Lapsed: How To Bounce Back When You Let It Slip.


You were on the right track, but something has happened and now you’ve been derailed from the path you set out for yourself.

We’ve all been there, probably more than once.

Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Making a change for the betterment of yourself isn’t easy. Be proud of yourself for trying, be proud of the things you did achieve.

Talking yourself down isn’t going to help anyone. You can’t change past decisions, so let’s look at the road ahead.

You have the opportunity to go in a different direction than the one you’re heading towards right now – just like when you started all of this.

The best day to bounce back was yesterday, the second best day is today – so let’s not wait until tomorrow. The faster you’ll get to it, the less progress you’ll lose.

Remember why you decided to change direction to start with, that reason will still be there. Now use this same reason to find renewed motivation. Visualize the future that awaits you, once you’ve achieved your goals. Promise yourself you’ll do everything in your power to make it all reality in a not so distant future.

Take note of how many weeks you lasted last time, and set yourself the Primary Goal to last twice as long this time around.

To increase the likelihood of achieving your Primary Goal, get yourself a calendar – preferably a non-digital one.

Now find a marker and get to work:

  • A set amount of days per week (ideally 3 – 6 days per week): Mark the days you’re planning to ‘show up’. The days you’re planning to work on your goal, the days you’re planning to work on your new future.
  • Once a week: Mark a day you’ll take a break, the day you’ll celebrate your progress by doing something you enjoy. Planning in periodic breaks will decrease the chance of hitting the breaking point.

While you’re going on this journey, cross off the days you actually ‘showed up’ and count your streak (number of days in a row you stuck to the plan).

Keep track of your longest streak and if one day you can’t get yourself to show up as planned, try to beat this streak the next time around – this will be your Secondary Goal.

Primary Goal: Number of weeks you didn’t lapse.

Secondary Goal: Number of days in a row you ‘showed up’ as planned. Only count the days you were planning to show up.

You’ll miss out on a day here and there, and that’s fine – it doesn’t mean you failed your Primary Goal. It just means you ended your streak, your Secondary Goal.

Once you didn’t show up for two weeks in a row, however, it’s game over. You lapsed. Never abandon your plan for more than 14 days in a row.

How many weeks did you last this time? Can you get back on track and break a new record next time around?

Make it game.

A game in which you’re the hero. A game in which you’re the character that needs to be ‘leveled up’.

While playing, it’s important to remember that you’re not competing against other players. You’re competing against your own personal best.

Go for it!

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About the author

Wesley van der Hoop

Dutchman living in The Bahamas. I get excited about digital marketing, writing, traveling, surfing and learning new things.

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