Goal setting 101

People decide to get into fitness for all kinds of reasons. Someone might decide to join a gym for health, confidence, to socialise or for pure vanity. What you need to decide on is exactly why you have decided to work out and nail down some firm goals based on that decision.

There are many useful goal setting models you can use. You could use a tried and tested method you may already be familiar with called SMART goals to educate yourself and set realist targets.

This works for newbies and pro’s and can also be transferred to other areas of your life. If you don’t know the answers to the following questions then you seriously need to consider your decision to join. You also may need help with some of the answers from a professional.

Specific – Did you have a specific look, target or anything else in mind when you joined or is this just a whim?


Measurable – How and can you measure any results you may or may not achieve. If you don’t know how will you find out?


Achievable – Any goal must be achievable. If you came to me and said I want to win Mr universe in 3 weeks but I have never so much as looked at a barbell then I would question your sanity and your ability the achieve such a lofty goal.


Relevant – Does this goal ultimately suit you as a person? Do you need to be big and buff or upper skinny to be happy? Make sure the end product is what you want.


Time bound – Do you have a deadline in your mind as to when the goal must be achieved? E.g. a wedding or losing weight to have a gastric band fitted so you can cheat the rest of the way?


Achieving your goals


Set a range of goals for different time frames. Set short, mid and long-term goals. This allows you to keep an eye on the bigger picture and allows you to break the main objective down into smaller more manageable pieces.


Visualize the end product at each stage of your goal. Visualisation can have a tremendously powerful effect on the outcome of your goal. Research has shown that visualization works in both an immediate sense and as a vision for the future.


Make your goals public. Speak to someone with a positive outlook who you can trust and share your goals with them. Making your goals public will help motivate you as nobody wants letting yourself and someone you respect down is undesirable.


Eliminate obstacles that may prevent you achieving your goals. If your goal requires specific information or a level of knowledge you currently do not have then take measures to either that knowledge.


Set specific dates to assess your progress and set new goals. Be honest when looking at your progress. If something hasn’t worked then identify why. Set a new goal and get going again.


Reward yourself when you achieve a goal. Be sure to factor in a reward for each stage of your goal.


Don’t wait for a special occasion to make a goal. I always hated New Years resolutions. If something is important do it now.