Last Updated on January 17, 2020 by Michael Brockbank
Fitness challenges are often used to inspire and motivate yourself to live a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, they don’t always work out as planned. I often fail at fitness challenges for a variety of reasons. So, what can I do to improve?
It all depends on the amount of motivation I have to lose weight and strengthen my body.
It’s easy to get sidetracked when you’re trying to diet or want to find time in the day to exercise. But after taking a look back at the last few months, I think I pinpointed exactly where I go wrong.
I Fail at Fitness Challenges Because…
Now when I say, “fail,” it’s because I haven’t really learned from my past mistakes. I’m still doing the same things over and over without really changing the process.
Because I haven’t learned, I consider it a failure.
But, that doesn’t mean I should just give up. In fact, it only fuels my drive to keep trying. What I’m doing today is revitalizing my drive and identifying my most prominent issues.
Perhaps if I write them out in a blog, I can analyze the context and come up with a viable plan to help me reach my goal weight and physique.
I fail at fitness challenges because…
One of the biggest problems I have, whether it’s fitness or writing, is impostor syndrome. This is when I don’t feel like I’m good enough and I always fear others are going to figure me out as a fraud.
When it comes to health and fitness, I’m not sure why this is still a problem for me. After all, never once do I claim to be an expert.
I’m just a desk jockey trying to lose weight and keep his heart pumping blood.
I suppose part of this issue is because I think to myself, “what gives me the right to help others in fitness and health if I can’t do it myself.” And that’s a viable question, really.
All I can say is that I’ve lost 80 pounds so far and have managed to keep it off for several years…even though I am still quite lethargic.
But feeling like an impostor saps the motivation to put in the effort. This is because you start thinking to yourself, “Why bother, I’m not an expert anyway.”
Late-night snacking has always been an issue for me. I do really well with diets until the last few hours of the night. At which point, I start stuffing my face with all kinds of carbs.
I mostly begin binge snacking while sitting and watching videos on YouTube or Netflix. Sometimes, it’ll be a continuous snacking of anything sweet that I can get my hands on.
It’s somewhat related to “boredom eating.” I’m not really bored, and I don’t put a lot of thought into what I’m doing. Sometimes, I’ll even snack and then get angry at myself afterward because I didn’t really want to snack.
Lack of Continued Motivation
Not being motivated is a killer in just about anything in life. And some days, I just don’t have the motivation to keep up with a fitness schedule or a proper eating plan.
I think part of this has to do with being overly tired all the time. I average around five and a half hours of sleep, which is well below the adult average at my age.
Another element to motivation, and why I often fail at fitness challenges, is getting in that mindset of, “I’ll do better tomorrow.” This happens after I binge snack or have something super heavy in calories one day.
What bothers me most is how motivated I was in the beginning compared to today. When I first began losing weight, I pushed myself to stay in the green with MyFitnessPal. Today, I say, “Eh, I’ll do better tomorrow.”
If I wanted an extra slice of pizza, I walked a few miles so I burned enough calories to eat it.
No Real Accountability
I think a lot of people fail fitness challenges because of a lack of real accountability. You’re not really going to suffer any immediate consequences if you decide to give up on health for a day.
There’s no emergency or vital concern. Well, aside from your heart stopping. But even then, until you suffer an actual heart attack, it’s hard to find that consequence from day-to-day.
I tried to use social media to help inspire me to do better, but it’s just not having the impact it once had. Part of this is because I look at the attempt as a failing and think to myself, “why bother, no one pays attention anyway.”
For me, this is the wrong mindset to take for health and fitness.
Not Putting in Enough Effort
I am guilty of not putting in as much effort as I should. And I can say this about most things in my life. However, various aspects are getting better, I have to admit.
A lack of effort is often linked to a lack of motivation. These two work in tandem to prevent success in anything. Actually, it’s hard to maintain one without the other.
Part of not having enough effort is the lack of an immediate reward. This is especially true when it comes to dieting. The drive for instant gratification can dissolve effort as results are not immediate.
Getting Sidetracked with Other Tasks
And finally, after considering the last few months, I fail at fitness challenges because I am easily sidetracked.
For example, I have an alarm set for 10:00 am to do a quick five-minute routine. But usually, I am working hard for a client and just turn the alarm off. Instead of exercising when I have a free moment, I often forget.
This aspect is probably one of the more damaging for me earlier in the day. As a result, I don’t burn enough calories to afford snacking at night.
Now, I can say that I’ve been busy with a new job and often don’t have time. But in reality, I do. After all, it’s only a five-minute break. I take longer than that when I get up to go to the bathroom and make a cup of coffee.
How to NOT Fail at Fitness Challenges
Now that I’ve identified my major failings, I’m going to try and come up with a reasonable plan to succeed. The trick here is to come up with a strategy that is ideal for myself and realistic.
But if I approach it with a keen mindset, I should be able to overcome these issues for health and fitness.
1. Get Serious About the Process
The first thing I need to do is to get serious regarding my attempts at fitness challenges. And I’m talking more of the long-term.
I do really well for a couple of days with every challenge I post here on CrossingColorado.com. But, I tend to pitter out after about a week and just give up.
I’m not serious about the end goal.
Getting healthy and fit is all about your mentality. If you don’t believe something is going to work, it won’t. And it’s this mentality that will cause you to fail at fitness challenges.
So to combat this issue, I am going to strive to get excited about the process every morning. Even if I have to convince myself in the mirror, I need to change how I approach losing weight and being fit.
2. Avoid Snacking Sessions
OK, I’ve identified when I snack the most. The trick is to remove those elements to prevent continuous eating at night.
And I know how to avoid issues like this. I know that if I am live streaming on Twitch or YouTube, playing a game or out of the house, I rarely snack at all.
Overcoming my snacking issues means doing more at night and getting away from binge-watching things on YouTube and Netflix.
By keeping occupied with other tasks, the need to snack is often forgotten.
3. Find a Way to Sustain Motivation
One thing that helps keep my mind in the game and motivated is collecting data. Crunching numbers in a spreadsheet is fun for me. In fact, it’s how I keep myself motivated to work from home.
I need to come up with as much of an elaborate spreadsheet for health and fitness as I do for writing. This is because I often focus on improving abilities while trying to break personal records.
It all comes down to gamifying the experience and making health and fitness fun. If a task is entertaining or enjoyable, you’re more likely to continue doing it.
I am confident that I will not fail at fitness challenges if I had a way to crunch the data to find thresholds and improvements.
4. Revitalize Social Accountability
One of the reasons why my writing YouTube channel is still growing is because of the audience. They inspire me to continue teaching and sharing information. I need to bring that same sense of accountability into health and fitness.
And I’m not just talking about trying to lose weight, either.
I want this website and its YouTube channel to be more successful. The way to do that is to focus more on my target audience. The more I engage visitors and viewers, the better I feel about what I do.
It’s a symbiotic relationship, really. I need to get back into the positive mindset I had when I first built this website. Because the more positive I am, the more engaging I become.
5. Strive to Put in the Effort
Like I said before, effort and motivation go hand-in-hand. But, I still need to put in the work…which doesn’t always happen even when I’m motivated. I know, it sounds a bit odd.
For example, I often wake up feeling awesome and that I can succeed today. But, I also get into the mindset of “I just don’t want to put in the effort.”
That needs to change.
And, again, I am fairly confident I can accomplish this if I had as grand of a worksheet to track my progress as I do for writing.
You will probably have something different that helps drive effort. The point is you need to do so if you ever want to reach your goals.
6. Keeping Focused on Fitness
Getting sidetracked is probably one of the most difficult things for me to overcome. Usually, this is because I am the type of person who bounces quickly from one thing to another.
I need to find a way to keep myself focused on the long-term. Otherwise, I will fail at fitness challenges every time I try.
Perhaps if I practice all of the above, it will help maintain that focus. I mean, I am pretty adamant about my writing YouTube videos as they help people. Perhaps I can do something similar with Crossing Colorado.
The truth is, though, I still don’t have a strong sense of what will help me stay focused.
Keep Trying to Avoid Failing at Fitness Challenges
In the end, it all comes down to effort and mentality. If I don’t want to fail any fitness challenges, I need to have the right mindset and actually work to achieve the goal.
And no one can really help with this aspect other than myself. So why don’t I?