There’s a voice in your head – sometimes conscious and sometimes unconscious – that, when you’re on the brink of starting a health or fitness program, will say “I can’t do it,” “I’m afraid I’ll fail,” or “I’ll start next week.” These and the countless other excuses you come up with are nothing other than self-sabotage trying to hold you back.
Self-sabotage lies in the shadows of your comfort zone. It questions your capabilities, feeds off your fear of failure, and grows stronger every time you doubt yourself. It tells you anything to keep you from achieving your goals. However, you can silence self-sabotage – but you’ll need a sound strategy.
In a previous post, “The Fitness Fix Is in Your Metabolism,” it was mentioned that an essential component of mindset is knowing what to do and how to do it. This requires creating a plan in which you clearly identify your goals and the steps you’ll take to achieve them. Follow this simple to-do list to create your self-sabotage-free plan.
Identify Your Specific Goals
Sit down with a friend, significant other, or better yet, a health and fitness professional, and come up with a set of short-term targets you intend to achieve en route to your bigger goals.
Determine a Clear Vision of Your Future
Where or how do you see yourself in six months? In a year? In five years? Whether your vision is one of your physical transformation or of being present for your child’s wedding, having a mental image of what you would like to achieve will help fuel your efforts.
Identify What Has Held You Back in the Past
Time, money, people, education, and motivation are common factors that can hold you back. Think of ways to overcome them and seek support if necessary.
Identify Metabolic Disruption, Injuries, and Movement Compensations
Physical and biological limitations can be very challenging to overcome. Get proper education and support to improve your chances of seeing results.
Determine Your Baseline Level of Fitness
Know your levels of cardio, strength, and flexibility before you start a program. Test your cardio by walking or running a mile as fast as you can. (If you have a heart rate monitor such as MYZONE, use that to measure your max heart rate and two-minute recovery.) Gauge lower body strength by completing as many bodyweight squats (with perfect form) in one minute as you can; test upper body strength by completing as many push-ups as you can until failure; and assess core strength by trying to hold a static plank for up to two minutes. Track your mile time and strength test numbers and repeat every two weeks to evaluate your progress.
Have a Short-Term Memory When You Deviate From Your Plan
Setbacks will happen. Look at them as learning experiences as opposed to failures and jump right back into the thick of things. Just don’t make it a habit and you’ll be fine.
A well-laid plan and a strong mindset will always beat self-sabotage. The sooner you stop fearing failure and start embracing the challenge ahead, the sooner you’ll reach your health, fitness, or any other goals to become your best self yet.