Linda Melone
Share Now

3 Things you MUST be willing to do to make real progress (hint: most people are not)

Shower glitter!

We assume a lot of things as we go about our day. We don’t think about most of them until something goes awry.  

For example, you expect water to come out of the showerhead when you turn the knob. You only notice it when it doesn’t, or if it shoots out scalding water, freezing water, or sprays you with glitter.

Same thing when you flip a switch. You expect the room to light up. If it doesn’t, or the bulb explodes, catches fire or the toilet flushes, it’s time to go back to bed.

And if you have menopausal brain fog, when someone tells you their name you expect to forget it the second they walk away. Or maybe that’s just me.

You get the idea.

But some of these automatic assumptions do not work so well with fitness situations.

For example:

You buy an ab roller while watching an infomercial and can’t wait until this piece of equipment arrives and help flatten your abs. Because the simple act of whipping out your credit card automatically alerts your ab muscles to get ready for battle! 

At least that makes sense at the time.

Same thing if you join a gym. Shelling out money every month is the best way to ensure you go, right?

Not so much. 

Just ask any gym owner and they’ll tell you they count on people bailing after their New Year’s resolutions dissolve a month down the road.

Surprisingly, same thing applies to people who hire a personal trainer.

How often do you hear,  “Oh sure she’s super  fit — she can afford a personal trainer!” This lament is usually directed at the rich and famous, as if the mere act of working with a trainer guarantees you’ll get in shape and if only you could afford one you’d be able to lose those 10 lbs, too.

I can personally attest to the laughability of that statement.

It takes a whole lot more than shelling out a wheelbarrow full of money to get in shape.

Because here’s the thing: No one can get inside your head (at least not yet), motivate you to exercise, guide your fork towards the veggies, and stop your grocery cart from going down the candy aisle – or your arm from sweeping 14 bags of M&Ms into your basket.

Here’s the reality of it… Let’s do a little math, shall we? (You know I’m serious if I’m whipping out my abacus.)

When I worked as an in-home trainer, people generally committed to working out with me one to three times a week, twice a week on average.

Consider 168 hours makes up a week, which — minus two — leaves 166 hours where you’re on your own.

That’s a lot of unsupervised time to go off the rails.

So if you do nothing outside of our twice weekly workouts how in the name of Pete do you expect to make progress?

But yet, lack of progress is usually seen as the trainer’s “fault.”

On the other hand, many people working with the same trainer DO get results.

Can you guess why? Think about it while I go get some water.

I’m back.

Yup! You guessed it: They did something on their own, made changes, and actually listened to their trainer (me).

This can be summed up in a single word: they were COACHABLE.

Are YOU coachable?

Here’s how to tell:

  • When someone you’ve hired to help you achieve a goal makes a suggestion, do you immediately find reasons why it won’t work for you? And then feel relieved you’ve found an excuse as to why you can’t make progress? 
  • Are you genuinely open to new ideas — or are you looking to back up your own beliefs?
  • Do you TAKE ACTION? Or do you read, study and do everything but?
  • Do you show up at the door in your cow-pattern PJs when the trainer arrives and then make a dash to change into your workout clothes? (Yes, true story, even the cow pajamas.)
  • If you answered YES to any of these, it’s time to do a self-check.

Cow PJs aside, you can’t expect to see changes if you don’t do these three things:


Heed the advice of your coach, trainer, or other qualified expert who knows their stuff — it’s why you’re paying her! I cannot tell you how many people fight, disagree, or otherwise find any excuse not to follow through on advice I’d give them. Be open to new ideas, willing to change, and flexible and you’ll start to see the changes you want.


You can’t just read articles online, take courses, join Facebook groups, study, watch videos and not leave your chair. It’s like learning to swim without getting in the water. You must actually take action steps. Start small and build from there. Be consistent and you WILL see results!


You can’t make changes without some discomfort. It shouldn’t be horrible, but until you fully adapt to planning your lunch, attending a new yoga class or doing anything else outside your usual routine, there’s a learning curve. And it can be tough until you make it a permanent part of your routine. Eventually it becomes second nature.

NOW YOU! Where do you dig in your heels? Let me know in the comments below and how you plan to take action… and please share this with your friends who could use a boost! 

Other posts you may enjoy:

#1 Thing you must do to keep weight off for good (and 5 ways to do it)

5 Ways to stay positive when it seems impossible

How to flip a switch so you crave exercise (based on science!)

Your Ageless Body Coach,


About the Author Linda Melone

Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment:

Patricia Scott says

Linda, Nice article and so true. Listening to your advice has helped me so much in making the chances I’ve needed to be successful in my exercise journey. Although my class instructors are helpful in the class for leading it … it is when I’m at home and alone that the decisions I make are the ones that make or break my progress. So very many times you say something that I wonder if you have my house bugged, ha!
Thank you for coaching me with sound advice and making me exercise the most important part of me …my willpower.4

    Linda Melone says

    lol! I am not spying on you, I swear. That drone outside your window? Not my doing :). Glad you find my tips helpful!

Mary Collette Rogers says

So true–and not just with fitness but I have found the same applies even with my business and personal goals. I wonder if we focus too much on the discomfort of change and not enough on how cool it will be to achieve that change. I went out to eat yesterday and for one of the first times stopped after eating half the meal–because I was full. I finally focused on how I didn’t want to feel the usual bloated feeling I get after eating out, and that helped me actually do and not just hope for the moderation the experts advise!

    Linda Melone says

    Mary, it’s funny you say that about business goals, because that’s exactly where I heard this info — on a business podcast. Yes, a lot of the same advice applies to any goal, whether fitness, weight loss or business success. I find myself doing some of these things myself. It’s a matter of becoming aware of them so you can change them :).

Add Your Reply