer feels like the place you want to go when the alarm clock goes off. The spinning class that used to kick your butt when you were attending consistently, you now feel you wouldn’t survive for the even first 15 minutes. It gets depressing. You think to yourself, “I’ve already missed doing ______ for the last 5 days. It’s not like one more little day is gonna matter.” But it DOES matter. We know that, really. Yet 5 days turns into 6, then 7, and it just gets THAT much harder to get back on track.
I’m going through this right now (and I’ve gone through it so many times in the past with so many different things that you would think I could write the book on it)! This time for me it is with writing. I have my goals of what I want to write and how much and how often – and I’ve lost my momentum. I’ve fallen of the proverbial horse, and quite honestly can’t seem to even be able to FIND the dang thing to climb back up on. Think it left me in the dust and is back at the stable now, munching on hay and carrots. It is probably thinking, “When you’re serious about riding, come find me. ‘Till then, I’ve got better things to do.” (I hate having a lippy horse.)
Well, one thing about a Zen Mama Wannabe is they do not give up. I will make it back to the stable. I will get back on that horse. I will ride away into the sunset. (Hey maybe that is my problem….I like all my dreams to have happy endings). But I wonder, when you are ready to try again, do you just GO FOR IT (you know, dive right in all gung-ho) or do you ease back into it with some baby steps? I wonder what proves to be more effective?
Sometime I believe you just have to shake things up. But sometimes ANYTHING (even just a little something) can be the catalyst to get you back in the groove. Not following a diet word-for-word but just cutting out the glass of wine with dinner or the bowl of ice cream for dessert. Not trying to do the 3.5-mile run each morning but just getting out and walking for 20 minutes a day. Not cleaning out and reorganizing the entire garage, but just going out and working on it for 20 minutes at a time. You start to make progress. You start to (albeit slowly) see results. You start to get motivated. Don’t look now but you are starting to get your momentum back. Of course getting and keeping are two different things – but hey, let’s take this one step at a time. I’m still trying to get back to my horse!