Generally, if you have a goal that you haven’t achieved yet, you can fall into one of these three categories:
-You don’t know how or where to start
-You don’t think that you deserve it
-You haven’t put in the work
Let’s start with the first one: you don’t know how or where to start.
This is generally the first challenge we run into when we have a new goal. Luckily, it’s also the easiest one to address when it comes to making positive changes in your life. Whether your goal is to increase your income or to improve your health, there are websites, coaches, books, podcasts, and other resources out there to support you.
Let’s say your goal is to lose 10 pounds, and not to just lose the weight, but keep it off forever. Many of us find ourselves at a weight where we just don’t feel comfortable and confident. If we’ve only ever gained weight, whether slowly or in ups and downs and we’ve never seen the scale go (and stay) in the opposite direction, then we don’t have any experience with sustainable weight loss. Being a professional weight gainer is easy because you’ve done it your whole life. Sustainable weight loss is something new for you.
There is so much information out there on fitness and nutrition. Find some professional resources and try something. But remember that quick fix diet and exercise programs don’t work and sustainable lifestyle change takes time and effort. If you’re getting lost in the misinformation out there or you’re not sure where to start, ask for help!
Alright, moving on to number 2: you don’t think you deserve it. You can also think of this one as self-sabotage. Many of our thoughts and behaviors have been conditioned since we were young. Parents, the environment, or past traumatic experiences have shaped many of our long-standing beliefs. Long ago our brain accepted that this is the way it is. If you have a long-held belief that is in conflict with one of your current goals, then your first step is to start to challenge those beliefs. No amount of will power or strategy can overcome a fixed mindset. You have the power to change any beliefs that aren’t in line with your current goals.
One question you can ask yourself is “How have I been complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?” Think about this in the context of your current goal. If you’re struggling to lose weight, what are the things that you have been okay with lately? If it’s the food in the fridge that you snack on, skipping your workout, or surrounding yourself with people who have unhealthy habits, those things are in your control to change. This all starts with demanding more from yourself and holding yourself to a higher standard. You have to know that you are worthy of the goal. When you are mentally ready to be the person who achieves this goal, you will be able to reach it.
Let’s move on to number 3: you haven’t put in the work. This can be the most frustrating category to fall into when it comes to not achieving your goals. You may be doing everything right. You hired a coach, you have a plan, and you’re executing that plan every day. So why haven’t you accomplished your goal yet?
This is when you need to make sure you’re measuring your progress and checking in with yourself along the way. From the surface level, it may look like you’re doing everything right, but are you using the right resources or tools to get you to your goal? Are there any roadblocks that you are creating for yourself? Are you getting in your own way? Is there an area where your behavior is inconsistent with the outcome that you want? Are you staying consistent with the work you’re doing?
If you still don’t know why you’re not seeing results, consider working with a mentor or coach who can help you. A great coach can help you set up a framework for success. They will help you create SMART goals that align with your mission and where you’re at right now. Having a specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time sensitive goal can dramatically improve your mindset and the way you approach each day. You can break your goals down into manageable steps and as you check them off, you’ll build momentum towards your big goal. The best coaches will be clear in their feedback about what it takes to get to you to your goal. They will also help provide the accountability and support to keep you going.
There are a lot of obstacles that can get in the way of achieving your goals. Some can come from external sources, but a lot of times it’s our own internal thoughts and behaviors that hold us back. Use the tools and resources you have available, challenge your existing beliefs, and stay consistent with the work you’re putting in. We all need help every now and then. There was a point in my fitness journey when I didn’t know what to do. What I was doing wasn’t working for me and wasn’t getting me closer to my goals. I found a coach and an amazing support system and it made a huge difference for me. If you need help, just ask. Health and fitness professionals are here to help and support you. Find one that you connect with and get to work!