I think this is the biggest obstacle to meeting health goals – compliance with your program. What do you do when you go back to old habits – and sabotage your health goals? I struggled with this personally for a long, long time and found my own solutions. However, I am always trying to learn more about what others do to overcome long-term patterns of self-sabotage. Thanks!
I like to help the client be very clear on setting achievable goals to create successes to build on. Rebuilding their integrity with themselves is a key step. It is easier to fall back into old habits when we are not clear on our commitments and set ourselves up for mini-falls that undermine us. As an example, when we say we are going to exercise every day during the week and do 4 out of 5, the focus tends to be on the day that was missed, falling short and not keeping your word. This undermines your personal integrity even though 4 days exceeded your previous week, you didn’t keep your word. Instead, making a commitment of something you know you can make happen and that you will absolutely, no matter what, and achieving that, boosts your personal integrity.. 3 days exercise for minimum 30 minutes, drinking 4 glasses of water 5 days, adding a raw vegetable serving to 3 meals this week. Being clear and creating absolute successes, rebuilds your personal integrity muscle so when the tougher decisions and temptations arise, your personal word to yourself actually means something.
You are correct that each person needs to find what works for themselves, but there are things that you can do to help. I would start by tracking the things and events that trigger the old habits. That way, you can work to either avoid the triggers or find ways to replace the old behaviors with new ones. One example: If the trigger to an old bad habit is to go home after work and binge eat, then replace that trigger by leaving a gym bag at the door in the morning and heading to the gym after work instead. The new trigger–gym bag– will help create a healthier behavior.
Also, reevaluating goals or setting new ones can help to get back on track as well as remembering past successes. This can give a client some motivation and new energy.
Last, support and accountability through trainers, friends, family, and spouses all help to get back on track. If someone does fall off a bit, they need to go easy on themselves and realize it does happen. A positive mindset will help as well.
Hello Mike Bundrant,
I don’t call it self sabotage; this is about making choices in the real world.
We have brainstorming discussions about falling off the wagon and getting back on that wagon which goes in the proper direction. The road is different for everyone; so, this is where personal training excels.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
I remind my clients (and myself) that slipping back into old habits does not mean you have to stay there. If the goal was a valid one, then I suggest a reset button, and then start over. Just because you have dropped off by February does not mean you have to wait to next year January 1 to start afresh. I also suggest to make that strategy a goal.
Happy New Year!