Overcoming Fitness Failures: 5 Steps You Need to Know

Succeeding in fitness is not about doing everything perfectly, every single time. It is about trying something, failing, and learning from it. Failure is a lot harder than most people think. It hurts our ego and it’s not fun. Instead of seeing failure as a bad thing, look at it as an opportunity — your opportunity to learn, grow, and accelerate your progress. Use these steps to get the most out of your fitness failures:

  • Recognize failure – The first step to learning from your fitness failures and making the most of every opportunity is recognizing when failure occurs. Sometimes this is easy to do, like when trying a new exercise and not being able to complete it with a certain weight or number of reps. Other times, it is harder to recognize failure, like gradually slipping out of healthy eating habits or forgetting to stay hydrated throughout the day. Sometimes it takes stepping back from our day-to-day lives and looking at our progress from an unbiased viewpoint. Then, you can identify the areas that you want to improve.
  • Identify the cause of the failure – Now that you know what the failure is, you will need to figure out how it happened. If it is the performance of an exercise, maybe you are not using the right form or need to build up your strength and endurance first. Figure out why you failed in a particular instance and use this knowledge to become better in the future.
  • Make a plan for how you will approach things differently next time – It is important to make a plan on doing things differently, so that you do not continue repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Doing the same behavior repeatedly will result in the same results each time. Let’s say, for example, you failed in sticking to your workout schedule and realized that it was because you were prioritizing other things above your daily workouts. Knowing this, you can now create a plan for next time. Maybe, after recognizing that you were prioritizing other things above workouts, you begin to turn down other commitments that could hinder your workout. Find what works for you and make a plan.
  • Visualize your plan or write it down – Once you have a plan, put it into something more concrete by either doing visualizations of your new plan to prepare or by putting it in writing for you to look back on… Or, do both! Visualization is a simple, yet useful technique for achieving your desired outcomes. For example, if you wanted to perfect your squat, you would close your eyes and imagine yourself performing a squat with your desired weight perfectly. Your form would be perfect from your feet all the way up to your neck and shoulders. Do this several times. This will help you avoid failure the next time you give it a try!
  • Try again – You are officially ready to pick yourself back up and try again! Repeat this process, with changes to your plan each time until you achieve success. Remember that failing is a good thing. It is your opportunity to grow, learn, and improve!
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