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Deviations from the Plan

I had one of those eureka moments today (or YOUreka in the You on a Diet book I’m in the middle of reading). I just read a section of the book in which the authors emphasize how your attitude about failure has a big impact on your success with changing your diet and fitness habits. As I read the typical scenario of “falling off the wagon” and then beating yourself up about it and letting it through you into a tailspin of bad behaviors, it had a familiar ring. I’m quite good at beating myself up. In fact, for the past week I have been having a very hard time keeping to my new resolutions and immediately had that sense of failure. I found myself thinking, “Here we go. You are messing up again.” I know that this is not helpful, but today I suddenly realized a new twist. I need to recognize the typical ways that things go awry in my busy week and develop contingency plans. Rather than desperately trying to not fail I need to say, “Sometimes I will not be able to do a, b or c and when that happens I will do d, e or f.” Wow, planning for “failure”… expecting it as a normal thing rather than hoping against hope that this time I won’t. Definitely a mental shift. One thing that I have learned is that gaining a new perspective isn’t a magic bullet. It is just the beginning, but in the right direction!

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