Google the phrase “Key to Success” and you will find over 500 MILLION results in under one second! Everywhere we turn, someone is telling us how to succeed in fitness, in our careers, in life, in just about everything! Yet, with all of these tips, tricks, and advice, failure still “happens.” Unfortunately, these failures can add up quickly, and quite often dreams are stalled or even lost. In order to understand how to succeed, we must first understand how to fail. If we engage in success strategies, while at the same time practicing habits that lead to failure, they zero one another out, and we can be left with a big bag of broken dreams.

As Founder and CEO of Bombshell Fitness, the vast majority of my adult life has been spent teaching and motivating thousands women to succeed in their health, fitness, and life goals. Through these women, I have observed many specific traits demonstrated by those who find success. In turn, I have also identified many common traits and behaviors of those who fail in their endeavors. The following are keys for failure, followed by alternative ideologies and behaviors to utilize in order to avoid these pitfalls and ultimately find success.

Failure Key #1: Require a 
Cheering Section
In order to succeed, everyone around you must be 100% supportive and interested in your endeavors. The acceptance of your goals by those surrounding you is crucial in you displaying the attitude and behavior required to succeed. If someone in your life is not supportive of your newfound interests, you become discouraged, hurt, and unmotivated to continue your quest.

Success Alternative #1
Realize that everyone around you will not understand or even agree with your decision to make a change in your life habits, no matter how positive. Explain to those around you that your goals aren’t changing who you are at your core, simply enhancing your quality of life. If they still do not support you, you empathize with their reasoning, but do not allow it to deter you. From there, be your own cheerleader and keep moving forward.

Failure Key #2: Following the Crowd
When those around you indulge in fattening foods or tempt you with activities that will keep you from the gym, you allow their actions to override your search for success, and your behaviors match theirs rather than the ones necessary to achieve your goals. You are very quick to give in to peer pressure as to what you eat. When faced with the decision of going to the movies rather than going to the gym, the movies win every time. Unless those around you are on the same path and have the same goals, you quickly veer off the road to success and abandon your dreams.

Success Alternative #2
You must remember that this is your journey and no one else’s! You and only you are responsible for your choices and actions. A huge part of finding success is having the self-discipline to say no to activities and actions that are counterproductive to your goals.
Saying no does not mean that you will never eat decadent food or do anything fun again! What is does mean is that you need to have the self awareness and fortitude to pick and choose which activities to indulge in while staying on track and attending to your goals on a consistent basis despite the temptations.

Failure Key #3: Make a Huge Deal Out Of the Sacrifice
As you embark on a new journey, there will inevitably be sacrifice. Certain things that you enjoy will need to take a place on the back-burner. Whether it is substituting your favorite pasta dish for a healthier alternative or giving up an extra hour of sleep to get out of bed and do cardio, changes are inevitable. A great way to make certain these important changes do not become part of your every day life is to make a grand production out of them. Reminding yourself and others of the sacrifice you are making and what you are missing on a regular basis will, over time, cause you to become bitter toward your goals and the life changes you are making in order to reach them, not to mention annoying everyone around you.

It is inevitable that the individual posting on social media about every healthy meal, every training session, and every sacrifice they have made for their new lifestyle burns out within a matter of weeks or months.

Success Alternative #3

When you add new tasks and behaviors to your daily schedule, decide that they are now simply part of your regular every day activity and treat them as such. Don’t talk about what you are doing, just do it! You will find that your new positive behaviors will become habit and replace the old. With time, consistency, and the attitude that this is your “new normal,” you will no longer miss your old habits and will actually enjoy the new.

It’s fun to post about our fitness journey on social media, and posting positive messages and inspirational photos has the amazing ability to inspire others to live the fit life. So by all means, don’t stop! However, limit your posting to those things that will inspire others. Posting in a search for sympathy or to paint yourself as a martyr for completing a cardio session or eating a healthy meal will not only be a constant reminder to you that the journey you are on can be a difficult one, but also will turn others off of the fitness lifestyle because you are making it out to be so
 darned difficult!

Failure Key #4: Expect Everyone around You to Change
Your life is changing, so everyone else’s life should change too, right? So now that you want to follow a nutrition plan, it means no one is allowed to have cookies in the house. Getting up before dawn to do cardio means that your husband has to get his booty out of bed with you. Do you feel the need to comment on what everyone else is eating if it is not what you would consider healthy?

Stop the madness! Expecting everyone around you to adapt to your new goals and make them their goals, as well, will put you on the fast track to conflict, resistance, and ultimate failure.

Success Alternative #4
Everyone who follows the fit lifestyle understands that your personal goals are just that, your personal goals! Do not inflict the changes you are making, although positive, on those who are not choosing them on their own. Go about your business, and allow those around you to live their lives as they see fit. You will find much less resistance, and it will be much easier to incorporate reaching your goals into your everyday life. And who knows, through leading by example, you just may inspire them to make a change of their own!

Failure Key #5: Take Criticism
 to Heart
“You will never be able to stick to a program.” “You looked better before you started losing weight.” “I can’t believe you won’t eat this.” “You can’t change your body, it’s your genetics.” “Why do you want to eat that, it
looks horrible!”

Everyone is a critic, and the list of possible criticisms is endless. Taking these critics to heart is a sure fire way to fail. If you listen to the words of the naysayers, believe what they say, you will end up so beaten down that you have no choice but to surrender to their negativity and abandon your quest.

Success Alternative #5
This one is simple. Forget the critics! No really, I mean it! Forget the critics! Unfortunately, those who do not have the fortitude or the heart to make a change in their own life will often criticize the efforts of another in order to feel better about their own shortcomings. You will not make it through your journey without at least one (if not several) critics. Many times in the beginning of your fitness journey you will hear a criticism of what you are doing nearly daily! Learn to understand that their criticism is coming from their own personal struggles, and let it roll off of you! Simply smile and keep on truckin’. Ultimately, your success will silence them without you ever having to say a word.

Failure Key #6: Single Punch Knockout
In the pursuit of success, you will get knocked down and you will see roadblocks. These punches will come no matter how hard you work, how determined you are, or how smart you may be. In any given day you may not be able to get in your meals, you may have to skip the gym, you may fall off the wagon and eat way off of your nutrition plan.
A clear path to failure is to stay down after you get punched. Interpret setbacks as a “sign” that you are not meant to succeed, and you will soon decide that it’s simply not worth the fight.

Success Alternative #6
Adopt the attitude that adversity is nothing more than an educational tool. If you learn from your mistakes and setbacks, they can actually be a positive step in your journey. Observe the behaviors and triggers which lead to your stumble. Once you identify these factors, use non-emotion fueled reasoning to determine how to avoid these issues in the future. When you get knocked down, get up, dust yourself off, learn from it, and keep going! The best way to do this is to pick right back up with your immediate next meal or workout. Don’t waste time beating yourself up. Rather, jump right back on the wagon and go!

Failure Key #7: All
 or Nothing
When it comes to your daily health and fitness routine, you are either 100% on the wagon, or you completely fall off the wagon and are run over by the wagon! In order to have the motivation to follow your nutrition plan, you have to be able to complete your entire workout and cardio. In order to give your cardio your all, your nutrition has to be perfect. If you mess up and cheat during the middle of the week, you completely go off the rails and even stop going to the gym entirely for the remainder of the day, week, or even month, until you can “start over” and follow everything to perfection.

Success Alternative #7
Perfection is a myth! You may never have a perfect day in all aspects of your health and fitness routine! If you mess up your nutrition plan, get right back to it with your next meal and still give your workout your all. If you don’t have time to do your cardio, stick to your nutrition plan anyway. Life happens! There will be days that the gym simply is not possible, or you find that it is 2pm and you have yet to eat a meal. When this happens, don’t throw in the towel for the rest of the day! Do what you can moving forward, and work to have an even better day tomorrow. Get in what you can as consistently as possible, and you will see results!

Failure Key #8: Don’t Show Yourself
 Any Love
With your health and fitness goals looming over you, you can’t stop staring in the mirror at everything that is wrong with you. You hate your thighs, you squeeze the fat on your stomach, and you simply can’t stand your booty. The changes aren’t coming fast enough, and it makes
you so depressed that you dive head first into a gallon of
ice cream.

Success Alternative #8
You are the one and only you that there will ever be in the history of the world! Wow, that is one powerful thought! Sure, we all have things that we would like to improve. However, coming to the realization that you can only be the best you that you can be is a freeing proposition that allows you to accept the skin you are in, flaws and all, while still striving to be your best. Change takes time! And like watching a pot as you wait for it to boil, if you constantly stare in to the mirror for results, it will become
overwhelming! Instead of focusing on what you perceive to be wrong, focus on the progress you are making! Are you becoming less winded on cardio? Victory! Make it through an entire round of plyos for the first time? Winning! Celebrate your small, everyday accomplishments, and they will add up over time to even greater all-around success.

When travelling on the journey to health and fitness, or even the journey of life, you have two choices, success or failure. And yes, whether you succeed or fail is quite often a choice. Your beliefs, attitude, and behaviors all have consequences that may take you in one direction or the other. While striving for success and doing what it takes to get there, also keep an eye out for the self-imposed pitfalls that could lead to failure. The power of choice is yours, and the ultimate outcome is in your hands. The keys to either to success or failure are already within you. It is your job to use the correct one!

Until next time remember, “SOMEDAY is not a Dey of the Week!”

Shannon Dey is the Founder & CEO of Bombshell Fitness — a global fitness empire that has transformed tens of thousands of women from over 30 different countries and influenced countless more. A Health and Wellness Expert, Dey helps women worldwide not just get fit, but to also grow strong. Using fitness as the catalyst for total transformation, Dey is devoted to empowering women to become physically, mentally, emotionally and even financially strong. Dey’s contributions to fitness are visible all over the world, including her renowned online training programs that specialize in shaping a lean, toned hourglass shape. Dey and her team of expert Coaches have helped countless women, including the 2014 Miss USA and dozens of State Title Holders, sculpt winning Pageant bodies with the Bombshell B-Crowned Program. Dey produces numerous fitness and lifestyle events, including the Ultimate Girls’ Weekend BOMiCON, and developed B-Couture Fitness Fashion. At the end of 2017, Dey will be releasing Bombshell Nutrition—smart supplementation formulated specifically to meet a woman’s health, training, wellness and beauty needs.