Have you ever said…
“This year I’m going to lose weight and get into shape!”
“This year things will be different!”
The New Year is an exciting time that symbolizes a whole new opportunity to turn things around and make things better. Unfortunately most people fail never achieve their new years resolution.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone – I hear this dozens of times every December/January. So I’ve got a pretty good idea of why most of this people fail.
Over the past 10 years I’ve seen just about everything, but I’ve put together a list of the 7 most common reasons why most people’s new years fitness resolution fails.
- Trying to run a marathon like a sprint.
Losing weight and increasing your fitness is like a marathon – it’s going to take time. Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. It going to take time to change your habits so don’t set unrealistic goals. Small steps are better than a big leap.
- Unrealistic Eating Plan
Most people dramatically change their eating habits in the new year and at first it works. But after a couple of weeks you start to get cravings and it all starts to feel too hard. And for those who stick through it past a few weeks, once they hit their “goal weight” they go back to “eating normal” which is what caused you to gain extra weight to begin with!
By eating real foods and giving yourself the flexibility to “break the rules” from time to time you’ll be able to have long-term success. Having a bowl of ice cream or some fries once a week isn’t going to make you fat – so give yourself the chance to loosen your eating from time to time.
- Not Chunking down your goals and tracking your progress
People make resolutions because they know they’re important, but they’re hard. With each passing week, more people give up on their resolution. You’ll want to set the right goals and keep track of your progress. If you want to lose 100 pounds, focus on the first 10, and then the next 10 after that. This will make it easier to stick to, and will give you a feeling of accomplishment.
When you chunk down your goals you start to have small successes, which are the keys to long-term success. So instead of thinking I’m only 1/10th of the way to my goal, you’ve shifted your mindset and have already completed one goal; to lose 10 lbs.
- Trying to do it alone
It’s like the title of the Three Dog Night song “One is the loneliest number.” It’s hard enough to do it by yourself, let alone being surrounded by friends or co-workers that are constantly tempting you to break your routine. There are numerous studies showing how working in groups dramatically increases success in a fitness program.
Share your goalswith your friends and family so that you don’t feel alone. If you’re going to join a gym, make sure that it is welcoming and you’re not treated like just another number. Even better, find a workout buddy or small group to people to train with every week. This way, you can receive the social support that will help you to continue what you started.
- Staring With The Wrong Exercise Program
This kind of ties back into #1 – most people go from doing barely anything to trying to do advanced workouts in a day. And this is a sure fire way to either injure yourself or be so sore that it takes you a week before you’re able to do your next workout.
The best thing you can do before you get started is to get an assessment done by a qualified personal trainer. This way you know what are the appropriate exercises to do – which will allow you to match the right exercise with where your body is at right now. The idea of exercising is not to just make your tired and sore – it’s to systematically take you one step closer to where you want to go.
- Focusing only on cardio
One of the biggest myths in fitness is that if you want to lose weight you should focus on cardio. This is also a great way to tell the difference between a personal trainer who knows what they are talking about and one who does not.
If you really want to maximise fat loss, a mixture of resistance training and interval training is the way to go. Jumping on the treadmill or bike for an hour will help you lose weight, but it will take A LOT longer if that’s where you’re going to spend your time.
So if you’re like most people – and live a busy lifestyle – then prioritize your resistance training over cardio.
- Comparing yourself with others
Forget all those pictures you see on Facebook or Instagram. Most of those pictures have been edited, Photoshopped or taken 217 times to get the right lighting. They are not real life, they are highlights of people’s lives. When is the last time you saw someone post a picture saying “wow, do I ever look terrible today”?
And don’t even think about comparing yourself with reality weight loss shows. These are anything but reality. Did you know that some of these shows wait weeks between weigh ins, making sure that the contestants have lost enough weight? So when you see them losing 17 lbs in a week, it was probably more like 3 weeks since they last weighed in.
So if you’re tired of failed fitness resolutions, then make sure you don’t make any of these 7 mistakes.