Here's Why Your Fitness Goals Often Fail In February

And how to follow through with them.

mental health
Image: iStock

We all know the story, January rolls around, intentions are set and then the party season begins and just like that project ‘best self’ takes a backseat and you make a silent promise to yourself that February is the month you ramp up your fitness regime.
Next minute work deadlines start to roll in and that gym membership you had high hopes of using ends up burning more money than calories… #fitnessfail. According to a study from the University of Scranton, resolutions tend to get to the best of us with approximately 80 per cent of people failing them by mid-February and only eight per cent achieving their goals.

Considering 55.2% per cent of resolutions are health and fitness-focused according to research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin it’s fair to say we’re not achieving our personal best.
So to better understand why our fitness goals fail and learn how to consciously create goals that set us up for success we’ve turned to fitness expert, Sydney-based personal trainer Camilla Bazley from Flow Athletic to identify the common fitness traps people fall into and how to switch our mindset and align our goals for fit success!

Fitness fail #1: You follow others instead of focusing on you

“Often people focus too much on what the person next to them in the gym is achieving or what their colleague at work can do—or even worse—what they can’t’ do rather than what they ‘can’ do. Instead, block out the head noise and just focus on you! Remember, comparison is the thief of joy and the curator of self-doubt.”

Fitness fail #2: You aren’t doing it for you

It’s common to fall into the trap of feeling guilted into exercising, thinking it’s something you feel you ‘should’ do to feel or look good and we paint a picture in our head of something that might seem ‘nice’ to have, but instead we should focus on what it is we actually ‘want’ from life.”

Fitness fail #3: You don’t keep yourself accountable

“Having accountability measures in place such as a trainer or class schedule to stick to is so important. Remember, it’s not just about guidance around movement, it’s important to focus on nourishment and mindfulness too!”

fitness goals
Image: iStock

Fitness fail #4: Your goals are unrealistic

“Losing 20kg in a month is not realistic. Instead focus on setting goals that are long term and SMART—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and to a Time Frame.”

Fitness fail #5: You go too hard and burn out

When starting out with exercise it can be so easy to highlight what hurts and what feels weak, but I can’t stress just how good it feels two weeks later when you start smashing the targets that two weeks ago you couldn’t. Hang in there.”

Fitness fail #6: You’re not thinking big picture

“Quite often when people set a big goal in January such as a 12-week challenge they go all out for this time until they completely burn out physically and emotionally. In this instance, 90 per cent of the people who embark on these challenges either fail to complete or fail to maintain their results long term due to short-sightedness. And let’s be honest—no one ever summited Everest by just thinking about the one stage, right? Set your BIG goal then work backwards with short and medium goals.”

“For example, if you want to run a marathon in November, set a medium-term goal to run a half marathon in June and a 10km in May. Not only will you maintain momentum but the results will be addictive and when you have felt the initial accomplishment from that first stepping stone, it will motivate and inspire you to hit the next big goal!”

fitness goals
Image: iStock

Fitness fail #7: You don’t factor it in as part of your lifestyle

It is so important to come up with a plan that is sustainable in the long term. Rather than creating an exercise schedule, create a lifestyle. Ask yourself—what do you really want from your life? Don’t think just in terms of fitness but also across health, relationships, work, social etc. If you are able to then goal set with exercise as an important foundation within your life, you’ll set yourself up for success.”

Fitness fail #8: You don’t put your goals in writing

“If you put it to paper it makes it real, so write your goals down and turn those thoughts into a published document. Hang it somewhere you see it every day and tick it off as you achieve each little milestone. Remember—it’s so important to celebrate the little wins, the little wins make the big ones count!”

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