Successful people don’t achieve their goals by chance. Nor do they possess superior skills. And they don’t make it to the top because of someone they know. Real success is earned.

That is especially true in the world of fitness. Whether you have or you haven’t reached your fitness goals, the reason is you. If you’re among those who haven’t had success at getting in better shape, losing weight or improving your health in other ways, it isn’t too late. There are things you can do to turn the tide and make your goals attainable.

Here are three things that separate successful people from those who fall short in meeting their fitness goals (or, really, any goals in life):

1. Successful people do things that unsuccessful people find too difficult.

Squats are exhausting. Cardio exercise, when done correctly, will make your heart feel like it’s beating out of your chest. Healthy eating can make you feel deprived. Doing all of those things on a regular basis requires a strong commitment and unwavering discipline. But many people don’t want to feel the burn of squats or the deprivation of clean eating. Successful people embrace those feelings because the goals they’re going for are more important to them than the inconveniences they encounter along the way.

Simply put, hard work and dedication do pay off.

2. Successful people make time for achieving goals while unsuccessful people make excuses.

Few people have schedules with wide open windows for workouts. Even people who do have open schedules experience the occasional roadblock: You have to work late. One of your kids gets sick. It’s snowing. There’s a family emergency. That’s all part of life. And those things may cause you to miss a workout on a given day. But for the people who make excuses, one bad day often leads to a bad week, a bad month and so on. “I’ll get started again next month,” they say. Successful people make sure they work out even harder the day after a bad day. They adjust. They stay committed. If you want an excuse to skip a workout or to eat poorly, you can always find one. Successful people put their time and energy into things more productive than coming up with excuses.

3. Successful people are in it for the long haul while unsuccessful people want a quick fix.

If you’re in bad shape and overweight, you didn’t get that way in a month. How can you expect to get in tip-top shape after a few weeks of exercise and eating right? It’s great to have goals, but successful people focus more on the process than the outcome. If the process is sound, the goals will take care of themselves.

There are no shortcuts. No revolutionary workouts. No magic pills. No miracle diets. Successful people achieve their goals because they’re committed to them for life, not for two weeks or two months.

Make the necessary changes in your life and you will be among those who achieve true success.

(ITALIC) Frank Shelton is a certified fitness trainer and owner of Frank Shelton Fitness. He can be reached at (302) 463-4000 or frank@franksheltonfitness.com.