A coach helping his client do bench presses with dumbells

Goal setting is an action plan designed to help motivate or guide a person/group of people towards a goal.

When it comes to fitness, think of it as a journey towards feeling great. Every little step, each exercise, and the food we eat can bring us closer to feeling awesome. But with so many choices out there, how do we make sure we’re on the right track? That’s where setting goals comes in – it’s like having a map to guide us.

Why is Goal Setting Important for Training?

Goal setting is a good thing to start implementing into your training because it gives you motivation, provides a focus, allows you to monitor progress, it helps us to keep progressing with training as new goals can be set when each goal is achieved – enhancing consistency and boosting self confidence at the same time.

SMART Goal Setting

The type of goals we aim to set are what is known as SMART goals. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time specific.


Goals should be clear and well-defined, addressing the “what,” “why,” and “how” of your objective. Specific goals leave no room for ambiguity and give you a clear direction.


Your goals should have quantifiable criteria that allow you to track your progress. Measurable goals provide concrete evidence of your achievements and help you stay motivated.


Goals should be realistic and attainable within your capabilities and resources. They should challenge you, but not be so difficult that they become discouraging.


Goals should align with your broader objectives and aspirations. They need to be relevant to your overall purpose, ensuring that your efforts contribute meaningfully to your journey.

Time Bound

Set a specific timeframe for achieving your goal. A well-defined time frame creates a sense of urgency and prevents procrastination.

What is a Good Example of a SMART Goal?

  1. To lose 6lb in 8 weeks.
  2. To eat at least 3-4 portions of fruit and veg per day, across 1 month.

How Can I Keep Track of my Goals?

Keeping track of goals can simply be done on a notes page in your phone, on a whiteboard at home, a notebook or workout logbook, a piece of paper on your fridge or mirror.

If you haven’t set yourself any goals since joining the gym but struggle to motivate yourself or can’t notice the progress you’re making, give goal setting a go and watch the positive effect it will have on your training.

Staying Motivated and Overcoming Obstacles and Setbacks

As with all types of goal setting, motivation can increase and decrease. So what can you do if you hit a plateau when working towards your goals?

Review and Adjust Your Goals

Take some time to revisit your goals. Are they still SMART? Remind yourself why you set those targets in the first place and how achieving them will benefit you.

Remember, if something isn’t working, be open to adjusting your strategy. Flexibility is key in overcoming challenges.

Celebrate the Small Wins

Even during plateaus, you’re likely making small improvements. Celebrate these victories to maintain a positive mindset. Acknowledging progress, no matter how small, can keep you motivated and focused.

Change Your Routine

Plateaus can often be broken by changing up your workout routine. Introduce new exercises, alter the intensity, or try a different training method altogether. This can challenge your body in new ways and reignite your progress.

Set Mini Goals

Break down your main fitness goal into smaller milestones. Achieving these mini-goals can provide a sense of accomplishment and help you track progress more frequently.

Keep a Journal

Maintain a fitness journal to track your workouts, diet, and how you feel after each session. This documentation can help you identify patterns, adjust your strategy, and recognise your achievements.

Seek Support

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a friend, PT, workout buddy, or a fitness community for support. Sharing your challenges and successes with others can provide motivation, accountability, and new perspectives.

Educate Yourself

Learning about different training techniques, nutrition, and recovery methods can keep your fitness journey interesting and help you make informed decisions about your routine.

Be Patient

Plateaus are a natural part of any fitness journey. Cultivate patience and remind yourself that progress isn’t always linear. Embrace the journey and trust the process.

Reward Yourself

Set up a reward system for when you achieve specific milestones. This could be treating yourself to a massage, buying new workout gear, or enjoying a favourite healthy meal.

Track Non-Scale Achievements

Remember that progress isn’t solely reflected on the scale. Measure improvements in your energy levels, endurance, strength, and overall well-being.

Stay Positive

Try to maintain a positive attitude and focus on the improvements you’ve already made. A positive mindset can make a significant difference in your ability to overcome challenges.

How Personal Trainers Can Help you to Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Personal trainers provide expert guidance, tailored workout plans, and accountability to aid in achieving your fitness SMART targets. They ensure exercises are aligned with your goals, track measurable progress, and make timely adjustments. With their support, motivation, and knowledge, you’re better equipped to overcome challenges and reach your desired fitness milestones.

Here at Underground Gym, our team of helpful Personal Trainers are more than happy to help you with achieving your fitness goals.