I’m always talking about the importance of becoming the best version of you and never comparing yourself to others. A big part of this process involves taking a step back, analysing your behaviour and asking yourself a few questions, are your own behaviours getting in the way of your good intentions? Are you your own worst enemy?

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in my 17 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 jam-packed schedule or your sore back, but your mindset. So, if any of the behaviours in my list below ring a bell, you might be a culprit of self-sabotage and this could be what is holding you back from achieving your fitness goals.

1. You put up mental barriers. You tell yourself “I can’t do burpees” or “I can’t cook that healthy meal because I hate peas”.
2. You cheat rather than treat yourself. You may have started working out and seeing results, but let your treats get out of hand and this tends to undo all of your good work.
3. You give up way too easily. “It’s too cold outside to go for a run” is one of your most frequently used excuses.
4. You’re always putting things off. When “I’ll start tomorrow” turns into “I’ll start Monday” all too often.

At the end of the day, self-sabotaging behaviours can stem from laziness, but often also from a place of fear. We’re afraid we won’t be able to get there, so we don’t try at all. It’s when we start to break down those mental barriers that are driven 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 introducing the following behaviours into your routine to get you back on track.

It’s when we start to break down those mental barriers that are driven by our fear that we can really start to make the journey towards our fitness goals, and this is a totally empowering process.

Become accountable
Making yourself accountable can be as simple as identifying what you want to achieve, writing it down, and putting it on the fridge as a constant reminder. To take it one step further, recruit a training buddy to go on the weight loss journey with you, whether it’s a 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 Pilates class and leaves your buddy high and dry.

Failing to plan is planning to fail

This is one of my all-time favourite sayings, and when it comes to breaking self-sabotaging habits, it’s absolutely key. Organising 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
When we deprive ourselves and make our favourite things strictly off bounds, we’re more likely to sabotage our goals. We always want what we can’t have, right? So, try not to set strict rules, like telling yourself you need to totally cut out coffee or can’t have a day off exercising, instead make a conscious decision that your actions will reflect your goals and rather than contradict them.

Work towards realistic goals
Start by setting smart, realistic goals that aren’t too big and that you know are within your capability of achieving. When we set realistic goals it feels like the mountain isn’t too high to climb and this way we’re more likely stick to them and succeed.

Believe you can achieve!
I’m 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 truly have success. Never forget 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, there’s no need to worry – you’re absolutely not on your own. Just focus on realising which of these sabotaging behaviours is holding you back the most, and slowly but surely, work them out of your system.



Sam Wood

Sam Wood is Australia’s favourite personal trainer. Gym owner, founder of Gecko Sports, creator of 28 by Sam Wood and proud family man. Beyond his business success, Sam is also a regular media contributor with frequent online, radio and television appearances. Sam combines 17 years industry experience, an unwavering passion to make a difference and his charismatic personality to deliver refreshingly honest and relatable messages to tens of thousands of people every day. As the pioneer of children’s fitness, owner of Australia’s biggest personal training gym and creator of 28 by Sam Wood there is no question that Sam is one of Australia’s leading fitness experts.