Create My Slip Card

In this self-change exercise, we help you create and print a Slip Card, which is like a cheat sheet of reminders, to carry in your purse or wallet.

All of the planning in the world won’t necessarily prevent slips. Once you’ve slipped, you’ll want a plan that incorporates lessons learned and prepares you better. Otherwise, you’ll be like that skydiver sewing his parachute after he jumps.

Begin building your Slip Card by identifying:

  • what you were thinking
  • what you were doing
  • what you were feeling
  • and whom you were with when you slipped.

You’ll turn those triggers around and phrase them as the healthy opposites.

For example, when I (Norcross) fail to exercise four or five times a week, I have learned that:

  • I am thinking “Give myself a break. I’m too tired” (which is perverse, since exercise is what gives me more energy)
  • I am traveling or working long hours
  • I am feeling resentful, put upon, and pressured (all the more reason, of course, to de-stress by exercising, but I do not feel that at the moment)
  • I am away from home and not around my exercise buddies (Tom H, Mary, Tom S)

These four categories form the basis for your slip card – what to think, what to do, what to feel, and who to do it with – the next time you slip. I transform them into a positive list of Do’s and a few Don’t on my slip card:

Do: remember that exercise gives me energy; contact an exercise buddy ASAP; use exercise as a stress buster; renew my commitment; remind myself of the long-term consequences of not exercising

Don’t: use travel as an excuse; think one slip means failure

Yes, it takes a few moments, but the payback is huge. Your slip card serves as a roadmap that directs you to effective strategies to prevent slips from becoming complete falls.

As an example, here is Andrew’s slip card for over-partying as published in Changeology:



  • Leave the situation immediately after slipping.
  • Remember: a slip is NOT a fall. It can rekindle my commitment.
  • Slips are part of the process; an obstacle to overcome rather than a road block.
  • Feel embarrassed about the behavior, but not me as a person.
  • I know what to expect when a slip occurs — I have a plan.
  • Immediately start on a healthy alternative to overspending.
  • Call Jack and maybe my parents.
  • Reach out for support immediately.


  • Overspend my way out of it.
  • Blame others for the relationship conflict.
  • Wallow in self-pity for a day or two.
  • Give up; one swallow does not make a summer.

Let’s now create your short and punchy slip card. Create it, print it, and carry it with you during Persevere and Persist.

Here’s a blank slip plan for you to complete. Make it shorter than Andrew’s; a few do’s and don’ts. What to think, what to do, what to feel, who to turn toward.

Carry it in your pocket, purse, or wallet through the next few weeks. Put it with your driver’s license or your credit cards. Consider sharing it with your change team.  A slip not need be a fall!



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