It's been just over five years since I first touched a barbell. In the grand scheme of things, that's nothing, but I think it's at least significant enough to be able to share some of the things I've learned in that time.
Progression Takes Patience.
When I said five years is nothing in the grand scheme, I meant it. Significant change of body or mind does not happen overnight. Physical adaptations can take weeks or months to solidify, and breaking old habits and replacing them with more positive and productive ones can take even longer.
Take this into consideration when coming up with a plan to change yourself. Whatever it is that you end up doing, you'll need to be able to keep it up for at least a month to see results, so make sure your plan is manageable and actionable whatever the circumstance.
Being social is terrifying, I know, but introducing yourself to your fellow gym goers and the staff can be invaluable in the long run. People automatically care more about you if they know who you are.
If they care about you, even if only a little, they'll know what your goals are, and they'll check up on you;
"Still on track for your meet next month?"
"How are you doing with your macros?"
"Bench gone up recently?"
Much like why you might try harder to find someone nice to date just so you can get your nagging relatives off your back, you'll feel obliged to work harder towards your goals if there's people to nag you about them.
Also having friends is nice too, I guess.
Ask a Stupid Question, and You'll Get an Intelligent Answer.
Smart people like to talk, and it doesn't take much to get them to start talking. The best way to get them really talking is to ask a stupid, broad, and kind of vague question;
"How do I make my legs bigger?"
"How many days a week should I bench?"
"What cardio is best?"
Questions like these can work wonders. One or two of those and you'll have an essay's worth of information flying at you. I have literally been sucked into a 4 hour private lecture with a bodybuilder, all from the question "What do you think of this online course?"
At Some Point, You Will Screw Up.
You'll unintentionally miss a week of training, maybe a month. You'll set out to lose 20lbs but end up off course after 12. God forbid, you might even get injured. And there is no shame in that.
They say "Fall down 7 times, get back up 8" but in reality it'll happen way more than that. Hell, I can think of 7 times I've screwed up just from the last 3 months!
No matter what happens, keep going. No matter how big the setback is, keep your eye on your goal. That goal may have to change, or the deadline may have to move, but keep going. Better to move slower than stop entirely.