In theory, reaching a fitness goal (any fitness goal) is a straightforward process.
And in reality, it often is straightforward. However, this does not mean it is by any means easy.
Reaching a certain level of fitness will take time, dedication, and some very specific knowledge. It’s more than just working out – other building blocks also need to fall into the right place to ensure you stay on the right track.
Let’s explore what these building blocks are and how they can help you achieve your fitness goals.
You are not eating the right foods
Depending on what you want to achieve in terms of your fitness, your diet needs to follow suit.
For example, if you are looking to lose weight, you can’t keep eating calorie-dense foods and doing low-impact exercises. Weight loss is about burning more than you eat, so you need to calculate what you need to spend in order to get where you want to be.
On the other hand, building muscle means eating more, as you can’t expect your body to boost muscle growth if you are not providing enough calories for the job.
Check that your nutrition aligns with your fitness goal, and be very specific about it. To make sure your body gets (and spends) what it needs, first determine how much energy you need and from what kinds of sources.
You are not sleeping enough
Sleep is a vital component of a healthy life, and not getting enough of it can easily hinder your progress.
A lack of sleep can even cause you to put on weight, just as it can prevent your body from recovering properly after a workout. If this is the case, your body will simply not be doing what you expect it to do, and you won’t progress as quickly (or at all) as you had hoped.
Make sure you find yourself a good quality mattress that will help you sleep well and that will be comfortable enough to enable your body to recover. You don’t want to wake up with an aching back just because you can’t get comfortable at night.
Practice good sleep hygiene, and do all you can to help your body relax and recover from the activities you demand from it during the day.
You are not having fun
You may be trapped in the belief that working out needs to be hard, painful, and overall not an enjoyable activity if you want to get to where you want to be. And while it will certainly be all of those things, working out should never be something you hate, dread, or don’t like doing.
You don’t have to run every day if you detest running. You can do any other kind of cardio activity that you enjoy more. You don’t have to go to group classes if they make you feel uncomfortable. You don’t have to lift weights if you find it boring.
There is an activity out there you will certainly enjoy, and that will be in line with what you are trying to achieve. Find it, and you will suddenly be much more efficient and better equipped to reach your fitness goals.
You are only looking at the big picture
Focusing on that one big goal is a great motivator. But it can also sap all of your drive very quickly.
Having long-term goals is great, and you should absolutely have them. The issue is that they will take a long time to achieve, and at some point, you will get the feeling of not getting anywhere nearer to them. This will kill your motivation, leading you to start skipping workouts, and your performance will suffer.
Set some short-term goals as well to circumvent the problem. That way, you will still be working towards that mammoth goal, but you will also be better able to measure how far you have come and how long the road in front of you remains.
Short-term goals are an excellent way to keep up your motivation and help you overcome the hurdles that you will undoubtedly face along the way.
Contrary to popular belief, fitness should be about bettering your life: both now and in the future. You don’t need to look at working out as a chore, as a punishment, or as something difficult you need to overcome.
Yes, it will be difficult, and you will certainly want to quit – especially if you feel you are working hard but the results are simply not there. Make sure you are eating right, sleeping enough, and that your goals are attainable in the short term if you want to get where you want to be.
Remember that setbacks are common and normal. And the way to overcome them is to get back on it when you fall down.