We all know how easily big nights out or weekends away can impact on our progress to better version of ourselves! Often clients will inform us of some event on the horizon of their week or month that will present some difficulties for adherence and therefore progress. Typical examples would include things like travel, weddings, parties, hens, stags etc.
It seems that this event presents a ‘scary' obstacle looming over them - It’s as if it’s already decided that this will make things difficult without much consideration. An ode to the fact that “we suffer more in imagination than in reality” (Seneca). What we will encourage clients to do in this sort of a situation is what I call a ‘mental dress rehearsal’ - This involves actually thinking about what the obstacles might be when you break them down. ’Travel’ or ‘a wedding’ is quite vague - What about these events is potentially problematic? When you can establish this well you’re then in a position to start troubleshooting for solutions. Once these are established, the next step we will encourage clients to take is to mentally rehearse being in that situation and being presented with those obstacles, and then ask themselves what could they do in this situation to make it a little better.
Picture yourself there and decide what could you do about it? The act of mentally rehearsing means that;
1) The environment doesn’t seem so scary when you actually get there because you’ve (mentally) been there before
2) You’ve already planned for circumstances that might make things difficult for you which means you’ll be more likely to respond appropriately rather than react impulsively. “Unexpectedness adds weight to a disaster”. So remove the unexpected in your mind. Perform a mental dress rehearsal and see how much easier a time you have with this foreseen circumstance.
For e.g in travel - What might get in the way here? Maybe you’ll have to get up earlier than usual so won’t have as much time to prepare food? What could you do? You’ll be at the mercy of airport food - How bad actually is that though? What could you do? You have a long flight? What’s going to get in the way and what could you do about it? This is the essence of the mental dress rehearsal - You have a lot more control than you might think!