Since I have been in the fitness industry I have realised that so many people quit exercising , almost within weeks of getting started.
These reasons vary from person to person but in general I can pin it down to not having any support or motivation, limited or no time to exercise, plain old boredom sets in, or there are the ones who try and do too much too soon, you know the type and then of course there are those who spent the past 10 years putting on 15kg but now that they have decided to change they want to get results tomorrow!
Only yesterday I was speaking to a lady and she said that she gets started all guns a blazing for the first two weeks and then she falls back off the wagon every time.
"Let's face it we all have the same number of hours in the day, but it is how we choose to use them that makes the difference."
So let’s take a look at the reason why so many people quit and what we can do about it so that you can end the vicious cycle and attain your fitness goal.
Since your mind controls everything you do, it makes sense that your thoughts have a massive impact on your actions. It is also true that your mind acts like a magnet, attracting to you more of what you are thinking about. This means you really can ‘think’ yourself into success or failure!
Solution – Creating a positive mindset is therefore the first step in creating long-term success in any area of your life, including your health, fitness and weight loss. In order to create a positive mindset, you first need to become aware of your thoughts. By staying tuned into your thoughts throughout the day, you can catch yourself out if you start to think negative or limiting thoughts. At that point, simply acknowledge what you are thinking and change it to a more positive or empowering thought.
2. Lack of time
This is one that I hear all the time! But Sally I just don’t have time! As I said above we all have the same number of hours in the day so perhaps it is more a matter of prioritizing. That said people have less and less time these days due to work, family and other commitments.
Solution – Finding an exercise program that doesn’t take up too much time is key. That is why personally I only teach 30 minute classes. They are short and sweet and get results. So next time you find yourself short on time, up your intensity and work harder in a shorter amount of time. I guarantee this will get better results than longer workouts anyway!
3. Wanting instant success
Often when people decide that they want to change they expect to get instant results, after all isn’t this what the media tells us? Expecting unrealistic results can discourage people to continue and this is often when they quit.
Solution – Make sure that you set a realistic goal. If weight loss is your goal then I recommend trying to lose around 500gm to 1kg per week. If you try and lose anymore than that you are going to set yourself up for failure. Also you need to break the goal down into bite size pieces so that you don’t look at the total amount that you need to lose, and rather a mini target that you set yourself each week. By setting mini goals you will feel far more motivated and you see results each week.
4. Running before you can walk
I see this one all the time, people come to me and they want to get started with a fitness regime and so they think that the best way to get results is going really hard out right from day 1. It is fair to say that a little bit of healthy competition in terms of pushing yourself is great but if you haven’t been exercising for a while then pacing yourself is key.
Solution – When you start any new fitness program you need to pace yourself. To put it in perspective it takes 20 weeks to train for a marathon and in your initial week your longest run may only be 30 minutes. But by the end of the 20 weeks you are able to run a full 42km. So no matter what your current level of fitness is you need to give your body time to adapt. This will avoid you getting too tired or sore which is often another reason that people quit!
I have to say that I have fallen prey to this one myself. Put your hand up if you start an exercise routine and then you give up because it is just to boring and predictable?
Solution – I believe that part of the solution is to set yourself a training goal. By having something to work towards it keeps you way more focused. Once you have a goal then it is important to mix things up. To give you an example when I am training for an event part of my strategy is to find a different run to do each week. It gives me something to plan and I get to discover new trails that I have never run before, this keeps training fresh and exciting.
You need to find something that you love to do and that is why I am such a fan of 30 minute sessions as they are short and sharp and there is no time for boredom to set in!
So there you go, if you keep falling short of your exercise goals because you lack the time or motivation then you definitely not alone! You may want to check out the details about my 8 week summer slim down programme.