Are One of These 5 Things Keeping You From Reaching Your Goals?
Written by Michele Vieux

Everyone seems to have a reason or excuse as to why they don’t look as good and feel as good as they’d like and many people seem to think that their situation is somehow different from everybody else’s who seem to be on track toward their goals. But actually, it’s each individual’s actions – or lack thereof – that determine if they will successfully attain their goals or if they will fall victim to one of these five limiting factors.

Limiting factors can be within or outside of your control but that doesn’t mean you’re totally helpless or that they are excuses to fail or to not even try to succeed. Quite the contrary! Use this list to identify your weaknesses, formulate a plan to address them, and then take control of your own destiny to achieve your dreams. Or use it to realize that none of us are all that different and if “that guy” can do it, then most likely, so can you.

Limiting Factor 1: Genetics – outside your control but most likely NOT a good excuse.

This may come as a surprise but no matter how different we may all look and behave, we all have the ability to improve health, lose fat, and/or gain muscle by implementing the correct plan. There is not one person on this earth who couldn’t stand to improve in some way, shape or form. However, as we all have slightly different genetic profiles, the proteins we make may also differ; these variations are responsible for our individual responses to food we eat and the way we exercise, for example [1]. But these differences are quite small – all humans share over 99.9% of the same genes. As a result, physiological functioning between individuals is surprisingly uniform [2].

Limiting Factor 2: Exercise – 100% within your control.

This one is pretty basic; if you are not exercising purposefully, intensely and regularly, then this is a limiting factor for you not only for weight loss and muscle gain goals but also in controlling metabolic decline and lifestyle-related disease. But this type of exercise alone is not enough; it must also accompany a “non-sedentary” lifestyle, which is defined as taking 10,000 or more steps per day [3]. Workouts should have a plan and purpose AND you should walk as much as possible in conjunction with these few, intense sessions each week to maximize your efforts.

Limiting Factor 3: Physiology – sometimes outside of your control & sometimes you can make positive changes but NEVER a good excuse.

Yes, there are a few physical imbalances that can cause difficulties for some people to lose weight, gain muscle or improve athletic performance but these shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to start an exercise or nutrition program. For the few with these types of conditions, proper exercise and nutrition can actually help improve them.

Limiting Factor 4: Mindset – 100% within your control.

A bad attitude, self-doubt, negative self-talk, a destructive lifestyle, or using one of these five excuses can be a major limiting factor in achieving goals – and may be one of the biggest. Often times, people know what they should do and even how to do it but for whatever reason, they can’t get themselves out of the funk that’s been holding them back. Writing down your goals and obstacles to reaching them and sharing your goals with others is a good start. Research even suggests that body composition changes and performance are improved when individuals visualize attaining their goals [4].

Limiting Factor 5: Nutrition – unless you live in a 3rd World Country, this is 100% within your control.

This is the most important limiting factor, no matter if your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, improve health markers or compete in the Olympic Games. Not only is proper nutrition critical to how our cells function, regulating our daily physiological functions, and recovery, it is also imperative to happiness and well-being. That well-known saying is totally true – you get back what you put into it. Eating like crap will most certainly make you look and feel like crap, even if it takes some time to manifest.

So what’s your excuse and what do you plan to do about it? If you are struggling with any one of these areas, ask your coach, doctor or friend for help. We are all here to support your health and fitness goals!


  1. Berardi, J., Andrews, R., The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, 2014, 9

  2. Shafer, A., “Understanding Genetics”. The Tech. Stanford University. 2013, 13

  3. Berardi, J., Andrews, R., The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, 2014, 10

  4. Berardi, J., Andrews, R., The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, 2014, 11
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