Persevering through life’s rainstorms, bad hair days, office politics, loss and grief takes a certain amount of strength and a positive attitude. No one said that life is easy (or fair) but there are strategies you can use to make the rough roads a little smoother. Recovery is a huge milestone, one that you’ve worked hard to achieve. It is a phase of both growth and maintenance, of continuing to gain tools while also locking in those skills you’ve already acquired.
A little downtime is healthy and helps refresh our batteries for more work ahead.
If you’ve ever found it difficult to come back from an off day of exercise, work, or school and get back in the zone, you’re not alone and we have some tips to help you. Researcher Marie Hennecke found that most of us have a great many strategies for accomplishing the things we’re not crazy about. Some of the common strategies she analyzed included implementing sheer willpower, thinking about the task in a different way, or actually changing the situation at hand. Hennecke concluded that these are the most successful perseverance strategies.
Practice Regulating Your Emotions
Emotions are a wonderful thing—the sense of exhilaration that comes with a first date, the joy, and exhaustion that accompanies graduation, the list goes on. But our emotions can get in the way sometimes, such as when anxiety hinders progress and fear thwarts growth. The good news is that there are many strategies we can use to regulate emotions even when doing something we don’t particularly enjoy. For instance, thinking of something that makes you happy is one of life’s most powerful motivators.
Dwell on Positive Outcomes
According to Hennecke, focusing on the positive aspects of a task is one of the most frequently used strategies for getting through it. Are you trying to get through a large amount of boring reading material for a class or work? If so, remind yourself that the studying you do now will help you pass your class or get a promotion. Maybe it’s exercising that’s your hurdle? If you’re looking at your running shoes and thinking of reasons not to put them on, remind yourself of those jeans or bathing suits you want to get back into!
Remember the End Goal
As you get closer and closer to your end goal, remember the finish line. It’s easy for fatigue and discouragement to settle in the closer we come to an end goal. As your goal becomes nearer, try to focus on the endpoint, not the middle or beginning of your project. Let’s say you want to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill and after 20 minutes you want to quit. Telling yourself you’re more than halfway to your goal can boost your momentum much more than dwelling on how long you’ve been at it.
Record Your Progress
Have you ever thrown yourself wholeheartedly into a project only to lose track of where you’re at and subsequently feel overwhelmed? It’s a common thing to do but the result can be deflating. There is a simple strategy you can use to combat this feeling of discouragement. It’s as easy as remembering to check in on your progress at regular intervals. If you’re on an exercise bike, for example, be sure to look at the information screen often in order to cement in your mind the progress you’ve made.
Knowing how far you’ve gone or how long you’ve been cycling acts as a positive reinforcement and can help you to see the finish line instead of feeling as if you’re stuck in the middle. This type of mental evaluation is actually one that our brain does naturally and according to research, it can be a powerful tool as we seek to persevere at our tasks.
Hennecke sums up the value of these perseverance strategies this way, “On one hand, what gets people to want to finish their goals is their ability to look into the future, to transcend the here and now, and to anticipate what is going to happen depending on their own behavior.
These strategies are a means of making sure that you can anticipate the positive consequences that you imagined for your future and to avoid the negative ones. On another hand, these strategies can make the difficult task that you are doing less effortful. In other words, they change the experience of the here and now and make it easier for you to arrive at the future you are trying to accomplish.”
At Starbent Recovery, our professional, dedicated staff have the understanding, experience, and compassion necessary to help you persevere and succeed in your recovery. We offer individualized programs and guidance with residents’ personal recovery and independent goals. Our safe, peer residence offers luxury amenities and is located in the heart of upscale Tribeca close to multiple subway lines and surrounded by trendy dining and shopping. To learn more about our premier women’s recovery residence, call us at (800) 673-0176.