Why aren’t you reaching your goals?

posted Jul 31, 2015, 12:29 AM by Rebecca Smith

We all start an exercise plan full of energy and determination, however after a while that excitement and determination starts to dissipate. That can happen for a number of reasons, the most common of those being that you stop seeing results. There are a number of reasons for that to occur, including:


Diet – eating too much or not eating enough

Appropriate nutrition is just as important as an appropriate exercise plan. What you should eat and how much you should eat highly depends on what your goals are. The most common goal is weight loss, which follows the common equation of burning more energy than you consume (energy in < energy out). If you are trying to gain weight and built muscle, then that equation would not be appropriate.

Once you know how many calories you should be eating each day you then have to decide where those calories are coming from. Ideally you want to choose the foods that will give you the most ‘bang for your buck’, the most nutrients for the least amount of calories.

The next step is to determine your macronutrient (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) balance. This balance is determined by your goals and your lifestyle. The app MyFitnessPal helps you to determine this balance, as well as track your daily food intake.


Not progressing your workouts

While consistency is recommended in any workout routine, doing the same exercises with the same amount of weight week in and week out will eventually lead to a plateau. This is present when your body just doesn’t seem to be making any more progress. If you hit a plateau a certain number of weeks into your new workout routine, it’s because your body has adapted to each exercise.

The only way to break out of a plateau is by getting past your body’s comfort zone and challenging yourself. Luckily, there are a number of ways to change up your workout routine and work threw that plateau, such as switching from less weight/higher reps to more weight/lower reps, or switching exercises.


Inappropriate/no recovery

In addition to eating the right types of food, stretching or foam rolling, is essential to post-workout muscle recovery. Not too long ago, stretching was only considered useful at the beginning of a workout to help loosen up your muscles for physical activity. Range of motion is essential to performing your exercise correctly and avoiding an injury. The key to improving range of motion is stretching out those joints. One of the best ways to actively aid your muscle recovery is a self-massage or myofascial release, or foam rolling. Research has shown that foam rolling after a workout helps with increasing blood flow and circulation to soft tissues, aiding recovery.


You don’t have a strategy dealing with setbacks

It is very common for people when starting their exercise program to visualise achieving their goal, but they don’t visualise the process or dealing with the setbacks that occur along the way. By visualising what success will feel like you have something to hold on to and inspire you along your journey. Imagining the potential problems that you will face along the way can help to deal with them when they occur without jeopardising your hard work. When you identify your personal challenge visualise imagine various ways to deal with it, and play out the possibilities.  Give yourself a mental playbook so that when the situation happens, you are ready for it, and you know how to respond.

This will help you build up choices for your challenges, so that you can exercise your choice when you need to.

Your setbacks and challenges won’t stand a chance against your prepared mind.


You lack focus

Focus is our force multiplier. It’s how we apply our concentrated effort to make great things happen. When we spread our focus too much, we diffuse our effort, and then we don’t have what it takes to make the change we need. When you are struggling to reach your goals it is often because there is too much going on and you have your focus split in too many directions. This leads to competing priorities vying for your time and attention.

But things do work out when you find a model for success. Hold a mental picture in your mind of that success to inspire and guide you, schedule time to invest in your goals, plan for how you’ll deal with setbacks and challenges, focus on progress over perfection, and use the feedback you get to adapt and change your approach, while pursuing your goals.

One other important ingredient in reaching your goals is to remind yourself to enjoy the journey. While the journey may be painful and may require a lot of sacrifice on your part, if you remind yourself WHY you are doing it, and tap into your burning desire, you can keep the fire going.  You can also change HOW you are doing things so that they are more enjoyable as you go.


It is also important to remember DON’T GIVE UP.

It’s easy to give up before the changes happen or the changes stick. If you are not seeing the results you expect the first thought that have is that is must not be working. That may be true, but there are many different ways to achieve results, so you just need to reassess, change your approach or try something new. Remembering that this is not a ‘one size fits all’ industry. It is important to remember that any real change takes time and consistency.

One wayto achieve your goals when you fall off track is to refocus on progress, not perfection.  For example, set yourself a goal to work towards within your workouts and track your progress. This goal could be to consistently workout 3 times a week, or to increase the distance you can run each session.


Plateaus, setbacks and challenges are all part of the journey, but as long as you are moving and striving to go in the right direction; you’re still succeeding.

Personal Trainer Narellan
Difference Personal Training Narellan and Camden