Do you sabotage yourself? Maybe the better question is do you know if you are sabotaging your own success?
Look at the list below… which one are you? Maybe you’re all of them?
1 – Just Wait…
“I am going to start next week.”
“It’s just too busy for me to get a workout in today.”
“I don’t feel great so I will do it tomorrow.”
“Once [xyz] happens, I’ll be ready to go.”
What’s the common thread here? Waiting. You are someone who is waiting for the perfect set of circumstances to occur before you are willing to put in the work.
SPOILER ALERT: There will never be the perfect circumstances.
Nothing has to be perfect. It might feel like it needs to be perfect but it doesn’t.
Get up and go. Build momentum in the process. Hone things as you go in what works vs what doesn’t work. Build more momentum. Pretty soon you’ll be 80% of the way there and 80% is way better than 0%.
But the point? Just get up and go. Stop waiting.
2 – All Or Nothing
Speaking of 80% of the way there… perfection never works. At least not for any length of time. Ultimately, hitting 100% should be saved for a finite amount of time for a very specific goal: “I have my wedding in 3 months.”
Even then, 3 months is a really long time for perfection. Chances are you will not stay on point for that long [though it is possible]. Good news is you don’t have to.
Use the 80/20 rule or maybe 90/10. It just depends on where your line in the sand is.
With those percentages in mind, everything simply becomes a math problem.
If you are aiming for 3 workouts per week over a period of 4.3 weeks (the average number of weeks in a month), then this comes out to 12.9 (or 13) total workouts per month.
80% of 13 is 10.4 workouts but we can round that down to 10, for sake of argument and round numbers.
What this means is if you hit 10 of your 13 workouts in a month, you achieved your goal. This also gives you a little wiggle room for mistakes in planning, for emergencies happening, and anything else that occurs.
If you aim for 100% and hit 12 of your 13, this turns into a completely different headspace and is mental grounds for giving up.
The point? Give yourself some room to be a human but be consistent most of the time!
3 – Motivation, Accountability, Discipline… oh, my…
Please do not be someone who believes motivation is going to carry you the distance. It will not. Not every day is a good training day. Not all days will yield great workouts. You won’t always feel like making healthier meals.
It just doesn’t work that way. Life has a say in what is going on in your life and sometimes it truly doesn’t work out the way you want it to.
Relying on motivation to get you to your goals is like using the accelerator in your car for the first 60 seconds of your drive to work and hoping you’ll make it the rest of the way there. Unless your work is 60 seconds from your house, it’s not going to work.
Motivation only really lasts in the initial stages. What is motivation good for, though? Motivation is great for kicking things off and starting to build the habit. After that you must rely on a couple of other things.
First, just take action. A lot of people (me included) try to rely on motivation to generate action. That equation should be flip flopped. Take action and your motivation will follow. This is also known as discipline. Doing what you know you’re supposed to do.
Second, find someone to be accountable to. Find a training partner, a personal trainer, a group to workout with, or someone else who has a vested interest in your success. Then ask them to keep you accountable.
It’s easy to walk away from yourself, for some reason. It’s a lot harder to walk away from someone else.
4 – More Is Not Better
How many hours are there in a day? 23? 24? Something like that?
Unless you’re training for some sort of competition or endurance event, adding more volume to your training is not a long term solution. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “you can’t outwork a bad diet.”
But that’s just what a lot of people get into… progress stops and so you run longer, you do more sets and reps in your lifting, you add a second workout in the day. It works [somewhat] initially and that’s all the positive feedback you need to keep that mindset going.
More is not better. Better is better.
Instead of adding more volume to your training, you could:
- Increase the intensity of your workout making it more valuable use of your time
- Spend more time getting quality sleep to reap the benefits of your training
- Find a personal trainer to help make the most out of your time
- I know some really great trainers you can get started with
- Go HERE to find one
The point is this: there are many ways to make better use of your workout time. Find one and execute on it.
5 – Tracking
Clothes can help you track change. Playing with your kids can help you track change. Walking up and down the stairs at work instead of using the elevator can help you track change.
What do these things have in common? They’re “accidental” ways of tracking your progress. They are not purposeful as a means of creating accountability to yourself.
Find purposeful, accountability driven, means of tracking your progress. These should be something you cannot “hide” from. They should be as objective as possible.
- Measuring your body fat
- Use the pinches or an InBody
- Fitness testing like strength, cardio, balance, etc.
- Measure in inches lost
- These are typical both site specific and globally
- Get some blood testing
- Fasting blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. are good markers for things like changes in nutrition habits, sleeping, and training
If you’re not measuring it’s kind of like you’re just winging it and seeing what sticks. Do yourself and favor and find someone to be honest and objective with you.
Who Are You?
So who are you?
Are you the “just wait and see” person? Do you keep adding more and more time and workouts to your schedule wondering why things stopped changing? Do you avoid tracking progress because it’s an admission that what you’re doing is not doing what you want?
I have a challenge for you: do something about it. Take action. Figure out which one of these is your biggest challenge and change it.
Bonus points if you write down your biggest problem in a piece of paper and keep it with you as a reminder. Even more bonus points if you send me an email telling me your sabotage and what your plan is to fix it!
Go make a change and stop sabotaging you.