What is the secret to successful goal setting?

1 December, 2015

In many facets of life, goal-setting can help us to reach our aspirations in a more efficient and focused manner. When we know precisely what we want to achieve and potentially when we want to achieve it, the end goal can be a lot easier to reach, as opposed to a directionless manner.

That's because, with goals, we have tangible targets to aim for, and for the personal trainer, setting goals for your clients is an integral part of their, and thus your, success. These targets may take the shape of something simple, like being able to perform a definitive number of repetitions at 12 kilograms before the end of the month. Perhaps your client may want to lose a certain amount of weight over a period of several weeks – such goals are wide-ranging and many.

The role of the goal

According to figures released by Roy Morgan Research in 2013, some 900,000 Australians now utilise the services of personal trainers, and that is a number only expected to rise. It is fair to say that a large proportion of these will be reasonably new to the world of health and fitness, meaning that setting them achievable goals and feel-good targets will ensure that they keep up their fitness program.

Setting clients achievable goals and feel-good targets will ensure that they keep up their fitness program.

Additionally, it will help clients stay focused on the task at hand, maintaining their interest and encouraging them to come back for more. So how can you go about making sure that you are setting relevant goals for your clients?

What is the 'why?'

This is a question that all personal trainers should ask their clients. How you put it to them is up to you, so long as you do it in a friendly, approachable and somewhat sensitive manner. What, though, is the 'why?'

The 'why' refers to what your clients are looking to get out of their exercise program. Perhaps your client's fitness goal is to simply become fitter, but that is too broad a term – why do they want to become fitter? Perhaps they want to complete a half-marathon, or maybe they feel out of breath chasing their children around the park, and want to keep up.

Setting fitness goals for your client will keep them focused and motivated.Setting fitness goals for your client will keep them focused and motivated.

As soon as you have established your client's 'why', you'll be better placed to compose a bespoke workout plan.

Keep it real

It is of paramount importance that the goals you set are realistic. Failure to reach simply unattainable goals can be highly detrimental to a person's confidence and motivation – imagine working as hard as you can to hit a target, only to fall way short.

By setting achievable goals, you can incrementally increase the challenge – a surefire way to keep your client motivated!

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