Every week at Hustle we speak with clients who have fallen out of the routine of exercise or have returned to making poor food choices. So how do we deal with a lack of motivation or falling back into old habits without giving up all together? The first thing to do is to accept that these things happen to everyone. It’s part of being human, and it’s definitely not the end of the world. If you can learn to understand that it is part of a cycle you will improve your chances of being able to manage to succeed in the long term.

Why do we lapse?

There are a number of triggers that may cause people to lapse but some of the more common ones include:

  • Hunger
  • Being too restrictive with our eating
  • Not planning ahead
  • Having trigger foods easily available
  • Stress
  • Boredom
  • Illness or injury
  • Social events
  • Unrealistic goals
  • Low levels of self-confidence and motivation
  • Self-sabotage

The Stages of Change

In the late 1970’s the Stages of Change Model (also called the Transtheoretical Model) was developed by Prochaska and DiClemente. The idea is that we do not change behaviours quickly, rather it occurs in a cyclical process. Let’s take a closer look at each stage….

Pre-contemplation: in this stage we are not thinking seriously about making a change. We place little value on the pros of changing a particular behaviour and consider it too much of an effort.

Contemplation: in this stage we are aware that a change needs to be made. We often weigh up the pros and cons but still may have mixed feelings about making a change to our behaviour.

Determination/preparation: we’ve realised that something needs to change and we are ready to do it in the next month. It is during this stage that we may seek advice and support from a professional such as a GP, Personal Trainer or Registered Dietitian.

Action: in this stage we have recently changed our behaviour (within the last 6 months) and intend to keep moving forward with healthier habits.

Maintenance: we have made the change consistently for 6 months and are confident we can sustain it. There is less chance of relapse now that the change has become a regular habit.

Lapse/relapse: lapses and relapses are included in the stages of change as it is important to accept them as normal and something to be expected. Lapses are something to learn from, and to help us become stronger in our resolve to change.

Here are our top 3 #HUSTLEHINTS for coping with a lapse:

  • RECOGNISE that one lapse is not the end of the world. Mistakes happen. Don’t let negative thoughts take over.

  • PLAN what you are going to do so that slip does not become a fall. Identify the problem and make a list of possible solutions for the future.

  • LEARN by thinking what is happening around you. Ask for support if you need it.

One lapse is not going to ruin your goals, but giving up will. Recharge, recommit and return to your HUSTLE. healthier habits!