How To Finally Achieve Your Fitness Goals In 2024

Are you sick of your fitness goals feeling like such a slog?

Have you ever wondered how some people maintain their fitness so effortlessly, while for others (including you) it feels like every step is a struggle and you just can’t build or maintain momentum?

It can be frustrating to watch other people get their workouts in consistently, and see them eating whatever they like while still maintaining their weight.

From your viewpoint, it’s easy to attribute this to genetics (their genetics are good, yours are bad) or accept that this is just how things are.

But let’s talk about why that’s not the case – and what you can do coming into the New Year to finally be “that person” – you know, the one who makes staying strong and fit just look… so effortless.

These people simply set better habits. And we want to teach you how to do this as well.

There are three steps to this process, and we’re going to run through them one by one in this article.

Step 1: Ditch Discipline

What we’re about to discuss goes against the grain of much of the fitness industry doctrine.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Motivation gets you started, but discipline keeps you going” – it’s plastered all over every motivational fitness account, health magazine, and influencer’s captions. But we’ve got to be honest with you, we think this is pretty terrible advice.

Discipline is a weak emotion for you to rely on. It’s the kind of thing that works great under ideal circumstances. When the only thing standing in the way is willpower, discipline is on our side.

But the moment we add in competing responsibilities, discipline becomes a lot less helpful. If you’ve got one hour free in the day, choosing between going to the gym or helping your kid with their homework is a matter of priorities, time management, and planning. Not discipline.

This is why we want you to stop relying on motivation and stop relying on discipline.

What do you focus on instead?

We’re so glad you asked.

Because that brings us to…

Step 2: Identify the behaviours you want to do more of

Achieving and (more importantly) maintaining your fitness goals is not about motivation or discipline. It’s about habits.

A habit is something we do without thinking. If we can identify the behaviours you want to do more of and turn them into habits, this is the secret to making fitness look and feel effortless. It’s also the secret to having a degree of flexibility in your plan, so you can eat foods you enjoy and avoid the trap of fitness ruling your whole life.

To do this successfully, you’ll need to do a bit of reverse engineering. Think about where you want to be in 1, 3, or 5 years’ time, and then – this is the important part – consider what is required to maintain that. Your end goal needs to be maintaining the result, not just achieving it once. From here, we work backwards and focus on making the behaviours that will get you there easy and doable, instead of obsessing about achieving the result at whatever cost.

Why is this so important?

Because too many people get caught up in the end result of achieving a particular goal that they don’t think about the amount of effort it takes to maintain that result. This is where we see people grit their teeth and go all in to achieve incredible feats of strength, fitness, or fat loss, but once they’ve reached their goal and they find that level of effort impossible to maintain, end up rebounding back to where they started.

This pattern might look familiar to you, but there is another way. A better way, and it’s outlined in this guide.

Ask yourself:

Which results do you want to achieve?

Which results do you want to maintain? – And which long term behaviours does this require?

You can also think about which behaviours aren’t aligned with the results you want to maintain.

What are some habits right now that are holding you back?

Start at the end goal (long term maintenance of your result), and work backwards to plan out what you need to do and become to achieve that. It sounds hard, but as you’ll soon see, the objective is actually to make this as easy as possible.

Once you have a list of the behaviours you want to do more of and the ones you want to do less of, we need to think about how to turn these behaviours into habits.

And luckily, there’s been quite a lot of research that’s gone into how humans form habits. Which takes us to…

Step 3: Hack the Habit Loop

When talking about how humans form habits, psychologists describe a basic loop, called The Habit Loop.

This system has three components:

We have the CUE – which is the thing in your environment that triggers or reminds you to do the behaviour.

Then there’s the ROUTINE – which is the behaviour itself.

And finally, the REWARD – in order for this behaviour to get reinforced, it needs to feel rewarding – either intentionally (e.g. giving yourself a reward) or unintentionally (e.g. the behaviour itself is rewarding).

This three step process is embedded in all the habits and many of the unconscious behaviours that we do.

And here’s how you can hack your body’s habit system to make it easy to perform the behaviours that are aligned with your goal.

For a habit you want to set:

Make the CUE obvious;

Make the ROUTINE easy; and

Make the REWARD better.

For example, booking in a workout with a good friend does all three of these things. The cue is more obvious, because there’s a booking in your diary and you can’t let your friend down. The routine is easy, because you have company (and it’s even better if they are someone who motivates and pushes you). And spending time with your friend is rewarding.

If you have kids, you can arrange active play time with them. This makes the cue obvious (what is harder to ignore than a child saying, “Can we go play now”?). The routine fits within your normal time with them so you don’t need to schedule anything extra. And it’s rewarding to know you’re spending that time with family and forming those memories with your kids.

For a habit you want to break:

Hide the CUE;

Make the ROUTINE hard; and

Remove the REWARD.

If you want to stop getting fast food on the way to/from work, keep easy snacks in your car and drive a different route that doesn’t go past the restaurant. This makes the cue less visible, the routine harder to do and justify, and since you’re less hungry (thanks to the snacks), the fast food will feel less rewarding.

The secret to sustaining your results is not to do hard things. Doing hard things and relying on discipline is just setting yourself up for failure. If you want your health and fitness to feel effortless and sustainable, you need to make the right behaviours as easy as possible, so when things get tough and you’re juggling lots of responsibilities, you can still do what you need to do. Create routines that set yourself up for success.

Bonus tip: when you do feel motivated, use this momentum to set the positive routines in motion.

Ditch discipline.

Set your goal to maintain your results, not just achieve them once.

Work backwards and figure out which behaviours you need.

Make the right behaviours as easy as possible; and remove/reduce your access to the wrong behaviours.

Need some help achieving your 2024 fitness goals? Reach out and we support you to get there!

Disclaimer: The content provided on this website is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. Any reliance you place on the information provided in these blogs is, therefore, strictly at your own risk. We shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage resulting from the use of the information provided on this website.

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