When the going gets tough…

As Billy Ocean once said, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’.  Now we are in our final week of the #21daychallenge are you tough enough to see it through to the end.

Did you survive the Bank Holiday weekend? Or did that just completely throw you off track and you haven’t been able to get back on it? If you have fallen off the wagon, just draw a line under it and get back on it. There’s no rule that says you have to wait until next Monday, or next month. Just stop, reassess, draw a line and start again.

This is just the beginning

We may be in the final week of the #21daychallenge but it doesn’t mean the challenge ends here. This is when the real work begins because this is when we draw on the learning that we have gathered over the last three weeks, and we use it going forward. This is when we start to make the lifestyle changes and make them forever.

You might need to do the #21daychallenge again (and again!), to keep you focused. If you do, great – crack on, you do what it takes to get you to where you want to be.  You might feel that you have learnt enough, to be able to carry on without the need to write everything down.

Hopefully the act of writing things down has made you make some better choices, on the type of food you eat. It has hopefully made you research different foods that you enjoy, to enable you to make better  and more informed choices. Hopefully it has stopped you leaping into the realms of chicken and leaves, and steamed fish and kale for every meal, and you now understand what you can eat and drink, that still gets you to where you want to be.

A helping hand

But despite what good old Bily said, we know that when it does get tough, it can be hard to get going no matter how tough you think you are. So we have come up with some tips to help keep you on track, when it does get difficult.

  1. Get some perspective – When you are struggling and feeling like you want to give up, it can be really useful to get some perspective on things. Whether that is perspective on what you have achieved so far and how you will feel when you get to where you want to be; or whether that is perspective on the hardships other people have in their lives and how really eating a bit less, being a bit more organised and being mindful about what we put in our bodies is a piece of cake in comparison.
  2. This is temporary – and by this I don’t mean that what we are doing is temporary, what I mean is it is temporarily hard. Once we get used to it, it becomes easier. Much like training your body for a physical activity or a new task at work, it can be really difficult to master at first.  But it is only temporary, because pretty soon you will master it and it will become second nature to you.
    image from quotlr.com
  3. Just get back up –  If you have fallen off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up and stay down. Get back up and dust yourself off. They say the best thing to do when you fall off a horse, is to get back on the horse. It’s the same if you have a bump in your car, you need to get back driving as soon as possible. If we don’t get back up quickly, the prospect of doing so becomes so totally overwhelming that it stops us from doing it for even longer.  So get up quick and get back on track.  
  4. Surround yourself with positivity – Surrounding yourself with positive vibes can only breed positivity. Being negative and surrounding yourself with negativity just drags you down. This may mean that you have to distance yourself from negative people or situations for a short time, until you feel strong enough to manage them. If you are struggling at this game, the best place to be is with like-minded people.  People who are going to pull you up, not console you and hand you a Dairy Milk.
  5. Don’t be afraid – If you have come to realise that you need to make some changes, it can be frightening.  The main over-riding fear in this situation is the fear of the unknown.  But, how often when we have been terrified of something has it actually ever been as bad as we anticipated. It is probably a very rare occurrence.  We can catastrophise about how awful doing something might be, or we can just get on with it, and find out how awful it is, or perhaps how awful it isn’t.  

This week!

Look at what you have learned throughout the #21daychallenge. What has worked for you? What did you enjoy? What successes have you experienced? Can you make these behaviours permanent, or were they a temporary change? If what you have been doing is more temporary, tweak things to make them more palatable for the long term. Start to embed these new behaviours permanently into your life, and you are one step closer to that long term goal.

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