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. The problem is, once we start to doubt why we decided to make changes in the first place, it becomes easy to forget about the promises we made ourselves when the new year began. Whatever your resolutions are, it’s normal to want to cheat on them from time to time. But to cheat and give in to old habits? That’s different, and it’s important to know what to do when this occurs, and how to prevent feeling shameful about it. That way, we can brush the instance off, and keep moving forward, one day at a time.

Forgive Yourself for Slipping Up

The worst thing we can do when we cheat on our resolutions is allow it to break us down, and force us to give up trying altogether. A lapse in judgement is no reason to give up entirely; instead, we should use this moment as a way to learn and grow. Recognizing the mistake, addressing it head on, and forgiving ourselves for allowing it to happen are critical steps in moving past this little “resolution speed bump.” Regardless of whether you’re in active recovery or not, having to cope with giving in and allowing old habits to take over is never easy. This is especially true when you genuinely just want to change a part of your life around for the better.

What we must never forget is that a mistake can be minor if we don’t turn it into something major. How we choose to react the first time we cheat on our resolutions can either make us stronger the next time around, or cause us to spiral out of control and put us on the wrong path. When we can forgive ourselves for a mistake made, we can prevent the latter from happening, and continue changing ourselves for the better.

Accept That Mistakes Are Inevitable

I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, or what you’re good at … mistakes will be made. What matters is how we deal with them. Why are we so quick to shame ourselves when we do something wrong, or feel guilty about what we can’t change? The sooner we brush off the past and accept the parts that can’t be rewritten, the easier it will be to write the story we’ve always wanted for ourselves. And guess what? Mistakes are still going to be made, but it’s ultimately up to us when it comes to how we go about fixing them.

Making Mistakes Doesn’t Mean You’re Weak

All “making mistakes” makes you is human. Resolutions are a nice concept to partake in and get excited about because change should be exciting, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting better for yourself. It’s okay to slip up and start over. Just because you cheat on your resolutions doesn’t mean you must continue cheating. Don’t allow that mindset to set in and be an obstacle to changing what you’re determined to change. You’re not a weak person just because you caved; you’re more than capable of turning things around, and getting right back on track.

Remember, resolutions are a great tool to help you become a better you, but don’t forget, you can change your life year-round, not just at the start of a new year. Those who change, and those who grow, are the ones who stand back up, no matter how many times they fall down.

Stand back up. You’ve got this!