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What is Backsliding?

Backsliding is when you fall back into an old habit an can occur at anytime when you are attempting to create and maintain positive change. It can take the form of abandoning positive habits or allowing old habits to creep back into your routine. For me, backsliding is often triggered by stress or exhaustion. I will skip a workout or two and find it that much harder to then take all my supplements and way easier to go grab a bottle of riesling. Resistance to positive change will manifest as backsliding, so often it feels more comfortable to revert back to old habits. Especially in the face of serious progress.

How to Stop the Slide

When I feel outta control, I usually start getting back into my routine by adding in some of the most powerful positive actions I can think of. Sometimes, it’s just takes a few good nights of sleep and a fancy bath and I’ll feel right as rain. Other times I make an appointment with my coach therapist if I am having trouble getting back into a sustainable routine.

Usually I find old habits creeping in when I have been neglecting myself and backsliding can be a wonderful wakeup call that it’s time to fix your routine. Identifying stressors, eliminating anxiety triggers (I have to be very careful with caffeine as it can effect my mood) and upping my mealtime game can all help me come out of a backslide.

Taking a look at the admin goals that I have been unable to accomplish is another good way to identify frustrations I may be resisting handling. Remembering that it is ok to ask for help from a trusted love one or better yet, a professional is important to me when I am overwhelmed with resistance and feeling unhinged.

After a Backslide

Once you get back into a positive routine, it may be easy to beat yourself up about the backslide. Not only is that not helpful, it’s stressful and loses the lesson you hopefully learned. Often, I backslide when I set myself unreasonable goals or face a stressful obstacle or setback. With experience, I have been able to learn from some of those situations and am better able to avoid creating situations that have led to backsliding in the past. Now when I realize I’ve been eating like crap or not getting enough sleep, I look below the surface and try to get to the deeper reasons for why my routine went off the rails.

A truly sustainable lifestyle does not demand perfection, there are lessons to be learned in backsliding. The trick is to fix your routine and move on.