You are mastering healthy lifestyle habits in an unhealthy environment. You’re likely to slip up and fall backwards now and then and feel like you're losing the fight but don’t let your temporary lapse in judgement define you. You can still win the battle. Let your slip up refine you. Work through it and learn from it. Here are 7 tips to use that failure to move your forward towards success...
- Manage expectations. It is unrealistic to expect a child to learn to walk without ever falling. Falling is not a failure. It is how the child learns to balance. It is also unrealistic to expect a 20, 30, or 40 year old person to make healthy choices 100% of the time, after decades of practicing unhealthy choices. If you will take the time to reflect and change your perspective on failure, success is within your grasp.
- Suspend judgment. Thoughts like “I”ll never get this right!” Or even “I can’t believe I blew it again!” Convey a lack of confidence in our ability to succeed. Positive or negative, we often live up to our expectations! We would never think to belittle a child that falls when they are learning to walk. We understand that building up their confidence is an important part of their process of eventually walking successfully. Our thoughts and words can either empower or crush our confidence, and ultimately our will to try again. If we are to learn from our mistakes and pick up the courage to try again, we need to suspend judgment.
- Review your performance. Top athletes often review film of their performances to identify what they did right and what they did wrong. The purpose of the review is to improve their performance. Will you pursue the goal of achieving the optimal health with the same passion as an elite athlete who’s pursuing their life-long dreams and goals? Think of the last time you felt you failed. Review the facts without judging them. Ask yourself the following questions: What happened? What day did it happen? What time of the day was it? Where were you when it happened? Who were you with? Why did it happen? Where you Bored, Lonely, Angry, Sad, Tired, Eager, Distressed or Something Else?
- Identify the road blocks. As you reviewed your performance, you identified some barriers to successful performance that are specific to you. Maybe it was a birthday celebration, or the friends you were with. Maybe you were hungry as you drove past a favorite fast food place. Understanding which physical, mental, and financial barriers stand in the way of your successful performance can help you create a plan for success.
- Define the win. The next time you are faced with a situation similar to the one you described above, what would make you feel successful? What do you want to create? What do you want to be, do and have?
- Remember why. In the daily grind of life we can lose our motivation if we don’t remind ourselves about why we started this journey to begin with. Remind yourself daily why you are willing to face the challenges and conquer the obstacles.
- Create a map to success. Write out your plan. Include your goals, why they are important, a list of potential barriers, and the action steps you will take to get around the barriers. Having a written plan that you implement and updating that plan as needed will eliminate detours and accelerate your progress to the summit of success.
We can allow our failures to limit our potential, or we can use them as stepping stones on our climb to Extraordinary health. How will you choose to use your mistakes?
I hope you found this list helpful and wish you the best in success and optimal health in the days, weeks, months and year to come!