by Detric Smith, CSCS, USAW, ACSM-HFI

Thousands and thousands of people every year start a fitness program with the best of intentions. They are all set to begin eating properly and working out. Sadly, almost all of these people fail to reach the goals that they have set for themselves. Why do these people fail? Listed below are six of the most common reasons.

1) Lack of a routine. There are those that do not follow any kind of routine or that try to follow one that is too rigid.

You need to have a routine. This is essential. Many people fail to stick to an exercise program because they do not have a set workout time. People often delay exercising or fail to make time for it. It is one of those things that they can do later. If they do not have a particular time that they set aside for working out, it frequently gets pushed aside.

There are some people who fall into the category of having too rigid a routine. If they do miss a session they simply consider it lost. Rather than even attempting to reschedule or making new time for their workout, they plan to do it the following day. This may work for a day or two. However, if for any reason the routine is ignored for an extended period of time, people seldom return to it.

2) Expecting instant results. Many assume that within a couple of days they will be showing drastic signs of improvement. If they do not see the desired results, they deem the entire process a failure and give-up.

3) Taking an all-or-nothing approach to both exercise and dieting. People sometimes fail to remember that they are not perfect. They are going to make mistakes and slipup. When you start a program, you have to face this fact and move on. However, you cannot let it become an excuse. You have to realize that you can have an off-day and then still go back to your normal workout.

4) Thinking a diet is a temporary measure. The word itself indicates that there is going to be a start and a finish to the program. You need to adjust your thinking and stop regarding your new eating habits as a temporary solution. Rather, you must think of it as a lifestyle change. This is an essential realization. When you determine that these changes are going to be for life, you will be far more forgiving if you do make the occasional mistake. You begin to see that you can have a fun day and then return to your normal habits.

5) Giving up. People fail when dieting because they have two bad days in a row and then give up the entire thing. They fail to understand that their normal eating habits are the reason why they are in their current situation. If they return to their old habits, they will put any pounds lost back on and be right where they originally started.

People who fall into the cycle of dieting and losing often find that they gain more weight back once they stop. Additionally, every time that you go through this cycle, they find that it gets harder and harder to lose the weight.

6) Getting discouraged. People often become discouraged because they do not get the results that they are hoping for. They work out for countless hours, but cannot seem to tone their love handles or get the abs that they desire. This is frequently because they are not exercising correctly. For example, they may be doing a great cardio workout, but it is not one, which will target and tone specific muscle groups.

If you want to avoid making these common mistakes, you should enlist the help of a professional trainer. They can make the difference between success and failure.