Top 5 Reasons You Are Not Making Progress (and how to fix that)
Do you feel like you are not making progress at the gym? Does it look like other people out there have it all figured out and they just keep taking giant leaps that yield tremendous results?
Do you feel that some people have the secret to succeeding in fitness and in life?
Are you tired of seemingly "running fast" yet at the same time standing still?
I've certainly felt that way on numerous occasions, so if you've answered "yes" to any of the above questions, I can definitely understand where you are coming from and what you are going through.
It took me six solid months of progressive training before I was able to run my first marathon, which was after I had already trained for several months to run my first 10k. I did not just decide to get up from my desk one day and run a marathon.
What I've ultimately come to realize is that real progress takes several months (and even years) of solid, consistent effort.
When I was still in university and was working on getting back in shape, I was more in love with the final result (i.e. how my body will look) than I was with the process. Unfortunately, loving the results without embracing the process that would get me those results is what delayed my progress and ultimately slowed me down.
After digging deep for almost a decade, observing numerous people (including myself) pursuing their fitness goals, I've put together a list of 5 biggest reasons why they (or maybe even you) aren't making progress.
However, rather than just putting together a list of problems, I've come up with some possible solutions for you to implement immediately so you can start moving closer towards achieving your fitness goals.
1. You are inconsistent.
You know how every gym is packed for the first two weeks of January? Then, after two to four weeks, gym members slowly start to abandon their resolutions and never really end up reaching their fitness goals.
It is my belief that a combination of being overwhelmed and the expectation of immediate results ultimately create inconsistency. We all know that it takes longer than two weeks of going to the gym before we see a change in our bodies, yet we keep expecting rapid weight loss and quick strength gains. Furthermore, we keep having to start over because we keep quitting as a result of not making progress fast enough.
Avoid overwhelming yourself within the first two weeks of your fitness journey, regardless of what you are doing.
Create a plan that allows you some flexibility and that focuses on 1-3 small things that you can do each day (or week) consistently to work towards your goals.
For example, it's better to only do three workouts per week but do that for a full year or longer than it is to do 7 workouts a week and only do that for two weeks.
2. You spend a lot of time looking for a shortcut.
If you Google, "how to lose weight fast", you will come across millions of "resources" that claim to offer rapid weight loss. Clearly, it's a popular topic because profit-minded individuals and corporations are always looking for a way to get you to buy their rapid weight loss product so they can make some quick cash. However, some of those products and ways to lose weight very quickly are not healthy long-term.
Typically, what ends up happening is you end up reading countless articles that offer a "quick solution" to your "problems". You end up consuming information, a lot of which is not from credible sources. This leads you to confusion, frustration, internal conflict, and becoming overwhelmed. This takes up a lot of your time, which leaves very little time for taking action that will progressively lead you to your desired results. Furthermore, you end up jumping from program to program before you see any results.
Instead of trying to look for a shortcut every spare moment you get, start with the basics that you know for sure will work. Yes, this method will take longer to achieve a result, but at least you know that you are more likely to accomplish your goal. If you spent as much time following a process as you did looking for shortcuts, you'd already be significantly closer to your "desired outcome."
So, pick a process that you know you can follow consistently and stick with it. As we all know, there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
There is not one particular diet or exercise program that is the perfect solution for everyone looking to lose weight, run faster and lift heavier. Stop wasting your time and energy searching for a quick fix when you already know what you need to do, which is eat sensibly and exercise consistently in a way that you can maintain for a long time.
3. You don't ask for professional help.
Many times, the best way to achieve a desirable result is to ask for professional help. There is a reason why fitness professionals and dieticians exist. They help people just like you achieve their goals.
I know that you may be hesitant to ask for professional help because you want to figure it out on your own. Some people genuinely take pride in figuring things out on their own. However, getting help may be exactly what you need to take your life to the next level, especially if you are not making progress on your own and you feel "stuck".
There is no shame in asking for help or hiring someone to help you. When you hire an expert to help you, you will benefit from the several years of knowledge that they've acquired so you don't have to figure it all out on your own.
If you have been trying to achieve something for a very long time and you feel like you are getting nowhere, you most definitely should consider asking for help.
When you are looking for help, it's important to hire someone who is trustworthy. Before you blindly give your money to the first person who makes a bunch of promises, do your own research and don't be afraid to ask questions.
Before you hire someone to help you, ask yourself:
"Does this person have experience working with people who have the same or similar problem (or goals) as I do?"
"Do I feel comfortable around this person and do we have a good connection?"
"Is this person trustworthy and do they have a good reputation?"
"Am I committed to putting my ego aside so that I can learn from the expert that I hired to help me?"
4. You are attempting to do too many things at once.
Ever heard the expression:
"If you chase two rabbits, both will escape?"
The same thing applies to goals. If you have too many goals, then you are not able to focus on one goal. When your "to do" list is a mile long, it can be difficult to complete tasks on that list.
Having too many goals at any given time causes us to be overwhelmed. When we are overwhelmed, we end up going in a million different directions. As a result, we end up starting a bunch of training programs, but we don't achieve our goal because we never complete any of them (yet).
Write down some of the goals you want to achieve. Then, look at that list carefully and pick one that is the most important and exciting to you. When you focus on one goal, you will be able to direct all your energy towards achieving it as opposed to diluting your efforts.
After you write that goal down, determine an appropriate length of time that you believe it will take for you to reach it. You should write your goal in this format: "Complete a 10k run in three months from now."
Once you write your exciting goal down, it's time to get to work. It's important that the goal you choose to pursue is achievable. Once you achieve that first goal, go back to your list of goals you wrote earlier and pick the next one, preferably one that's slightly more challenging. Achieving that first goal should give you more confidence to pursue the next goal.
5. You are waiting for "the perfect time" to get started.
We've all been there. I'm sure you may have spent a lot of time over-thinking, researching and coming up with reasons not to start immediately. If you often tell yourself that you will start when XYZ happens, then you may be waiting for a long time (or forever).
Some examples of that include:
"I will start going to the gym when I have more time."
"I will do this fitness program when I have more money."
"I will start running when the kids are older."
Unfortunately, there will always be something going on that prevents us from getting started immediately. We have to realize that life will continue to happen even though we are busy making other plans.
The time will pass anyhow and the longer you wait to get started, the longer it will take you to reach your goal. Therefore, it's important to break your goal down into a series of small and manageable tasks that you can start today.
Also, take an inventory of what you do with your time and create a list of "time wasters". For me, for example, one of those time wasters is "social media scrolling". If you can list your top 3 time wasters and eliminate even one of them, you will be well on your way to getting started with working towards your fitness goal.
If you've read this far, I want to THANK YOU for your time.
I genuinely hope that this article will help you take inspired action towards your goal (whatever that goal may be). I am rooting for you and I wish you success
by: Yana Hempler. Yana is a running coach, certified personal trainer and a nationally published fitness and personal development writer. Her work can be found at https://www.yanahempler.com/