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Why You Fail at Physique Goals

Coaching, Success

You’ve likely heard the expression, “with a strong enough why, the how will reveal itself.”

People tend to fail at weight loss and transformation goals for all the wrong reasons. And most of the time people don’t fail because they don’t have good information or a sound program to follow. The major reason they fail is because of a faulty mindset.

Everyone keeps looking for some magic ‘how to’ formula for weight loss success, while seldom addressing the ‘why bother’ formula that will keep you in the game for as long as it takes to achieve your goal.

You have to understand on the deepest levels why you are pursuing this goal. What is your strong WHY? Is it for health? Is it for well-being? Is it for pure vanity? Is it for all these things?

But let’s look at your why in a different way: What is the ‘payoff’ you expect to get from pursuing this goal?

This is a really, REALLY important question that seems to be ignored by the conscious mind. But without a solid enough payoff from any endeavor, none of us are likely to continue pursuing that endeavor.

Or the flip side of this coin is that we aren’t going to be very good at things we don’t like doing or don’t truly want to do.

So what is that outcome you seek from pursuing physique goals?

The outcome and end-result you seek for pursuing this goal really boils down to an outcome of joy, and/or satisfaction, and/or fulfilment.

It’s why any of us do anything when it comes to our external pursuits.

But there’s more to just seeking the outcome: This outcome should also lead to a reinforcement of why you made this choice to begin with. But here’s the thing most of you don’t recognize:  if the path you seek to pursue this achievement is mostly represented by frustration, guilt, disillusion, and disappointment; then how can that path ever lead to the joy, satisfaction, and fulfilment outcome?

In other words, your investment in the process has to be paying you back some kind of dividend that resembles these outcomes of joy, satisfaction and fulfilment.

There must be some joy, satisfaction and fulfilment all along the way or there simply isn’t enough ‘authentic’ incentive for you to continue to pursue your transformation goal.

And this is THE major mindset mistake most people make who fail at weight loss and physique transformation goals. I’ve seen it my whole career.

Clients and non-clients who have good solid diet-strategies and exercise regimens in place; and yet they quit way before they achieve what they set out to accomplish.

They factor in the outcome payoff they seek but they don’t factor in any payoff from the process that will keep them going until they reach that outcome. And then since there is not enough joy, satisfaction and fulfilment coming in from the ongoing process, they end up quitting (often over and over again).

Even worse, many of you start lamenting over all the things you are giving up in order to pursue this goal and that line of thinking leads to bitterness over the whole thing as well and then even short-term progress is tainted because there isn’t enough joy, satisfaction and fulfilment returned from the investment of time and energy and devotion you are giving toward reaching the goal.

Viewed this way, of course it would make sense to quit.

Why would you choose a goal that constantly robs you of joy and satisfaction, instead of delivering these things to you? Because you want it? Well, you have to invest, pay, and spend to get there.

This is the time to always remind yourself that price is what you pay, but value is what you receive or do not receive from your efforts.

If your constant payment and investment toward your goal, never yields any true value for you, then why would you keep investing your time, energy and devotion toward reaching this goal? And this is how and why the motivation-flame burns out.

So, something has to change. And that something is the way you think about your goal and why you want it.

Maybe stop looking at it all only as a goal. Look at it as a decision. Look at it as a choice.

Let’s use golfing as an example to view your goal in a different light:

Millions of middle-aged people around the world take up and enjoy golfing. There is no real ‘goal’ in that pursuit other than it being a shared pastime. For people who play golf – they can have good games, they can have bad games – they can compete against others, or not compete against others – they can endeavor to improve. And many people who pursue golf as a pastime, do it for decades.


Answer; because the endeavor itself delivers to them the tangible feedback loop of joy, satisfaction, and fulfilment.

These feedback loops are immediate and they are sustainable and they are self-reinforcing. When joy, satisfaction and fulfilment are delivered back to us from pursuing a specific endeavor, it re-incentivises us to continue doing that very thing.

This kind of payoff reinforces the decision of ‘why’ they chose to take up golf in the first place.

Think about how much it costs to “invest” in golf as a pastime: You have the cost of golf clubs and equipment, you have membership fees, the cost of your time – since it takes about 4-5 hours to play an 18 holes round of golf. And that doesn’t include transit time to and from the course. But it doesn’t stop there, does it?

Golfers often hit the driving range as well, and they have special shops for golf fashion, everything from shoes to clothing and the rest.

Furthermore, golfers often choose vacation spots solely on the quality of golfing options available to them.

And keep in mind for most people, golfing takes place outside of work hours during precious free time. But the commitment, devotion, and investment remains. Again, why is that?

Again, the answer is because there is a payoff of joy, satisfaction and fulfilment delivered to their investment regardless of a final score on any given day.

Golfers aren’t questioning what they ‘could be doing instead’ with those 4-5 hours they are investing in the game.

Price is what they pay – value is what they get back!

And of course this equation can be true of any vocation pursuit – fishing, hunting, camping, tennis, whatever.

You can’t keep paying the price to lose weight and transform your physique and have the result of your efforts be frustration, disappointment, disillusionment, guilt, and hostility.

That equation will never result in the outcome you seek.

Something has to change or quitting and failure will be the result. That is inevitable if the return on your investment is mostly negative.

None of us will continue pursuing a vocation that doesn’t return to us a rewarding and self-reinforcing return on our investment.

For instance, way back when – I tried both fishing and golf – and neither one of them led to me feeling joy, satisfaction, and/or fulfilment. It should be no surprise then that I never continued to pursue these hobbies.

Furthermore, like so many people my age, I invest a lot of my income. That doesn’t necessarily translate into “joy” or ‘fulfilment’ (yet) but it does indeed give me back plenty of satisfaction knowing I am taking care of my future.

Are you starting to see how all of this fits together and relates to your transformation goals?

For practically all of you reading this; weight loss and physique transformation are not how you earn your income. Therefore the incentive to follow the process is much different for you for a transformation goal than is the reason you work at your job.

Your transformation efforts are a choice. And because you don’t truly ‘have to’ follow through with your transformation efforts at any given time, you are more likely to stop following through if there is no tangible payoff for doing so.

This is a major, MAJOR difference between abiding in your occupation vs abiding in a chosen vocation or hobby.

Love or hate your job, you do it for the paycheck which is a tangible reward for the cost of your efforts and consistency.

With a physique transformation goal you work for an outcome that is all about choice and ongoing choices. And you expect the overall outcome to deliver satisfaction and/or joy and/or fulfilment to you when you reach the goal you have envisioned. But unlike your job, you can quit a vocational choice/goal anytime.

And what about the process you undertake to get there to reach your goal?

Just as the hour to hour, day to day nature of your job is a process that results in a paycheck; the hour to hour, day to day investment toward a physique transformation is expected to pay off as well. It has to, or why keep doing it?

This is the mental dilemma so many of you slip into once you undertake a physique transformation goal. You have an outcome incentive, but you don’t have much of a process incentive. And THAT makes it really easy to quit, or to not be as consistent as you need to be in order to achieve your goal.

You have to accept that change takes place on changes terms; not on the terms YOU want change to be! Then you have to set process incentives for yourself that will insure you stick to what you need to do, even when you may not feel like doing it.

Most people choose a goal for weight loss and transformation with a heavy emotional attachment to making that choice. The problem is when you put emotion in front of pragmatism. Pragmatism must come first when it comes to sticking to the process for reaching your goal.

You have to note little victories; victories that a personal for you. It doesn’t have to be weight loss on a scale. It can be clothes fitting better. It can be feeling better for sticking to your meal plan when you usually do not stick to it. It can be feeling better results from your exercise regimen.

But you have to note these things and let them reinforce your commitment to this goal. In other words, the outcome you seek must be reinforced by the process you follow to reach it.

You must find the little victories that pay you some kind of dividend of joy, satisfaction and fulfilment all along the way.

This is how you will achieve your physique goals.

But if you only keep making note of and experiencing frustration, guilt, disillusion, and disappointment – this is why you fail at physique goals!

As usual

Some of you will get it

Some of you will not