Louise Thompson: 4 ways we sabotage ourselves from reaching our goals

We can self-sabotage by turning positive change into a drudge or a chore. Photo / iStock How are those New Year’s Resolutions going? Achieved? Big fat tick? On the way to being achieved? Nice progress being made? Or totally forgotten about and covered in dust, never to be spoken of? We can start off the year with such good intentions, but all too often this burst of enthusiasm to lose 10kg, or spend more quality time with the family falls by the wayside as life gets busy and work ramps up. We seem to self sabotage the very thing we have decided we wanted so much back in January. Why do we do that?! Here are a few of the most common stumbling blocks: Wanting other people’s approval When we most want other people’s approval for our goals we can set ourselves up for failure. It means we are waiting for external approval to fuel our fire. This may or may not come. And if it doesn’t we will quickly lose momentum. When we are looking to make lasting change it is much better to search for a primarily internal motivation to drive us forward. So get connected to what this goal really means for you – how will YOU feel when you achieve it. Not what will everyone say. Get connected to your own inner fire. Expecting it to be hard When we expect a change in behaviour or circumstance to be reeeeeeally hard to accomplish, then guess what: it will be hard! We get what we expect pretty much most of the time. So expecting something to be hard means that we have set up resistance to accomplishing our goal before we even start! If this is what’s derailed you turn this one around by either breaking your goal down into smaller chunks, then halve them again, and again, until they seem ridiculously EASY (eg. could you fit in an eight-minute walk each day? Sure you could. Good. Do that then). And then just START. Give yourself permission to start slow, but for the love of God, start! Build up as you go rather than putting yourself off by expecting too much too soon. Not building in milestones and rewards We can self-sabotage by turning positive change into a drudge or a chore. When it’s a big goal (run a marathon, drop 15kg, learn how to windsurf well) it is much easier to keep motivated towards our goals by building in intermittent rewards for reaching key milestones along the way. When we build in these smaller checkpoints we can keep ourselves on track with the bigger goal and we are far more likely to accomplish it. For example a weekend away after losing the first 4kg, or running 10km the first time. Bribes don’t just work on small children! Build yourself in some rewards to keep your motivation high. Not choosing in favour of our goal in the moment The biggest self sabotage of them all is when we don’t choose in favour of our big goal in the moment. We choose in favour of what we fancy right then (chill on the couch, eating dessert) rather than what we have consciously chosen as our long term goal. Regularly reconnecting with the big goal is super important to make choices that support that in the moment rather than choices that self sabotage. Regularly recommit to your goal and remind yourself of the benefit of achieving it and how you will feel when you have made it happen. Resource: New Zealand Herald, May 9, 2016 Click here to find more about Natural Working Style “What is your natural working style?”

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