Have you ever set a goal…and failed?
At some point, it happens to all of us. After all, our reach should exceed our grasp, right? That doesn’t make it easy to admit failure, or to correct it. Did you let a New Year’s resolution lapse, or slip off of a diet? Have you started shopping indiscriminately again, or stopped going to the gym?
It’s okay if you did, but it’s time to fix it.
How can you get back on track after failing a goal?
1. Pick a day to start over.
Just like when you first started towards your goal, you have to decide when you’re going to get back on board. If you can’t decide, just pick the beginning of the next month. A new beginning is a great time to tackle your new beginning.
You failed once. Accept it and move on. Past behaviors don’t have to be an indicator of future performance. Just do better this time.
3. Announce it.
Somebody has noticed that you aren’t on the wagon. Your coworkers are seeing you eating candy, or your spouse has noticed you buying things you don’t need. Talk to these people. Tell them you’re going to redo the things you’ve undone. You’ll change the world, but you have to start with yourself.
4. Don’t be ashamed of your lapse.
Unless I have seriously misjudged my audience, you are human. Humans sometimes make poor decisions. Being ashamed won’t help you, but take the opportunity to learn from the past. Do you know what caused you to fail? Are there triggers to your behavior that you can avoid this time around? When I quit smoking, I tried to avoid rush hour, because I smoked heavily while I drove and I wanted to avoid being in car for as long as possible, minimizing one of my triggers. What cause your lapse, and can you avoid it?
5. Don’t do it again.
This one should be the most obvious, but the fact that it’s a problem means it’s not. Do whatever it takes to not make the same mistakes and uphold your goals. Don’t smoke. Don’t eat garbage. Exercise more. Whatever you’ve decided to do or not do, do it….or not.
Have you missed a goal? How have you picked it back up?