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4 ways to get back on track after a setback

April 6, 2020

When you’re making big plans to improve your life, either forming new habits or dropping bad ones, it’s important to remember that experiencing failure is almost certain. This gap between a hopeful intention and the frustrating reality is part of being human, but so is the capacity for change. Remember that setbacks are completely normal and should not be an excuse to give up on something you want for yourself. Pull your focus to getting yourself back on track–and here are four strategies that can help.

New York City woman sitting on a porch rail reading book and practicing limiting her negative self talk.

Figure out what went wrong

Setbacks are often caused by a lack of preparation or resources. For example, your goal is to cook healthy meals but you come home from work to an empty fridge and bare cupboards. While ordering pizza is a setback, what really went wrong was the lack of planning. Another possibility is your goals were simply unrealistic and you will need to reflect to see where you should adjust expectations. Think critically about why this setback happened and what you can learn from it, then use these insights to set yourself up for success.

Make a new plan

By now, you have to accept that wanting to accomplish your goal badly (or even very badly!) is not going to be enough. Pair your sheer determination with some savvy strategizing and a thoughtful new plan. Make specific, realistic goals that take into account your current situation while pushing yourself forward. Being specific is important. Do you want to write more? Set aside time slots during the week that can be dedicated to writing and aim for a specific word count for each session.   

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Focus on your “Why”

As yourself why accomplishing this goal matters for you. Why is it worth the effort? Why should this be a priority? Being able to focus on that bigger picture will help you get back in the right mindset, allowing you to tackle this goal with energy. Keeping your “Why” at the forefront of your mind will help you develop the resilience you need to overcome the next challenge. And the one after that. Even if a setback happens.

Look for Support and Resources

Humans are social creatures and it can be very powerful to have a trusted person holding you accountable or offering encouragement and advice. If you don’t have a friend or family member that can serve this role for you, look for support and resources somewhere else. It can be a support group, an online forum or a YouTube channel. It’s very helpful to get out of your own head and commune with others that can offer new approaches or insight that will nudge you along in the right direction.

And what will happen during your next setback? Begin again, remembering why this matters and how you can make it happen for yourself. It’s never too late and you’ll be able to make progress with patience, intention, and effort.


The truth is, there’s no single or one-size-fits-all definition of success. Everyone has a different idea of what they want their life to look like. That is why it’s important to get clear on what that looks like for you. Once you have a better understanding of yourself and your values, you can start designing your life based on the things that are most important to you. 

Therapy for women in Manhattan and Brooklyn is a great way to figure out what success looks like for you. At Manhattan Wellness, we will provide you with a safe space to explore your feelings and goals. So you can find clarity on what you want for yourself. We will pair your vulnerability with our empathy and encouragement. Then together we will uncover the key elements that will take you from where you are now to where you want to be. If you are ready to make the changes you want in your life:

  1. Submit a Contact Form or Email Us at
  2. Learn More About Our Team of Female Therapists and Our Areas of Expertise
  3. Let’s Talk About How We Can Help You Feel Empowered & Ready To Take The Next Step. 

We believe that you have the power within yourself to make the changes you want and find your version of success. Our female therapists are here to support you in navigating this journey. Allowing you to reclaim your identity and take control of your life. Thus allowing you to create the future you’ve been dreaming of.


At Manhattan Wellness, our therapists are here to support you in navigating this journey and reclaiming your identity. So you can take control of your life and create the future you’ve been dreaming of. This is why we offer a variety of services to ensure you get the support, care, and guidance necessary. The therapy services we offer are Therapy for Maternal Mental Health, Self-Esteem Counseling, and Anxiety Treatment. Along with Dating/Relationship Counseling, Counseling for College Students, and more. Feel as if you are not living the life you deserve? Let’s talk about it.

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