Brenton Barker

Never Give Up: The Key To Reaching Your Health Goals

Reaching your health goals can be tough, with the ups and downs and the inevitable failures. But if you hang in there long enough and don't give up, success is just around the corner.

woman running

Let’s be honest; at some point or another, when things have gotten tough, we’ve all wanted to give up, and on some occasions, we probably have. The inevitable feeling of regret that follows is one that we’ve all experienced and one that most of us never want to again.

So why do we quit? When chasing a dream or a big goal we’ve set for ourselves, we go through a range of emotions, from excitement, motivation, and creativity to despair, demoralization, and wanting to give up.

As a professional coach, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best athletes. While it’s true that each athlete is unique, successful athletes all have one characteristic in common; they NEVER GIVE UP.

Today’s article provides valuable tips on strengthening your mental resolve so you can overcome adversity and thrive in it.

Why is giving up so easy?

As humans, we are drawn to the notion of instant gratification or instant achievement, but as well know, in the real world, achieving success is not that easy. As my mother used to say, ‘If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it.’

Instead, we need to delay gratification in order to achieve success.

Delaying gratification is a process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life to enhance the pleasure by experiencing the pain first. It’s the only decent way to live.
M. Scott Peck
American psychiatrist and best-selling author

In short, delayed gratification requires you to delay an instant reward in the hope that the same reward will be sweeter later on. Studies have shown that children who practice delayed gratification often go on to have very successful careers.

Identify the reasons why you’re failing


One of the first plans of attack, when it comes to giving up, is to understand the reasons why you are giving up. People are unique, so the motivations and reasons for giving up vary significantly.

That said, here are five denominators that are generally present when the thought of quitting enters our heads.

1. Learn: Many people see failure as just that rather than viewing failure as a learning opportunity. Kids, in particular, learn many life lessons that set them up for very successful careers down the road.

2. Result: Focusing on the result rather than the process is one of the most common reasons people give up. As soon as they don’t see any progress, they quit. Learn to appreciate the journey and forget the result.

3. Self-sabotage: Self-sabotage is really just a fancy way of saying ‘lack of belief.’ Many people do not think they have what it takes to succeed. These limiting beliefs lead to quitting.

4. Commitment: Unfortunately, many people lack the commitment needed to achieve their goals. If they haven’t lost weight after a week, they quit, move to the next diet, and the cycle continues.

5. Close-Minded: Being close-minded can lead to quitting. The road to success isn’t always smooth, and adjustments must be made to guarantee success. Open your mind and think outside the box to succeed.

Six reasons why you should never give up

There is a myriad of reasons why you should try, try, and try again, but today we’re taking a look at what I believe are the six most important reasons to keep you motivated and thriving.

1There’s no such thing as instant success

We live in a world of instant gratification, but success both in and out of the gym doesn’t come that quickly. Think about your favourite athlete for a moment; most of us see them holding the trophy and winning millions in prize money. But what people don’t see is the years of discipline, sacrifice, and failure they endured to reach the peak of their sport.

2You may need to pivot your approach

When people set a goal, they typically only have one plan of action in mind; however, as soon as plan A fails, they give up. When you experience the inevitable setbacks along the way, embrace the idea of change because there are always different ways to get the job done.

One of my favourite Chinese proverbs sums it up: ‘You can throw a piece of paper on the floor 100 different ways, but it still lands on the floor.’ Embrace change, and you’re sure to succeed.


3Possible feeling of regret

Achieving peak health and fitness isn’t going to be easy, so ask yourself, how will you feel if you quit, knowing that if you had just stuck in there, your goals were right there? Probably not too good, right?

The feeling of regret or ‘what if’ is one that we’ve all experienced, some more than others. The fear of regret can drive us to success rather than failure. Whether it’s a diet you’re on or a local marathon you’ve been training for, achieving success takes time, and giving up now only leads to regret later on.

4You’re on the brink of major success

The times leading up to a major success or a big breakthrough are often the toughest, which is when many people give up. The number of athletes I’ve seen over the years give up when I knew that success was just around the corner is staggering and heartbreaking.

Next time you experience tough times, understand that you’re being tested to see if you really want the goals you’ve set for yourself. If you answer yes, commit more than ever because your goals are just on the horizon.

5The power of habits

Self-appraisal or shadow work requires you to asses why you do the things you do. It’s not easy; as a matter of fact, it’s one of the toughest you can do. Getting to the bottom of why you quit, though, allows you to devise a plan to stop it from happening again.

Asking yourself some tough questions is uncomfortable, but once past the uneasiness, you’re left with a deeper understanding of why you habitually act in a certain way. If you’re someone who thinks, ‘I’d love to try that CrossFit class, but I’ll try next time,’ then the cycle is only going to continue.

Step up, face your fears, and build new habits.

6Embrace the struggle

Embracing struggle is one of the most powerful strategies you can employ to achieve your goals in and out of the gym. Many gym-goers view struggle as a negative, reaffirming to them that they don’t have the skill set to achieve their goals.

Enduring tough times and coming out triumphant on the other side builds character and sets you up for future success. Next time you’re struggling, embrace it and use it as an opportunity to continue to grow and learn.

Sum it up

There’s an old saying, ‘Good things come to those who wait.’ But I think it should read, ‘Good things come to those who work hard.’

Anything worth having in life is always going to require discipline, sacrifice, commitment, and a lot of hard work,

Remember, the physical aspect of achieving your fitness goals is actually the easy part; the hardest part is controlling your thoughts and emotions.

Make changes to your mindset, build positive habits, and dare to dream. Good Luck!!

Want to learn more?

Joe Rogan is the host of the Joe Rogan Podcast, the world’s number one and most popular podcast show. In this clip, Joe talks about his struggles in early adulthood and how he overcame negative thinking. Joe describes himself as a ‘loser’, explaining that it wasn’t until he succeeded in martial arts that he believed he could do anything if he put his mind to it.

Healthypedia FAQ

While I agree you should never give up on your goals, sometimes you need to re-evaluate them, especially if they're proving difficult to achieve. Setting big goals, though, is an excellent way to get the most out of yourself. As they say, ‘Reach for the stars.’

Maybe ‘give up’ isn't the best word in this context. Setting goals is difficult, especially if you've never done it. Some people might set goals that are not S.M.A.R.T. Smart is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. More than likely, your goal is just a bit too challenging.

Simply put, YES. Goals can act like the navigation on your car and help you get from point A to B. Goals give you purpose and direction. Without goals, you're like a boat without a rudder; you might reach your final destination, but it will take blind luck to get there.

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