Ask the life coach: why do I self sabotage?

Dear Coach Mel

I have set a new years resolution to lose weight and do more exercise, yet so far this year I have sat on the couch drinking wine and watching Netflix. Why do I sabotage myself?

Meg, Melbourne

First of all Meg, you are not alone (I know I’m not the only one hooked on ‘Making a Murderer’!). Many of us start the year feeling the after effects of too much Christmas Pudding and Champagne and our immediate thoughts tend to veer into all or nothing territory. So we set some massive new year’s resolutions (does ‘I am never drinking again’ ring a bell?) only to feel like a complete failure as we gratefully accept that chilled glass of pinot grigio a couple of days later.

Likewise, when it comes to losing weight and exercising many people tend to jump right in, immediately decide to start by running ten kilometres and not surprisingly fall in a heap at the first corner. It then becomes all too easy to listen to that inner mean girl sitting perched on your shoulder, ready to tell you that it is all too hard, who are you to think you can lose weight, you can’t even run to the end of the street, you may as well go sit in the corner and eat a litre of ice cream (she can be a right biatch, that shoulder-sitting hussy!)

Well, I’m here to tell you to kick that inner mean girl to the kerb, you can definitely set some achievable weight loss goals and enjoy your Netflix too, you just need to do one simple thing: make a plan.

Now it is not often that I think along the same line as fitness guru Michelle Bridges (I personally think burpees are the devil’s handiwork) but she does have one thing right: don’t wait for motivation to strike in order to change your habits. If you were not motivated to get up at the crack of dawn and salute the sun in 2015, what makes you think you’ll suddenly be more motivated to do so just because it’s now 2016? The concept of JFDI (just fucking do it) is not a new one, but it sure as hell works, although I would personally add to this and make it PIIYCAJFDI* (pretty catchy hey, I might need to trademark that one!)

So Meg, make a plan, make sure you’ve got all the right gear you need (some snazzy new active wear never hurt anyone), choose a form of exercise that you don’t absolutely hate (Zumba works for me now that I am officially too old to dance in nightclubs), and schedule that exercise in like anything else that you have to do (no excuses allowed). Before you know it you will have formed a new habit and be looking and feeling like a million bucks (well a solid couple of hundred at the very least!)

*Put it in your calendar and just fucking do it!

Do you have a question for the life coach? Email your question to with the subject line: “Champagne Cartel question”. Please note: due to Melissa being a busy professional life coach, no personal replies are possible.

Written By

Melissa Jeffcott is a certified life coach, writer, and workshop facilitator, who is passionate about helping mum’s to discover what brings them joy and purpose in their lives as their children get older. With a background in child psychology, and as a mum of three rapidly growing children, she understands the challenges associated with looking after the needs of your family in conjunction with making time for your own wants and desires. She also likes sleeping, wine, and Ryan Gosling (not necessarily in that order!).

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