How to Stop Sabotaging Your Goals

by Rachel Miller

September 21, 2021

ABOVE :Leslie Wong

Why is it that so often we work steadily towards a goal, then somewhere along the way we find ourselves way off course? It’s almost predictable. We doing great. We’re succeeding. Then next thing you know, we’re 7 steps behind. What happened?

When you find yourself noticing the progress you’ve made. When you find yourself one step closer to where you want to be, don’t congratulate yourself.

There’s this thing that happens when we magnify our “good” decisions–when we ruminate on our achievements, our progress. We become so focused on how “good” we’ve been doing that we excuse our future behaviour. We feel justified and deserving to reward our good behaviour. Slowly, subtly we excuse this choice or that decision. We say “I deserve it” or “it’s OK.” We stop doing what got us to where we are now. Slow, and ever-so-slightly, we drift. Without realizing it. Next thing we know we are completely off-course.

The only antidote to this is to minimize the attention. Teach your mind, establish in your mind, that this is normal behaviour—it’s natural. Whatever it is, however you need to think about it–manipulate your mind into understanding that this is normal. It’s not a big deal. It’s not something to talk about or be proud of, it’s just normal.


  • How can you make this choice feel natural, like something you already want to do? Like something you already freely choose? How can you make this new achievment feel normal. Like someone you already are?

  • Like all things, with repetition, it will feel more and more natural to live your new normal. This isn’t an achievement. It’s adaptation.


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