top of page

Why You're Not Reaching Your Fitness Goals.

Unsure of what how to reach your fitness goals?

Have you been trying to hit your fitness goals in the gym but constantly fail? Or perhaps you've been wanting to lose weight or bulk up for the longest time but don't know where or how to start?
Beyond just focusing on motivation and discipline, perhaps the key to reaching your fitness goals and finally successfully making positive change is the design of your system.


If you have tried to enact positive change towards your fitness goals time and time again, and constantly failed, you may be inclined to believe that it’s because you lack discipline.

As a Personal Trainer who has coached a myriad of different people, I can say that that is almost certainly not true.

You don’t lack discipline. You lack design.

That is not to say that discipline is not important. However, a poorly designed system might be what's keeping you from reaching your fitness goals.

The fact is this: you have already made the decision to make positive change. Perhaps you tried a new diet, or tried to go for a run, and sustained it for a week. Maybe two weeks, or even a month. Eventually, however, old habits die hard, and the process fell apart. Most of the times, your motivation fizzled out from one key reason: a poorly designed system.

As James Clear wrote in his book ‘Atomic Habits’: “we don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems.” The system you formulate sets yourself up for success or failure. The problem arises when you focus too much on where you want to be and not enough on how to get there.

You can take the best pilot in the world but put him on an ill-designed plane and he’s going to crash inevitably.

The average person usually has enough discipline to realise change once they’ve decided they want to make that change, provided that the process is well designed. If it isn’t, they inevitably fail. This is the reason why so many people fail new year’s resolutions. You can take the best pilot in the world but put him on an ill-designed plane and he’s going to crash inevitably.

The solution isn’t to blindly will our way through. You can’t just work hard; you need to work smart too.

This begs the question: what is a smart system? It is one that addresses 3 biggest mistakes people make when trying to reach their fitness goals.

1.     Lack of knowledge on what needs to be done

2.     Unrealistic expectations of what progress should look like

3.     Unrealistic expectations of how to progress


1. Lack of Knowledge on What Needs To Be Done.

This is the most common mistake people make. In a digital era, there is so much information out there that misconceptions abound.

For example: How frequently should you work out? How do you know if the form is correct? Do you need to cut out carbs to lose weight?

The fastest way to resolve this problem is by engaging in a Personal Trainer that you trust. It is their responsibility to guide you along on nutrition, exercise, and even lifestyle factors like sleep and alcohol. They create a system for you to fall back on.

Even when engaging in a personal trainer, you must make sure that they are trustworthy. Always ask them questions about what they recommend you do. There should always be a logical explanation. If you can, cross check this with information you gather, and see if they are able to break down the information you have gathered together with you.

Josh training his client


2. Unrealistic Expectations of What Progress Should Look Like.

It is one thing to know what to do, but it is also important to know what to expect.

This is extremely important to reaching your goals, because if you expect too much, disappoint sets in, and over time, you will be discouraged.

Thus, understanding what you should expect is important. Generally, a healthy rate of fat loss is 0.5% to 1% of your bodyweight per week. For muscle gain, a good ballpark is 0.45kg in lean mass per month for untrained females, and 0.9kg in lean mass per month for untrained males. NOTE: building muscle takes significantly longer than losing fat!

Additionally, you should not just focus on measures of body composition. As you hit the gym every week, do you feel more energetic? Do you feel happier? Are you getting stronger? These metrics are just as important, because they are more immediate than watching the scale move.

Ultimately: have patience with results, but impatience with action. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Whatever change worth getting is absolutely worth the wait and effort.

Trying his best on a heavy deadlift but to no avail

3. Unrealistic Expectations of How to Progress Towards Your Fitness Goals.

Finally, one of the biggest reasons why so many people fail in their fitness endeavours is because they go too big too quickly.

For example, some people jump into a 30-minute run from sheer adrenaline, after having not run in months. When you feel good, you feel like you can conquer the 30 minutes of pain. But when you have a bad day (and they will happen), you might skip the run because the mental hurdle of that pain is too much. This is because a habit has not yet been established.

The solution is thus to focus on creating a habit, rather than focusing on the behaviour. To create a habit, you must take baby steps.

For example, when it comes to incorporating cardio, focus on frequency first, before increasing duration. If you have always struggled with running consistently, focus on going for a short run once a week first. “Short” should be defined as something so manageable that it is impossible not to do it, even when you are tired. It can be as short as ten minutes.

After you’re doing it consistently for two or three times every week, you can try to increase the duration of the runs. It can be in increments of as low as 1 to 2 minutes. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how slow you start, because if you are improving by 1% every week, you’ll be unstoppable. Before you know it, running has become a habit, and you will realise you don’t need as much willpower to get out of the house to run anymore.

Baby steps form the basis of a smart system in order to create a habit. Once the habit is created, you won’t have to rely on discipline as much as before.


In summary, by creating a system that can address these three pitfalls, you almost certainly guarantee your success to becoming a better, fitter you.

(1) Acquire the knowledge you need first before jumping into action.

(2) Understand what the rate of progress is to expect.

(3) Progress by focusing on creating a habit rather than just on the behaviour.

A personal trainer can certainly accelerate this process because he or she can:

(1) Provide all the knowledge you need without the hassle of weeding out inaccurate information.

(2) Track your progress for you and remind you of what you should be expecting, lest you get impatient and discouraged.

(3) Be a source of accountability to you that helps you meld fitness into a habit and ultimately, a lifestyle.


If the information above makes sense to you and if you are looking to make that change, our personal trainers are more than happy to design that smart system for you. Drop us a WhatsApp message at +65 8812 0110 or book a Personal Training Trial to explore if Personal Training is the best choice for you!

Just a heads-up, it will probably be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.



Looking for a Personal Trainer in Singapore? Look no further! At FITLUC, we specialize in In-Person and Online Personal Training, and we also offer house-call PT with a small additional fee. We currently base our Personal Training clients at a well-equipped gym just a stone's throw away from Outram Park MRT. We have also just opened our second outlet at 82 Boat Quay, which is located right in the heart of CBD!

We are recognized as one of the Top 12 Best PT in Singapore and were featured on Mothership, The Straits Times, YES 93.3FM, Yahoo News, etc. Our Personal Trainers have worked with clients aged 13 – 84, from Celebrities to CEOs, working professionals and homemakers, with goals ranging from fat loss, weight loss, muscle gain to athletic performance and elderly training. Our celebrity clientele includes Tay Ping Hui, Maxi Lim, Hazelle Teo, Tayying, Lee Teng, Ze Tong, Benjamin Tan, Jaspers Lai and more.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on our client stories and for more fitness tips from our Personal Trainers!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page