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What to do when you have setbacks

This topic wasn't the original plan for today's email. But after getting knocked on my ass with covid and having multiple people share with me how life has been affecting them lately, I figured it'd be best to talk about setbacks. Real talk, not the rainbows and butterflies *~everything will be fine~* sort of chats.

Setbacks are most commonly unforeseen, such as illness, family emergency, injury, pet emergency, job stress/change, etc. All of these usually come out of left field and can lead to setbacks both in and out of the gym. So what is there to do when they happen? (Because, well, they will happen, unfortunately.)

1. Assess

Assess the situation.

How is this affecting you physically, mentally, and/or emotionally?

How long do you anticipate living with these circumstances?

2. Understand

Understand that how you are being affected is likely temporary.

Recognize what you can and cannot control.

3. Focus

Focus on 1-3 small non-negotiable tasks that you can effortlessly complete.


Eating 1 vegetable per day.

Sleeping for at least 7 hours/night.

Walking outside for 10 minutes.

4. Execute

Complete the task(s) you've committed to and mark it off in your calendar or share your accomplishment with an accountability partner.

Your non-negotiables will be the tasks that even on the hardest or longest days, you still feel like you can complete those tasks. Then, once your circumstances change in the positive direction and you have the capacity to take on more, you can build off of those non-negotiables rather than feeling like you're "starting all over again".

This is why fitness is for life, not just for 6 weeks, 3 months, or even 1 year. Health is something you will want to prioritize so you have something to lean on throughout life's ebbs and flows.

Disclaimer: non-negotiables will vary from person-to-person and will look different based on your circumstances, fitness level, and lifestyle.

Thank you for coming to my TedTalk.


Katharine Moustakes
Hey, friend!

I'm Katharine.

I'm a personal trainer, running coaching, and nutrition coach who's stoked about lifting, the outdoors, summit snacks, and my dog.


I understand that fitness is not your whole life. Fitness is a PART of your life. I approach training in a way that adds value to your life and longevity, so you can enjoy being active whether you're romping around in the mountains, playing with your kids, or signing up for your first 10K race.

I'm here to meet you where you are, so you can train safely and effectively, and gain strength and confidence both in the gym and on the trails.

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