Are you your own worst enemy? At 28, I’m always talking about becoming the best version of you and never comparing yourself to others. An important part of this process involves taking a step back, analysing your behaviour and asking yourself the question, are your own behaviours sabotaging your good intentions?

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in my 18 years of experience as a trainer in the fitness industry, it’s that the only thing getting in the way between you and achieving your weight loss goals is you. Not your leg injury or your busy schedule, but your mindset. If any of the behaviours in my list below sound all too familiar, you’re probably a culprit of self-sabotage and this could be what’s holding you back from achieving your fitness goals. You put up mental barriers. You constantly tell yourself ‘I can’t do that exercise’ or ‘I can’t cook that healthy meal because I hate eggplant’. You cheat yourself, not treat yourself. You may have worked hard and have started to see results, but let your treats get out of hand and this essentially undoes all your good work. You give up way too easily. ‘It’s raining outside so my run is off the table’ is your most frequently used excuse. You put it off, time and time again. When ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ turns into ‘I’ll start Monday’ all too often. Self-sabotaging behaviours can stem from laziness, but often also from a place of fear. We’re scared we won’t be able to get there, so we just don’t bother at all. It’s when we start to break down those mental barriers that are fuelled by our fear that we can really start to make the journey towards our fitness goals, and this is a totally empowering process. If self-sabotage is holding you back, try to focus on the following behaviours to get you back on track and stop sabotaging your goals.

Make yourself accountable

This can be as simple as identifying what you want to achieve, writing it down, and putting it in a place as a constant reminder. To take it one step further, recruit a training buddy to go on the weight loss journey with you, this could be your partner, parent or friend. When you have someone working beside you, you’ll not only feel encouraged to keep going when it starts to get tough, but also more accountable to turn up to training sessions. Let’s face it, no one wants to be that person that bails on a boxing class and leaves your buddy high and dry.

Set realistic goals

Start by setting smart, realistic goals that you know you’re capable of achieving. When we set realistic goals it feels like the mountain isn’t too high to climb and we’re way more likely to succeed and stick to them.

Plan & prepare

One of my favourite sayings is “when you fail to plan, you plan to fails’, and when it comes to breaking self-sabotaging habits, it’s absolutely key. Preparing your meals for the week and scheduling in times to work out with a friend really gives you no excuses and will make it that much harder for you to wriggle out of your commitment! Make choices, not rules. We’re more likely to sabotage our goals if we completely restrict ourselves and make our favourite things strictly off bounds. We always want what we can’t have, right? Try not to set strict rules, like telling yourself you can’t have a day off. Instead, make a conscious decision that your actions will always reflect your goals and not contradict them. Believe in yourselves always saying that if you’re in the mindset of hoping to get into shape, then you haven’t truly taken responsibility.

When you believe you will get into shape, because the buck stops with you, that is when you have true success. Remind yourself that you have the power to achieve anything you set your mind to. You’ve got this! If one or more of these self-sabotaging behaviours has spoken to you, don’t worry, you’re absolutely not on your own. Just focus on identifying which of these sabotaging behaviours is holding you back the most, and slowly but surely, work them out of your system.

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Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change to their lives. Sam Wood has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators in the health & fitness industry. Sam is the founder and personal trainer of 28, Australia’s #1 home fitness and nutrition program, and he's also the proud owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed, based in Brighton, Melbourne.