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The Lost Art of Goal Setting


I was talking with a group of trainers recently and asked them how they helped their clients set goals. What they told me had little to do with goal setting, and more to do with exercise progression. I asked the group if any of them set goals for themselves for either work or personal development. To my surprise, I found out that none of them used goals for themselves or their clients. So, I gave them a few pointers on how to set effective goals and I will share them with you.

Goal setting is a powerful tool that will assist retention or adherence within an exercise setting. To fully appreciate goal setting, you have to walk the walk and buy into the benefit of goals. Do it yourself before you can get your clients sold on the idea.

For goals to be effective, they need to be written down and should be owned by the client, not by the trainer. The trainer merely acts as a guardian and offers support along the way.

Goals also need to be smart, in that they should be specific. For example, losing weight is not a goal because it is not specific. However, losing 20 pounds is specific and is also measurable. Goals should be achievable, realistic and time bound, meaning a set time frame is given to achieve the goal.

Here are some common mistakes made when setting goals for clients:

The trainer and client don’t write the goal down.

The client is not fully committed to the goal.

There is no emotional attachment to the goal.

The goal is not owned and set by the client.

No assistance is given by the trainer.

The goal is too broad .

The goal is not reviewed daily, weekly or monthly to check on progress.

Goal setting is important to a client’s success. However, it also benefits the trainer, by increasing the chances clients will sign up for another package once their current one expires. With this in mind, be sure to practice the art of goal setting.

Paul Conway is the owner of Crown Fitness Club. For more information, he can be reached at crownfitnessclub@aim.com.


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1 Comment

  1. Spartan Training June 26, 2016

    Goal setting:
    Today I’m one step closer to reaching my fitness goals of dropping my bodyfat___________points and taking_______inches off of my waistline and losing_______pounds of bodyfat and gaining _______pounds of lean muscle. With each day I am happier, healthier, leaner and eating cleaner.
    I am persistent and consistent at repeating my affirmation and visualization technique.
    I see myself as successful at living the Spartan Optimal Health Lifestyle.


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