Fitter, faster, bigger, better, slimmer, stronger; everyone’s fitness goals are different, but the reasons why we struggle to accomplish them are usually the same. Part of the problem is that we expect success to come easily, but become exceedingly disappointed when it doesn’t. (Hint: For the most part, nothing worth achieving ever comes easy.)
According to Dr.Denise McGuire, PhD, a licensed psychologist and emotional fitness coach with over 25 years of experience and a presenter at last year’s Fitness and Health Social Media Conferenceat the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Aurora, Colorado, fewer than 20% of people in a problem population are ready to take action to change.
That means even though you might have the desire to lose weight, incorporate healthier habits into your day-to-day life, or even break a personal record in your 5k, your past attempts have failed simply because you weren’t ready to follow through with the complicated process that brings about true, maintainable change.
When it comes to accomplishing a goal, McGuire says we often fail to achieve real progress because we underestimate just how difficult it is to break old habits. She says that we tend to think the process will be simple and that successful transformation only requires willpower and self-discipline.
Psychological science has proven quite the contrary, though. According to the Prochaska’s Readiness for Change (or transtheoretical) model, whether or not you’ll successfully achieve a goal depends on where you fall within the model’s five stages.