13 Ways to FAIL at Achieving Your Fitness Goals!

by Lorna Balfour

If you want to FAIL at reaching your fitness goals, then stick to the following points. It surprises me how many people adopt some of these points, yet, still hope to achieve their fitness goals. They set themselves up to fail.

Poor goal setting
Poor accountability
Indifference
Poor planning
Poor personal responsibility
High stress load
Negative thinking
Inflexible approach
Poor quality training
Dehydration
Dislike of exercise
Poor nutrition
Exhaustion

I have listed the points in the order I feel represents their level of importance, number one being the biggest faux pas. This list is not exhaustive, but represents the most common failures I observe with people.

1. Poor goal setting ~”The quick fixer”

‘The Quick Fixer’ is someone wants to lose two stone of weight in one month, and in an even quicker time if they can! After they lose this weight they will never have to exercise again, they hope. The goal is set out of fear and desperation. Of course, their chance of success is limited. A better approach is to set a realistic timeframe, working with your body, and not against it. This is a less stressful approach, and one where you are more likely to succeed. While it is good to have short term goals, it is also advisable to have medium term and longer term goals.

2. Indifference ~”The deluded”

‘The Deluded’ are people who talk a very good game when it comes to their fitness, however, when push comes to the shove they do not take enough action. These people only train once a week and don’t like sweating in the gym, or feeling their sore muscles the next day. You need to train twice a week at the right intensity to see any difference with your fitness.

3. Poor personal responsibility ~”The child”

‘The Child’ is someone who blames everyone else when they do not achieve their fitness goals, including their personal trainer, parents, or even their boss! Of course, they are the only person in control of their fitness and health, but are not emotionally mature enough to realise that. These people will typically cancel sessions at the last minute, not train every week, and come up with any random excuse as to why they cannot workout.It it is never their fault. As an adult, you need to be responsible for your own weekly training sessions.

4. Negative thinking ~”The energy drainer”

‘The Energy Drainer’ is someone who doesn’t expect to reach their fitness goals due to their negative beliefs. These people compare themselves to others, including celebrities, and wonder why they do not look like them. They also feel guilty about eating anything, and express a strong disgust with their bodies.

5. Dislike of exercise ~”The moaner”

‘The Moaner’ is someone who can’t get through an exercise session without complaining about how much they hate exercise. If this resonates with you, change what you are doing. Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym and running on the treadmill. Have a think about what you enjoy and do that instead. If you are complaining because you haven’t exercised for a while and it feels uncomfortable, it is best to persevere and remain as positive as you can. It will get easier. Just give up the moaning!

6. Poor quality training ~”The time waster”

‘The Time Waster’ is someone who trains religiously, but never reaches their fitness goals, as they are not training efficiently. The problem is these people are not sure how to exercise properly. Their technique can be seriously dodgy, or they can stick to fixed machine training as they simply do not know how to use the free weights. Or, they can stick to the same five tried and tested exercises for years without changing anything. Totally pointless.

7. Exhaustion ~”The zombie”

‘The Zombie’ is someone who thrives on four hours of sleep a night and doesn’t have the energy to train efficiently. They will argue with you that they can train well on four hours of sleep, but they will not be able to lift a 5kg dumbbell, or even jog on the treadmill for five minutes without feeling shattered. Ideally you want to get to bed by 10pm and get up after 6am.

8 Poor accountability ~”The drifter”

‘The Drifter’ is someone who doesn’t have any accountability for their fitness goals, and therefore the goals drift along, unmet. It is good to have someone else to support you in reaching your fitness goals and be accountable to. This person could be your personal trainer, partner, or friend.

9. Poor planning ~”The alien”

‘The Alien’ is someone who cannot work out how to get themselves from A to B. They lack the most basic organisational skills for practical living, almost like they have been brought up in outer space. These people will forget to schedule training sessions into their week, and when they do remember they forget to pack their kit before they head for the gym. They will turn up at the gym to go for a run with their swimsuit and no runners. Or they will forget to warm-up before they exercise. A total nightmare!

10. High stress load ~”The workaholic”

‘The Workaholic’ thrives on adrenaline and stress. They work twelve hour days, are very competitive, and on the road to burnout. These people define themselves by their work, exercise and health take a back seat. These people find it hard to prioritise exercise just in case their work might need them. They are unlikely to meet their fitness goals due to the inconsistency of their training. A high stress lifestyle doesn’t lent itself well to body repair following any exercise routine, as your body will prioritise the stress over body repair.

11 Inflexible approach ~”The stubborn mule”

‘The Stubborn Mule’ always knows best and is not going to listen to anyone else about how to exercise. It is their way or no way. These people will follow a ridiculous exercise program they have found in a fitness magazine, which isn’t suitable for anyone, least of all them.

12. Dehydration ~”The camel”

‘The Camel’ is constantly dehydrated by drinking very little water and copious amounts of coffee or coke. Even a 2% level of dehydration will have an impact on your physical performance whilst training. Aim to drink two litres of water a day.

13. Poor nutrition ~“The fast food junkie”

‘The Fast Food Junkie’ lives in McDonald’s or the local fish and chip shop. They do not know what a vegetable looks like, never mind tastes like, and are seriously malnourished. This impacts on their training whether they want to add some muscle mass, lose some fat, or simply workout.

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