10 Reasons People Fail to Hit Their Fitness Goals

The road to fitness success is challenging, sometimes even frustrating. Some expect to have quick, overnight results while others lack motivation and a support system. Still others say that they don’t have the time or money to commit to a program.

However, if you’re truly determined to reach your fitness goals, you have to stop making excuses and start taking action.

To help you out, here are 10 common reasons why people fail to hit their fitness goals and how to overcome each.

woman stretching outside

The 10 Most Common Reasons People Don't Reach Their Fitness Goals 

1. They Have Unclear Goals

People are often quick to start working out without defining their fitness goals and what, very specifically, they want to achieve. For example, many times, they'll have a vague goal like "lose weight" or "get in shape."

The problem here is that you can't measure "lose weight" or "get in shape."

The truth is that getting and staying fit is not just hitting the gym and eating healthy (although those are both crucial, obviously). It’s also about identifying specific and measurable goals and tracking them along the way.

This will help you stick to the process and see steady results.

For instance, instead of "lose weight," think "lose 10 pounds." Instead of "get stronger," think "add 20 pounds to my 1RM deadlift." 

2. Their Actions Don't Align With Goals

Let's say you want to lose five pounds of body fat. During the week, you significantly restrict your caloric intake. Then, on weekends, you eat whatever you want. Your reasoning? You're being "good" five out of seven days, so that should give you results. 

But then, it doesn't. 

This means that your actions aren't properly aligned with your goals.

Instead, why not start allowing yourself small "treats" throughout the week but still eat mostly on-point all seven days? This will help you from overeating on the weekends but still allows you to enjoy the food you love. 

cooking vegetables on stovetop

Start off with small attainable actions and build them into habits. Consistency is key.

3. Deadlines Don't Exist

A goal isn't a goal without a deadline!

Deadlines are crucial because they give you a sense of time and urgency. However, these should be set strategically – one for each small action you intend to take.

Meeting short-term targets gives you fulfillment and motivation to continue working toward the long-term objectives. Deadlines give you something to look forward to, so you become more committed to the process and can gradually progress toward your goals.

Instead of "add 20 pounds to my 1RM deadlift," try "add 20 pounds to my 1RM deadlift in six months."

4. There's a Lack of Consistency 

Along the way, you’ll face obstacles and distractions that could hinder you from being successful. Don't stress, because this is part of the process.

If you don’t stay on track and follow through, though, your progress will become useless.

It’s important to constantly build and maintain healthy habits that are almost second-nature. Do you want to consistently train at least four times a week? Schedule your sessions in advance so that you’re committed to attending them.

weekly planner and black glasses

Remember that if you're currently out of shape, it took months or years to get there. So, you're not going to undo all of that in a week. This is a long-term approach. Don't look for overnight success.

5. They're Not Really Measuring Their Progress

Many people give up on their goals because they don’t see significant changes after exerting so much effort. This is often because they’re not really keeping tabs on their progress and checking if their plan of action is actually working.

Measuring your progress helps you gather data on whether or not what you’re doing is effective. If you see some development, you’ll feel empowered and motivated to keep going or to up your game. If you don’t, you can adjust your routine accordingly.

But without those measurements, you can't really know either way. 

Bear in mind, too, that progress comes in all forms. It's not just about pounds lost or weight added to a max. Maybe you were able to complete a metcon with less rest than you previously needed. Perhaps you strung more double-unders together before missing a rep. 

man holding jump rope

These both count as progress!

6. They Don't Make Their Training Increasingly Challenging

When you train, your body triggers an alarm that stress and pressure are being enforced on it. This allows your systems to create responses on how to overcome such forces. But when you do the same workout without changing or upping the challenge in some way, the body already knows how to do it, so your progress plateaus.

That’s why, if you want real results, you have to push your body and do a little more than what’s comfortable. Change your routines regularly to continue your progress and get the best results.

As an example, if you like to spend a little time rowing each session, and you can comfortably hit 300 meters in two minutes, try upping that to 400 meters. 

7. There's a Lack of Support

Surround yourself with people who support your fitness journey. They don’t have to do the same workout or eat the same meals, but their positive reinforcements will help you power through.

Whether they’re your family and friends or new pals from fitness communities and boot camps, these people should encourage and motivate you to become your best version. 

It'll also help if you commit to training with other people. As soon as someone else is involved, we tend to stick to what we say we're going to do.

man and woman doing battle ropes

8. They Don't Know How to Do It With Little Money

Let's get real: Working with health and fitness professionals is highly effective but can get expensive. Fortunately, today, there are affordable options that are equally effective. 

Can’t afford a personal trainer? Join in on a group class. Can’t commit to a gym? Utilize online training videos. Whatever you choose, there will always be practical ways to invest in yourself and achieve fitness success.

Rest assured that you can get healthy not just for cheap, but even for free. 

9. A Lack of Time Puts Goals on the Back Burner

The best way to find time is to make time. And you have to make time for your health or you’ll always find an excuse to skip it. 

Schedule your workouts in a calendar or planner in advance. Prepare your lunch during weekends or the night before so you won’t have to rush in the morning.

meal prep

Better yet, choose to work out instead of lounging in front of the TV.

When you work on your time-management skills, you’ll find that you always have a way to make time. 

If your goals are truly important, you'll make it work.

10. They Try to Take Shortcuts 

People sometimes expect great results with minimal effort and in a short period of time. But being truly fit and healthy takes long-term dedication and months (years!) of hard work and consistency.

So, don’t fall for products that offer miracles or overnight success. Ditch the extreme diets, juice cleanses, and detox teas when you're trying to shed weight.  

They won't work.

Instead, invest in quality time and programs that are in it with you for the long-haul. 

Everyone faces challenges when working on their goals. Overcoming them is what makes a successful journey even more rewarding.  The important thing is that you recognize your struggles, take specific action, and remain consistent and accountable. And remember, nothing amazing comes easy.

Are you ready to start the process, fight off the excuses, and achieve your goals? Check out Atlas Wearables to find out how we can help you in your fitness journey.