I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the phenomenon of self-sabotage…
You know, things are going great: you’re eating well, taking care of yourself, you’ve finally gotten into a rhythm… and then, slowly, things start to slide. You start “rewarding” yourself for being so good by more dinners out ordering foods you normally would avoid. You start skipping the gym or your favorite yoga classes, because, you know, you’ve just been so good all week!
And before you know it, you’re back to feeling totally off your game, contemplating doing another cleanse to “get back on track.”
This cycle totally sucks! But luckily, it’s also totally avoidable.
The key to abolishing self-sabotage is keeping your routine super fun and sustainable.
When you take on extremes — going to the gym 6 days a week! eating only salad! meditating every single day! — you are setting yourself up for failure. Those extreme approaches can only last so long before you just get bored, exhausted, or strung-out. And that’s when you start cheating, and skipping, and thinking of reasons why you don’t need to stay so rigid.
The fact is, you’re right! You don’t need to be so rigid! And every fiber of your being will eventually start to rebel against this rigidity, often with disastrous consequences.
So instead of taking on big, huge, extreme goals, focus on the what you can actually stick with. Start small and go from there. Having trouble getting to the gym at all? Pick one class you really love and get super consistent with going to it every week. Then gradually add on another day, and another, until you’re at a place where you’re seeing results while still enjoying yourself. Feeling super overwhelmed with the prospect of starting a mediation practice? Start with a short, 10 minute guided practice, just 2 or 3 times a week. Get really solid with it, and then add on… Or don’t! Maybe 2 or 3 days a week is all you can realistically and sustainably handle, and that’s OK!
Stay focused on what feels good. If you’re hating every minute of it, what are the odds that you’ll stick with it? Be flexible with yourself. Honor what your body and mind are telling you.
And most importantly, take time to acknowledge all the awesome stuff you’re doing for yourself. Show yourself some love, instead of focusing on what more you could/should be doing. Every step you’re taking towards the body and life you want is worth celebrating. If you feel like rewarding yourself, do it with something that makes you feel even more amazing — a massage, a new sweater, a great date — instead of rewarding yourself with cheat foods or skipping your healthy routine. These feel-good rewards will help you stay motivated and encourage you to stick with it, as opposed to pseudo-rewards that will be hard to come back from.
Want some help in starting some simple daily steps that you can stick with?
Starting February 1st