by Jason D. Adams, ACSM
So, it’s almost April and we are closing in on the first quarter of 2016. In the last week of December and the first week of January everyone’s Facebook news feeds were flooded with posts about New Year’s resolutions. I received phone calls and text messages from former clients who were interested in getting “back on track” with their health and fitness programs. Needless to say, there has been very little follow-up from those phone calls and there haven’t been many posts in my newsfeed about the progress of those resolutions leaving me to wonder: what happened?
I’ll admit, sticking to goals, especially overly ambitious new year’s resolutions, can be difficult. So, how do we achieve these health and fitness goals that we have set for ourselves? I’ve identified five major reasons why we stand in the way of achieving our own goals. Avoid these common pitfalls and keep those goals alive!
At this point in my career, I am not surprised by how many people fail at their health and fitness goals. Unfortunately, the majority of the time it has nothing to do with their physicality issues. What I find is that they have no idea of what it will take to reach their goal and where they currently are in the process of achievement. Whatever your goal may be, having a clear and precise understanding of what is required of you and determining how you will go about completing theses responsibilities must be your first steps before you take any actions. Neglecting or not seeking out the important information that is essential to your success will only doom your efforts before you begin your mission.
The second reason why most people quit or fail is because they are not realistic. Obviously, you have skipped step number one if you believe that you are going to lose fifty pounds in the first month of your program. True success has a process and steps that cannot be danced around. The entire process demands your attention, such as healthy eating, proper rest and attending your workout sessions. Having a clear and defined perspective of what you’re trying to achieve is a matter of life and death for your goals. Your perception drives your behavior and your behavior creates your habits. The habits that you cultivate will bring about a desired result, rather it is what you want or not. Dreams come true to those who wake up and participate. Be honest with yourself and make a commitment to your plan. Your goals are half way complete if you can do those two things.
Fear of Failure
Most people will not admit this, but deep down, change is scary. As I mentioned previously, our habits brings us to a desired result. The fear of having to sacrifice and commit to a new way of living leaves us stuck in the stage of contemplation. On this level we are thinking about all the possibilities of success, failure and the effects it will have on our current lifestyle. Even though the information is being processed mentally, the follow through might not be there. People will try to find the short cut to success in this state of mind or abort the entire mission due to the cost of effort.
For those who dare to take action, many tend to become frustrated when they don’t see results overnight. The everyday grind of being consistent and accountable takes its toll in a short amount of time. There will be a time period where nothing is happening in your favor. Maybe you have been working out for two months and you’ve only lost ten pounds. Or unfortunate situations keeps happening to you financially, that is preventing you from saving your money like you’ve planned. This is all a part of the process and as boring and mundane as it is, it is a requirement that you stick to the grind during this stage of change. Trust me, things will turn in your favor in due time if you trust in the process.
Not Having a ‘Why’
Your reason for pursuing the changes that you want to see for yourself should be so strong that nothing can stop you. Arlen Price once stated, “Where the heart is willing, it will find a thousand ways. Where it is unwilling, it will find a thousand excuses.” The first wave of adversity won’t deter those who are serious. What it all boils down to is how bad do you want it? Your purpose for taking action is going to be the deciding factor between success and failure.
I believe in making big goals, and my job as a trainer is to help you achieve them. If you can make a commitment to stay realistic, patient and motivated, together we’ll see success!