You already failed. Darn it... What now?

We’ve already failed….

We’re two weeks into the New Year and most of us have given up on being perfect (a.k.a. following through with our “New Year’s Resolutions”). At least that’s what the stats say.

Let’s be honest, I personally know maybe one person, whom I can’t actually put a name to right now, that has perfectly performed every New Year’s resolution they set out to achieve. And if I could think of that one person, I’m sure they’d be more like a robot than a human being. My apologies if you are that one person who has flawlessly carried out every New Year’s goal you’ve ever set… but for the rest of us...

We’re real people with real lives. And we’re right in the middle of living those lives, rather imperfectly.

Just yesterday, I needed to add some water to the pool. I turned the water on, went to put my daughter to bed and…fell asleep.

When I woke up this morning, I heard something that sounded like running water. And it hit me! “I flooded the backyard, and probably my house too!” I ran downstairs expecting the worst, but thankfully it was only the backyard. Instantly, I started thinking about the water bill.

“It’s going to be several hundred dollars more than usual. That’s the last thing I wanted to spend money on.”  And in that moment, I had a decision to make. I could either:

Forgive myself and move on


Think about it all day and be miserable.

Hmmm… It’s a toss up. It shouldn’t be, but many times it is. Both options left me with the same soggy yard and paying the same water bill at the end of the month, so I decided to forgive myself and move on.

And that’s the key to staying on track this year: FORGIVE YOURSELF.

We all start off with the best of intentions: to write 2 times a week, or workout 3 times a week, or eat better, etc. The steps we take to reach our goals may look different, but for the most part, they all include some sort of consistency.

Then inevitably, it happens. We skip one little, but ever so important step. Whether the reason was good or bad, we are left with a feeling of disappointment. Thoughts of repeating the failures of our past come to mind, which leads us to question our commitment and ability this time around.

It may not happen the first time you skip a step, or even the second. But at some point you decide not to forgive yourself, and instead of continually moving forward, you begin to consistently do nothing.

Messing up is not what kills New Year's Resolutions. Disappointment is the killer. And it keeps us from getting up and moving on when we act like a human and fail.

So...take a deep breath, forgive yourself, get back up and keep going. You only fail if you quit.

Chris CapehartComment