Many of us have a tendency to think about healthy behaviors in black-and-white extremes: chocolate is bad, carrots are good; missing a few daily walks means you’ve fallen off the wagon; a scale that won’t budge means your health is spiraling out of control. This distorted thinking pattern may harm your efforts to improve your health because small setbacks may cause you to feel defeated, down and ready to give up. Here are some tips for keeping a positive. Catch yourself when you use words like “always,” “must” or “never.” Imperatives like this set impossible standards—and set you up for failure when you (inevitably) don’t live up to them. You can’t “always” avoid sweets or take your walk at the exact time you’ve scheduled it in. Hearing yourself say words like “must” or “never” and recognizing this sort of “all-or-nothing thinking” is a huge first step to changing it. Replace rigid words with more flexible ones. Try “sometimes,” “most of the time,” “as often as I can” or “during the week.” The more you practice, the easier it will be.