What is the purpose of setting health and fitness goals?

  1. To create a great result

  2. To become a better person or athlete

  3. To have a fuller experience of life

  4. To be able to brag to your mates

These are just a few ideas. I believe setting goals can work, when you follow the right approach! Next I cover the 3 reasons why goal setting doesn’t work.

Have you ever set a goal and not achieved the outcome, or worse, not even begun. I have and not starting is the results of 3 things:

  1. Setting “other people goals”.

  2. Lack of Specificity

  3. Expecting pain and sacrifice

SETTING OTHER PEOPLE GOALS – Don’t be that guy, or gal!

When setting goals, personal goals around health and fitness, they must be your goals. Theres a concept!! WOW! Yes, you must be inspired to create the results, you must be driven to take the action because its you who gets the rewards…or pays the consequence… I choose the word consequence because when setting “other people goals” taking the action required to achieve the goal often feels like you are suffering. Its true, setting goals based on what other people think you should do or based on what they want you to do results in consequences. The only consequence to face when setting goals for yourself that matter is that you become a product of your actions and if not getting the goal is the worst that happens, then at least you have moved yourself closer towards the level of health and fitness that you desire.


Be Specific.

Here are a few old one I have received 12 months ago that we needed to adapt to be usable. its more that being usable too, its about creating certainty in your mind and body.

“I want to be stronger and faster and to regain my fitness to the same as before I was injured” “I want to be able to run without puffing so hard”.

We are complex human beings and one can learn a lot from reflecting on their own language or sharing their goals with a professional. Quite often when we language what we want it makes no sense, sometimes we write goals based on what other people want and often we distance ourselves from committing by writing things like “I want to have…” or “I will work of being healthier..” and we call that our goals.

The greatest achievers in the world have all said it in their books, talks and programs… Be specific! SPECIFIC. I have worked with hundreds of people and the people that write goals that are wishy-washy don’t get them and even if they did, they wouldn’t really know that they got it because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, there is no certain number or measure of achievement and more than that its such a big long sentence that they can barely even remember it. So make it specific.

The goals above are a good start, when setting goals its important that you are not judgemental on yourself – if you are setting goals be pleased that you are taking the steps to better yourself and have confidence in yourself that you are writing from the heart. Do allow yourself to write freely as though it were going in the rubbish bin and no one was going to see it and then once you are finished, re-read, adapt and change it to specific and measurable outcomes that matter.

“I want to be stronger and faster and to regain my fitness to the same as before I was injured”

What was successful and rewarding about your fitness level before you were injured i.e.. 10 pull ups, 100kg deadlift, 100 burpees in 9 minutes. With that information now you can write your goal specifically.

I am committed to achieving the following by March 2015:

  1. 10 pull ups

  2. 100kg Deadlift

  3. 100 burpees in 9 minutes

“I want to be able to run without puffing so hard”.

Okay. Run slower, or don’t run. lol. So what do you really want?

  1. To run 6km in 36 minutes and hold 2-3 conversations with my friend along the way.

“I want to have more mental and physical strength, to look great and be able to handle life”.

What is this really about? Do you want to look great so you can have more confidence? Can you have more confidence now? When do you want more confidence? Are you feeling like you are mentally weak because you keep saying yes to people and sacrificing yourself and your priorities… Is the mental stuff really about giving yourself permission to do what you love to do, or is it about acting on something you’ve been holding yourself back from? Whats this really about? Dig Deep!!

Your goal may be, To make myself a priority. I will do this by doing 1 thing from your list (make a list of things you love to do for you), everyday before I do anything for anyone else Are you looking to trust yourself?

The physical strength part, How strong do you want to be? What is your measure of having more physical strength? I know that if I have a 150kg back squat that having a 170kg back squat demonstrates an increase in squatting strength… which is just about every muscle recruited in the body straining to get that bar up from a squat. Is that the physical strength you want? Or is being physically strong for you being able to do 100 push ups, 100 squats and 100 sit ups each morning and feel like it doesn’t leave you sore and exhausted for the rest of your day?


We are all told if we want something we have to go out their and get it. Its going to be hard, its going to hurt and we will have to make some sacrifices. You’ve heard that before right? The truth is, that is bullshit!! Pain, suffering and sacrifice are all a by-product of what I talked about earlier “other people goals”. When you take the actions that lead you towards what truly matters in your life, it is fun. And sure when you set a fitness goal you are going to experience DOMS (Delayed on-set muscle soreness) which is the muscles telling you they are hurting and trying to recover… or is it? Maybe it is the muscles thanking you for demanding more of them? Maybe its the muscles saying thanks for allowing us the privilege to grow and be felt. We get to choose what things mean to us and the truth is that if it truly matter to us, then we will see it through and we can enjoy it. The word choose means to have a choice. Before you dread doing something, be it training or even the dishes tonight, think about the positive result it will create, rather than the negative journey (the effort) that you are currently associating with doing dishes. You will notice that you focus on the house or kitchen being clean. You can focus on this longer and seek all the benefits of a clean house and kitchen and the experience you will have when you open the drawer to find clean, “ready to use” cutlery. Its a pretty special experience really!

The quality of our life is determined by the quality of our focus which is regulated through language and questions. Ask quality questions and use language that empowers you and connects you to what matters most in life. What matters most for me is fun, love, personal growth and contribution.

Tristan Enright Performance coach and CrossFitter 0400 656 750

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