Managing setbacks – maintain your progress

You’ve worked hard to self manage your pain. So you’ll want to build on the positive changes you’ve made. Learn how to maintain your progress so that, when setbacks happen, you are more confident and resilient.

How to keep progress going

There are many ways to build on your success and increase confidence. Here are some ideas . . .
  • Vary your activities and exercises as they can soon become boring.
  • Try fun and enjoyable ways to increase your activity level, like a game of crazy golf.
  • Steadily increase your exercise routine.
  • Set yourself short- and long-term SMART goals.
  • Reward yourself frequently and enjoy it!
  • Pace yourself.
  • Prioritise, especially on bad days – focus on what “could” be done on that day or that week. Avoid the “must do” or should do thinking.
  • Keep a diary and watch your progress.
  • Learn a new skill such as yoga, computer skills, crafts like cross stitch, painting or hobbies like fishing, photography, model making.
  • Join an activity or leisure group, such as a walking group or a 
gym, where qualified instructors can help design a programme to suit your needs.
  • Tell others around you how they can help you, for instance focus on your achievements or suggest rewards for progress.
  • Refresh your mind by reading this section regularly.
TIP: explore the list above then pick your top three ideas – the ones you think will work best for you. Or come up with your own!

Managing difficulties

There may be all sorts of obstacles and barriers that affect or even stop your progress.
It’s a good idea to identify what may affect your progress or stop you from making changes
  • lack of time
  • lack of motivation or drive
  • too many interruptions
  • family issues
  • feeling better!
  • other factors, such a feeling very tired or being very angry
TIP: write down the specific obstacles that affect you. They may be on the list above, or there may be others.
Whatever they are, it helps to write them down so you can start to focus on ways of overcoming them.