I hope that everyone had a very good holiday season! As the holidays start to fade into good memories, many will inevitably start focusing on wanting to achieve new, or even old, fitness goals. We are all too familiar with the idea of people starting fitness programs, but having them only be short lived.
Sadly, we often think this inability to achieve these goals is simply a byproduct of terms like “laziness”, or “non-disciplined”, yet, those are very quick and often wrong assumptions about what REALLY plagues the inability to reach such health goals.
That is why I wanted to cover some of the most common mistakes people make in starting their journey and how fitness professionals can recognize them and help guide people in more successful ways.
This may sound too obvious and simple, but improper goal setting can set people off on the wrong path to even begin. For example, someone says they want to “get fit”, “lose weight”, and so forth. Those in themselves aren’t bad desires, but remaining vague and missing key components we can feel lost with the direction of our training, trying to do too much too fast, and not realizing if the goals you are setting forth are actually setting you up for failure.
Let’s say you wanted to “lose weight”, what does that mean? Is that 5 pounds, 30 pounds, or even 100 pounds? If you don’t know, then you may miss some of the achievements you make along the way. This wil increase your frustration, decrease motivation, and make it feel as though you are not making progress.
You may also be chasing a goal that doesn’t fit your lifestyle. The idea of becoming “ripped” may sound awesome and very appealing. In chasing this goal you think you are doing all the “right” things, but missing going out with your significant other, not going to social events because you don’t want to be tempted by the food, or find that eating at strictly as you need is making you obsess only more about food.
It becomes apparent that the goal of being super lean isn’t in line with what is also meaningful in your life. Such a goal is actually is not something you can maintain for a long period of time because it isn’t bringing your life more joy. This isn’t your fault because you were chasing the image of a fitness cover model you saw, or someone on social media.
This sounds logical until you don’t realize that this is how someone makes their livelihood so their whole life must revolve around it. Often, such people diet for specific photoshoots and don’t look this way all the time. My point being is that there are many elements of how another person looks that may not be conducive to your life goals and values. Trying to copy them only sets you up to think the problem is with you and not the goal itself.
Another very common mistake that I have seen many fall into is trying to do everything too hard and too fast. This isn’t just the workouts themselves, but overhauling their lives so much that it becomes overwhelming. Even fitness pros can accidentally contribute to this issue because someone comes in with a goal and the coach will tell them EVERYTHING they have to do in order to achieve it. Such information makes the individual think they have to accomplish all these things at once and that isn’t possible for the majority of people to do.
If you think this is an excuse because your fitness is awesome and you have been doing it for a long time, think about changing many aspects of your life that don’t come as easily to you. Maybe it is how you deal with money, relationships, other aspects that may come more readily to others. It can seem simple to one person and overwhelming for another.
Instead, focusing on 2-3 lifestyle habits that are decided upon the person with the goal (it has to be seen as possible and meaningful for that individual, not thrusted upon them). As a coach, I try to help people identify the most impactful and the most reasonable, telling people to cut out things or add things they just aren’t ready to do so yet can lead to failure fast.
Going too hard, too fast, of course, can also apply to workouts. We see it with DVRT all the time. People want to find “the best” workout for fat loss, muscle gain, and everything in between. However, no matter the goal, foundations are essential for success.
It is often misunderstood that if you aren’t doing a program that has been specifically labeled for that goal, you aren’t going after your goal. This is a HUGE mistake as building a good foundation of movement skills, strength, stability, and mobility will all help us get to our goals faster and be moving us towards our goal in the process.
Just because something doesn’t seem specific to our goal doesn’t mean it isn’t taking us towards the goal. Often it is spending the time to be on these foundations that allows us to actually achieve our goals and more. We may start to notice other aspects fo our life being positively impacted by the time and foundations we have built. Not only do we achieve greater things, but we are able to stay on course more successfully and the goals we reach are going to be with us longer.
Are these everything we can do to actually be successful? Of course not, over more posts we will help outline how to see your goals come to fruition and avoid many of the pitfalls that impact so many well intended fitness programs and goals. In the meantime though, start with some of these training ideas and think about the goals you can implement and are meaningful to you.
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