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All summer I geared up for a local Sprint Triathlon. I even have a new bike that I wanted to try out at the event.
Then 5 days before the big race I came down with a horrible virus that left me unable to do the race.
I was discouraged and a little angry (how could my body let me down now). All those hours of training not to mention the price of entering the race, plus this goal race was an important step to something bigger I have planned.
Perhaps this is you right now? It might not be a race you trained for and could not do. It might be another life goal that you really wanted to make by a set deadline but something out of your control caused you to miss your deadline and now like me you are left discouraged and wondering will you ever meet your goal?
Yes you will and I will too.
7 ways to rebound after a setback
1. Take time to vent
Don’t sweep the feelings of discouragement under the rug, address them, feel them and vent them to a close friend or a journal and move on.
2. Take time to think of how far you have come
Often when we don’t make a goal we feel like an utter failure but truthfully we have succeeded in more ways than we realize. Realize how much you have learned from pursuing your goal. Look at how going for your goal has changed and strengthened you for the better.
3. Rest a while
Take a week off from working on your goal and go out and have some fun. During this time do something that brings you joy that you perhaps put on the back burner when you picked up your current goal. For me I am going to take a few more kick boxing classes which I set aside to make room for brick workouts.
4. Become re-inspired
With in hours of deciding that doing the race would only leave my health more compromised and therefore I should not do it, I was on Facebook and saw a quote Money Saving Mom had posted that stated “ being defeated is often a temporary condition….giving up is what makes is permanent”.
The sign reminded me. There will be other Triathlons and started the process of re-inspiration.
Remember that even though you didn’t reach your goal this time it does not mean you won’t ever reach it. You just have to keep training and keep trying.
An inspirational quote probably won’t be all the inspiration you need to start again on your goal, but it is a start. I suggest following Facebook pages that often post uplifting and encouraging quotes in your goal area.
A few more ways to become re-inspired are to read a book on your goal topic or watch a documentary on it. Perhaps you even know someone in real life that has reached your goal and can share stories of their struggles along the way.
A day or two or even a whole week spent refocusing your goal instead of actively working on it is sometimes exactly what you need to make a come back after discouragement.
Spend this time asking yourself….Why did you want to pursue this goal initially? Even though you have not hit it yet have you made progress? What have you learned so far? What is working? What is not working? Do you need outside help? Do you need to re-prioritize to make more time to work on your goal?
6. Rewrite the plan
So your original plan didn’t work. Don’t ditch the goal entirely just rewrite the plan of how to reach it. You were the author of the first edition, you have the right to write a second edition and a third or a fourth for that matter.
Don’t alter the goal, alter the steps towards making it. Perhaps they have to be more gradual. Perhaps you need to have more help. Perhaps you need to come up with a way to raise just a bit more money to get your goal digging shovel moving.
7. Never give up
Don’t let giving up be an option but instead make getting up over and over one. What I mean is you will probably face many set backs, but they are just setbacks not failure as long as you are always willing to get back up alter the plan and keep running towards the finish line.
Setbacks are not a step backwards instead they are similar to a water station during a marathon. Setbacks like water stops are a place to slow down, refuel, think about what is behind us and how much lies ahead and then blow out of them and move forward.
For more ways to reach your goals check out my other time management and goal setting articles.
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