It’s easy to slip up when trying to achieve a health goal such as losing weight, exercising more or quitting smoking. But the occasional slip up doesn’t mean you should give up your goal altogether.

Nobody’s perfect – the important thing is to embrace your slip up, move on and keep on working towards your goal. Here are our top tips for embracing imperfection and getting back on track:

1. Set realistic goals

Before you begin your health goal, make sure it’s realistic. You’re setting yourself up for failure if you set your goal too high. For example, if you want to get fit, start off slowly and gradually build up how much and how often you exercise. Don’t try to run a marathon on day one because then you probably will fail.

2. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up

Nobody’s perfect. If you miss a session at the gym or eat a slice of cake, it’s not the end of the world. Stick to your goal and be easy on yourself. It would be a shame to give up all the hard work you’ve done just because of one slip up.

3. Embrace progress

Keep in mind all the progress you’ve made. While it’s important to keep your end goal in sight, don’t forget what you’ve already achieved and the progress you’ve made.

4. Don’t compare yourself to others

Never ever compare yourself to others. You are on your own path, aiming to achieve your own goals. If you compare yourself to others, you’ll end up feeling inadequate or disheartened.

5. Learn from your slip up

If you find yourself slipping up regularly, ask yourself why? Is there a pattern or a trigger? If you find yourself reaching for a cigarette at a certain place, eg, a bar, try avoiding that place or situation for a while.

A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections.

Chinese proverb