Remember when “falling off the wagon” really only meant that you literally fell from a wagon doing something fun (possibly foolish, but fun all the same) or your wagon tipped while crossing the river and you lost all your supplies while playing Oregon Trail 🙂 Ahh, the good old days!
As an adult you have many more opportunities to fall from the proverbial wagon; drinking, diet plans, exercise, attending church, succumbing to depression, overspending…….. the list goes on. Everyone has their own areas where they work to succeed and hence have potential to take a fall. What we have to remember is that falling down doesn’t mean you have to stay down.
You always have the choice to get back up and climb back in. Take time to think about why you began. Adjust your priorities as needed, life happens. Don’t let a change of circumstances beat you down, adjust to make it manageable again. Once your priorities are aligned, re-set your goals. Use the SMART method, SMART usually stands for:
- S – Specific (or Significant).
- M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
- A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
- R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
- T – Time-bound (or Trackable).
You can start with a small goal, get through 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week…….kill one goal and move on to the next. Set up a reward system for yourself. Dieters talk of cheat days, take that cheat meal and love it! Now if your are dealing with drugs or alcohol, I am by no means saying you get a cheat day to indulge, but please give yourself a reward. A dinner out, a new shirt, something that helps you personally feel accomplished and ready to push for the next goal. We all need to find that thing that makes us feel rewarded and striving for the next.
No matter what happens, remember that you have the choice to always get right back on that wagon! Forgive yourself and start fresh. Think positive and tell others. Allowing yourself to feel and dwell in shame or despair and not talking about it to others is only setting yourself up to fall farther from your goal.
I’m not an expert, but I have fallen off the wagon for every item I listed in paragraph 2. Some items were larger set backs in life than I wanted. Most recently I have dealt with my personal anger and shame for having gained all the weight back I lost last year. I lost it in 4 months, maintained for 3 months and gained it back in 5 months. I have dresses I wore last year that I can’t zip now and I have felt defeated, depressed, anger, and shamed. My attitude became bad because of my feelings inside. I even tried a few new diets and fell off those wagons recently, and it all has to do with my attitude and will power. I am working to re-prioritize my own goals. I am working to set new goals, new eating plans and working to continue to create a good and loving mindset of self love.
Falling off the wagon hurts, but we get tougher and better at avoiding falls each time we get back on! Live, Learn & Love.