People usually excel in their respective areas of work, yet sometimes when it comes to personal goals and decisions, they struggle.
The main reason for this is that people often go through their lives exposed to many “accountability or supervisor-dependent” systems which affect their ability to attain long term goals. This is evident from the number of people who pay for gym memberships and fail to achieve their personal fitness goals.
Zinan, the owner and founder of Total Fitness Gym (TFG), said that based on his many years of experience in the fitness industry, he had found those who train with personal trainers would stick with the program way longer than those who trained by themselves.
“The majority of clients training with personal trainers are more consistent and capable of achieving their desired goals,” he said.
Mua and Mai, cofounders of Glowfit gym, also agreed that most people fail to commit to long term fitness goals.
Sharing her own experience, Mai said even convincing her own family that she wanted to pursue fitness as a career was a big challenge for her at the beginning. She felt that the mindset of how fitness is an option rather than a necessity may have been passed down for generations.
“The first investment should be to our self, to have a healthy lifestyle without a huge hospital bill,” she said.
Another major problem for their gym was the high turnover of their client base.
“Discipline, ethics, proximity, punctuality… are all a must in achieving any fitness goal,” Mai added. “And more often than not the younger generation lack these qualities and it’s hard for them to keep it up for a long time. They work hard to get paid, and don’t want to spend that on working out.”
Two of the most prominent HR directors in the Maldivian tourism industry attempted to explain this common behavior pattern in more detail.
“The lack of discipline and the eagerness to see results quickly are the two main reasons many people give up on fitness goals,” Afeef Hussain, the Regional Director of Training, Development, and Quality at LUX* Resorts and Hotels said. He elaborated that it required three weeks to form a habit, and sticking with fitness programs for at least three weeks was critical before you could realistically hope to see any results at all.
“Throw in the fact that the physical activity has to be regular and consistent during those three weeks, it just becomes too much for some people,” he said. “The key to achieving results in any fitness program is consistency and momentum. Those qualities will get you to your goals.”
Mohamed Aalim, the Director of Human Resources at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands explained the behavior with a simple example.
“If you’re a guy and your girlfriend checks up on your fitness and follows up regularly while being supportive of your gains, then there’s motivation to stay engaged in a fitness program and to stay in shape,” he explained. “Losing your focus and getting your priorities mixed up are the main causes of personal failures in areas such as fitness.”
Aalim advocates for the work environment to be less demanding and more supportive of fitness.
“Better mental alertness means high productivity and this can be achieved by developing such a culture,” he said. “I am personally trying to introduce a reward for those employees and incorporate that into our monthly rewards program.”
According to a young woman who achieved her personal goal of losing 40kgs all by herself without any supervision, fitness goals are possible with the right amount of dedication.
“Fitness goals involve a longer road and thus are more difficult to achieve since there’s no improvement immediately visible that will keep you motivated,” she said. “If you compare that to employment… the reward for sticking with your regular job is your monthly salary. It’s achievable at the end of every month. It’s simple really; that’s the motivation. With fitness, things are very different.”
What worked for her was changing her lifestyle and setting small but achievable goals over a long period that culminated into a bigger goal. She says while there are many different routes people take to achieve their fitness goals, working towards a goal that you passionately desire is the key to a successful lifestyle change.
“It doesn’t have to be 6-pack abs within a month,” she explained. “You can start with simple goals like making an effort to eat healthier, or even stop smoking as a prelude to begin a healthier lifestyle, but it has to be a single achievable goal. Trying to juggle too many balls at once often leads to failure.”