How to Bounce Back When You’ve Gone Off Track

You may have started the year off with lofty goals and dreams for the new year ahead. No matter how enthusiastic we are on January 1st, things often don't work out quite as planned when it comes to Resolutions. That's to be expected and totally okay! I want to share with you some ways to help you bounce back, instead of ditching your plan altogether.

1. Allow yourself to process your emotions

I find most healthcare professionals, whether you are a nurse, a dietitian, a doctor, or anything in the field, tend to have a 'type A' personality and like for everything to be perfect. While this can be helpful when at work to get stuff done, it can be a challenge when it comes to our own health and working on personal goals.

If you feel like you've let yourself or others down, give yourself some time to really process how you're feeling. If you're angry, sad, or frustrated, allow yourself to feel those emotions and try to understand precisely what is causing you to feel this way. Take time to think about why you might be feeling so upset with yourself. Write your feelings in a journal or self-reflect in whatever way works for you. Ask yourself some questions to help you learn from instead of allowing these feelings to take over. Some helpful questions to consider include:

Have you made these mistakes time and time again? Is this something new? What might be an underlying reason for your emotions? They're worth digging in and thinking about.

2. Talk to someone about how you're feeling

Call a friend or a loved one and tell them your situation and how you're feeling. This can be extremely therapeutic and can often leave you feeling like a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders.

We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect. As much as we might wish that was true sometimes. But a loved one can remind you of this and help you realize that the situation is probably not as bad or permanent as you may think it is. Even if they don't offer any advice, it can be helpful just to tell someone what's going on.

3. Don't allow this situation to define you

We really are our own harshest critics. I will say it again, nobody is perfect!

Do not let your mistakes define who you are. Try to be kinder to yourself while you process your emotions and try not to speak negatively about yourself as a person. While you might be searching for forgiveness from others, try to work on forgiving yourself as well.

4. Learn from your mistakes

I always say acknowledge what happened, learn from it, and focus on the what you can do moving forward.

The best thing you can do from any negative situation is to take a lesson from it.

Learn what went wrong and try to understand why you did (or didn't do) something. This way, the same mistake doesn't have to happen again and leave you feeling so disappointed in yourself. If you learned something from it, then the situation is not all bad.

5. Allow this situation to make you a stronger and better person

If you can learn from your struggles, mistakes, and slips, then you can grow as a person.

Often the most difficult and challenging times are the ones that shape us and help us improve. It doesn't matter whether you are disappointed in yourself because of finances, relationships, work, or failing at personal goals— if you can find a way to improve, you will come out better. Your situation might even help you see the world differently. Perhaps you can learn to become more compassionate or forgiving of other people in your life who make mistakes.

All of that to say, there's still plenty of time to reach your goals for 2020. If you slip off track, take a deep breath, forgive yourself, and re-adjust.

And if you could use some support, then make sure to check out my Rx: Healthy Habit Program! This program is allows you develop one Healthy Habit in 30 days so you can start living a healthier, fuller life today! This approach is one of the best ways for nurses to focus on making healthy changes in a realistic and sustainable way.

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