Why do fitness goals fail? The answer is actually pretty simple.
Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran. He was injured during the Gulf War and could not walk without braces. Doctors told him that would never change. For 15 years, Arthur believed them. He didn’t move much. He couldn’t. So Arthur gained a lot of weight making any kind of fitness activity almost impossible.
Arthur never completely gave up his dream to walk again without help. That’s fitness at it’s most basic level…to walk unassisted. Arthur eventually decided to pursue yoga. It was low impact and didn’t require any walking. It gave him a sliver of hope.
Arthur found a yoga instructor who was willing to help and mapped out a plan. But, Arthur had to do the work. Every day Arthur got on his yoga mat and got to work. He took video of his progress. Those early days are hard to watch. Arthur could barely stand up and keeps falling over.
Gradually, Arthur gains some balance and starts to lose weight. He keeps pushing forward and more weight comes off. So do the leg braces. He still needs a cane to walk, but Arthur is making progress. He keeps going. In six months Arthur loses 100 pounds and not only walks unassisted, but the video ends with Arthur sprinting. SPRINTING!!
There were no guarantees when Arthur started that he would reach his goal of walking without help. He could have done all that work and still been physiologically unable to do the very thing he was working towards. No guarantees. Except for one.
If Arthur had given up when it was hard he would still need braces to get around…or worse…confined to a wheelchair now. That’s the number one reason fitness goals fail.
People give up.
The good news is that doesn’t have to be the final chapter. Just like Arthur kept getting up when he fell over, you can try again. You can take the 90 Day Step Challenge that will help you turn fitness into a habit. And, that will give you the foundation to eventually make fitness part of your lifestyle.
If you missed the previous three days, let me encourage you to go back and get caught up. The first three articles explain why doing this Challenge is important if you want fitness (HERE), how to set the right daily goal (HERE), and the important preparation that needs to happen to avoid another fitness fail (HERE).
The next step is making a commitment to do this for 90 days. That’s the challenge…reaching your goal EVERY SINGLE DAY with taking a single day off.
Today I want you to consider making not just a commitment to do this, but to sign a contract with yourself not to miss a day.
Most of us have an easier time keeping commitments we make to others, but not to ourselves. There are certainly a lot of reasons for that, but it needs to change if you desire a fitness lifestyle.
Once Arthur gained some mastery of yoga and started losing weight, he built momentum. That momentum made it easier and easier to keep going. The hard part is at the beginning when it feels hard and like nothing is happening. That’s why most goals don’t get past 17 days. The emotional fuel is spent and the results are barely noticeable. This is where the commitment to keep going is the difference between success and failure.
That’s why you need a contract. It may feel cheesy, but I want to encourage you to download this free 90 Day Step Challenge Contract and fill it out. It really will matter on those days where you feel like giving up.
I’m about to enter the final 90 days of my 20k One Year Step Challenge. The commitment I made to myself was to get at least 20,000 steps every day for a full year without a day off. I knew there would be hard days…days when I didn’t feel like it or days when the circumstances made it very difficult to reach my goal. And, there have been. The contract I made with myself was the reason I kept going. Those hard days were non-negotiable. I couldn’t quit…and I haven’t.
That said, I did pre-determine two reasons why I would take a day off. Both situations are rare, but I wanted to give myself permission to stop if either happened. The contract allows you to pre-decide any reasons why you would allow yourself to not reach your daily goal.
Why is it so important to reach your goal every day? The answer may surprise you. If you don’t reach your goal one day…if you decide you’re too tired or it’s too hard and you want to take a day off, the WORST THING that will happen is…
Seriously. If you don’t reach your goal one day NOTHING will happen. You won’t lose the progress you’ve made. You won’t wake up the next morning 10 pounds heavier. Heck…you won’t even wake up one pound heavier. Nothing will happen if you miss a day. NOTHING.
And, that’s the worst thing that could happen. Because it makes taking the next day off a little easier. And, the day after that will be easier still. In fact, why not take the whole week off? Or month?
But, here’s the cool thing. When you keep a commitment to yourself and you reach your goal on the first hard day you face…it makes it easier to tough it out on the next hard day you face. And, it keeps getting easier. And, before you know it you’ve created a fitness habit with building momentum. That momentum eventually creates a fitness lifestyle.
The best thing about that video with Arthur is watching the expression on his face change as he’s making progress. He starts to smile. That never would have happened if he gave up.
Print the 90 Day Step Challenge Contract and make a commitment to yourself.
One more thing before you begin your 90 Day Step Challenge. Click HERE for that.
If you struggle with motivation to stick with fitness this blog will help. Don’t be intimated by the title. That’s my goal…not yours. But, my bigger goal is to help you start a fitness journey that has doesn’t stop and builds momentum. If you click FOLLOW (below on your phone and to the right and above on your computer) you’ll get an email with a link to each motivating article the moment it’s published.