Couple working out to illustrate post on avoiding setbacks

3 mental health hacks to keep you on track

Everyone has a reason for undertaking a fitness journey and everyone’s reason is different. Maybe you want to become fitter? Perform better? Reach a personal goal? Feel better? No matter what the reason behind your decision, every single journey has one thing in common. Adversity. And this adversity comes in the form of setbacks that we all experience.

It’s a guarantee that no journey will ever be smooth. There will always be adversity along the way, but much like in life it’s how you handle these challenges that makes a difference. How you handle difficulties will also determine the path you take and it may also affect you on a personal level. While the challenges will vary from person to person there are three common setbacks that pop up time and again. What can you do? Be aware and don’t let them derail you.

Be the change

Here today and gone tomorrow.

When making a plan it is very easy to get caught up with what is current and popular. It’s easy to spend unnecessary time and money on food that comes in shiny packaging. Or on products that promise to make a difference to your performance.

However, it’s often only once you’ve tried them that you only realise they’re of the moment and full of fake promises. Instead of hoping you can buy change, be the change. A state-of-the-art water bottle, or the latest GPS tracker, will not make you get you get out of bed at 6.00am to go for a jog, only your motivation will!

Be clear about what you want to achieve. Or, even better, write it out. That way you’ll know exactly what your end goal is and can plan how best to achieve it. Ask for help if necessary, but plan each step of your journey.

Maybe you need a new pair of runners. Maybe you need help from a professional. Or maybe you just need the support of friends and family. Figure out what you need to achieve your goal and then set about getting it.

Advice: Don’t let trends cloud your goals, try to be practical when making your plan and always remember your motivation.

You do you

We live in a world where we can connect with people all over the world. We can get news updates and Google cats on skateboards with the swipe of a screen. In fact, swiping through your news feed is probably one of the first things you do in the morning.

Your cousin in Australia had a baby. That guy you went to school with but don’t talk to any more checked into a fancy restaurant for his birthday. Some celebrity has been spotted out without their wedding ring, and an extremely pretty blogger has put up yet another bikini picture.

All fairly standard, right? But where the danger lies is when watching other people’s lives makes you judge your own. Cracks start to appear because no matter how hard you are try somebody will always be ahead of you. Guess what? It doesn’t matter. It simply does not matter.

Let them do them, and you do you. You have your own reason to become a better person. Social media can be a great tool for finding inspo and discovering information but if it is not helping you achieve what you want then put the phone down.

Advice: Don’t get absorbed by what others are doing online. Put the phone down and enjoy the journey through your eyes, not a screen.

Get out of your own way

Who’s stopping you from achieving your goals? You are. You are the only person getting in your way.

But you want this, why are you stopping yourself? The answer is simple. Fear. We all have our own individual fears, but some that we all share include the fear of being judged, the fear of starting something new and the fear of failure.

Firstly, these fears are completely normal. It’s natural to feel this way from time to time, in fact it’s a good thing. It shows just how much this journey means to you. We put so much effort into life and trying to do it right. But we also put effort into hiding the fact we are trying to change; just in case it doesn’t happen.

This biggest problem is that people don’t realise that failure is all part of the path. You will face setbacks and at some point you will wonder if it is even worth it. The sooner you let yourself accept that sometimes you’ll fail, the sooner you become stronger and more resilient. And the closer you come to achieving your goals.

Advice: Be proud of how far you’ve come and don’t be afraid of where you have to go. We are all just humans getting a little lost along the way, just remember the reason for your journey. Not all those who wander are lost!

These are just three setbacks that you probably will encounter somewhere along the way – there are many more! It’s important to remember you have done the hardest part; you had the courage to decide to start your journey. When it gets tough do your best to stick to your plan, keep in mind why you started and it’ll help to imagine yourself at the end.

To finish in the words of Dr Liam Hennessy: “You’ve come this far, now keep going!”


Chloe Williamson is the Social and Content Manager at Setanta College. She is slightly addicted to social media and loves making a good ‘To Do’ list. When she isn’t scrolling through news feeds she can be found in her local circuits and Pilates class. Chloe’s sporting idols are Peter Stringer and Simone Biles and she secretly wishes she could be an Olympic Figure Skater.