I often get questions from people on what are the most important things they can do to see change whether that is weight loss, toning up or addressing health issues. The equation for success is a simple 3 step process: Set a goal, be realistic about what you can/cannot do and whatever your plan is be consistent. That’s it! The magic formula that stands between you and crushing it.
So why then is it so hard? Why do people often fail? Did you know that approximately 70% of people who start an exercise program quit?! Talk about the odds stacked against you. But the question still remains why did your plan fail? Starting is step #1 and a great accomplishment but without the proper amount of forethought before beginning your plan motivation quickly slides into a slippery downhill slope.
Now the story can go two ways…. there are those of you who are like “yeah that’s totally me, I just can’t stick with a plan no matter how hard I try”. On the flip side, there are others who say “I did have a plan and a goal but I saw no results so I just quit”. Do you think Simone Biles got to the olympics by throwing the towel in? Hell no, she tried it again and again and again until she perfected her craft.
So then what sets these two groups apart? Why did one plan fall through and the other plan play out like an airplane stuck on a runway? Lets take a look into what happened in both scenarios:
Scenario #1: “I just can’t stick with a plan no matter how hard I try”
For the majority of you, chances are you fall into a version of the above (based on the previous stat at the beginning of the article). It’s ok the great thing is that it is NEVER too late to start again. In the words of Janis Joplin, “Tryyyy just a little bit harder”. So how can you try a little harder? Let’s be frank, you need to set a goal. That’s usually the biggest missing piece it’s lack of clarity from what you want and are expecting to achieve. If you don’t know what you want, no one else will either. So my advice to you is come up with a solid plan… think it through. What do you want? What are your expectations? Are they too high? By all means it is good to challenge yourself but if you set some super high expectation of yourself that’s almost just as bad as not setting one at all. Start small…. crush it…. set a new goal again and again and again.
So what are some types of goals you can try out if you need some ideas?
- Upcoming event – for some of you maybe you have a vacation or wedding or event coming up in a few weeks, months etc that you want to look your damn best for. What’s great about this goal is there is a clear date and a clear timeline to follow. You know exactly how much time you have and are committing to. The trick though is once you nail your goal don’t stop and say “ok I’m good i’m going to go back to being lazy now”. NO! Set another goal….. see below for some more ideas.
- Health related – Maybe you went to the doctor recently and uncovered that you are overweight or have high cholesterol, or worse are pre-diabetic or maybe you just want to be able to have enough energy to keep up with your kids. Whatever it is don’t just sit there wishing you could do something different just do it! Use that goal as your driver to get healthy and benchmark your change. By 6 months from now I want to be 20 lbs down or by my annual health exam next year I want to lower my cholesterol.
- Vanity goal – Maybe honestly you just want to look good. You want to wear those size 4 or 6 pants you buried in your closet for the last 10 years or you want to see definition in your abs or firm up your butt. That’s ok too. In this case find and clip pictures of what you aspire to be, how you want to look and use those pictures along the way as motivation toward your goal. Just keep in mind realistic expectations… unless you are willing to supplement time, nutrition and hardcore years of training/clean eating most people will never look like the airbrushed models in a magazine (sorry!). But that’s ok, be your best version of you.
The great thing is that once you start a plan that you thought out and succeed, that success will continue to motivate you to smash your goals again and again! In the words of Sagi Kalev in Beachbody’s program Master Hammer & Chisel, “Are you a hammer or are you a nail?”. Be the hammer….
Scenario #2: “I did have a plan but saw no results so I quit”
It’s ok, I’m not going to yell and say you didn’t try hard enough, I don’t know your situation. But I do have a question for you. What didn’t work? Did you set a realistic goal? Did you focus on exercise AND diet? After all it takes two to tango. You can kill it day in and out at the gym but if your diet is filled with crap choices your going to be stuck in the same spot like a hamster running on a wheel. To really succeed you need to be realistic too… maybe you were too extreme with exercise and diet and burned out before seeing any changes? Think back on why you quit and then try again a different way or with a more defined goal in mind. See how that works.
Look, no matter which scenario resonates with your current situation it is never too late to figure out what works but you have to be willing to try and no one can motivate you more than you can yourself. Check out some of the other articles on this site to help inspire your new workout plan and diet and apply the 80/20 rule to all that you do.
Lastly, in this super long post, I do want to take a moment to congratulate those of you reading this that have figured out what works for you. I know there are at least a few of you out there killing it and seeing really great results. You, my friends are what can help the rest. Share your success and what works for you. Remember, we are all in this together…. we only have one life to live so let’s make the most of it.
By Kim Hale, founder of HoneyCrunched Fitness