The Cure for Hiccups

So you have started a nutrition plan, a fitness program, a new morning routine, or a set of daily habits.  You started strong.  You were pumped, prepared, and perfect.  

…then something happened …

You went on vacation and ate like an idiot.  You got sick and it threw off your routine.  Work got crazy and limited your time to prep and prepare to succeed.

We have all been there.  Little life hiccups that get you off course.  When these hiccups occur, what do you do?  

Do you pack it in and say you just can’t do it?  

Do you assume that all your work up to that point was wasted?  

Do you think that the only way you can succeed is through perfectly following the plan and so one little “whoops” is enough to end all chances of success?  


I have two quotes for you:

“Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” ~ Thomas Wayne (aka Batman’s Dad)

“Plans are useless but planning is indispensable” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

What do these quotes say?  

That shit happens!  Life can be unpredictable.  You can try to predict everything that will happen and will still be surprised.  Even more frustrating is that you can accurately predict an occurrence, and it will still bite you in the butt.

So what do you do?

I. Don’t Panic


Perfection is not required for success to be obtained.  Everyone messes up, everyone falters.  Its those that can remain true to their purpose, stay compliant with the big picture, and adapt that succeed.

In general, you only need to stay as close to 80% compliant to whatever it is your are doing in order to find success.  That 80% is not every day but over all.  Some days or weeks you will crush it and be perfect.  Other days you will be lucky to get anything done at all.  But if your overall average success is 80% then you are going to get the outcome you seek.

II. Learn from the Hiccups

Review the situation that caused the hiccup and ask yourself:

  1. Why did the hiccup occur?
  2. Could I have predicted it?
  3. If yes, what stopped me from being successful when I could have predicted it and planned for it?
  4. If no, what could I have done to be better prepared for the unknown going forward?  Can I predict this situation in the future now that it has happened?
  5. Do I need to adjust my plan going forward? If yes, how?

When I say “ask yourself,” I do not mean in some deep thought staring out into the horizon sort of way.  I mean write it down.  Put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.  

I provide all my athletes with a document called the Sources & Failures Worksheet.  It guides them through both pre-planning for predictable and unpredictable hiccups as well as post hiccup reviews.  It even breaks down the hiccup’s possible causes into six categories called the Sources of Influence, which helps to really hone down on causes and solutions (to learn more about the Sources of Influence check out my TedX style talk about it HERE).

This document has been shown to help calm post hiccup stress and guilt, prevent complete and utter failure, and improve plan adherence through conscious adaption.  If you are interested in getting a copy for yourself shoot me an email at  I will send it to you myself (yes that is my actual email address, seriously email me).

When you first start a plan, it will be daunting and the hiccups may happen more frequently then you like.  However, with practice you will be better adapt at seeing the hiccups before they occur and will know how to stay true to the plan

If we do not figure out how to pick ourselves up, then all we will ever do is fall.  Forgive the hiccups but learn from them as well.  

III. Remember Your Why

Why are you doing the thing in the first place?  The nutrition plan, the workout regimen, the morning routine.  What is your reason for the effort?

Be honest with yourself…

If you are doing a nutrition challenge so you can be healthy, why does that matter to you?  Is it because you have kids and you want to be happy, healthy, and active for them?  Is it because you are in your golden years and you want to be able to enjoy them without going in and out of the hospital?  

Getting to your goals will take time, patience, perseverance, and A LOT of hiccups.  So stay true to your why, learn and adapt, and DON’T PANIC.

Want to get started on the right path and have coaches and a community to help you when you stumble?  Check out the Physical Wellness System I personally designed for Flex Fitness OT.  

Got questions?  Ask me directly!

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