Better Goal Setting For Better Results - Diligent Fitness

Better Goal Setting For Better Results

15th July 2015 by Kieran Igwe Motivation 0 comments

How much would it mean to you to not have to hide away under clothes. To stop having to choose an outfit based on how well it conceals the parts of your body you’re ashamed of.

My aim is for you to be able to feel proud of what you’ve got. And feel smug in the knowledge that the effort you put in is what achieved your results and got in the best shape of your life.

To do that we need to find out exactly what your goals are. Not just general ‘want to lose a few lbs’ but what exactly do you want to see happen?

Read on to discover how to set a goal that’s going to move you closer to getting the body you want.

Conversations with coach:

Part of working on my business (and personal) goals includes weekly calls with my coach, Nicky. He gives me focus, kicks my butt and doesn’t let me off the hook with the goals I’ve told him are important to me.

One of those goals was taking more time out for travel.

I’m told that when you work a normal job you get this thing called holiday, which means you take chunks of time out each year to travel, rest and relax.

Running a small business doesn’t quite work the same. If you don’t book time out, it’s usually a patient and supportive partner (or burnout) that encourages you to take a break.

So in pursuit of not burning out (or jeopardizing my relationship) one of the conversations with Nicky went like this:

Nicky: What’s one thing you want to be different about your life Kieran

Me: I want to travel more

Nicky: What does that mean?

Me: Well I’d like to get away at least once a year

Nicky: How long for?

Me: at least a week

Nicky: Where do you want to start?

Me: Erm, south of France (Lyz’s favourite…)

Nicky: More detail – where exactly

Me: Jeez man, I don’t know… Provence

Nicky: What type of accommodation do you want? What will you be doing there?

Me: Errrr Staying in a Gite I guess, drinking coffee, hiking some of the mountain trails

Nicky: When would you be happy to have achieved that by?

Me: Ah man, err this time next year.

Nicky: Ok so by the 1st of July next year you want to of had a 7 night stay in the South of France staying in a Gite, hiking in the mountains, drinking coffee and soaking up the sun?

Me: Yep sounds good!

I put down the phone and we booked the flights

Defining specific outcomes leads to specific actions

My coach pushed me to identify specifics. He didn’t let me stop at the lame (and never going to happen) “I want to travel more”.

That’s the equivalent of saying “I want to lose weight”.

It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t motivate you.

Until you identify what losing weight would mean for you and commit to making it into a SMART goal you’ll most likely be stuck like I was with my general “I’d like to travel more”.

Make it Specific

The process Coach Nicky led me through chizzled away at my vague, amorphous goal until it was a lean, focused plan of action.

His questions forced me to create a picture of what I wanted. And as soon it became clear – and I’d committed to a deadline – it became obvious what I needed to do to make it happen.

“When you’ve got a clear picture of what you want to achieve, then you can build the structure, routines and habits that are going to support your goal”.

So yep, I’m pretty sold on the value of setting goals, and have seen the focus they provide.

So how do we apply this to you and your health and fitness?

The first step in getting motivated is to talk goals

You’ve probably heard about SMART goals (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and time constrained). But have you ever given setting a SMART goal a shot? Nah, me neither. Until the holiday situation.

Until then I’d always said I need to take more holidays. I knew it would be beneficial. I always felt better when I took time out. And whenever anyone asked if we were going away I’d always say I’d like to, but we had nothing planned.

So guess what? No holiday planned, meant no holiday taken. Another year would slip by and another missed opportunity to take a break, relax and rejuvenate. Until I set it as a SMART goal and put a deadline on it (thanks Nicky).

So here’s the challenge…

I want to challenge you to apply that Gestapo style questioning to your health and fitness.

I want you to identify exactly where it is you want to get to in the next 12 months. And remember, ‘losing weight’ isn’t specific enough. Just like booking flights to ‘Europe’ wouldn’t be specific enough.

The mind needs clear direction. Otherwise it stays confused over what’s important to you. And doesn’t think you’re serious enough to commit precious resources to making it happen.

Go big with your goal

Don’t worry about where you are today. This step is all about figuring out where you want to get to.

Make your goal something ambitious; something that’s going to stretch you and get you excited when you to think about achieving it.

If you’re only slightly interested in achieving your goal then you’re only going to be slightly committed to achieving it.

If you don’t feel a little excited (and nervous) about what you could achieve, what it might take and what it would mean for your life then you’re not going to be motivated to do the necessary stuff.

Your mind wants specific answers:

First question: Is getting in the shape you want a priority for you right now?

If it’s not then please, stop reading this post. It’s okay to stop giving yourself a hard time and set your focus on whatever is a priority in your life right now.

But if getting in shape IS your priority let’s go on and answer the questions below.

  1. What will your body look like when you’ve reached your goal?
  2. Where will you have less fat?
  3. Where will you see more muscle tone and definition?
  4. What will you feel like when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror?
  5. What clothes would you be wearing, what size and how would you feel when you put them on?
  6. What will you be fit enough to do that you struggle with now?

This is your destination. This is your internal motivation. This is what is going to inform your actions and effort.

So each time you have a choice to make (do I workout or not, do I eat this or that) you’ve got a clear picture of what you’re heading for, and whether an action is going to move you towards or further away from your goal.

When do you want your body project to be completed by?

I’d recommend putting a timeframe that you’re going to aim to achieve your goal by. Otherwise your mind will keep telling you it’s ok to start tomorrow.

Just to throw some rough figures around:

  1. If you’ve got 5-10lbs of fat you’d like to lose then give it 1-3 months.
  2. If you’d like to lose 1 stone of fat give it 3-4 months.
  3. If you’d like to lose 2 stone of fat give yourself 6-12 months
  4. If you’d like to lose 3 stone plus of fat then make it a 1-2 year project.

So what’s achievable for you? I’ve seen 2 stone of fat loss take 2 years for one person and 4 months for another.

Are you a slow and steady, or do you need the pressure to keep you focused?

Whatever you choose set a specific date or event to aim for. And while we want these changes to stick for life, having a series of short term targets to gun for will help keep you motivated.

Note: most of us have fallen into the trap of setting a goal, working on it alone then failing, which leaves us feeling dejected and reluctant to set goals in the future.

If this has happened to you then working with a coach is the single biggest thing you can do to help ensure your success in the future. We give up too easily when we’re on our own. But when there’s someone to help you through you’ll be amazed at what you’re capable of achieving.


Unlike me, you’re probably already proficient at selecting, planning and preparing for your holidays.

You’ve likely invest a good amount of time and money in your holidays. And you’re going to get a good week or two of enjoyment, relaxation and rejuvenation out of that for sure.

Now let’s put those skills to use to envisage where you want to get your body to. Because having the body you want, feeling confident with how you look, feeling fit and healthy and proud of what you’ve achieved is going to have an impact on every single day for the rest of your life.

Would that be worth spending a little time on this week?

So my challenge to you is to spend a few minutes identifying what you’d like to achieve in the next 12 months, then put it out there either to a friend, your coach or share on the DF Facebook page.

Invest at least as much time and money in getting your body to how you want it as you would spend planning and preparing for your holiday.

Because there’s nothing that’ll get you feeling more motivated than planning a road trip where the end destination is one that impacts how you look and feel every day for the rest of your life!

If you’re not sure where to start book in for a complimentary fitness consultation and we’ll chat, work thorough our goal setting process, identify what you’d like to achieve and we’ll share what it’ll take to get you there.

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