Ways We Self-Sabotage Our Goals (Plus What To Do About It)

Struggling to form a new habit? Hoping to break an old one? You’re likely undermining your efforts.

Cielo Vida🧡ReWILDing You
5 min readMar 5, 2022


We’ve all been there. A new year begins. Or even a new month. We commit to reading more books. Getting out of debt. Losing 10 pounds.

Inspired we go full force towards our goal. Only to slip off the wagon three or four days later. Feeling like failures, we throw in the towel.

We think: What’s the point of trying? I never follow through.

But what if there was another way?

What if facing the ways we passively—or actively—prevent ourselves from reaching our goals meant we could do things differently?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’ve broken down the ways that I self-sabotage into three general categories. See if you can relate.

Justifying. We make excuses for our self-sabotaging behavior. We think I worked hard this week. I deserve to eat a nice dinner out and have a few cocktails. I just want to unwind.

Spending money we intended to apply towards our debt. Putting the impulsive behavior on credit cards, increasing our debt. Making food choices not in our best interest. Scrolling our phones instead of picking up a book.

We justify when a holiday comes around. Or our birthday. The weekend. Abandoning ourselves and our goals for temporary pleasure. Justifying our decisions.

A tendency towards justification gives us an excuse to take our eyes off the target.

Justifying our actions distracts us from the target. Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

The dark force of justification is strong within me. Even as I write this, I’m sitting in a coffee shop resisting the urge to get a breakfast burrito and a latte. Knowing both would undermine my recent recommitment to intermittent fasting, eating clean, and avoiding stimulants.

What’s the antidote to justification? Be honest with yourself. Create a spreadsheet or start a bullet journal. Use a chart to track your behavior.

When you know you’re checking in every day, holding yourself…



Cielo Vida🧡ReWILDing You

Inner Wisdom Guide+Freedom Advocate⚡️I help women shift from self-silencing to Living Out Loud💥One year FT from the Suby~outside is home🏜She/Her