Push Past Set Backs

On any journey, there are setbacks. Preparing for them will get you through.
Published February 15, 2022

As with Any Journey, There Will Be Bumps on This Road

Starting a journey is exciting! And we can’t wait to help you nail this one. But it’s important to remember this: Things won’t always go perfectly. You might overeat, go (way!) over your PersonalPoints™, or find your weight won’t budge.

Guess What? That. Is. Normal!

As much as you follow the path—plan, eat, track—things won't always go perfectly. By “things,” we mean life! If you approach the journey accepting that setbacks will happen, you’ll be able to think about them differently and course correct.

Don’t Let Your Brain Trick You

We know it’s not easy to ignore off-track moments. It’s human nature to think, “I ruined this” or “I screwed up.” But our behavioral scientists insist that you can’t let this knee-jerk, all-or-nothing mindset control what you do next.

What You Think Is What You Do

How you think about things influences the action that follows. Say you ate five cookies. You could think, “Those were dee-lish. Now I’ll have salad and chicken for dinner.” Or “I messed up royally so I’ll just finish off the sleeve.” See?

Put It in Perspective

With a food setback, we tend to think we’ll never recover. But say you lost a $5 bill on the way home from an errand. Would you then drain your bank account? Once you notice these thinking patterns, you can start to question and shift them.

Treat Yourself with Compassion

Self-compassion isn’t about letting yourself off the hook, but it IS about not beating yourself up. Acknowledge that everyone stumbles, despite the best intentions. Talk to yourself like you would a friend. So something happened. So what?

You Can Probably Predict What Your Setbacks Will Be

Do you tend to overdo portion sizes? Late-night snack? Stress-eat? No judgment! But pretending that suddenly those things will never happen isn’t the answer. Instead, prepare now for when they inevitably arise—and how you’ll move forward.

Here’s How to Handle a Stumbling Block

After you’ve acknowledged it and practiced self-compassion, think of the big picture and take the next healthy step. Remember that lost $5 bill? If it fell out of one of your jacket pockets, you’d probably just sew that up, right? Right.

Want More Support?

Check out our “How to Handle Setbacks” audio coaching, by Dr. Allison Grupski, PhD, WW’s Senior Director of Behavior Change Strategies and Coaching. She’s not only a scientist but also a member and a true champion of treating yourself well. We have that and more support tools in our 5-Minute Coaching hub.

You’ve got this!