Personal trainer tips: A new look at goal setting...

Most people tend to sit either side of the fence when it comes to goal setting. You either love setting goals because they provide you with great motivation, or you hate them because they are scary if you don’t achieve them, or perhaps you simply don’t find them motivating enough to do anything about working towards them.

Many people will seek the help of a personal trainer to get them motivated to exercise. But motivation must come from within, and cannot truly be given to you from someone else. So let’s take a look at how to really get motivated by a goal.

Goals vs Purpose

Whether you love setting goals or not, as a personal trainer, I believe it’s important to understand the reason WHY you want to achieve that goal - the real reason why - the underlying reason behind that goal and why it is so important to you that you achieve it.

For most of the people we work with, their primary goals are to lose weight.

My question to them is: “Why do you want to lose weight?”

Their answer might be: “So I feel better about myself.”

My question is: “Why do you want to feel better about yourself?”

Their answer might be: “Because I want to be happier.”

My question is: “Again, why?”

Their answer might be: “Because I want to be able to wear nice dresses again and feel proud of my body. I want more confidence and self esteem. And I know if I don’t lose weight then I’m at high risk of getting diabetes, which other members of my family have.”

I say: “Aha – now we’re there - THAT’S your purpose.”

So, you either use your goal to motivate you, or you use your purpose to motivate you. Studies show that the latter is way more powerful.

Either way, it’s key to know WHERE you’re going and WHY you’re going there.

Try this tactic for yourself.

  1. Find your goal

  2. Ask yourself why, why, and why again, to get your purpose

  3. Write it down and keep it near you as a daily reminder to keep your motivation high

If you need help setting goals, you can get in touch with our expert personal trainers in Bristol by calling 0117 403 7600, or email

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