Step 1: Understanding & Managing Relapse
Changing your behavior is only half the battle; the other half is staying there. As Mark Twain quipped, “Quitting smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know. I’ve done it a thousand times.”
This expresses the universal frustration: We set a goal, we initially change, but sooner or later we err and, if not careful, abandon our goal. If you understand and prepare for mistakes, however, they need not be fatal.
Have you ever observed Olympic or world-class athletes in gymnastics or diving? They try to “stick it,” that is, to execute a perfect conclusion to their performance without a slip, a wobble, or a fall. You know why we’re so amazed by such an accomplishment? Because mortals can almost never do that! It’s simply not human nature to complete tasks flawlessly.
Once in a while, Olympians do manage to land a perfect score, but in the real world, virtually everyone falters in daily life. We all understand that when we first attempt to bake a cake, drive a car or ride a bike, we will make mistakes. There is a training period for all new activities, and behavior change is no different. It is a process of slipping, learning from the mistake, and trying again.
How do you normally react to your slips? Share your answer in the box below.