When it comes to making transformational change, the road can be challenging and rocky, and it can be tempting to give up. Whether it’s getting our finances in order or eating healthier and exercising more, our goals can seem unattainable and we may beat ourselves up for any setback – big or small. Failure becomes a four-letter word and can sometimes completely derail our efforts.
However, we think the term “failure” should be replaced with “lesson” – an opportunity to recognize and alter our behavior to avoid repeating a mistake in the future. We should only define actions as a true failure when we stop trying to improve. Missing a workout or gaining a few pounds when you’re trying to get svelte may feel like a failure, but if you don’t take the time to analyze your behavior and make corrections, that’s the failure.
The path to change is rarely easy and it’s inevitable that you’ll stumble along the way. If you find yourself feeling discouraged, frustrated, or on the verge of quitting, there are steps you can take (while working on behavior transformation) to make the health and physique composition change you seek attainable and permanent. No failure here!
5 Steps to Overcome Fitness “Failure”
- Work with a professional trainer or coach. Without question, the ideal track to sustainable success is investing in a personal trainer. And yes, you can afford it if you truly want to make a permanent lifestyle change. Money is important, but not as critical as your wellness. And options such as online training or coaching are great cost-effective alternatives. Whichever platform you choose, a good personal trainer or coach will design a comprehensive program based on your current condition and goal. All you have to do is show up and do the work.
- Join a small group training program. Working out in a group is an excellent way to get involved with a community of others seeking the same change. This gives you a network of supporters and a strong degree of positive accountability. Plus, small group training can be very affordable and allow you to maximize your budget and time. Remember, small group training should have less than ten participants to be optimal. Some gyms or clubs may claim to have small groups but will cram in as many people as possible to increase revenue. But in a truly small group setting, a professional trainer can give you more attention and keep you working safely and effectively.
- Get involved with a group exercise class. Not to be confused with small group training, group exercise is a regularly scheduled and pre-formatted fitness class led by an instructor. Classes like these are a great way to get connected to the fitness community, make acquaintances, and enhance your enjoyment of working out. They can also be a great way to supplement a workout program or personal training session by adding variety and some social components. And, similar to small group programs, sharing positive energy and enthusiasm with others goes a long way toward sustainability.
- Get outside. There are dozens of options for the outdoor enthusiast or a person looking to add a walk, jog, run, or hike to their lifestyle. Even if you live in an urban area, many cities provide access to parks, trails, and other green spaces to stretch your legs. The cost of enjoying an outdoor walk or hike is negligible, and aside from time and transportation, there is little cost associated with getting outside and exploring the beauty of our world. While getting outdoors may seem simple, it’s also about creating a sustainable lifestyle change. Many people who connect with the outdoors this way stick to their nutrition and workout plans during the week, so they’re ready for the weekend hike, boat trip, or walk on the beach.
- Sign up for individual or team sports. Organized team sports or adult leagues are a fantastic way to bring fun and focus to a workout program. Not only are many sports inherently active, they also require fitness training or conditioning. If you have a team sport you enjoy, most cities have dozens of leagues available for you to explore, whether it’s kickball, flag football, or volleyball. Organized sports can help keep you focused on more than just sets, reps, and meal planning. If you weave physical activity into the fabric of your life, you can help fortify your resolve and results.
Remember, there is no silver bullet for fitness. Instead, it’s a combination of components like the five items listed above and managing your food intake. And perhaps most importantly, keeping a positive mindset and your goals in mind. If you miss a workout or overindulge at a meal, you haven’t “failed.” Refocus your efforts and remember why you’re on this journey. Wellness isn’t just about looking good – it can enhance the quality of your life and bring long lasting health and wellness!