How to Achieve a Fitness Goal (and not FAIL)

By on January 22, 2015
Speedometer - Reaching Your Goal

No one has ever achieved great things by accident, so it’s important to dream big and create long term goals for yourself. Unfortunately, many fall short of those big goals and it’s usually because they are missing one or more of these 5 key elements.

Whether you want to lose 100lbs., put on 25lbs. of muscle, or run your first marathon you will need to:

1. Make a Plan

Too many people say they want to achieve great things, but then never actually create a plan to make it happen. Now I’m not saying you have to have it all figured out (because things will always change along the way), but you better set yourself up for success by making a game plan.

For example: If you want to lose 100lbs., then decide to start walking 2x per week and perform HASfit’s beginner workouts 2x per week. Schedule a time of the day to workout and add it to your appointment book. Get a healthy grocery list and laminate it. Use it when you go shopping and don’t deviate from the list!

These are just a couple of examples and every goal will require a different strategy, but the take home message is you must have a strategy to succeed. Do not just wing it.

2. Be Patient

Here’s one that trips up so many people. In a world filled with instant gratification, patience can be difficult. It’s not entirely out fault. We’re bombarded with messages suggesting that we can “Lose Weight Fast!” or “Get Ripped Quick,” when in reality there isn’t anything fast or quick about the process.

Before you begin, decide to be honest with yourself on how long it will take. Healthy weight loss is usually between 1-2lbs. per week, so if you need to lose 100lbs. then it isn’t unreasonable to assume it could take a couple of years.

I know that hurts to hear, but many of you needed that. And you what? It’s okay! If it actually came fast and quick, then it wouldn’t mean anything and be so special.

3. Grit

Grit, defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals,” is said to be the most common characteristic among successful people. That’s because being successful in any life endeavor is hard. Plain and simple.

If you are going to accomplish your big goal, then you better be passionate about it. How bad do you want it? I think Theodore put it best …

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well,” Theodore Roosevelt.

4. Small Goals

When I say a “big goal,” I’m referring to something that will take you a minimum of 6 months to accomplish. Often, it will take much longer.

A great psychological tool to use is to set up smaller objectives up for yourself along the way to the end goal. Taking pride in these small victories along the way will help you keep going and give you a sense of accomplishment when you might otherwise feel overwhelmed.

Here’s an example goal: Todd wants to bench press 225lbs.

With small goals…
Day 1: Benches 115lbs.
Day 60: Hit goal of 150lbs. and feels good about himself.
Day 120: Hit goal of 200lbs. and celebrates by treating himself to a new pair of gym shoes.
Day 180: Hit big goal of 225lbs. and feels like he can now accomplish anything.

Without small goals…
Day 1: Benches 115lbs.
Day 30: Benches 130lbs. and can’t believe he has only increased by 15lbs.
Day 60: Benches 150lbs. and can’t believe he still has another 75lbs to reach his goal.
Day 70: Benches 155lbs. and decides that maybe benching isn’t his thing.

5. Mental Toughness

If you workout to my videos or have read my previous posts, then I’m sure you notice a theme where I keep talking about mental toughness. Well, guess what? I’m not about to let up anytime soon!

Think about your favorite inspirational movie … maybe you’re like me and it’s Rocky, or maybe you’re like Claudia and love The Help, or maybe you just can’t get enough of Katniss and The Hunger Games. Whatever you’re into, think about what makes that movie so great. What parts give you goose bumps?

Now, I’m not a betting man, but I’d be willing to wager that it’s when against all odds, the star doesn’t give up.

They made a plan…

They bided their time and were patient…

They had grit and persevered when anyone else would have quit…

They set small goals and achieved them one by one…

They were mentally tough.

Before you set off on a journey to conquer your big goal, make a decision that failure is not an option (because failure only comes from not trying).