When you start a new workout program, you’ll almost definitely reach a point where you lose interest and motivation. This disinterest happens to the best of us—but fortunately, it can be averted.

5 Reasons Why You’re Losing Steam With Your New Workout Program—And How to Combat It

1. You’re Not Preparing Enough

If you’re not doing things ahead of time to make it easier to get to the gym, pretty soon you may be skipping your workout “just this once” a little too often.
Here are a few ways to stay prepared so you’ll always have time to get the work done:
– Lay out your workout clothes the night before.
– Pack a gym bag and bring it with you to work.
– Prep your post-workout shake or snacks before you leave in the morning.

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2. You’re Not Holding Yourself Accountable

If you want to replace a bad habit (like being a couch potato) with a healthy one (like working out), it’s helpful to let a few trusted loved ones know about it so they can motivate and support you. Consider sharing your training goals with a close friend, workout partner, or even a hired personal trainer.

3. You’re Not Planning (In Other Words, You’re Planning to Fail)

Saying “I’m going to start working out” is a lot different than saying, “I’m going to workout 3 times per week at 5 p.m. after work.” Simply put: you gotta have a detailed plan of action. Write down on your weekly calendar the days and times you are going to workout, and honor these like you would a business appointment. Additionally, if you’re not knowledgeable enough to come up with your own workout plan (many of us aren’t!), be sure to find a resource or a person who is.

4. You’re Setting Unrealistic Expectations

Think you can go from 0 days of exercise per week to 5? A 300 lb deadlift to 500+ lb deadlift in a month? 20+ pounds of fat lost in just a couple weeks? Unlikely.
There’s nothing more demotivating than failing to reach the milestones you’ve set for yourself. So aside from actually doing what you need to do to get there, be sure that you are setting realistic benchmarks for yourself in the first place.
As a general rule of thumb, start small and celebrate tiny victories—you can always ramp things up later once you’ve built some strength, confidence, and discipline.

5. You’re Not Clear on Your Goals

The stronger your “why” is, the more solid and effective your “how’s” will be. So, before starting any new workout program, ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Is it to lose weight, gain strength, or reverse disease? Whatever the reason, be sure that your workout plan will help you achieve it, and that your reason actually matters to you.