Fitness Friday – Goal Setting

Hello and welcome to another Fitness Friday!! Today I’m actually combining two reoccurring topics into one – monthly goals + fitness.

For any newbies out there, I like to set a handful of goals at the start of every month. I check in a few times throughout the course of the month to keep on track. Doing this not only gives me motive to get things accomplished, but gets my readers thinking about goal-setting as well!

I’ll be reviewing my usual monthly goals at the end of the post, but first I want to talk about setting goals for fitness.

Friends, if you plan to include fitness in your everyday life, I want you setting fitness goals. Doesn’t matter how big or small. It can be running a marathon, or getting up to 6mph on the treadmill. Working towards goals give you a reason to get up and out there every day. They keep you working out and being active. But it’s important to choose your goals wisely.

In personal training (and in many other areas) we use something called S.M.A.R.T. goal setting. Okay, this is also probably something you used in middle school. As hokey as the acronym is, it’s really useful when thinking about what kind of goals to set. To be successful, you need to consider each letter!

Specific – Try to be as specific as possible with coming up with a goal. It’s hard to determine when a goal has been reached when it was vague to begin with. A lot of people come to me with the goal to “feel more energetic.” Which is great, but about as vague as you can get. In what areas of your life do you specifically want more energy? Climbing the stairs? Avoiding the afternoon slump? There is no such thing as a goal too specific. Don’t be scared to divide one big goal into several smaller ones.

Measurable – The best goals have hard numbers to back them up. Instead of “wanting to look leaner,” set a body fat goal. Instead of “getting stronger,” set a squat or chest press goal. Even better, write these numbers down and track your progress with hard evidence to see your improvements.

Attainable – You’ve just completed your first sprint triathlon and eyeing a full Ironman. Do you really have the time to dedicate to the training? Is that lingering shoulder injury really something that can be ignored? “Goals” are not “dreams.” We set goals to achieve them!

Realistic – If you’re 55 and looking to get down to your college weight, it’s time to re-evaluate and decide if this goal is really realistic at this point in your life. It’s great to reach for the stars, but don’t set yourself up for discouragement by setting your short-term sights too high.

Timely – Set a date and stick to it. To say you want to “run a marathon someday” is one thing. But to register and know it’s coming up will finally get you up and training.


I love talking about goals with my clients because it feels like we’re working towards something together. I also love sharing my own fitness goals with clients to remind them that even “pros” like myself still have things they want to work toward. Not only that, but that it’s possible to achieve those goals!


I know I have readers at all fitness levels. Here are just some ideas that you can borrow or expand into your own:

  • Run a 5k without walking
  • Complete a pull-up
  • Do 20 toe push-ups
  • Swim 1000m without stopping
  • Get your heels on the ground during downward dog!
  • Squat your bodyweight
  • 100 kettlebell swings
  • Run a 8 minute mile – or a 9 minute mile!
  • Shoulder stand in yoga
  • Using the olympic bar

And guess what… all of those have either been past goals or are current goals for myself! I think about all the little fitness things I want to accomplish and they all keep me working out everyday. None of these are specifically “body related.” But I guarantee that you will immediately feel better about your body and what it can accomplish when you hit these benchmarks :)

And now, without further ado, here is a recap of the goals I set for September!

1. Get organized. Compared to my lack of organization at the beginning of the month, I would say I achieved what I had in mind for this. It now means I’m lost without my day planner, but I’m much more on the ball with training appointments, to-do lists and other commitments.

2. Professional development. This was not such a success seeing as my Nutrition & Wellness course was postponed. However, I am halfway through the textbook already and have learned tons about exercise nutrition!

3. Turn on the oven. Ohbabyyes. My oven is finally getting some lovin’! Loaves of bread, shepherd’s pie, sweet potato fries… It’s just the beginning :)

4. Love my workouts. This is the one I did best on! I started doing yoga once a week again and LOVE it. I started a new lifting split that has me in the weight room four days a week. I’ve started running outside again and look forward to my time on the lakefront trail every Saturday morning. I am in a really, really good spot with exercise right now :)


September turned out to be a not-so-shabby month in terms of goals. But I’m hoping to really get my stuff together for October.

Goals for October

Digitize all my training programs.
So far I’ve been doing paper program cards, and I’d like to design a nice digital format that I can e-mail to clients for tracking.

Dedicate at least one hour a week to unpaid commitments.
On top of being an ambassador for The Simply Bar, I will also be volunteering with Girls On The Run (more on that in a future post). I’m also a member of the organizing committee for No Limits Canada and will be involved in some local running clinics. I’m a busy gal, and one hour will be my minimum requirement to keep this up.

Finally get my categories organized for better navigation.
My blog categories are a mess and my blog would be so much easier to search if they were better organized!

Make one new supper recipe each week.
Namely, a big ole’ dish that I can eat for leftovers all week.

Run outside four times.
It’s getting cold in the mornings. I will not wimp out.

Do something fun once a week.
You guys, I am now working on average 12 hours a day. I’m up at 5am every day. It’s so easy to fall into my old patterns of losing myself in work. It’s important I let loose once a week and forget about all my commitments and responsibilities :)


Now it’s your turn! What are your goals for October? What is your current fitness goal??


Posted on October 1, 2010, in Fitness Friday and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. My goal is to finish my damn marathon and mail a finish line photo to the douchey doctor that told me I was too fat to run one.

    Everything else is just a bonus!

  2. I love this blog. It inspires me to type out my October Goals. I’m a tad tired tonight but I suppose I’ll get on it tomorrow. I hope you can find some you time-that is what I struggle the most with as well eek.

    My fitness goals right now are to run a 5k in less than 19 minutes and to swim 1000 yard freestyle in less than 11:15. We shall see how that goes. Also to make some me time.

    I love reading your blogs everything from recipes to fitness is so interesting. :)

  3. I need to go back and categorize all my posts. I put it off because its kind of daunting. Hello 400+ posts! Blah. I need the order though.

    And I can’t wait to have more fitness goals again. I can tell you pullups, squating my body weight, 100 lbs bench, and running 5 miles will be some of them. Further along, mind you, but they are already in my sights to be done before 2012. 2011 is going to be such a fun fitness year for me (given no injuries or serious setbacks). I can’t WAIT!

  4. Great goals, once again! My main one for October are to FINALLY finish my FIS (this has been dragging on FAR too long!)

  5. great tips on goal setting, you are the goal guru! love your october goals.. looking forward to your check ins :) happy weekend!

  6. HOORAY for getting organized :) and congratulations on all of your September goals

  7. I swear by the SMART model. I am looking to step up my cooking skills, redevote myself to yoga and going on more fall walks with my pups!

  8. This is awesome! I’m really injured right now, but rather than just sitting around glooming and dooming, I’m committing to lifting weights twice a week and ellipticalling every day so long as my hip and leg don’t hurt.
    Now, to come up with that “fun” goal…. :|

  9. My goals for the month? not have a breakdown and quit my blog over all the rude comments I get. Yes, it’s reached new levels.

    I love your goals and every month i read them and love the month’s end recap…the months go so fast on the outside looking into your goals! And working 12 hrs and still trying to have a life? You go girl, have more FUN, amen!

    • Ohno!! I’m so sorry to hear you’re still getting nasty comments :( Hopefully the good ones still outweigh the bad – you know I’m one of your biggest supporters! <3

  10. Great goals, you can do it!!!! I just made my goals yesterday: Exercise 500 minutes for the month, stay within my calorie ranges, drink 2-3 liters of water every day…I think that’s about it.


  11. Awesome goals post:) I love the SMART acronym. I don’t care what anyone else says! haha
    My goals for October..hmm…thanks for bringing it to my attention. I’ll have to think about them!
    Have a great weekend, Susan!

  12. Love the goals and I def. try to follow the SMART method whenever I set goals.
    For October, Im hoping to get to a spin and sculpt class once a week, reassess my diet b/c the increased business (busy-ness?) of my life lately requires more energy support, get together with friends more often and to splurge/spend a little more money on myself (I’m very VERY cheap to the point where I never by what I want, ever). Hopefully I’ll get the ball rolling this weekend: I’ve got a hair appt. at a nice new salon and I just restocked the pantry with some vitamins and green tea!

    • I love the goal of splurging on yourself more :) I can be cheap to an extreme sometimes too. My biggest treat to myself recently was a pretty salad bowl for $8 :P

  13. My goal is to get some clients! x x

  14. I find it too stressful and like I judge myself more if I use specific values. Like I would rather say “increase fruits and vegetables from where I am now” than “eat 5 a day”. Otherwise I feel too pressured!

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