I recently posted a tweet about not expecting perfection when you’re starting out with a new habit. I think a lot of people run into this problem early on in the year while their new year’s resolutions are still clear in their minds. What you need to know is this: You are going to fail. Instead of trying to live perfectly, perfect the art of picking yourself back up when you stumble.

People tend to overblow their failures. We’ve all been there. You make one misstep and you think “Oh no! Now my day is ruined.”

Maybe you gave in to the temptation on the way to work and bought a doughnut for breakfast. So there’s no point in trying to eat healthy for the rest of the day, you’ll try again tomorrow, right? No! Don’t make your failures bigger than they are. Minimize your failure.

My inspiration for this post was a popular quote by American author Gretchen Rubin. Here it is in its entirety:

“Instead of feeling that you’ve blown the day and thinking, ‘I’ll get back on track tomorrow,’ try thinking of each day as a set of four quarters: morning, midday, afternoon, evening. If you blow one quarter, you get back on track for the next quarter. Fail small, not big.”

Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

Gretchen’s example looks at a typical day. In this example, she recommends breaking your day down into four smaller chunks and minimizing your “failure”. However, I’d like to encourage you to apply this same logic to any timeframe.

Whenever you feel like giving up until the next big milestone: Next week, month, year, etc. Shorten your timeframe and get back in the saddle sooner. You’ll thank yourself for it.