How to Win When You Feel Like Giving Up - Strategies to Recognize and Defeat Negative Thinking or Self-Sabotage

Let’s face it, at some point during your healthy lifestyle change, your unhealthy habits can come back to haunt you—especially during times of stress. It’s important to stay on the path and most important—don’t give up. 

Self-sabotage comes in the form of very persuasive excuses that keep you spinning in circles and never really reaching your goals. Recognize your thoughts and acknowledge you need to shift your mindset. If any of these below sound like you, here’s what to do when you feel like giving up. 

I’ don’t have time for this”….

We all have the same amount of time in a day. But, we can also change the way we spend our time. Exercise doesn’t have to take hours and you don’t even need a gym to get fit and be active. Those are excuses that keep you paralyzed from ever taking action and responsibility to change your life. 

Break the illusion of “no time” and negative thinking. You can get up 15-minutes earlier and do some form of exercise. You can start prepping your own meals to take to work instead of dining out. These are just a few things you can do to shift your mindset and accomplish your goals.

I already failed and feel guilty, so why even bother”

Even if you’ve missed a few workouts or ate some things you know you shouldn’t have, don’t quit! Acknowledge your slip-up, forgive yourself and keep going. Falling back into negative thinking and patterns is normal, but don’t throw away your goals over a few mishaps. Think about what you will be gaining if continue with your healthy lifestyle goals—don’t dwell on minor slip-ups.

Preparation and commitment is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Praise yourself for your accomplishments and your wins—don’t beat yourself up and quit over a few setbacks.

I’ll eat healthier tomorrow”….

If you catch yourself saying this and eating “one last unhealthy meal” it’s time to take a serious look at your choices. Real talk, you know tomorrow will never come. Better choices start right now—in the moment. 

Make a plan to eat better and change your lifestyle today. Another thing you can do is go through your kitchen and get rid of your “junk” food. Start replacing it with healthier options.

I don’t even know where to start”….

There is so much help and information available to you. Not knowing how to begin is just another excuse to stay where you are. When you determine what you really want and why, nothing can stop you from reaching your goals. Set small daily goals, start a health journal, find a coach, get on a plan and take immediate action. 

When you realize you are responsible and in total control of your thoughts and actions. No coach, fitness trainer, diet, exercise plan or motivation will break your bad thoughts that lead to unhealthy choices. You have to choose the life you want to live and commit—your failure or success is 100% your responsibility. So, what will you choose?


“Even if you’ve failed in the past due to lack of support or other circumstances, you can start over again. Remember, everyday is a new gift.”

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*This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.

Roland Manny