Developing and maintaining good habits usually means the difference between success and ultimate failure. Because whether we like it or not, reaching a goal/s requires discipline and strategy, day in and day out. And you’ve probably heard the saying… “if it was easy, then everyone would be doing it“.
You’ll have to decide whether you want to be a small part of the population who attains their dream physique/ life goals, or whether you want it to be just a dream. And we’ll let you in on a little secret… it just takes consistency, will-power, and an open mind. Yep, that’s it.
Most people fail because they give up and don’t put forth the necessary effort. It’s not rocket science, but developing lasting habits will ensure that you achieve a high level of fitness success.
Here are 10 habits of people who achieve their fitness goals…
1. They’re likely disciplined in most areas of life
Chances are, someone who can stick with a fitness regime long term, is usually a decently disciplined person in most other areas of their life too (not necessarily in all cases). However, oftentimes, being committed to the fitness lifestyle also makes you more disciplined overall.
Most people who often achieve their goals are used to sticking with their endeavors long enough to see results. And they understand that success and achievement comes from being persistent, regardless of the roadblocks.
This applies to business, relationships, and life in general.
However, influence can also play a role in how disciplined someone is because maybe they were taught to not give up or to do something to the best of their ability.
But a large percentage of people will need to learn and develop habits on their own though since not everyone has/had a positive influence in their life. That’s why finding inspiration is typically one of the biggest factors in keeping your eyes on the end goal and doing whatever it takes to get there, even through the failures and discouragement.
Eating healthy several times a day and making time for the gym even with a less than optimal schedule, isn’t for the weak. Most people won’t do it in fact. But this is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful.
2. They’re always finding something or someone that inspires them
This is kind of an extension from the first habit on our list but it’s crucial for getting what you want. Motivation is great and all but it’s only really good for a short period of time before you find yourself struggling to want to keep going (it’s human nature).
But when you find that something or someone that inspires you, you’ll find that you’re willing to push through the pain and low energy days to get the job done and because your vision overrides your emotions. Maybe you have a physique goal or maybe you want to get fit because you have something to prove.
Now, don’t get us wrong, you can be inspired for a short time as well before discouragement and/or the lack of belief in yourself creeps in.
But will-power is key here, in addition to developing an image in your head of the person that you want to be so that you can draw from it when you need to. The need for instant gratification is a very common thing. But by reminding yourself why this is a deceiving feeling, you’ll develop lifelong habits that’ll help you to have self-control.
In fact, the proof is in a more than 40-year-old study that found children who could resist the temptation to eat a marshmallow for a certain period of time, were likely to have the same will-power many years later. They handled stress better, ideally respond to reason, and had a better ability to plan. (1)
So every time you want to quit, sit down and remind yourself why you’re doing this.
Also, a lot of successful people recommend listening to or reading something every day that inspires you. YouTube videos are a great place to start because there’s so much information/inspiration. We’ve all been inspired by someone at some point and it can change your life.
There are going to be many days when you feel like you can’t possibly keep going. But that’s a test from life to see whether or not you’ll use the tools you were given to overcome your situation!
3. They’re always striving/hungry to be better
Have you ever noticed that highly successful people, in general, are always looking to do better and they’re always trying to improve? They’re hungry for more in a sense and this propels them forward toward another level of success.
There’s always room for improvement no matter what level someone has reached. And progress gives meaning to certain aspects of life. It doesn’t mean you need to obsessively compare yourselves to others. But without the desire to be better, we can’t realize our full potential.
Michael Jordan wouldn’t have been Michael Jordan without having the desire to be better and being hungry to be the best. He could also take extra shots in practice to improve. You don’t necessarily have to want to be the best but this still applies.
4. They expand their knowledge on a daily or weekly basis
Continually learning and expanding our knowledge on something that we’ve decided to invest our time and effort in, is one of the most valuable decisions we can make as humans. But it’s also a key component of success in general.
When we stop learning, we stop growing (bad for humans). So whichever method you choose (e.g book, internet/videos, podcasts, etc), take the time to regularly expand your curiosity about different aspects of your interests. 30 minutes a day can put you ahead of the game and keep you there too.
And the more things you learn about, the more interesting you are and the more value you can offer to others as well.
5. They’re not afraid to experiment and fail
What works for you may not work best for someone else and vice versa. Life is all about experimenting with different methods/things because seldom will you ever, always get everything right on the first try. But so many people are afraid to fail because it scares them into not wanting to try again for fear of the same result.
But failure is an essential component of success… in fact, it’s necessary.
However, you always want to fail better than you did the previous time. That means you have to take that failure and use it as a learning experience. It’s truly our best teacher.
One piece of literature highlighted the following observations about failure… (2)
“Failure gives us the opportunity to see our existence close-up. It is a lens through which we begin to see the flaws in our otherwise perfect and perfectly predictable being. When failure gives us this insight, it emphasizes for us the existential threat that constantly stalks our lives, giving us pause to consider how extraordinary life is. For this reason, failure can be therapeutic, forcing us to realize that the world does not revolve around us, guarding against unbridled arrogance, offering the comfort of humility in its stead.
I believe we should celebrate failure. In fact, we should exhort our students, trainees, and offspring to be alert to failure and its potential as a learning experience, rather than guard against it at all costs. We cannot avoid failure, and if we view it through the constructive lens of self-improvement, we need not cushion its blow to self-esteem. “The only real mistake” one can make “is the one from which we learn nothing”
6. They have some type of structure
Structure keeps us on track so that we don’t deviate from the consistency required to make progress toward our goals. It’s very tempting to want to take a break from a routine or extend the window in which we indulge in delectable foods that aren’t typically a part of our healthy diets.
And most people who don’t have a routine, are bound to fall off course at some point. Then the big issue here is that it becomes a permanent decision. There are a few exceptions though but for the most part, a non-committed individual usually carries this habit into other areas as well.
Take a few hours and plan out what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. Hold yourself accountable and look back to the inspiration and envision your end goal. The longer you can stick with a plan, the easier you’ll be able to do it even on the days that you aren’t motivated.
This also goes for workout consistency which is tough for many people. But again, having a vision of the end goal is key.
7. They make the fitness lifestyle exciting
There are literally so many ways to make sticking with your fitness routine more enjoyable. Monotony and a lack of newness are mentally draining and people give up.
Of course, you should already have a vision of what you want mentally ingrained. But other factors can definitely help to expedite the process. Train with a partner who also has the same goals, join groups, try new techniques, change up your diet, and change your goals up once you’ve achieved one.
Most importantly, be open-minded.
8. They have a killer playlist
Music evokes a certain type of emotion like no other and is, for many people, their biggest inspiration in life. When you’re bumping tunes at the gym (or at home), you know that it just puts you in a different zone altogether. And it’s doing the same for someone else too. (3)
But what’s special about music, is that you can listen to it all day long. So, when you want a change in mood and some motivation/inspiration, it does the job very well. This is especially beneficial for the days when you feel defeated and not motivated to stick to the plan.
But listening to certain types of music can evoke unwanted emotions too, depending on how the individual perceived it and their mental state. So just keep that in mind too.
Music has also shown to have ergogenic effects as it can increase physical performance, delay fatigue, and other similar factors. According to research, its influence is definitely not to be underestimated. (4)
Researchers Karageorghis and Terry explained in a 1997 scientific review, “Altering the mind’s arousal state with music will result in increased exercise performance, as if the music is ‘psyching’ one up to perform exercise better.” (5)
Of course, everyone has their own taste in music but don’t turn your nose up at the possibility that you can become inspired through other genres too. Just keep an open mind.
9. They realized that getting fit will improve their quality of life
Health, performance, and aesthetics are the main reasons why people set out to achieve fitness goals. Maybe you’re overweight, suffer from health issues, or are an athlete who wants to improve your abilities. Or maybe you want to turn heads, attract the opposite (and same) sex, and/or just be happy with what you see staring back at you in the mirror.
Changing your physique and improving your functional fitness can boost confidence and mood tremendously. Not to mention, having a better diet opens up so many possibilities and it can be rather exciting to try new things.
All of these are great reasons for wanting to pursue and achieve your goals. And they can absolutely improve the quality of your life tenfold. Making the decision to change your life is the most satisfying and fulfilling move you can make.
10. They have no choice!
Whether you’re a bodybuilder who competes, a fitness model, or an individual whose physique is his/her business card, you’ll likely have better success if you look the part. Therefore, you “must” reach your goals by maintaining daily habits conducive to you being able to do so.
Mentally, you must get in the habit of knowing that veering off-track could cost you in some way.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the best habits for reaching your fitness goals?
Developing good habits is one of the key components of achieving success in any form. Here are what we believe to be effective habits for fitness success…
- Being disciplined
- Finding inspiration
- Always being hungry for more
- Always learning
- Always experimenting
- Embracing failure
- Having structure
- Making the journey exciting
- Having awesome music
- Seeing a need for change
- Knowing that something must be done
Does having good habits make or break success?
Most people would agree that having good habits is one key component of achieving success. But since everyone has a different goal/s, they’ll also need to implement habits that are conducive and specific to achieving them.
Habits keep us on track and help us to improve.
How long does it take to develop a habit?
This is not an exact science as there have been many different numbers thrown around for how long it takes to develop a habit whether good or bad.
But it also depends on what habit an individual is trying to form because it’s easier to do certain things than others. It also depends on the individual as some people form habits quicker, longer, and more consistent than others.
For example, doing things that increase dopamine (feel-good chemical) in the brain, is easier for a lot of people when compared to doing something boring and monotonous.
So you probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that the idea that it takes 21 days to form a habit cannot be used as a one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
Research has shown that it can take anywhere from 18 days to 254 days to develop a habit with 66 days being the average for when a habit becomes automatic. (6)
Are these habits a must for success?
Some are and others are optional. However, most successful people do have these habits although, we all adopt them a little differently.
There you go… 10 habits of people who reach their fitness goals. It may seem like a lot to take in but for those who are used to the daily grind, you’ve probably already realized that these habits can make or break your progress. Try to implement good habits every day and the longer you’re able to do this, the faster you’ll reach your goals.
None of the points we’ve listed are necessarily ground-breaking but we know you’ll really benefit from them if you’re not already.