With the hype of the new year beginning to fade and the reality of your resolutions starting to set in, you might be wondering if you’ll be able to finish what you started. Unfortunately, when these doubts begin to creep in, it can become easy to neglect the promises you made to yourself when the new year began.

Whatever your resolutions are, it’s normal to want to cheat on them from time to time. We all stumble, but it’s important to prevent these obstacles from putting us back into the same old habits. Learning what to do when these feelings arise and how to avoid feeling shameful when you experience a setback will help you brush it off and keep moving forward, one day at a time.

Forgive Yourself for Slipping Up

The worst thing you can do when you stumble is to let it break you down and allow yourself to give up altogether. A lapse in judgment is no reason to give up entirely ⁠— instead, you can use these moments as a way to learn and grow. Recognizing the mistake, addressing it head on and forgiving yourself for allowing it to happen are critical steps in moving past speed bumps in your resolution.

Regardless of whether you’re in active recovery or not, coping with new changes isn’t always easy. How you choose to react the first time you stumble in your resolution can make you stronger the next time around, or it can cause you to spiral out of control and end up on the wrong path. When you can forgive yourself for a mistake, you help ensure that you stay committed and continue changing your life for the better.

Accept That Mistakes Are Inevitable

Regardless of who you are, where you’re from or what you’re good at, it’s impossible to avoid mistakes. What matters is how you deal with them. Many people are quick to shame themselves when they do something wrong, and many more feel guilt about things they can’t change. The sooner you brush off the past and accept the parts that can’t be rewritten, the easier it will be to write the story you’ve always wanted for yourself. Mistakes are still going to be made, but it’s ultimately up to you to determine how you handle them.

Making Mistakes Doesn’t Mean You’re Weak

Resolutions are fun to make and get excited about because change should be exciting. Unfortunately, many people call it quits after they hit the first hurdle. Why? Because they feel they’ve failed. Remember: The journey will never follow a perfect path and it’s OK to slip up and start over. Just because you cheat on your resolutions or don’t walk a perfect path doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue pursuing your original goals.

Don’t allow that mindset to set in and stop you from addressing the things you’re determined to change. You’re not a weak person just because you stumbled and you’re more than capable of turning things around and getting right back on track.

Resolutions are a great tool to help you become a better you, but you don’t need to wait until the new year to begin changing your life. If recovery was part of your goals, remember that it’s an ongoing process that requires lifelong vigilance, and few people achieve it without a few mistakes along the way. By accepting these mistakes as part of the process, though, you can pick up where you left off and continue moving forward.