Lets face it. Life is messy. We have discussed entropy and that the natural state of things is towards disorder. The devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey , Irma, Jose and Maria  have topped over 30 billion dollars in damage.. The enormity of time effort and expense to restore order following a natural disaster is mind boggling. And yet, it is an unfortunate , accepted part of life. On a smaller scale, we individually experience setbacks, unexpected delays, losses, sudden illness , family emergencies, broken relationships and personal injuries.

The forces of nature, stress, unforeseeable and unfortunate circumstances all seem to conspire at one time to derail us off our tracks and keep us from reaching our goals. The path we create and follow up the volcano takes time , effort and energy. The longer the time spent on a pursuit, the greater the odds are that we will get derailed at some point. It is an almost certainty. No one can expect to go from start to finish without encountering obstacles, setbacks or derailments. So what should you do when it invariably happens?

  1. Recognize and accept that it is part of the process. You will go a long way with a healthier mindset perspective if you mentally prepare and accept that bad luck, circumstances and unavoidable pitfalls will suddenly appear over the course of your pursuits. They are beyond your control and not your fault. Its not personal or often preventable. They are the imperial laws of physics and nature. Understanding this is an important key to mental freedom. It releases you from self-blame. it releases you from avoiding resposibilty by blaming God or others. Someone trajically dies in a car crash. They weren’t drinking and they were wearing their seat belt. They may have been momentarily distracted by a sudden noise or object. They swerve and collide with a tree. It happens every day somewhere. As sad an unfortunate the event is, it is still not personal. The event itself is neutral. Its the laws of physics and how opposing accelerated forces collide to cause damage. Its tragic. Its not fair. Its life in motion.
  2. Fortunately, most of our setbacks are on a much smaller scale and we are able to recover from them. The body is a self regulating and self healing organism. Its built for survival and adaptability. When life circumstances unexpectedly interrupt our groove, the most important thing to be on the alert for is  what is being threatened. Its not our health or safety. Its our progress and momentum. Its the integrity of the neuro circuit connections. When building and strengthening positive habits, the most important element is the repetition. The nephropathy that form are essential in building competency that comes from daily practice. They become reinforced, stronger and eventually hardwired and automatic after months of repetitive firing. Until that happens, they are at risk of not properly connecting. For this reason, its never ok to say “I’ll take a break” from my goal because of an unexpected setback or obstacle. I see it in practice every day and its the hardest concept to get through to patients. They work hard towards a goal of better posture or better eating habits or fitness programs. They see changes and are proud  and excited with the positive results. Suddenly, there is an injury, illness, timetable change or family crisis that temporarily derails them from the healthy routine.  Acting responsibly, attention is appropriately turned to dealing with the urgent crisis and the routine is abandoned.
    A peculiar pattern follows after the problem has passed. The disruption of the rhythm in the once healthy routine has now reintroduced new resistance. It becomes easy to rationalize that resuming the activity can be put off until later after a period of emotional and physical recovery is received. This commonly occurs even with the most sincere intent of eventually pursuing the original goal. However, if the new routine has not been sufficiently established, then the inertia of starting over sets in and procrastination and lack of willpower take over. Before you know it, the activity has been dropped entirely without ever really challenging how this was allowed to happen.( Why do so many people suddenly stop going to the gym and cant seem to return for months? )
  3. Return to the routine ASAP. The rhythm of the action cycle and the neurologic connections that have formed are in jeopardy! They need constancy and consistency to establish and any delay puts them at risk. The rule of thumb is NEVER MISS TWO TIMES IN A ROW IF POSSIBLE. Life will always derail you temporarily. That cant be avoided. The best streaks will always end. However, respecting the streak , activity rhythms , and the formation of hard wired nerve connections will keep you on high alert to get right back into the groove that leads to developing fulfilling lifestyle habits. So what is behind the real reason why people stop going to the gym, pursuing hobbies or eating healthy?   Stay tuned for a detailed answer

What has been a previously productive lifestyle habit that you are currently not doing? Do you recall why you had given it up? Do you wish you could learn how to effectively resume it again? Please share