It’s 5 PM and you just got home from work or a school extracurricular. You have been dreading this moment the entire day. Now why would you dread coming home after a long day?
Well… today marked the start of your new fitness regimen! “Tomorrow is the day!” Said you… yesterday. You tell yourself that you’re feeling quite exhausted, and decide not to take action.
“Tomorrow is the day” you say today.
So begins a long process of hardship, frustration and ultimately no change. So why? Why is it so damn hard to stick to it? Today, I am going to tell you why you may be finding it hard to follow through, and how you can hack your brain to fix it!
What Makes It So Hard In The First Place?
Psychology makes up a huge chunk of what you are lacking. But while it may seem helpless, there are some things that you are doing that might actually be sabotaging you before you even begin.
- Not Setting Clear Goals
It is very easy to say, “oh yeah I want washboard abs” and leave it at that. But that is actually making it harder to stick to it. You need both long term AND short term goals, and both need to be clear, measurable, and concise.
A good example of a short term goal would be, completing your workout for the day, or losing 1 pound in the next week. Keeping these short term goals and earning these little victories motivates us little by little and keeps us going.
A good example of a long term goal would be getting down to 10% bodyfat, or increasing your bench press to 200 pounds. They are both achievable and measurable, which makes them great long term goals.
2. Accountability and Deadlines
I personally have had trouble with these as well. While some of you may have no problems with this, others definitely do. Many of us don’t want to tell anyone about our goals in fear that they will look down on us if we don’t accomplish them.
This is why it is very important to tell only those whom you trust and who support your efforts. Having someone to keep you accountable is a great way to stay motivated.
Let’s be honest… Who wants to fail while others are watching their progress?
3. You bite off way more than you can chew.
When you first start something new it can be really tempting to dive in head first to advanced techniques. Unfortunately this never works and can leave us feeling overwhelmed and defeated.
Starting small and starting with the basics may not be as exciting but it will allow you to build up skill and will make your progress linear. Your progress will be trackable, you won’t feel overwhelmed and you will be much more consistent.
I Get It! Now How Can I Fix It?
While there are many more variables that go into this such as your environment, mindset, etc. We are going to start talking about how you can fix it, and follow through everytime.
1. Have a Powerful “Why”
Most people go into these things without even knowing why, or maybe they know why they want to but their reasoning is very vague and not at all powerful. Maybe they say they want abs or the want big biceps.
Well… Why do you want abs? To impress the ladies? Well why do you want to impress the ladies?
This type of reasoning is shallow and is definitely not going to motivate you to stick to it. We often find that the people who make the biggest changes are those who are motivated by a powerful “Why”.
Maybe they had a big health scare or maybe they wanted to set a good example for their children. These things are powerful motivators and can help keep you on track, even when you don’t want to be.
2. Set CLEAR and CONCISE Goals!
Heading back to my first point, most people set goals that are extremely vague. They say they want to get fit or they want to lose weight. But that doesn’t tell us anything!
“Getting Fit” is not at all measurable and therefore not realistic. It is impossible to track your progress because you don’t have an actual goal. It is just a mirage of one.
A good goal should be measurable and achievable. Such as getting down to a certain body fat percentage or losing a set number of pounds/kilos. This way, you can track your progress and it will help you keep you going.
Lastly, I should mention that you need to have a healthy amount of long term AND short term goals. For example, for your long term goal let’s say you want to lose 100 pounds. That’s great, but couple it with short term goals of 5 lb increments and you are well on your way!
3. Set a Deadline
Another great way to keep yourself in check is setting a deadline. Having a goal is a great start but coupling it with a deadline is even better. Something like…
“I want to lose 1 pound in the next week” or “I want to lose 50 pounds in 1 year”
These are measurable, achievable, trackable, and you have a time constraint. Making it a perfect set up for success.
4. Start Simple
Last but not least, our final tip. As I mentioned before, a lot of people get way too caught up in the excitement of doing something new and try to rush in.
This leads to quick and extreme burn out and ultimately leads to them dropping it altogether. It is really unfortunate but it happens to the best of us.
The only way to solve this is to start small! If you are inexperienced just starting off with basic movements like push-ups or basic machinery for 30 minutes will be more than enough to kick start your progress while keeping you from burnout.
Taking these tips in high stride will finally make it possible for you to follow through with your goals, as long as you stay optimistic and consistent!