Are You Sabotaging Your Goals?

goals habit progress reward self sabotage Feb 15, 2020

Cue, Interpretation, Action, Reward⁣

^^ This is the process of creating a new habit.⁣

Celebrate small wins.⁣

Find ways to enjoy the process.⁣

^^ These are tools to help you work towards long-term goals.⁣

Something all this has in common: 𝐑𝐞𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝.⁣

Rewards are fantastic, but only if used WISELY.⁣

When the reward for your progress or sticking with a new habit is counterproductive toward your long-term goal or lifestyle change, things can get dicey.⁣

Here’s what I mean:⁣


It’s been a long week and the last thing you want to do is go to the gym, but you are working on the habit of getting 4 workouts in per week and want to lose 10lbs by the end of the year.⁣

You suck it up, get to the gym, and feel AWESOME about keeping this promise to yourself and working towards your goals. 👏👏⁣

Once you get home from the gym you feel as though you’ve “earned” a reward. And that Ben and Jerry’s is calling your name…⁣

OOPS, you find yourself crapping the bottom of the pint — you feel a little guilty (prob didn’t need THAT much “reward”)…⁣

…but also aren’t too concerned. You did, after all, get to the gym 4x this week (even when you didn’t feel like it!!)⁣

THE REALITY: Your progress reward is sabotaging your actual goal.⁣

Your progress shouldn’t be an excuse to take it easy. ⁣

The *problem* with progress is how it makes us ✨FEEL✨ and the satisfaction we get from it.⁣

We feel good when we do things that progress us towards our goals, but this becomes a problem when we SETTLE for those good progressive feelings, rather than keeping in mind our actual goal. 🥇⁣

it’s too easy to mistake a goal supportive action (e.g. making it to the gym when you REALLY didn’t want to) ✅ for the ACTUAL goal itself.⁣

Giving yourself too much credit for these small positive actions might make you feel like you “earned” counterproductive actions (e.g. that pint of Half Baked) ❌⁣

How to combat the problem of progress: focus not just on progress alone, but how that progress indicates your commitment.⁣

👉 Instead of evaluating yourself: “how much progress did I just make?”⁣

Try this: “how committed do I feel to my lifestyle change?”⁣

This simple shift in focus from progress as an indicator of success to progress as an indicator of overall commitment can mean the difference between:⁣

“Alright, I did that, I know I made progress. Now that I am feeling good, I can go do what I really want to do.”⁣


“Alright, I did that, I know I made progress. It felt good because I WANTED to do it, and I’m committed to changing my lifestyle for good.”⁣

𝐂𝐡𝐞𝐜𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟:⁣
Is your reward system a sneaky sabotage system??