Goal Setting 101


Set a goal? Sure, that sounds easy enough. But what comes next?

My client, Lisa, is a working mom determined to lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle. I’ve been training Lisa for about two years. Since life, family and work never slow down, I’ve seen Lisa experience both challenges and successes with her health and fitness goals. Part of my job as a PRO Club personal trainer is to help Lisa establish her health and fitness goals, giving her a balance of what she wants and what she needs to live a long and healthy life.

Lisa’s Goal Setting Process

Step 1: Set a goal

Lisa’s current goal is to lose weight (fat pounds, ideally) and fit into a smaller pant/dress size.

Step 2: Get specific

Lisa would like to lose 25 to 30 pounds in six to eight months and fit into a size 10 pant/dress.

The importance of having a range is to prevent the brain from getting fixed on one number. With all goals, you can expect to experience successful weeks and inconsistent weeks. Thus, setting a range will keep you from fixating on a single number and experiencing disappointment despite making progress in the right direction.

Step 3: Is it attainable/realistic?

My professional opinion is that Lisa is realistically able to lose one to two pounds per week, resulting in 25 to 30 pounds weight loss in six to eight months.

Knowing that the goal is realistic, Lisa is confident that it is attainable. Creating new habits is necessary to achieve a new goal. Lisa will see positive results when implementing the following tactics in the next step.

Step 4: List of tactics

This might be the most important step of the entire process. Below is a list of Lisa’s tactics in reaching her goal:

  1. Track food/water intake daily. Lisa meets with her Registered Dietitian at PRO Club once a month to determine her caloric and macronutrient intake for best results.
  2. Exercise most days of the week. Exercising most days of the week is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine for heart health. Lisa trains with me once a week and exercises on her own three times a week. I give her exercises and guidelines for these workouts so she gets the most out of her exercise time.
  3. Sleep more and stress less. These are two important keys to weight loss. Our bodies need sleep to recover both physically and mentally. Stress produces cortisol, the hormone that can prevent weight loss, so it is crucial to be aware of stress levels and have a safe way to relieve stress.

As these tactics become new habits for Lisa, she’s sure to find success towards her goal, taking less and less effort to achieve her ideal weight. These healthy habits will also aid in weight maintenance once Lisa’s goal is achieved, leading to a longer and healthier life.

Step 5: Take action! It’s not always easy to follow through

Lisa is not perfect. None of us are. However, the weeks where she follows her plan (step 4) yields the best results. If you don’t follow your plan, know that you won’t see the results you want. If you have a plan and follow it, the results will show, bringing you closer to your goal. Be patient with yourself and trust in the process.

Personal Trainer Siera Maier believes that everyone, from children to seniors, benefit greatly from age and goal-appropriate exercise programs. When not working, you’ll find her actively participating in basketball, volleyball, body building competitions, hiking, or yoga.

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