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How Do You Respond to Setbacks?

“When you’ve done all you can do to stand.… stand”.

There’s no doubt we have all seen or experienced the negative effects of the Coronavirus. Potential death, sickness, layoffs, and business closings are surrounding us. While many of these situations are out of our control, we can still control one thing: our response.

Many of us are working from home, unsure of what the future holds. While we should prepare, we should not allow fear to creep in or keep us from achieving our goals. Now is a time to get creative, to encourage one another, to value our health, and to come together as a nation and community to beat this pandemic. While there are other significant issues at hand, we cannot forget the importance of our health. Now more than ever is a time to maintain and improve our health. So how should we respond? Should we sit back and wait for this to end? Should we let our initial goals pass away? NO! We need to adapt and improvise. Instead of viewing this situation as a setback, we need to view it as an opportunity. An opportunity to use our brains more, to spend more quality time with our children, to encourage healthier habits at home, and to become stronger as individuals.

Here’s a few ways to challenge your thinking:

1. Reevaluate your goals:

You committed yourself to going to the gym 5 times per week. The gym is closed so what can you do? Commit to your at home workouts. Reevaluate how often this is possible for you. Maybe 5x per week is not ideal anymore, but you can squeeze in three 30 minute sessions per week. Ask for accountability from those who live with you or from your coach (obviously).

Maybe there are some goals that you put on the back burner, because you haven’t had the time. Now is your opportunity to accomplish them! Learn how to play that guitar, develop healthier cooking skills, read that book that’s been sitting on the shelf collecting dust, do a one arm pushup, or do all of those “honey-due” items you husbands never have time for. Take advantage of the time you have been given.

2. Motivation

Motivation is a fleeting feeling. If you rely on being motivated to accomplish tasks or complete your workouts, you will fail. You can’t rely on a feeling. What will help is consistency. If you’ve committed to 3 workouts per week, then you do 3 workouts per week. If you have to modify and shorten them that is perfectly fine. But stick to your plan. You may have other days you will have to miss, but overall if you are consistent you will see results. If you find yourself lacking motivation, remember the end goal and just push through. In Ryan Holiday’s book, “The Obstacle is the Way”, he speaks about how the problems or trials we encounter can actually be catalysts to success. That is, if we look at it in the right perspective and take the appropriate steps for change. In regards to motivation, one excerpt stuck out to me: “If you want momentum, you have to create it yourself, right now by getting up and getting started.” You can’t wait for a feeling to propel you. You can’t wait for a circumstance to be just exactly right to get going. And you can’t put something off and expect the desired outcome to be successful. While motivation certainly does play a significant factor in just about everyone’s successes (and failures), it is not the only thing necessary to achieve an objective.

3. Focus on the Positive:

During a rough time in my life, I decided to write down at least 3 positives from each day in a journal. They were things as small as “I saw a blue jay outside my window” to “I made a new friend today”. That changed my way of thinking in life to where I no longer have to write anything down, as I tend to just process things that way. What positives can we take from the #RONA situation? For me, it has made me appreciate things in life we tend to overlook. The simple act of getting into our cars and going to a restaurant. The freedom to visit our grandparents. Giving someone a hug. There are several meme’s going around about “the good ole days” being just a month ago. While I am one to appreciate a good meme (see below), I definitely don’t think the good ole days are behind us. They are forthcoming. Times may be difficult or different now, heck they’re even just flat out weird; but that doesn’t mean there isn’t positives in this world or things we can learn from this situation.

Reflecting where you are in life, and where you want to be is imperative for growth. If you can look at circumstances in your life truthfully, evaluate, and make a decision to change or accept change, you will grow. Change doesn’t always mean removing yourself from a situation, like a job you don’t like. It could just mean a change in your own attitude. Or stepping out and saying “no” to an unhealthy opportunity. Heck, sometimes we make the WRONG changes. The spectrum for change is very broad and one that can be frightening and uncomfortable. However, most changes can be healthy and positive. It all comes down to your approach and attitude. I said the word change a lot. One more time: change.

It's up to you how you choose to respond. So are you going to let this defeat you? Or are you going to stand?

Elyse Lovelace


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