The Reason Many People Fail to Reach their Goals
By Don Otis –
I have this running joke with some of the men I see at the gym. It is easy to spot those who are faithful with their fitness routines. I typically ask, “Hey, Michael, didn’t I just see you here yesterday?” The point, of course, is that getting in shape or staying in shape is a process that requires consistency. It is part of a daily routine.
We have seasons of life when we can’t get to a gym or stay consistent with our workout activities. It may be an illness, family crisis or change of job. While I believe we can usually find time to walk, run or climb a stairwell, sometimes we have to go easy on ourselves and focus on other life issues. But this should be rare. Consistency is something we have talked about before but as we approach the cooler months of the year (when many of us gain weight), it is definitely worth a reminder.
The biggest impediment to not reaching your goals is lack of consistency. If you were taking a class, would you regularly take days off or ignore your homework assignments? Success at anything is a combination of effort, time and right action. Have you ever wondered why people with addictions relapse? Whether it is weight loss, substance abuse or exercise, the challenge comes back to choices you make daily.
God has gifted you with the unique ability to choose. It is with this power that you make healthy choices or unhealthy ones. No one can do it for you. Your mate can’t do it, your parents can’t make you, and even God isn’t going to stop you from eating that next big bite of chocolate cake or ignoring your trip to the health club. So use this power to make right choices to improve your health. Your body, as well as your spirit and your mind, are made to honor God. The best way to honor God with your body is by caring for it.
According to recent estimates, 30 percent of the American population does not engage in any kind of leisure time activities. Meanwhile, only 25 percent of us are involved in recommended levels of physical activity. The drop-out rate for beginners is more than 50 percent. How can you avoid failure? For me, and millions who are successful, one of the prime ingredients is to do it regularly. If you have goals that are measureable and reasonable, you will be more inclined not to give up. An important aspect to your goal-setting is to keep your goals reasonable. I start with small, achievable goals with clients and then revise these as they successfully meet them.
There is nothing wrong with having big goals but it is easy to become discouraged if you are not meeting these. For example, when I speak with a client who wants to lose weight, I ask them how long it took to become overweight. In most instances, it has been a process that has taken years. As typical westerners, we want instant results and these rarely occur. A patient, plodding approach with goals and regular benchmarks almost always works with those who are motivated.
How do you stay consistent? Send me a note and let me know.
Don S. Otis is the president of Veritas Communications and the author of Keeping Fit after Forty. He is a Certified Personal Trainer, runner, climber and mountain biker – www.veritasincorporated.com