Life happens. It's a cliché, but it's true. Illness. Injuries. Major life changes. All of these can have significant impacts on how we move forward with our health and wellness goals. "Getting back on track" is a popular saying, but what does it really mean? And how can we truly push forward into a better version of ourselves?
Honoring the person you were
Imagine this. You set your goal of accomplishing a half-marathon a year ago. Between that time and the current moment, you have become a new parent and also sustained an ankle injury. You are back on the running paths, but you are finding it difficult to balance your new life, rehab and a training schedule.
Understandably, most people would get frustrated with themselves, especially if they were focused and succeeding before the major lifestyle change. This can be accompanied with thoughts of failure and disappointment in your progress.
It is important to come to the realization that you are not the same person you once were. Time and experience has shaped your current situation, and some may feel the constant need to compare themselves to a past version.
Think of this feeling as grief. In order to move on from the feelings and to change your mindset to focus on the task at hand and honor the person you once were.
As the executive leadership coach, Marlene Green, says :
"It is important to honor the past, our memories, our relationships, our experiences. They have shaped who we are today for good or ill."
It is important to honor the past, but don’t stay there. Don’t get stuck in remorse, hurt, regret, or pain. Learn to forgive yourself, to look at the past with humor, and then redirect your attention to the present. Learn to let go.
Did you know you are allowed to change your mind? You are allowed to change your goals? Your wants? Your needs?
Look at your past goal. It is still reasonable, do you even want to accomplish this anymore? If yes, great. If no, that's okay too.
You are an ever evolving human being and you are in charge of changing your desires if you feel they no longer reflect your needs or wants. Stop thinking about what others perceive, your goals are for you, not them.
Reevaluating is a great skill, even without major lifestyle changes. Take a look at the following chart if you need a handy guide on how to do this:
Practice Self Love and Compassion
Self love is not what you think it is. Self love is a mindset, in fact I believe it's a skill. It's an inner coach that celebrates you and your little successes.
When you practice self love after a set-back, you are forgiving yourself and being kind to the new person you are.
I love this Ted Talk from Dan Harris about changing the idea and perception of what self love is.
We are meant to Evolve
Mindsets, just like any other skills, are meant to grow, change and adapt over time. If any of you have ever been in therapy, you'll know that you need to practice your coping skills in order to better them. This is true with goal setting and mindset changes.
Practice your mindset, test it. Remind yourself of the base reasons why you are or aren't changing your goals.
I am not the same person I once was.
I am allowed to change my mind and my focus.
I honor the person I once was, but I'll be focusing on the present me from here on out.
I have adapted my goals to fit the current version of me. This is setting myself up for sucess.