The road to self-improvement is mostly marked by reaching goals, it can be small goals or big goals, daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly goals. It can be a shared goal or a personal goal, from reading more books to losing weight there is always a goal to reach on our road to better ourselves.
However, when we see that we will not reach our goal or that it will require additional effort than we first thought, we unconsciously self-sabotage ourselves toin order to give us an excuse of why we are not reaching the “milestone”. Self-sabotage is hard to detect because we have been doing it for years and it has become almost a habit of ours (or for better words a damaging habit).
How to detect Self-sabotage? Below are few tips that can help you recognized, confront, and change those actions that self-sabotage our goal to be better at whatever it is that we want to be better at (zero judgment here).
- Make a list of affirmations that you can reach at any time. You can repeat them in the morning in front of your mirror or in bed while gaining the energy to get up (or while taking a shower). The affirmations should include your intentions for attaining your goals for the day and should help you visualize the goal and what you are planning to do in the day to get there.
Examples of these affirmations are:
- “Today my mind is open for quality meditation”
- “Today I am strong and will run 3 miles as per my running schedule”
- “I am important, time on me is important, and I will dedicate time for writing / journaling / meditation at lunch time”
- Do smart, attainable goals We all want to accomplish something and the road to getting there is set by reaching smaller goals. If you want to learn to quilt, the best way is to start is by doing a potholder or a table runner, and leave the queen-size bed quilt when you have mastered several smaller projects. The same goes with everything, if you want to learn to cook or bake start with a beginner’s recipe book and build your skills up. If you want to run a marathon start and you are not a runner, the training will be overwhelming and you will self-sabotage yourself from the get-go. However, if you start training for a 5k and then a 10k, and then a half marathon, by the time you start your marathon training you will be comfortable with the time and the distances that you will need to run during your training.
Setting small goals towards your big goals will allow you to avoid to self-sabotage yourself into quitting.
- Surround yourself with a support system. Having your spouse, kids, parents, siblings, and friends supporting you along while you conquer your goals is important. If we want to read more books per month (or year) perhaps finding a person that wants to be a “reading buddy” for a book or two would be great, or if you want to reach weight loss having someone that will walk with you in the afternoons or will help you find easy and healthy recipes would be fantastic.
- Be aware of negative or unsupportive people around you. Yes, just as much as we want a support system, we need to get rid of the unsupportive ones. If you are trying to have a solid month without drinking alcohol and your friends keep telling you to forget about it and go for a night out, then you will likely sabotage yourself sooner than later. Or if you are trying to learn how to cook, and your spouse or roommate want to eat take out all the time, you will not accomplish your goals.
Be aware of how negative comments can affect you, your mindset, and your goals, and when those comments or thoughts come from people close to you like coworkers, friends, or family we need to put boundaries for them not to affect your goals.
- Pay attention to your physical and mental stages while accomplishing the goals. If your goal is taking too much time away from family or your self-care routine, you may start feeling unbalanced and frustrated, easily allowing you to give up your goal. If you need to slow down your pace, or need to do changes to the schedule, or need to extend the time you needed to reach your goal, do so, and do so without any hesitation. We are human and the most important is that you are not giving up, you will just trying to find a better way to get there.
The road to self-improvement is always ahead of us, setting goals to get better at new skills, or accomplish a personal agenda, or create a new positive habit should be a constant in our lives. Setting goals and accomplishing them provide us comfort in our growth while taking responsibility for our actions
I hope these tips help you create a sense of awareness towards accomplishing the goals you have set up for yourself, and can also provide you with a clear reason of why you have been failing to accomplish that new skill, habit, or action that is in your agenda.