Why You Aren’t Achieving Your Goals

Here is the truth, You  probably just don’t want it bad enough. Think about something you have achieved in life that too k substantial effort. I mean something that you really wanted and had to work for to accomplish it. Seriously take a minute before you read on to reflect on this.  Maybe it was your college degree that you had to pay for and work a full time job in order to graduate. Maybe it was that job you applied for, then reapplied for, and then interviewed for, and no matter what you kept going after it. You  applied for months, you prepped yourself, and pumped yourself up for it, you sent follow up emails, and if you didn’t get the job then it didn’t stop you from going after it and reapplying again until you got hired. Maybe you started a business, or you consistently gave all you got to get a promotion at work and continue to thrive in your career. How about that girl you had a crush on and pursued and knew that you had to win her heart. We all have stories of success in our lives that started from a thought. While you were going through it, it was like you were on autopilot, it didn’t feel like work, you were just going after something you needed to accomplish. You were in the zone. Once that thought was in your head you just kept doing the work and accomplished it no matter what the obstacles.  The thought of all the things that could go wrong didn’t deter you, and even if things went wrong you kept moving forward.  If you had a party to attend the night before that big interview you would have declined because you knew how important it was for you, and it didn’t even upset you that you missed it. You had your eye on the prize, there were no distractions just the vision you were after. There was none of the talk that you “have to go to an interview and it sucks”. No,  the attitude  was I GET TO GO TO this awesome interview and I am excited to get that job. There are probably some areas in your life right now that still demand that same attention, focus, and habits of success. It is just part of you and who you are. So why doesn’t that happen with your fitness and health goals?


Unfortunately, for many people the above scenarios of success are not how people view their fitness and health goals. I know because I have been in this field for 2 decades and have struggled with certain fitness goals myself and I have seen the success stories and the failures.  I can’t tell you how many times I hear people say I “have” to go to the gym with their entire body language is slumped, eyes are down and it is like they have been sentenced to jury duty for the 3rd time that year.  It’s like that interview scenario above to land that killer job. If they really wanted that job with every part of their being it is a pretty easy decision not to drink like a fish the night before… Why? Well they know that taking such actions aren’t going to benefit them at all and most likely take them out of the running for that highly competitive job.  Why is it that when facing weight loss or health goals people will say things like, “I really want to lose weight, but we had this party to go to and they had the best deserts and I couldn’t resist”.  No, just say what you mean, you really don’t want to lose that weight, period.  The reason… it is only important if it doesn’t interfere with your social life, or sweet tooth, or (fill in the blank).  You are just content with where you are.   I am a firm believer if you want to hit a goal, you do everything to achieve it. There is a singleness of purpose and all your habits must support it. Most people squeeze by on the bare minimum and they will only do so much to achieve a goal they have set for themselves. A business trip turns into an excuse to eat horribly for a week, an important call is a good enough  reason to miss a training session. Nope, don’t worry to make up that training session that was missed, you will just start over again on Monday, because as long as it doesn’t interfere with other things you will do it. Don’t be upset about the results you don’t achieve with the work you didn’t put in. So why is it so hard to just commit?

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Usually when you are really disturbed, pissed off, or disgusted with yourself, you will make a change. It’s the truth with any big changes we need to make in our lives. Without that, there is no stimulus to change. It just isn’t bad enough. I was reflecting on a few things that caused me to make some of the biggest changes of my life and I was either really upset or really disappointed and it hurt! In 2010 I was working a job for a company putting in over 60+ hours per week. I was hustling my ass off. I had a 4 month old baby and a wife at home to support. I met the owners to get my quarterly bonus that was based on a percentage of revenue. My agreed upon bonus was roughly $8000. I was told they couldn’t afford that amount, but they could give me a $3500 bonus. I took it and told them I understood if the company was in a tough position. The next day the owner pulled up in a brand new BMW.  Talk about disturbed. I was irate, I was hurt, I was angry, I felt like a punk. I had talked and talked about opening a gym for years, It was always a someday thing, but now I had a 4 month old baby at home and felt like it was impossible to make the jump. How could I quit? It made no sense. Sure, I wanted to start a gym for the past 10 years and it was all I talked about, but now was not a good time!  Well,  I took a huge action and a leap of faith because I knew I had to do whatever it took to support my family. I quit my job with no money and the result of that jump was Evolution Fitness. At times I don’t know exactly how I got here,  but I just had to keep doing what I was doing because failure wasn’t an option.

More recently I had a big shift and change happen with my fitness and health. Back in January I decided I wanted to run a mile because I hadn’t done it in a very long time. The result….. I  barely survived the run,  I was healed over in pain and could barely breath. The worst part was,  I wasn’t running, it was a light jog.. I was embarrassed for myself, I was disturbed that  I could barely put together a mile as a 40 year old man that has been a trainer for over 16 years. Sure I could lift a lot of weight and swing the heck out of kettlebells, but I could not move my body and make it do what I wanted it to. My conditioning sucked. I saw a huge area in my health that was lacking in a big way. It was eye opening, I was embarrassed for myself and it really upset me. I couldn’t just write it off anymore unless I just wanted to lie to myself. I knew I had to start slowly, but I started to improve my running so I set a goal to run a 1/2 Marathon. It gave me structure and something to aim for. If I didn’t feel so humiliated by my fitness and health, I wouldn’t have done anything about it. The fact was it hit me hard enough to make me want to change, I felt it deep inside of me.  I really hope that things like this happen throughout my life. It takes a disruption to cause change.


What will it take for you to see a situation for what it is and make it so you can’t lie to yourself about it. When you are upset enough about something you will find a way to make it happen. You won’t have time, money, or work as an excuse not to achieve it. I really wish this gift of desperation, being disturbed, or embarrassed, on everyone that is searching to achieve something greater.  Think about it for a few moments. Write out the following questions.

What do you want to achieve? What is your vision?

What is pissing you off?

What is it that  you want to change in your life?

Why do you want to achieve it?

 What are the consequences of not achieving it? Is it affecting just you or others?

 Dig deep. Write out all the things you are missing out on by not hitting your goals.

In my job change years ago I did this drill and it shook me. I knew if I stayed there I was going to continually work harder, be away from my family more, and never afford the life I wanted to create for my family. Family, yes my family. It wasn’t about me. It was about my family. It had to affect my family to shake me. As I saw my 4 month old baby and thought about her future, I knew to my inner core my bosses didn’t give a damn about my family’s needs or my dreams. It was about them and their needs. I had a vision for my family and I knew they weren’t going to help me get there.  I needed to get pissed off and that did it.

If this drill doesn’t work then take a different approach.. If you are wanting to lose weight, go buy some clothes you know you want to fit in, or grab some clothes you use to fit in and go and try and put them on. See how they feel on you, don’t sugar coat it. Really be true to yourself if they can’t fit. Don’t just take them off immediately, feel it, really feel it. If you are truly OK with it then move on, if you are not pleased keep the clothes on a bit longer.  Do some everyday activities in them to really make you upset. If weight isn’t your goal and better fitness is your goal then go run a mile and try and do it in under 10-11 minutes. If you haven’t trained in years drop and do 50 (Real) pushups and and 50 deep body weight squats for time. See how you feel, see how you feel the next day. If you feel defeated, so sore you can’t move, or weaker than you would like to admit, then internalize it. Really feel the shitty part and use it to motivate you. I know when I was healed over after that mile run I was miserable, I was upset, because if I ever needed to run for my life I knew I couldn’t. That was the truth and I owned it.


Habits are crucial to change. I’ll never forget a member of the gym I was a part of  years ago. He saw an amazing transformation. He had the stories of not having time to workout for years, until he had a heart scare and woke up in the ER. He had tons of money and success, but not health. He started getting to the gym at 5am every day to do light cardio and return in the afternoon 3 days per week to do  weight training. One day I saw him at the gym at 5am like normal. He came in, read the paper for about 5 minutes on the bike, and then just sat down for a bit. He said hi to some people and started to leave. I joked with him about having a short workout. I’ll never forget what he told me. He said he wasn’t feeling great that morning and knew he shouldn’t train, but he didn’t want to break his habit of waking up and coming to the gym. To him, he had to keep his ritual of waking up and driving to the gym. At the end of the year this man lost close to 70lbs and looked like he had trained his entire life. I didn’t realize how awesome this was. He was invested, he was committed, he was ALL IN. There were no sob stories of not being motivated, or how can I get the best results with the least amount of time. No, he was clear he had to change his thought process and change his life. He did the same with his nutrition. Guess what… He didn’t lose any business or money either because he focused more on his health. THIS, is the secret to change. Creating new habits and incorporating them into your life. The word incorporate means to take in and make part of the whole. It doesn’t mean something you do when you feel like it or when it is convenient. Ask yourself if you truly incorporating your habits into your life or are you just doing them because you have to or  because you want to avoid (fill in the blank). An example I see all the time are those on a diet and counting down to their next cheat meal. This isn’t incorporating this is merely surviving and tolerating your current situation. I do know  people that have tried just about everything to lose weight and there are situations that may be out your control with hormones and health. If this is the case then this is where habits are even more important to live by enjoying the journey of living a healthier life comes in.

I am not sure what this young mans story is, but this short video is awesome. It is inspiring, it is full of action, it is free of excuses, it is determination and persistence. It is focus it is failure isn’t an option. It makes me feel like I could be doing more.


Enjoy the Journey

Of course many of us set a goal and look to the future. Seeing where we want to go is huge. The most important part of the process is having a vision worth going after. One of the things I am really embracing with my goals now in business or athletics is enjoying the journey. It has been a powerful shift. While building Evolution I had such focus that it took me over 5 years to actually take a step back and take a breath to actually enjoy what was created. I always thought that  being proud the accomplishments was counter productive. Once one goal was achieved I immediately set another one without taking a moment to enjoy what was accomplished, I didn’t want to get too sure of myself. I realize now that I robbed myself of a lot of fulfillment. I am currently training for my first triathlon. I am learning how to swim with correct form for the first time in my life. It has been the biggest physical challenge I have taken on as an adult. The first time I swam back to back 25 yard Iaps I felt like a dog that was thrown in the pool and just praying for the edge. The best part was being able to laugh at myself, and enjoy the moments of being a beginner again. I actually have been able to enjoy the challenge, embrace it, and yes laugh at myself. On your journey to whatever your goal is, I encourage you to enjoy the moments of being new, enjoy the little successes and use them to build upon, look at the little set backs as a way to refocus and not defeat you. Take them in and realize that when you get through these obstacles and build little successes you will be able to use your experience to help others.

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