How to Set Fitness Goals For 2011

I’ve decided to follow up on a post I did last year on setting fitness goals and expand on the psychology of achieving them. Of course everyone wants to be healthier, sexier and more fit this year and I’m sure many have pledged that this would be the year they would finally achieve it. I’m equally sure that most of these people not only failed in their approach but are  likely worse off than they were last year. This may sound harsh but I see the stone cold reality everyday. In last weeks post I isolated the inability to form new habits and get rid of  unproductive ones as a root cause for fitness program failure and abandonment. Another problem that plagues many gym goers is not implementing an effective goal strategy that is specific and realistic.

As with most areas of our lives, we are only limited in what we can achieve by the mindset we project. Before you can achieve anything you have to form a mindset for success. This begings when you accept that everything you have, is because of who you are. To change what you have you’re going to have to change who you are. Who you are is defined by what you think and do. Every thought and action must take you in the direction of your goal and not somewhere else.

It’s amazing what some people can achieve with the right mindset. You can do this too. You you can have anything in the world you want if you are willing to work hard enough and persist long enough in doing what others have done to accomplish the same thing.


The Success Mindset (and the factors that affect it)


Get Some Control

Successful, fit people exude confidence. Your confidence depends largely on your perceived level of control you have in your life. The first step to gaining control is to accept responsibility for who you are and what you will become. Don’t blame others for your lack of fitness as this only relinquishes your control. Failures evade responsibility.  Become the architect of your own health  and take the control back.

Your Beliefs and Expectations

It’s been said that what you get isn’t what you want, but what you expect. You must expect the best to get the best. You have to expect the the best from yourself to be the best you can be. You also become what you believe. Your beliefs and your faith can define everything you are. You must believe that what you want is possible and expect that it will happen for you.

Understanding Cause and Effect

Whatever you reap you sow. You get out what you put into it. Simple as that. There is always some mechanism or action that causes everything. Believing that things happen at random, or that something is just meant to be ,will result in you losing control of your health and the rest of your life.

The Undeniable Law of Attraction

You will tend to attract people who are in harmony with your dominant thoughts. By thinking negative thoughts all of the time, you will find yourself surrounded by equally pessimistic peers that will only encourage your negativity and lack of success. Think positively in any situation and you’ll be rewarded with relationships and opportunities that bring you closer to your goals.

It’s the Thought that Counts

What you think about grows. This is bad if concentrate on things that remove you from your path toward health improvement. Your thoughts form your conduct/behaviors which in turn determine you succeed or fail at what you want.

In addition to not having the proper mindset for a healthy life in the first place, many people lose sight of what they want to achieve because they haven’t even set any goals. Without a clear sense of purpose and direction nobody gets ahead. People who reach the pinnacle of health and fitness, to whatever degree they desire, set goals. All of them do and so should you!


Why People Don’t Set Goals


  • They aren’t really serious about getting the benefits. They lack the necessary desire to have the benefits. These people are essentially just talkers and wishers. A person’s true intentions can only be defines by their actions.
  • They haven’t yet accepted responsibility for being who they are.
  • They don’t understand the importance of goal setting. If you’ve never had to set goals before, you might not think they are important.
  • They don’t know how to set goals ( I’ll explain how this is done a little later)
  • They feel undeserving or unworthy of attaining the benefits
  • The fear of criticism from others holds them back. In this case just keep your goals to yourself until you get the support you need.
  • The fear of failure is too overwhelming. You must understand that you can’t succeed until you fail. the road to success is often paved with failures. Successful people failed numerous times but persisted until they achieved success. Failure also shows you the ways that didn’t work , which in turn brings you closer to ways that do.


12 Step Goal Setting Process for Getting the Body Of your Dreams


stick figure writing goals1. Desire – You’ve really got to want it. Don’t be afraid to be selfish. When we want something bad enough we usually get it.

2. Belief Conviction – Is your goal really attainable? Is it reasonable or realistic? If you don’t believe it’s possible, it’s not. Remember, we are what we believe.

3. Write it down –  Writing down your goals makes them tangible. The pen takes your wish and turns it into something you can see. When you can see it, it becomes more real.

4. List the Benefits – Describe in detail, your motivation for achieving the goal. Don’t miss this critical step. We usually only do the tasks that we are motivated to do. Define your motives and the benefits you will receive. Are they appropriate and healthy for you? Use this list to remind you of the rewards in store for you when you are successful.

5. Establish Your Starting Point – You must establish an initial baseline. You have to know where you’re coming from to see where you’re going to. The satisfaction you feel at the end, when you look back at your starting point, will be well worth it.

6. Define a Deadline – Deadlines establish perspective. It always helps to know how long the journey will be before to set off. You may not make every deadline on schedule, just use this opportunity to make new ones.

7. Identify Obstacles – List the social, mental, behavioral, physical and psychological limiting factors to you achieving your goal. Put them in order of significance and try to eliminate them one by one each week.

8. Get Informed – Identify the necessary skills, knowledge and experience you’ll need to get you to your goal. Then learn.

9. Get help – List friends, co-workers, family, associates or groups that you can use to leverage your success. Others with special skills or knowledge related to your goal with become the support system you need. Just remember that people are only going to be willing to help you if you are willing to help them. Simply put; if you over-contribute you will over-achieve.

10. Set up a Plan – As they say;  if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Form a systematic approach that you can follow. Make corrections along the way and be ready to re-format the plan to suit any situation that may arise.

11. Visualization – Always be thinking about how you will look and feel when you reach your fitness goal. This help form clarity in your mind. Clarity and focus are prerequisites for success. And remember, you become what you think about.

12. Never Give Up – You must believe that success is inevitable. You must agree to persist through the challenges and never lose sight of the objective.

If you put these 12 steps into anything you want to achieve in life, fitness or otherwise, you can’t fail. I’d love to hear how you set your own goals and what successes you’ve enjoyed as a result.

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Craig Simms

Craig Simms

Craig Simms is a personal trainer and weight loss coach in Vancouver, B.C. Craig has been a fitness leader for over 21 years and has amassed over 25,000 hours of personal training experience in that span. He specializes in personalized weight management programs.
Craig Simms
Craig Simms

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