Getting Fit in Cornwall.
One of the first mistakes people make when
they fall short of their goal is to think, "That's
it, I've blown it. I'll never make this work.
Maybe I'm just destined to be a couch potato."
believe it. A one-time slip doesn't mean you're
a failure. It doesn't mean you're fated to be
sedentary. That's the all-or-nothing trap, and
plenty of people with the best intentions have
fallen into it. People mistakenly think, "Either
I stick to my plan and meet my goal, or I'm a
The fact is, all-or-nothing thinking is taking
the easy way out. It's a fancy way of quitting.
Maybe you've missed a day or two of activity.
Maybe you've blown a whole week. Maybe you've
been sick, injured yourself, or run into some
family trouble, and you've been out of commission
for a month or more. The important point is to
understand it for what it is: a lapse . Sure you've
fallen a step behind, but your hard work is not
lost. Remind yourself of all you've learned and
how far you've come since you started. Look back
through this book if you need proof that you've
made progress. With a little effort you can take
two steps forward and keep up the progress you've
been making. One thing you don't want to do is
The key to recovering from a lapse is to act
fast and get active immediately. Here's what to
Be honest. Admit to yourself that you've hit
a snag. Figure out exactly how long you've lapsed
and think about what knocked you off track.
Turn to your support troops. If you've gotten
support and encouragement from friends or loved
ones, now is the time to turn to them for another
pep talk. Again, be honest. No one likes to admit
that they've faltered, but by telling someone,
you may be able to enlist help to get out of the
rut and back on track.
Start self-monitoring immediately. If your schedule
has changed significantly since you last filled
it in, you may want to update your Personal Time
Study. Either way, the point is to identify opportunities
to fit in activity. Write them down on your calendar.
Set new goals. This is a good time to look back
at your current plan and goals. Think about ways
you might revise them to make them work better
for you. To renew your motivation, look for ways
to incorporate activities you enjoy. If you've
been sick or injured, don't let it be an excuse
to stop permanently. Set a date when you will
start again. You may need to work up slowly to
the level you were at before. That's fine. The
important thing is to commit yourself to a goal
of getting back into an active lifestyle. Give
yourself a little time, and you'll regain all
the lost ground.
Avoid negative messages. Remember those discouraging
voices that sometimes speak up when things go
wrong-the voices that say things such as "failure,"
"can't," or "never"? Now is
the time to counter those negative messages with
positive ones. Instead of saying, "I can't
stick to my plan," remind yourself that you
did fine for the first month, and come up with
a plan for what you can do from now on.
Focus on your strengths. This is another way
to accentuate the positive. Look back over the
period when you were doing well. Think about the
personal strengths you discovered. Maybe you learned
that you like doing activities with other people.
Perhaps you found that you achieve more if you
have a specific plan and a schedule for meeting
your goal. You may have been surprised to discover
that you enjoy certain activities, such as dancing
or roller-blading. Enjoying activities is an important
strength you can leverage. Once you've identified
your personal strengths, think about ways to use
them now to get yourself back in the game.