7 Not-So-Obvious Ways You’re Secretly Sabotaging Your Goals

7 Ways to Sabotage Your Own Goals
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Raise your hand if you are guilty of setting goals on Monday and reneging on said goals by Wednesday?

No shade sis, no shade!

We all do it. In fact, I used to make fun of my mom all the time because she would start a “diet” every Monday and like clockwork on Wednesday I’d catch her eating a slice of cake or some other delicious treat.

My sassy retort: “Ma! I thought you were on a diet!?”

Her: “Mind your own business, Kierra!”

It wasn’t right of me to laugh either because as time went on, I experienced the same kind of struggle. #thestruggleissoreal

It can be hard to set goals and accomplish them nowadays with so many distractions; not to mention, how easy it is for us to access what we want when we want it. It’s like the world in all its technological glory wants us to fail at life!

Damn you Amazon Prime!! I rebuke you in the name of Jesus!

I empathize with the struggle love, I do, but I wouldn’t be real if I didn’t bring to light all the ways you are sabotaging your goals.


#1 You are treating your goals with less respect because it’s a promise to you, not anyone else

Ever notice how when we make promises to other people, we’re all over it? We bend over backwards to prove we are men and women of our word, but as soon as we make a promise to ourselves, we are as apathetic as Trump during Black History Month.

Explain to me how that makes sense?

Why does our word to ourselves hold less weight than the word we give to others?

When we begin to treat our promises to ourselves with the same fervor and respect we treat our promises to others, only then, will setting goals mean something. Only then, will we begin to crush our goals like a fly in the middle of a Tennesse summer.

#2 You are using your kids, your job, and/or your friends as excuses as to why you can’t stay true to the goals you’ve set

“It was my best friend’s birthday so of course I had to have a slice of the cake.”

“My kids wore me out, so I had no energy for the gym.”

“I had to work overtime, so I had no time to work on my side hustle.”


When I was pledging the prestigious sorority of Delta Sigma Theta, we were tasked with reciting the following every time we fixed our lips to utter an excuse,

“Excuses are tools of the weak and incompetent, that build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness, and those who specialize in them, seldom amount to anything. Therefore, we do not use excuses.”

I’ll tell you this:

I got so obnoxious with it that every time my mom gave me an excuse for anything, I would start reciting Excuses, and every time she would slap me upside my head, but that’s what happens when you brainwash yourself with the RIGHT mantras. They become apart of who you are.

I say all that to say, stop making excuses and start acting in accordance with your goals.

#3 You allow one slip-up to give you permission to throw the whole goal away

“Well, I already had that Snickers bar, might as well just have this whole plate of pasta since I’ve already broken my diet.”

“It’s Thursday, I haven’t been to the gym since Monday. Might as well start over from scratch next week.”

When I write it out like that it sounds ridiculous, right? Okay, you slipped up. That doesn’t mean you have to let it affect the entire week. Just get back on that horse and ride!

Oftentimes, this is a sign that the goal we’ve set is really not as important to us as we thought. You may even want to rethink your “why” at this stage.

#4 You set unrealistic goals

“I want to lose 20 lbs. in one week like this girl I saw on Instagram.”

“I want to start an online business and make millions in the next six months, because that guy on YouTube did it and his idea wasn’t even that great.”

Guys listen,

There’s this thing called S.M.A.R.T. goals. It’s an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Every time you set a goal; you should make sure it fits the aforementioned guidelines. Let’s take a very common goal for example,

“I want to be rich by the time I’m 30.”

Okay, let’s take it through the checklist:

Is this goal specific?

No. “Rich” can mean one thing to you and something entirely different to someone else. So, it is important to define what “rich” means in this context.

Is it measurable?

No. We don’t even know what “rich” means so how can we measure if we’re close to achieving it?

Is it achievable?

I’m sure it would be achievable if we knew what it meant.

Is it realistic?

I’m sure it is realistic, but again, we have no clear idea of what this person means by “rich”.

Is it timely?

Yes. We know this person wants to achieve this goal by the time they’re 30, but even that could be more specific. Do you mean by your 30th birthday? How old are you now? How much time have you given yourself in years, months, days, hours? There’s always room to be more specific.

So, how do we make this goal SMART?

We can say,

“I am 27 years old. By my 30th birthday, I want to have a $300,000 investment portfolio made up of stocks and bonds in a combination of retirement and personal investment accounts.”

Now this, my friends, is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely!
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#5 You’ve failed to break down your broader goals into actionable daily, weekly, and monthly goals

“I want to read 52 personal and professional development books by the end of 2020.

Okay, okay, this is a much better goal in terms of it being specific, measurable achievable, realistic, and timely, BUT it’s a big goal. It can be overwhelming to think about it this way daily, so maybe you should break it down a bit.

For example,

You can commit to reading 4 to 5 books a month, depending on the length. You can break it down even further by saying you’ll commit to reading one book per week. That’s a little less intimidating, right?

Well let’s say you have a week that’s slammed. Do you throw the whole goal away? No. You improvise. Instead of reading the book cover-to-cover, you download an app like Blinkist that summarizes the book you intended to read in 15 minutes. Obviously, you shouldn’t resort to this for every book, but it’s another way to stay on track.

#6 You didn’t write the goals down on paper

How many times have you made goals, said them out loud, told someone about them, but neglected to actually write them down on paper (or type them up)?

This is a huge mistake and here’s why…

Research has proven time and time again the power in writing down your goals. Sarah, the founder of the Power to Reinvent wrote a really nice article entitled: Why You Need to be Writing Down Your Goals

I suggest you read it. She talks about the power this simple action has on bringing your most desirable goals to fruition.

Check out this very ugly vision board I made three years ago:

It may be ugly and unorganized, but I can tell you that about 80% of the goals represented on that board have come to fruition. How crazy is that? It works folks.

#7 You never believed you could achieve the goal in the first place

Setting goals we have no confidence in actually achieving is the single greatest way to sabotage your goal. If you don’t believe you can achieve it, why should the universe? If you don’t believe you have what it takes, it will become obvious.

Remember, there is power in words, in action, and in your intentions. The universe can smell a fraud from a mile away.

You can’t set a goal and then just pray for divine intervention before even taking action!

That’s like asking God for a car, but you don’t even have a license and you don’t know how to drive.

Like what!?

That’s not how life works.

My point is stop sabotaging your own goals. Stop getting in the way of your own progress. Yourself has enough roadblocks to navigate. She doesn’t need any more self-inflicted obstacles. I speak for her when I say,

“Move b&t%h! Get out the way!” (In my Luda voice).

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