We don’t intend to do it. We set out with resolution and resolve. But somehow we fall into the same pattern of discouragement, frustration, or lack of progress we’ve experienced before. Often, we’re the culprit in a familiar game.
While self-sabotage is never the plan, it’s easy to adopt. Our brain likes established habits and patterns of behavior, so it naturally fights against change. Consequently, we fight our biology.
Similarly, we self-impose challenges in our quest to be healthier. We give biology a boost without realizing we’re doing it.
sabotage at work
After working alongside hundreds of people desiring healthy lifestyle change, I’ve seen common self-sabotage behavior that prevent change from sticking.
Here are the 4 ways you may be (unintentionally) sabotaging your efforts:
- Dabbling: You do a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Rather than committing to one way of eating or exercising, you try them all – at the same time. While it’s important to experiment, singular dedication to one thing at a time works best. If you try a Ketogenic diet one week and Vegan the next, you won’t know how your body responds to either one. Your body needs time to adapt. Dabbling doesn’t help.
- Scapegoating: You find an excuse. Life is series of unexpected twists and turns. Something always gets in the way of your health pursuits. An illness, a bad day, a vacation, or other life stressor is reason enough to grab fast food, skip your workout, or stay up late watching tv. You allow small hurdles to become insurmountable ones. A life without margin is especially prone to this sabotage.
- Doubting: You have a big but. When you don’t see change fast enough, you move on. You lose faith in the process. The desire for fast change is human nature. I wrote an entire chapter about it in my book. But, the impact of healthier habits is rarely felt (or seen) short-term. The payoff comes with the compound effect of small, daily commitments to change. Doubting is overcome with patience and faith.
- Sacrificing: You put everyone else first. Kids, spouse, friends, parents, boss, co-workers. Everything and everybody else takes precedence. Kid’s activities, spouse’s work schedule, friend’s requests for help, and school involvement suck all of your time and energy. But busyness is the enemy and, honestly, the excuse to neglect your personal health. It’s vital to give time, energy, and attention to our relationships, but not by sacrificing your own body, mind, and spirit.
Do you hear anything familar? Do you want to try something different?
the alternate path
The best way out of the sabotage loop is to never start it. Skip the diet plans and trending workouts of the day. By nature, they set you up for self-sabotage. The health and wellness industry is counting on you staying stuck in this loop to fund their multi-million dollar a year business.
Instead, make a commitment today to become the kind of person who simply makes small, daily, conscious choices to eat a few veggies, drink a little more water, and move your body a little bit more.
The sabotage starts and ends with you.