What are goals?*

Wednesday, 14 October 2015, By Adam Lewinski
A goal can be seen as a reason for action. Something that is uniquely meaningful and emotional to each and every one of us and is certainly deeper than say, losing ten kilograms, squatting one hundred kilograms or eating well for five out of seven days. 
 
A goal is the underlying reason why a client chooses to walk through Vision's door. In some instances, a client might not even know why they have, but they know that they need help in changing something they are not happy with in regards to their health or fitness. So it's important to dig deep and have a clear understanding as to the reason WHY a client is looking to undertake a journey towards a fitter, healthier lifestyle. 
 
For example, if a client wishes to improve their body composition, they may want to lose ten kilograms. That's great, it's a goal that is measurable and a good starting point. But why ten kilograms? What is it about that specific number that is so important? Without a doubt, there is some sort of emotional attachment. It can be as simple as being able to fit into an old pair of jeans. What is so important about those jeans? It may be that, that was the last time that particular client FELT really great about himself or herself, not only aesthetically, but psychologically as well. 
 
That goal of FEELING great is far more important than the ten kilograms that may be required to fit back into those jeans. Further, identifying that emotional attachment will dictate whether a client will wake up at five in the morning to attend group or person training sessions, if they will hit their macros every day and if they are going to complete their exercise minutes. If a client doesn't have an emotional attachment to a goal, how can we expect a client to work hard towards it? There is no deep reason to put in the hard yards if it's meaningless or irrelevant to them. 
 
Interestingly, in my experience and more often than not, once a client has achieved their goal, it's not so much the amount of kilograms they shed (for example), but rather what it represents. It represents an achievement, overcoming all obstacles and completing something they set out to do. This is a key driver in boosting self-efficacy and pushing further onto new, more challenging and exciting goals and in turn, increasing their chance of maintaining a fitter, healthier lifestyle well into the future.
 
That client who wanted to lose ten kilograms won't necessarily smile because the scales have improved, but they will certainly smile when they LOOK and FEEL like a million dollars in those jeans. To say that they achieved their goal and that all their hard work has payed off and it was all worth it. 
 
Sure, training involves lots of numbers and measurable figures to achieve certain results, to track progress, but if there is no emotional attachment towards a goal, then more than likely that client will not achieve or show much interest in that goal. And it will be evident in their application and adherence to any program a trainer prescribes. They won't make the necessary changes to their lifestyle habits, because deep down that particular goal is not important to them. Emotion drives action, and if trainers can help clients identify goals that can make them FEEL as well as LOOK great, then the measurable results will take care of themselves.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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