How to Bounce Back

A few months ago I got sick, and I stopped working out. At first, I was too sick to work out; then I thought I’d give my body a little extra rest and skip a few days.  Then two months went by and I hadn’t worked out, not even once.

But that’s not all.  When I stopped working out, I stopped paying attention to what I ate. And I started staying up late, eating junk and not checking my tickler file.  When I lost my self-discipline in one area of my life, it flooded into other areas.

The accomplished woman knows how to establish good habits, and to re-establish them when needed. It’s okay to take a break, but you need to know how to bounce back to avoid an ugly downward spiral.

Do you need to bounce back?  Here’s what you need to know:

Lower the bar by setting a small goal.

You need a small success to help you get back on track.  A few easy accomplishments will get the ball rolling.  You’re trying to gain a foothold, not conquer the world.  So set a bite-sized goal–and hit it.  Don’t try and run a marathon (yet).  Decide to run a block every day.

Small goals are easy to achieve, but have a huge spillover effect.

Running a block every day may not seem like a big deal, but here’s what it shows you: You are the kind of person who runs a block every day.  You are the kind of person who follows through.  You are self-disciplined, and healthy, and consistent.  These are character traits that cascade into other areas of your life.

Self-discipline begets self-discipline.

If I can (re)establish one good habit, my character becomes more disciplined.  When faced with other challenges, I respond as a disciplined person–even without trying!   A few weeks of disciplined physical exercise and I’m going to bed earlier and eating healthier without even thinking about it, because self-discipline snowballs.

A life is made up of habits.

The things we repeatedly do are our habits, and they make us who we are.  One of Gretchen Rubin’s Secrets of Adulthood is “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.

So pay close attention to what you do–and don’t do–repeatedly.

Get back in the groove

It’s okay to fall out of routine–but you have to know how to bounce back.  And then, you have to do it!

Do you need to bounce back?  What habits need re-establishing in your life?

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This post is linked to {Titus2}sdays, Women Living Well Wednesdays, and Works for Me Wednesday.


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  1. I use to run a lot {even ran a half marathon at the end of February}, but then I got pregnant {was pregnant when I raced, just hadn’t found out yet}. I did really well staying on track till about 6 weeks pregnant when total fatigue set in and I just could not get up off the couch. Then around week 11 I started running again, but much shorter distances {maybe 2 miles 2-3 times a week}. And then I got sick last week. BAH! This weekend I started slowly easing back in, by doing laps in the pool, but man, it’s hard. You’re right, you just have to keep pushing forward, slowly at first and then eventually you’ll be back.

    • Anne says:

      That’s funny, Sarah, the same thing happened to me. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t recovering from my ten miler like I expected to. Turns out I was pregnant!

      Keep pushing forward–at least for a few more months!

  2. Hannah says:

    This is so true! I’m dragging myself kicking and screaming back in to good diet and exercise. The great thing is, if I’m successful, I know it will ‘spill over’ to my hubby and children, too.

  3. Laura says:

    Well Anne, this could not have come at a better time for me!
    I have been off the rails regarding diet and exercise for about 6+ weeks now and I’m having an awful time pulling myself back together.
    I know that it’s a matter of just DOING IT!
    I really needed to read this post today and I thank you so much for writing it. It was welcomed and appreciated. 🙂


  4. Jessica @ Acting Adult says:

    I was just thinking about how I had fallen off the working out bandwagon and need to get back up there. This was such a good post for me to read today. I want to be a woman who works out on a standard schedule and makes her bed. How hard can that be? Not so, with one little step at a time.

  5. Annie Kate says:

    You’re so right! Thinking of yourself as being the kind of person who does something is a huge step. In fact, I think it’s one of the foundational tips in any major lifestyle change plan.

    It’s one of the ways I’ve overcome shyness as well as a motivator to provide a ‘second family’ to young people far away from home.

    Annie Kate

  6. Brynna says:

    Very good advice! As an “all or nothing” person, I tend to give up if I miss a day or two for whatever reason, which clearly doesn’t benefit me in any way!!

  7. Jami says:

    Thanks for the motivation! Whew…I really need to get back into working out but have been so lazy! Thanks for the encouragement and motivation…I will start small!! 🙂

    Stopping by from the Raising Homemakers Link up

    Jami @Intentionally Living

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