As of this month I’ve been training clients for 22 years. Twelve of those years were at a large box gym where I was an independent trainer.
At the big box gym, the gym would be packed every January one with people with New Year’s resolutions. Then, by the middle to the end of January it would return to the usual crowd.
What happens during those first 2 or 3 weeks of January?
Why is it so hard to stick to our New Year’s resolutions especially with fitness?
It is estimated that over 95% of us fail at our New Year’s resolutions.
Here are the top 5 reasons why we fail at our fitness resolutions.
1. Overwhelm: we overload ourselves with too many resolutions. We have fitness goals, nutrition goals, financial goals, relationship goals, we have goals for our spouse and even for our kids. We simply can’t handle that many serious goals.
Studies show that when we try to take on more than one life-changing goals at a time our success rate is near nil. We simply don’t have the necessary will power and energy to focus on more than one at a time.
Fortunately, will power is like a muscle, it gets stronger as we use it
Solution: simplify and commit to one big goal. Once that goal becomes more of a habit and it doesn’t take so much energy and will power then you can start working on a different resolution.
2. Lack of a plan: As a trainer in the big box gym I would chuckle watching the hoards of resolution-ers walk in during the first few weeks of January and wander from one open machine to another. There was no order or direction to their workout. The workout was purely left to chance.
The cardio deck, however, was always packed. This happens for a couple of reasons. One, it’s the default form of exercise especially for those that don’t feel comfortable lifting weights. And, I get it. It’s a lot easier figuring out how to set up the treadmill then designing a strength training workout and figuring out lifting technique.
And, reason number two, many people still falsely believe cardio to be the best form of exercise for fat loss despite dozens of studies pointing out how ineffective it is and that it is often counterproductive (people can actually get fatter from doing cardio).
Solution: hire a trainer to set you up on a program, or at the worst find a program online that targets the same goal you have and then watch some YouTube videos to learn technique.
3. Unrealistic expectations: We live in an extremely fast paced world. We can cue up any movie or TV show and watch it at anytime. We can literally order anything in the world and have it shipped to us “next day “. We’re impatient, we want our perfect body and we want it yesterday.
Setting unrealistic goals is a dead end road. Instead of a goal being motivating, the goal becomes demoralizing. Week in and week out we beat ourselves up because we’re not hitting our numbers. So of course after a few weeks of that we’re gonna throw in the towel.
Solution: Hire a trainer. With their experience they can guide you to realistic expectations. Also, when setting a goal ask yourself how confident are you that you can accomplish it. If you’re not 90-100% confident that you can do it then modify it to the point that you are at least 90% confident.
Another part of being realistic is to expect plateaus. Nobody gets consistent progress week in and week out. There will be setbacks. Accept this fact and the road accomplishing your new years resolution will be a lot more enjoyable.
4. Skipping the goal setting process: “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.”
When talking to my clients about goals we talk about 3 types of goals: outcome goals, behavioral goals and purpose goals. In our new client orientation we dive into each of these.
At bare minimum you need to decide “what” it is that you’re trying to accomplish and then commit it to paper or your computer.
A goal gives you direction and writing it down helps hold you accountable while motivating you at the same time.
“An arrow without a target always hits it’s mark.” If you have vague goals your results will be vague as well.
Get specific with your goals and review them daily.
Solution: carve out 20 minutes to visualize your goals and commit them in detail to paper. Then, review them daily.
5. No accountability: Personal accountability is an oxymoron. By definition, you can not hold yourself accountable. There has to be a second person involved, a second person to which you report. Otherwise, it’s human nature to slack.
Accountability is the number one thing new clients ask me to do for them.
They want me to make sure they make it to their workouts and follow through with their nutrition goals.
Even without a trainer, studies have shown that just having a workout buddy can make a positive difference on consistency with your fitness goals.
Solution: hire a trainer to hold you accountable or at the very least find a buddy to hit the gym with and report to each other on your nutrition.
Almost all of these mistakes can be resolved by enlisting the help of a trainer or coach.
I believe this is a life lesson that crosses over to all aspects of life.
If you want to improve your golf swing, hire a golf pro.
If you want to get out of debt and prepare for retirement, hire a financial planner.
If you want to start a new business, hire a business coach.
The point is you don’t have to recreate the wheel with your fitness. An experienced trainer has “been there, done that” and they can get you to your goal in the shortest time possible.
Speaking of hiring a training, our super successful Fit 4 Photos Transformation Challenge kicks off next Thursday the 19th.
It fixes all of the above mistakes and at a discounted rate.
You will get world class training, nutrition coaching and accountability. All while enjoying a fun, life-changing challenge with $1500 in prize money.
Follow this link to learn more. But, hurry registration closes next Wednesday at midnight.
Mat “the trainer”