When Setbacks Lead to Guilt

When Setbacks Lead to Guilt (1)

Do you often feel guilty when you experience minor setbacks for your goals; whether that’s overindulging one day when you’re trying to eat healthier or missing a deadline for a personal project? Does that guilt then tend to discourage you from continuing? Does it make you feel as if everything you’ve done up until this point doesn’t matter? Does it feel like you’ve failed? Turns out, your issue is likely perfectionism. It’s definitely not a very encouraging feeling but there are steps you can take to manage it.

We as a society have very high expectations of how much we can do in a short period of time and low expectations of how much we can do over a long period of time. The goal itself is likely doable if you break it down into smaller steps. It also helps to allow yourself to take a moment to learn from the setback instead of reacting emotionally and internalizing the issue. You are not the problem. The problem lies in the process you’ve chosen to achieve your goals. There really is no point feeling guilty that you made a mistake and dwelling on it will just sabotage your overall efforts. The goal is not perfection; the goal is consistent effort and progress in the right direction.

You’re better off to start with smaller milestones and work your way up. The confidence you gain by the small early wins will help build momentum that will move you forward towards the larger goal. When it comes to health, there are no shortcuts. Short-term effort will give you short-term results. If you want to be and remain healthy for the better part of your life, it will take consistent effort to make healthy habits part of your lifestyle.

Let’s say you want to get in shape, now most people will be all gung-ho at the beginning and dive in head first. They often over-commit early on thinking they can start off working out 5 times a week for an hour just like that. These people soon realize they can’t keep up with such a rigorous schedule and often quit altogether. Now, if they committed to starting with 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes, they’d very likely have better and more long-lasting results. See, if they only go twice for 30 mins, they achieved their goal and if they go more often or stay longer, they’ve exceeded their goal. It’s a win-win. Don’t underestimate the power of small wins, especially at the beginning of a new goal. You’ll get to that 5 times a week schedule if that’s what you really want; you just need to give yourself the time to get there.

How can you break your goal down further so you create a win-win situation for yourself?

Let me know in the comments!

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