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How to Handle Setbacks and Stay on Track

Sign on a desk that says You Got This

All of us face challenges from time to time and sometimes, those challenges can affect other aspects of our lives. You might be going through a challenge right now that could be causing you to lose motivation and slip into old (not great) habits. 

But it’s never too late to get back on track. Here are some simple tips to help.  

Reach Out 

Your Level2 health coach is here to guide you. Lean on them! Set up a call or start a chat in the Level2 app. Check out the Level2 Member Facebook Community for inspiration and tips from members who have faced similar challenges. You are not alone.  

Remember Your ‘Why’ 

Reflect upon why you started on your health journey and remember how good it felt to progress toward your goals. Remind yourself of these reasons to stay motivated and focused. 

Build Tiny Habits

Set small and achievable goals. For example, set a goal to eat one healthy meal or take a short walk each day for the next week. Small goals can provide big energy to help you rediscover that feeling of success, build momentum and get back on track. Celebrate each success, however small. You’ve earned it. 

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” 

― Anonymous  

Star Seeking 

Find a positive role model. This could be a friend who reliably makes healthy choices, an encouraging co-worker or an inspiring author or motivational speaker. Let them provide inspiration and emulate their success. 

Put it on the Schedule 

Make time for healthy habits. When you are too busy or feeling overwhelmed, that’s when you need them the most! Your health is a non-negotiable priority.  

Put your health on your daily schedule. For example, set aside exercise time just like you would an appointment or meeting. Or to save time and limit unhealthy temptation during your busy weekdays, carve out time on the weekend to prepare nutritious meals for the week ahead.  

“Who you are, what you think, feel and do,  what you love — is the sum of what you focus on.” 
― Cal Newport  

Write it Down 

Journaling is a powerful tool to track your progress, reflect on your successes and challenges, and stay accountable to your goals. Reflect on your journey and write down your thoughts and feelings to gain insight into what is working for you and what is not. Make necessary adjustments and stay on track. 

Journaling provides motivation by celebrating your successes and accomplishments. Each time you achieve a goal or make progress, write it in your journal. See how far you have come and stay motivated to continue. 

Give and Get Back 

Helping others can have a profound impact on your own well-being. According to research published in Psychological Bulletin, acts of kindness and generosity increase happiness and fulfillment and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.  Additionally, according to research published in Psychology Today, helping others can trigger the release of the “happiness trifecta” of chemicals in the brain (dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin). Find motivation and make the world a better place at the same time. 

Be Kind to Yourself 

If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, acknowledge the mistake and get back on track. Shame dissolves in the presence of accountability. Progress is a journey, not a destination, and it is OK to make mistakes along the way.  

“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” 

– Brené Brown 

Your journey is unique to you.  Opportunities evolve into structured guidance when it has proven to work for others, but your path may look different. Have fun, experiment and pay attention to your body’s feedback. Even when an experiment doesn’t work, it is a success because you have learned something new. Don’t stop experimenting.  

Take Action 

Getting your health back on track can be a challenge, but there are tools to make it easier:

  • Connect with your Level2 health coach and the Facebook community
  • Remind yourself of why you started 
  • Set small, achievable goals to rebuild momentum 
  • Surround yourself with positive role models 
  • Make healthy habits a priority 
  • Use your journal 
  • Help yourself by helping others 
  • Be kind and patient with yourself 
  • Keep experimenting to figure out what works for you 


With a little effort and determination, you’ll be back on track in no time and achieving the healthy life you deserve.