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When you’re trying to achieve a goal, you will usually think about all the things you need to do in order to achieve that goal. For example, with a fitness goal you most likely will have taken the time to think about how often you’re going to train per week, what and when you’re going to eat, what time you’re going to go to bed and wake up, how much water you will drink etc… But, when it comes to actually doing all this, you struggle to stick to it or end up giving up. Why do you think that is? Why do you think you struggle so much when you had it all planned out?

I’ve had many conversations with people about their health and fitness goals and how they are going to do “such and such routine” that in their eyes is completely fool proof and the best and fastest way to achieve their goals. The conversations often go along the lines of them describing their ideal routine and plan, me asking a few questions and raising a few potential problems that could happen with this ideal routine/plan, and then finally the person realising that their ideal might not actually be a good idea and they have a lot of re-planning and thinking to do if they are truly going to succeed.

(I have a love/hate relationship with these conversations because on one hand I know I’m helping the recipient, and on the other I’m crushing the hope they had and creating more work for them to do, but at the end of the day it’s in the best interest of the person I’m speaking with.)

Here are some of the most common routines/plans/habits (from my experience) that people put in place to achieve their health and fitness goals but they also end up not sticking to or giving up on… Let me know if you’ve ever tried the following:

  • Waking up super early to go for a run or workout before work (usually around the time of 5/6am)
  • Cutting carbs completely
  • Fasting or skipping meals 
  • Cardio almost every day
  • “I just won’t eat as much”
  • No eating after 6pm
  • Following a ridiculously intense training programme

Now, all of these things could have their place and time within someone’s routine/plan to achieve their goals, but they aren’t actually what makes the person achieve their goals. Instead, there are much deeper skills that help people succeed at achieving their goals.

Waking up at 5am every morning to train for example… In theory, this is a great habit and very convenient to free up time for the rest of your day. However, in reality there are plenty of issues which will potentially stop you from following this daily routine.

All it takes is one late night and a few presses of the snooze button and you’ve easily slept in and missed your window to train… Maybe you’ve been out socialising with friends and stayed out until 1-2am, maybe you have kids and they kept you up late, maybe you’re caught up in work and ridiculous deadlines, so now you’re only going to get 3-4 hours sleep (which isn’t enough or safe to train on), and even though you think “I WILL GET UP, I’M DETERMINED”, when that alarm goes off in the morning it’s a completely different mindset and situation. Sure, people can be unbelievably motivated and regimented and get up and workout at that time even with minimal sleep, but those people are far and few between and certainly only make up a small percentage of the thousands of people I’ve coached over the years.

Now, I’m not trying to say getting up at 5am and training is a bad thing here, but what I am saying is that you’re going to have to make sure a lot of things go RIGHT in the lead up to that before you even wake up to train at that time. There are a lot of problems that can arise and you have to be ready to deal with them, which leads me on to my point… 2 of the most important skills you need to develop in order to succeed in achieving ANY goals:

1. Adaptability

2. Resilience

Adaptability is the skill/quality of being able to adapt to new conditions. Resilience is the skill/ability to recover quickly from difficulties, especially tough, challenging situations.

Look at Emma’s transformation, for example. This amazing lady lives a VERY busy life and even more so leading up to this transformation. She was working her fulltime job, planning for a wedding, trying to get in shape and juggling plenty of other things in her life at that time, yet she still managed to achieve the results you see in the photo. Now, Emma’s goal was to lose weight for her wedding and feel more healthy, happy and confident in herself, which she well and truly achieves within just a couple of months. Yet, she had numerous problems thrown in her way to potentially stop her from achieving her goals or throw her off track. That’s where her ability to adapt and stay resilient came into play.

For example, due to work commitments, Emma had to change from in-person training to online coaching after just 2 months of training with me and my team. This alone is a situation that would dishearten and cause many people to completely stop training all together. However, Emma, with her resilient nature, chose to handle the situation and adapt her training programme to online! Which again in itself can cause a myriad of problems to overcome, from not having as much accountability to show up and see someone in person, to simply not feeling confident performing some training routines without expert advice and guidance or even having to fill in all of her training logs online.

Here’s the thing, there’s only one destination that you set, but the route in which you get there can vary time and time again. Some routes take longer than others, but they lead to the same destination. However, if you try and stay on the same route and you’re not willing to change or ask for help, or don’t know how to change direction, you will get stuck or lost and will not end up at the destination as planned. Do you get what I’m trying to say here?

You might have this ideal routine and plan (a certain route) that you think will work perfectly to help you achieve your goal (the destination), but if you only have that 1 routine/plan and can’t overcome any obstacle that are in the way, or do not have an alternative routine/plan in place, you will never achieve your goal.

So, here’s what you need to do:

Step 1 – Set your goal and make it as detailed as possible (The S.M.A.R.T goal setting method works a treat).

Step 2 – Plan a REALISTIC routine that will help you to achieve that goal.

Step 3 – Write down every single problem you can think of that may stop you from following said routine and stop you from achieving your goal and PROVIDE A SOLUTION for each one.

Step 4 – Carry out the plan and if you come across a problem you haven’t planned for, take it on the chin, find a solution and crack on!

I hope this has helped you to understand the importance of setting goals and creating a clear, realistic plan of how to achieve them. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me! 


Ricky Gibbins



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