What happens when you mess up or go off plan?

How do you decide whether to stick with your healthy habits or to give up? Does it depend on the situation, like whether someone brought cookies to share at the office? Or if it’s raining at the time you planned to go biking?

Actually, it doesn’t. What it really depends on is… 

What it really depends on is whether you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. In other words, when you mess up is it an opportunity to grow or is it a reason to claim defeat?

This topic is particularly pertinent to children as what they learn when young will impact their future mindset. But while parents are concerned about instilling grit and resilience in their children, as adults we often practice these traits selectively. 

Consider how you react to different mistakes: 

Say you forget about a lunch date with your friend. You probably feel bad about it, apologize and move on. Maybe you figure out how your schedule went awry and change your process for going forward.

What if you sleep in, never hearing the alarm, and miss your workout? Can you move on with the same ease as the missed lunch? Or does it confirm your belief that you can’t stick with an exercise routine?

Or, consider the same failure viewed differently by different people. Two women overeat one night at dinner. One sees it as a momentary lapse and gives herself grace. She uses the experience to be more mindful in the future. The other sees it as confirmation that she has no willpower and beats herself up. The next morning she thinks “what’s the use…I blew it last night” and proceeds to grab a pastry and cafe mocha on the way into work.

The defining moment is how you interpret the mess up!

growth mindset
Photo by Miriam Alonso: https://www.pexels.com/photo/young-female-sleeping-on-bed-in-morning-7622514/

Do you want to stick with your healthy habits? Then you must rethink what you make these kinds of situations mean. And the longer your way of thinking has led to you giving up, the more effort it will take to rethink for a different, better result. 

Do not say to yourself, “this is just the way I am.” 

I get it. If you’ve behaved in a certain way, day after day, for years, it doesn’t feel optional. But growth is continual. It’s a choice. We don’t stop growing because we’ve reached a certain age.

So, when you notice that you’re making excuses based on circumstances, practice new ways of talking to yourself. Ask yourself questions that build resilience and cultivate a growth mindset, moving you forward to achieve your goals. 

That’s what a healthy hottie does.

Look at 2020 like a dumbbell

We talk about 2020 being a bad year. Or a…

Dumpster fire.



But in comparison to what?

I’m not making light. It’s that I think perspective is helpful. History is chock full of $h!i storms. But even so, beyond gaining perspective, I’m not big on comparisons.

I’d rather we decide what to do with what we have. To decide how to look at it. Interpret it. And most of all, how to respond. When we choose how to think and what to believe about our circumstances, we are in control.

No, we don’t control the things (pandemic, elections, fires). We control our response.

I’ve just come through a very challenging few months (on top of the pandemic and all the other “stuff”). Going into it, I told myself I would use the experience as my leadership development training.

And I had to remind myself of it daily. Sometimes hourly. And you know what? It worked.

It’s not even about the outcome (although I’m happy with it).

It was about who I was becoming in the process. It made me stronger for the next round. Because there will always be a next round.

When I was in my 20s and 30s, I sincerely thought I could get to a place where most things were handled. Wasn’t that cute?

My biggest lesson is continuing to live with the $h!t storms and letting them grow me into who I want to be.

Several coaching clients have lost 20, 30, even more than 40 lbs. during COVID. Because they decided there was no better time to care for their health and well-being. They used the challenge of a pandemic to do what they’d always wanted to do, but didn’t know how.

In a day-to-day context, look at challenges like a dumbbell. When you pick one up and use it, you’re growing your muscles. You may get sore, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Until you pick up a heavier one. Which is the only way to get stronger.

In a day-to-day context, look at challenges like a dumbbell. When you pick one up and use it, you’re growing your muscles.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

We’re confronted with these “growth opportunities” constantly. For you it might be working from home along with everyone else in the household. Or dealing with a family member who drives you crazy. Or struggling to say no to another glass of wine at an event.

What is your dumbbell? Use each one to become the person you are meant to be. Want to be. Deserve to be.

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