How to sabotage your goals and set yourself up for failure


New year, new you, right? But for how long? Three months? One month? A week? How many times have you set a resolution, or any goal, only to watch it grow lukewarm on the back burner and eventually evaporate altogether? We’ve all done it, and rest assured we will do it the rest of our lives if we follow these simple steps.

  1. GO BIG OR GO HOME Goal setting is for warriors. Spartans. Absolute beasts. And the fierce don’t take baby steps. They don’t keep their eye on something 100% attainable, but slightly beyond their comfort zone. If you’re going to set a goal, make sure it’s something you don’t think you can do. Make sure you go in mentally afraid and doubtful. Make sure that in order to reach this goal, you will have to sacrifice every essence of balance in your life including (but not limited to) your family, health, sanity, job, and comfort. This will assure a quick failure as you lose motivation and energy.
  2. ALL OR NOTHING MINDSET The only way to reach a goal is to never screw up. Ever. Screwing up even a little bit puts you past the point of no return. No jumping back on the bandwagon. It’s long gone, and you’re alone on the highway of failure. Definitely don’t be flexible with your methods. If something isn’t working, try it again even harder over and over again until you can no longer repeat the cycle. If you mess something up, mess up big because screw your goals. Life is not about moderation!
  3. NO PAIN, NO GAIN Self improvement must suck. Always. If you’re on a new diet, make sure you hate all the food you’re allowed to eat. If you hate running, definitely set a goal to run a marathon. You’ll suffer every step of every mile because that’s what it’s all about. Set goals that are meaningless and unappealing to you. Impose restrictions and punishments on yourself. This will help you be as miserable as possible, because goals should not make you happy.
  4. NO RUSH Never give yourself a deadline for your goals. Parameters are for the committed, and if you’re committed to something, you’ll actually have to try! You’ll have something giving you urgency and holding you accountable. If you actually reserve time off for that trip to Australia, you’ll have to save up the money to go there! And if you decide to finish Les Miserables by May 1st, you’ll have to read, like, a zillion pages. And that’s just too hard. And scary. By not setting a deadline, you give yourself the “flexibility” to fail on your ambitions and not have to feel bad about it.
  5. DEFINITELY! MAYBE… When goal setting, the more vague you can be, the better. After all, it’s easier to shoot at a wall and draw the bullseye around your hit than actually aim for a target, right? It’s certainly much more fulfilling, isn’t it? Being too specific means you have to take aim. It means there’s a point where you know whether or not you’ve reached your destination. Heck, it means you know how far you have to go before you get there and that’s just burdensome.
  6. DON’T HAVE A PLAN Plans are for people who are too rigid to make it up as they go. After all, simply wishing for something is the number one way to make sure you never get it, and that’s what we’re after! Plans give you structure. Guidelines. Boundaries. We already talked about those. Give yourself a goal, but make sure you don’t know how to get there and you’ll find yourself adding another failed resolution to your resume in no time.
  7. PROCRASTINATE NOW! If you really want something, like truly long after it, the best way to keep your yearning strong is to wait to start pursuing that thing. Wait for the next Monday. Or until after that trip. Or till things slow down (haha, what?). Or maybe wait till next year or till you have more money or you’ve lost weight or after the move, et cetera et cetera until you die, successfully having accomplished nothing on your to-do list.

So there you have it. Keep doing what you’ve always done, because it’s probably been working for you. Or maybe, just maybe, start a little smaller. Find someone to help you, or at least council with someone you trust who can give honest feedback on the reality of your goals. Failure breeds failure, so set yourself up for success by setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-based). If any of these pertain to fitness, I’m happy to help! Good luck, and happy self-improvement!

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