The real reason why you keep failing

In Grade 6 my Teacher made me set goals.  By 25, I was going to be lighting up the scoreboard in the NBA, embarrassing Jason Kidd with a bevy of crossover dribbles.

Every night, I planned on bouncing the orange gum ball for an hour before practicing fade aways, step-backs, lay ups and three point bombs.

I’d conclude with the obligatory slam dunk session, jamming down two handers, reverses, 360’s and one handers… on my 8′ ring.

By the time I was 25, I’d be like Mike, despite my white, Jewishness (wow, spell checker didn’t give me the red squiggly underline).

But then it rained.  And my Mom wouldn’t let me go out in the rain, so I had to settle for playing NBA Jam instead- it was basically the same thing anyway, right?

My biggest problem was that I didn’t have a contingency plan.


When I was a trainer, hiking ten miles in the snow, barefooted (or rather in frog toes Vibrams), every initial consultation would start the same way.

Me: So, what are your goals?
You: I want to tone up, lose the fat around my mid-section and feel better.
Me: And how many times can you make it to the gym per week?
You: Realistically, I’d say 3-4 times.

Realistically, I thought I’d be playing in the NBA right now, dating a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model or, at the very least, an Angel.

The problem with setting goals, and creating expectations are that we don’t account for life. – Share the profoundness!

And we all know how life loves to toy with our emotions, inflate our dreams and then laugh in our sunken faces as it throws a myriad of Lego shaped obstacles at our feet for us to painfully step on.

You: I’m going to gym now.
Life: Ha ha, that’s cute!  Did you forget that you need to change the flux capacitor to the thing-a-ma-jig before you can safely extract the dilithium crystals from the nexus?
You: What?
Life: You’re not going to gym!

What we then get is a deflated sense of self worth and dejection when we realise that, despite our best intentions, we will probably never fit into that bikini or be able to see our feet again.

Before long, we’ve thrown in the towel and relegated ourself to a life of mediocrity and normalcy, or even worse, quick fix solutions and Medi-Trim shakes.

That is, of course, until your contingency plan swoops in and rescues your goals from an untimely end when your original plan fell through!


When Frodo got to the Prancing Pony, expecting to find Gandalf, he was alone and, without the help of the dashing Aragon, would have met a grisly end at the pointy end of the Ringwraiths swords.

What you need to do, is create a contingency plan.  One that will stop that bully, Life, from kicking sand in your face and farting on your dreams.

Take a moment, sit down, and answer these three things:

  1. What would I like to achieve by the end of the week?
  2. What obstacles or problems may I encounter (be thorough, consider EVERYTHING)?
  3. I will tackle these problems, and prepare for them by:

Because people love examples, here’s one I prepared earlier:

  1. By the end of the week, I want to have gone for at least four 30 minute walks.
  2. It could rain, I could get held up at work, my son/daughter could have an issue at school I need to attend to, I could have a migraine, my house could burn down (I did say everything!).
  3. Walking in the morning, before work or school.  Go to bed early the night before.  If it rains, I’ll take an umbrella and toughen up.

You are 400% more likely to skip your next workout and fail to reach awesomeness if you fail to plan your contingency- Share the profoundness!

Go now, grab a piece of paper, and write out three things you want to achieve by this time next week.  They can be either health and fitness related or something as simple as “avoid all Kim Kardashian related media”.

Plan your contingencies wisely, and much more likely to succeed will you be!

In the comments section below, I’d love to hear what some of your goals for the next week are, as well as what obstacles you may encounter and contingencies you’ve put into place

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2 Responses to The real reason why you keep failing

  1. Frank Ryan says:

    Excellent post, “things” will always come up and always get in the way. It takes a lot of resolve and discipline to not allow “things” to keep us from reaching our goals. Having a back-up plan before “things” arise is a great idea. Thanks.

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