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Bad Habits That Are Stopping You From Achieving Your Fitness Goals

A few decades of training and coaching have taught us that old bad habits stand as the first great obstacle to achievement. The “Not-To-Do” list is just as important as the “To-Do-List”. This shift in mindset is powerful. Check our new blog on the 6 bad habits preventing you from achieving your fitness goals to learn more.

Have you ever tried reaching a fitness goal only for you to realize months later that you aren’t making progress? Did you end up feeling frustrated?

If you answered yes, then you aren’t alone.

Many people have well-intentioned objectives in terms of their wellness but find out later that it’s harder than it seems to make them happen. In most instances, the reason for this is due to self-sabotage, a term describing the dynamic where an individual unintentionally sets themselves up to fail.

In almost 30 years of training as a high-performance athlete and 20 years coaching in martial arts, I have observed myself and many of my athlete's impulses to rush into whatever needs to be done to achieve our goals.

With time I've learned, there is a better way. Before putting together a list of what to do to achieve our fitness and athletic goal, we MUST put together a list of what no to do. In other words, we need to empty our cups or create space in our lives for the new routines and habits to kick in and create the change.

From all the stuff we need to get rid-off to break th9rough higher levels of performance, lose wait or be more consistent with our training perhaps the most challenging ones are the habits of self-sabotage. They are tricky because most of the time they go noticed. It is like a hidden enemy that lives inside our own heads.

It is my hope that pointing them to you, will help you acknowledge and overcome what could possibly be the strongest force holding you back.

1. Thinking That Routine Will Be Easy

Setting your fitness objectives and actually achieving them are two different aspects. The thing that can make or break achieving your goals is how you actually view the goals themselves.

If you’ve already set your mind to think that the routine is going to be easy, you could be setting yourself up to fail. I’ve seen many people throughout my coaching years sabotage their fitness objectives as soon as they assume the ordeal will be a breeze.

When you’re already thinking that things are going to be easy, you may be more disappointed and more likely to give up when the going gets rough — which it will.

To counteract this self-sabotaging mindset, you should prepare yourself to work hard in the studio, sticking to your routines, and getting the right nutrition.

2. Not Getting Sufficient Sleep

We all know that getting enough sleep is beneficial to our overall well-being. But, did you also know that a lack of sleep can prevent you from reaching your fitness goals?

Our body needs sleep to function properly. We need it for optimal health and wellness. Sleep is necessary so our bodies can recover effectively after workouts.

During training, existing muscle fibers and tissues in our body break down, which get repaired during sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body won’t have the time it needs to repair itself and you may even lose lean muscle mass as a result.

3. Eating The Wrong Food Combinations

Even if you’re consuming the right amount of calories to achieve your fitness goals, you could be sabotaging your routine by not getting the right kind of nutrition. You may lose weight by just having a light snack in the morning, but will it help you get through your intense training later in the day?

Rather than worry about things that you shouldn’t put in your body, you should focus instead on getting the macronutrients you need. I’ve seen many apps that help you calculate how much protein, carbs, and fat you should get each day.

These programs can be adjusted based on your preferences and you can keep track of the food you eat so you have an idea of the number of macronutrients you still need.

4. Not Having The Right Support Community

Research has shown that people have a higher chance of achieving their goals when they receive ongoing support. Getting extraordinary support from your team members, such as a friend or an instructor, can be very beneficial in helping us realize our dreams.

When we isolate ourselves, we increase the chances of losing sight of our objectives and eventually give up on them.

5. Failing To Prioritize Fitness

One big obstacle that can mess with your wellness goals is when you do not prioritize fitness at all. Although life can get busy, you can sabotage your objectives if you do not set time to work on them.

Whenever this happens, I advise people to put their workouts on their calendars using red markers. Not only does this make exercise time easy to remember, but it becomes a non-negotiable aspect of their day.

6. Being Fearful of Succeeding

One strange yet prevalent mindset that can sabotage your fitness goals and hold you back from achieving them is being fearful of succeeding.

This is common among individuals who aim to lose weight but self-sabotage themselves because of the thought that such an objective comes at a price.

For instance, you may have improved self-confidence and a healthier body when you lose weight, but it also means that you have to give up on certain types of food to prioritize proper nutrition. It could also mean giving up your Saturday morning relaxation routine and hitting the gym instead to stay fit.

If you truly want to live a healthier life, then I suggest you need to stop being afraid of succeeding and stay committed to your new Lifestyle.


And, there you have it. These are some of the most common self-sabotaging habits that can prevent you from reaching your fitness goals.

If any of the above seem relevant to your situation, now would be a great time to engage with a new plan of action to change these habits so you can find more success.

Flavio Almeida

5th Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt

5 x World Champion

Co-Founder BarraFIT Studio Scottsdale

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