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Goal Setting

Success in life is achieved by focusing and dedicating yourself to a particular goal or goals.  

Amanda Percy, Director of Exact Physiology

A goal gives you something to strive toward, increases your drive and helps you to map out what it is you want to achieve. It is important to think about where you want to go in life, what you want to change and where you want to be physically and mentally. Try these simple steps few to help you to start achieving what you set out to!

Decide on your long-term goal

It is important to sit down and figure out your long term goal. Do you want to lose weight? Lower your blood pressure? Improve general well-being? Once you have decided what it is you want to chase, visualise it in terms of emotions. What will it feel or look like? What will this mean for your life? The stronger the connection you can make between your emotions and your outcome, the more likely you are to be committed and the more powerful that decision to achieve something will be.

The intensity of these feelings toward your goals will make it much more tangible.

Make it Specific

Decide on the specific detail of your goals. Many behavioural studies have shown those who are more specific in the details of what they want to achieve, are far more likely to reach their target than those who don’t.  Think about what you want and how you are going to go about achieving it and when you are going to reach it. For example: To reach my goal of losing 10 kilos in 8 months, I will walk 4 times per week for 30 minutes, and only have 1 takeout and two nights of drinking alcohol a week.

Make it Attainable and Realistic

In order to effectively set a goal it is important to be realistic in terms of what it is exactly that you want to achieve. You need to work with yourself as a whole; your personality, your body type, motivation etc.

For example if you are 179cm tall and currently weigh 100+ kilos, don’t set yourself to achieve weight of 55kg, whether it be in 1 year or five.

Instead pick a healthy weight that would you be happy with and that you could live with.

Then once you reach that target you can re-evaluate. The higher the standard you set, the more unlikely you are to succeed in reaching it. The danger of this is that you are then likely to give up forever.

Generally, to improve your health status a weight reduction of 5-10% from your starting weight is recommended. This small reduction will reduce your risk of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

If your plan is to eat a healthier diet, but you are a chocoholic, then be realistic and include some chocolate in your diet.

Healthy eating is all about how much and how often you eat unhealthy foods. Start with a small reduction and then continue to reduce your intake when you are no longer craving the bad stuff!

Make it Measurable

If you can’t measure something you can’t manage it! If all you want is to get fit; what is “fit” to you?

If it’s being able to jog for 30 minutes without stopping or running 1 kilometre in less than 4 minutes, whatever it is, make this your goal. If all you want is weight loss, weigh yourself regularly (and by regularly I mean once per week or once per fortnight) and write it down.

That way, you can visually see your progress.


Set yourself a timeframe and be adamant with yourself that you are going to achieve your goal in this time. That is when to want to achieve this goal by: a particular date, before a certain occasion or event. Also include milestone dates along the way to help keep you on track.

Break your long-term goal into Mini Goals

Setting short and medium-term goals not only helps divide the main goal into bite-sized steps, but it also makes you more accountable for your actions and more importantly, gives you a sense of success and achievement along the way to your main goal. Give each step an attainable timeframe. If your long-term goal is to lose 20 kilos and your mini goal is to lose 1 kilo every 2 weeks, then each fortnight you will know if you are on track or whether you need to work harder for the coming fortnight. Achieving a mini goal, will increase your self-belief, boost your confidence and keep you motivated. You can even use small goals each day by applying them to your workouts and eating plans so that you remained focused on the big picture.

Add a Reward

It is important to acknowledge your achievement on the way to your long term goal. Reward yourself for each mini goal you reach, whether it be losing 3 kilos, running non-stop for 15 minutes, or not smoking for a week. Choose life affirming rewards; don’t reward yourself with food or alcohol. Reward yourself with something meaningful – a new top, or CD, a movie, or a night out with girlfriends, or family. Decide ahead of time what your rewards will be for your mini goals and your long-term goal and write them down. Planning your rewards will give your something to look forward to, keep you focused and help you create a new healthy habit.

Write Down your Goals

You have to “own” your goals. If you really want to stay motivated and ensure you are achieving these goals for you and no one else, write down all the reasons why you want to achieve your goal. This is where it is important to focus on the future and think about what you want and how you’re going to get it.

You may want to keep your goals to yourself, however I find by telling everyone what I’m doing not only gives me support, motivation and encouragement, but it reinforces my decision to make a positive change and helps me stick to the plan. Colleagues, friends and family also keep you honest, they ask how you’re going, or remind you to do your exercise for the day.

Regularly re-read your goals to see your progress and re-evaluate if you feel what you set is not realistic. Remember goals are flexible you can adapt them at any stage to reflect changes in your life and priorities.

In Conslusion

A goal without a plan is just a dream. Believe in yourself and set a plan out. By doing these simple things, you can achieve whatever you set your mind on.

If you need a hand with planning your diet or workout, please click on the Make an Appointment button at the top of this page and one of our accredited professionals will be available to help you achieve your goals.