Workout Sabotage: Don't Sell Yourself Short!

Are you really giving your workout 100 percent? Or do you sometimes sabotage yourself by engaging in one of these four bad habits?

1. You Sell Yourself Short

Instead of challenging yourself at most workout sessions, you take it easy too often. Sure, any exercise is good exercise, but the key to advancing your fitness goals is to incrementally challenge yourself to work harder and get stronger. You might be selling your workout short if you decide you'll only work out for 30 minutes, even if, when the timer goes off, you're not tired or sweaty. You might be cutting yourself too much slack if you allow yourself more easy days than tough days.

Solution: Ignore the timer and keep going until you're all worked out. Run another five minutes or add one more repetition to your strength training routine.

2. You Don't Keep Track

If you lost your workout journal months ago and haven't set new goals all year, you might have an unrealistic perspective on how much exercise you're doing. Your mind can play tricks on you to avoid hard work. You might think you're putting in the right amount of time and effort, but how do you know for sure? If you aren't keeping an exercise log, you have no actual proof that you're doing your best to stay fit.

Solution: Grab a journal, notebook, or even a few lines in your calendar, and write down your fitness plans for the week. Schedule in your exercise time and write down exactly what you did at each workout. Then review your log regularly and create new goals.

3. You Don't Do the Math

The equation for weight loss success? Burn more calories than you consume. But if you're not staying on top of your healthy diet or you think that exercise will make up for bad eating and drinking habits, your bottom line isn't going to add up to the results you want.

Solution: Keep track of what you're eating with a food journal. Tallying up calories isn't absolutely necessary if you know the relative nutrition values associated with the foods you eat. Keeping a written record of every bite you consume should keep you honest and aware of ways you can improve your diet.

4. You're Not Being Realistic

You started out motivated, energetic, and certain you'd achieve your goals, but if those goals aren't achievable, you're going to get frustrated. That's when you'll tell yourself, "Why work so hard if I'm not getting what I want." Don't give up on your goals just because they're not happening fast enough.

Solution: Take a close look at your goals and ask if they're realistic. Can you really take off all the weight you want in the time frame you expect or will it take a little longer? Can you really train for a marathon in the amount of time you've allowed or do you need to reset the dates and give yourself more time? By setting realistic short-term and long-term goals, you'll enjoy success faster and keep yourself motivated.