Why can’t I stick to goals, changes and plans?

Sticking to goals and making changes is hard. The hardwired system of the old habits kicks in and gets you off track. You will feel down, a failure and possibly desperate when it happens. Again. And again.

You are not alone when it comes to not sticking to goals.

Relapse in emotions

I woke up with the familiar knot in my stomach. Feeling on edge. It came from the dream. In the dream my mother’s voice was telling me the following:

‘We think (we as in my father and her) that you are very distant lately and your behaviour is very unpleasant. It is as if you are avoiding us and you are not telling us anything.’

Which is exactly what I started doing to keep myself safe.

Her voice made me crumble inside. It has been a long time since I felt that anxiety and it took me a while to get rid of it.

Relapse in diet

Holly had been doing so well with her diet. She ate healthily with the aim to lose weight and she managed successfully. But one night the urge for the cookies became irresistible and she dived into tins, packages, cupboards to find more and eventually even went to the local 24/7 to buy more biscuits and cakes. She stuffed herself like she used to do. Was everything she had achieved so far a loss?

Relapse in goals

Alberto was Mister Procrastinator. He postponed everything till ‘mañana’ (tomorrow) and of course, every day has its own mañana and as a result, he only did tasks at the last minute. That was in the past. He learned how to change his activity pattern, be more pro-active and make life easier for him by delivering before the deadline. His stress levels reduced and his self-esteem increased. And then, one day, he couldn’t be bothered. ‘Manjana’ presented itself as utopia and he gave in. Pushed himself again to the deadline.

All situations above show a form of relapse. My mother isn’t in my life anymore, Holly completely changed her lifestyle and Alberto also created new behaviours. But, as is very normal in a process of change, the old hard-wired system kicks back and lets you know you can’t be complacent.

Sticking to your goals means you come back from a relapse.

A relapse is an important reminder to show you how far you have come, how good you have been in making changes and how you need to keep focusing in order to maintain.

The process of change consists of

  1. pre-contemplation,
  2. contemplation,
  3. change,
  4. maintenance,
  5. relapse
  6. and contemplate again.

Relapse is part of the process of change. It is not a failure, disaster or total breakdown. It is a moment to wake you up, contemplate your next step and go back to your new behaviour. 

Catastrophic thinking will make you feel that all you have done has been a failure. But that is not the truth. You needed a little nudge or wake-up call and can pick up the pieces and get yourself back on track. Struggling?  Book a free chat with me by clicking here.