When I interviewed an animal trainer about behavior change … she said it’s important to be flexible.

We often have a fixed idea of how things will go, how we’ll change a habit or achieve a goal. But when things don’t go as planned, we feel disappointed or frustrated, and often will get discouraged and give up.

The key, the animal trainer said, is to be flexible. That means when you don’t do as well as you’d hoped with your habit or goals … use it as information. Adjust. Scale back for now, because your brain or body is telling you that today wasn’t the day to go full out. Today was a good day for a rest, or a scaled back plan.

Scale back, and remain flexible. Let go of your fixed idea of how things were supposed to go, and just stay on the path.