Achieving goals in any form is often a challenging and rewarding undertaking. A lot of people set goals, it is incredibly common. It is what drives health, life, business and just about every aspect of life. What is equally as common however, is the failure to achieve them.
There can be a number of factors holding us back from achieving our goals. The great news is that there doesn’t have to be. With some insights into your behaviour, motivations and ability to follow through on your plan, the ability to achieve your goal can just come down to putting your plan in to place.
Achieving a health and fitness goal can mean anything from completely turning around your daily routine to learning and developing new skills and understandings.
Whilst we do not profess to be psychologists, we are able to give examples of what we have seen over our combined 50+ years health and fitness industry.
Here are a number of reasons that we have seen as to why people tend to miss out on the level of success that they desire and are not moving forward in the way they hoped.
Time is an interesting topic because we all have the same amount of it on a daily basis.
The difference between the level of success and effectiveness that people have towards it usually comes down to how they approach the time they do have. All the most successful people in history have the same 24 hours as the unsuccessful. How they approach their time is the reason they are able to succeed.
If time is not utilised properly, it can be a big factor holding you back from achieving your goals.
To have enough time to achieve your desired level of health and fitness success, you must make the available time that you have a priority.
Questions such as:
- How many hours of exercise do you want to do each day/week?
- Do I have the space in my current life to do that consistently?
- Is there something I need to sacrifice in order to make the time?
You need to be very honest with yourself from the outset as to how much time you are willing to commit in order to achieve the goal you are after.
If you are honest with your ability to dedicate time, then you can see if that is realistic with your desired goal. Sometimes you need to bring your goal back a little bit so you can give it the right amount of time.
Remember, if you commit to something that is going to require more time than you have available, then you will never succeed. You will end up feeling unmotivated and like a failure.
Something that should be avoided at all times!
So often people look at others, wondering why they aren’t like them and where they are with not only their health but also their life.
Comparing yourself to others is a guaranteed way to bring a lot of negative energy in to your life.
Why would you spend your energy comparing your position to someone who is completely different to you?
Instead, it is far healthier and more productive to use that energy to improve your position.
The reality of things is that no-one really cares too much about what you are doing, how you are doing it and why. What they would care about is the results that you are getting.
Hint: Berating yourself for not being like others and making yourself feel guilty for not seeing the same result isn’t going to help you get to yours any quicker!
Advice: Refocus your energy and attention towards how you can consistently improve and develop the skills, knowledge and understanding required to see success. Before you know it, you will have it.
Short Term Viewpoint
It is very easy to get stuck in the here-and-now. Getting discouraged when a small mistake is made is a great way to put a speed bump in front of your success.
People have 1 bad meal, 1 bad weekend, 1 bad week and think that it is the end of the world.
Have you ever had a bad Monday that has ruined the rest of your week? Why? There are still 6 days remaining!
A short-term viewpoint can be a positive, but only when the long term is also being taken in to account.
If we are looking for a lifestyle change and adopting habits to last years (even decades), why would we let something so small derail the whole process?
Simply use these ‘mistakes’ as stepping stones.
Learn from them but do not get discouraged by them. Allow them to pave the path to success, instead of piling them up like a brick wall stopping you from moving forward.
Create short-term goals that allow your long-term goal to get achieved. That is the type of short-term focus that is going to help you see success.
Fear/Negative Self Talk
This is a big one, and incredibly important.
It is not uncommon for fear and negative self talk being an unrealised factor holding us back from achieving our goals.
If you are afraid of achieving your goal, and you do not believe that you are good enough to achieve it, what chance do you have?
The key to success lies with firstly the belief that you can in fact achieve it.
Sure it can be scary, intimidating and sometimes overwhelming but if you genuinely believe that you can achieve it, then those emotions can be used for motivation and fuel towards success instead of becoming the source of failure.
Negative self talk is a tricky one; one that a lot of people struggle with. It is not something that is easily solved and can be very overwhelming.
A simple question can often help put the thoughts into perspective.
How would I feel if someone said those things to me or someone I cared about?
You would probably stand up to the person saying it wouldn’t you?
The next time negative thoughts creep in, stand up to them! Remind yourself that it is just a thought and dismiss it.
It might sound like a simple solution, but it is an effective one. It doesn’t completely solve the problem, but it definitely puts it into perspective.
It is much easier to achieve your health and fitness goal if you are being held accountable by more than just yourself.
Let your close friends know what you want to do. Join a group of like-minded individuals. Get a personal trainer. Let your workplace know. Get a training buddy.
All of these ideas build in layers of support. The more people that know, the more people there are to help you get that result. A race is always a little bit more motivating when you have a group of people there to cheer you on at the finish line.
Do whatever it takes to build in these layers of support, so that when you are finding it challenging, you have people that you can lean on.
It is amazing the difference that a little bit of support can make.
Taking the easy way out.
In this day and age, we are constantly facing the new miracle cure and quick success solution. We are surrounded by efficiency and the ability to get any task done quickly.
Unfortunately this does not work with health and fitness. It never has and it never will.
If you are constantly trying a 4 week diet or the newest training fad, how are you equipping yourself with the tools required and the consistency needed in order to achieve a long lasting lifestyle change?
Stop looking for the easy way out. Find balance in your life and understand that it might take a while. For me 6 months of hard work and learning that will last a lifetime far outweighs being on the rollercoaster for another 10 years.
Understand that if you truly wish to see long term success, if you really want to achieve goals, that it is going to take time and effort.
Once you understand that it needs to be a lifestyle change, then it is just a matter of putting a plan in place to achieve that goal.
In a perfect world, if we were to put this all together at once, we would have an unbeatable path to success.
- Found the right balance of available time and aligned it with goals and expectations
- Focussed our energy on developing our own knowledge and shifted it away from comparing ourselves to others.
- Removed the short-term viewpoint and developed the understanding of long-term success.
- Reduced the level of fear and negative self-talk so we know believe and are excited by the prospect of achieving something scary.
- Found more than just ourselves to keep us accountable, building in layers of support and understanding.
- Moved away from the rollercoaster of easy options and quick fixes, instead moving towards a longer term commitment
With all of the above in mind, there is one final question that needs to be asked…
Do you have something holding you back from achieving your goals?
If yes, what actionable steps can you put in to place TODAY to make TOMORROW a little bit more successful?
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Since COVID-19 entered our lives, we have aimed to deliver some great weekly information as to how you can remain healthy, productive and in good spirits. This blog post is the latest addition to a growing library of information. Click to read more on our dedicated COVID support blogs.
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