How to Set Realistic Fitness Goals

By Michelle Durante, HeartCORE Program Manager

More often than not people struggle with setting goals for exercise. This becomes the first barrier people will face when trying to begin a new exercise regimen. Goal setting allows an individual to focus on what is important to them and to directly see results from strength training and exercise. Goal setting may seem like a complicated frustrating aspect of exercise. However, Goal setting not only allows for you to stay on track, it also allows your coach to understand what your goals are and what exercise means to you.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1 – Be specific with your goals:

Make sure your goals are clear and follow the SMART goals criteria. This will ensure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-oriented. Creating clear goals will not only keep you on track, it will help you celebrate the milestones that you achieve along the way. I have in my own life created goals that were very generalized and non-specific, and each time I wasn’t able to measure my success or see my progress. This can become disheartening over time, especially since many of our goals are long term. I sometimes see the same thing happen to clients I work with, when our goals are too generalized, we miss the milestones we reach along the way.

2 – Short and long term goals:

Creating a clear long-term goal is a great way to get motivated and have a clear path to activity. However, over time this may seem unattainable or so far away that you may loose interest along the way. One way we can combat this is by creating short-term goals that are similar to “stepping stones” along the way, this will help keep you focused and see the smaller accomplishments you have made in the process if reaching your long-term goal.

3 – Re-evaluate your goals and progress:

Along the way it is important to re-evaluate our goals and progress, that way we can track and often create new goals. Many times when we set long-term goals along the way our priorities may change or we gain confidence and want to change the end goal, by periodically re-evaluating our goals and progress we can make sure that our goals are still on track! This also gives us an opportunity to discuss with our coach how we are doing and how we are feeling. So keep an open mind because the body can achieve what the mind believes!


HeartCORE, a Heart Niagara initiative, is a comprehensive approach to physical activity and health. Utilizing multiple training modalities such as one-on-one training, group training, workshops, and personal assessments – to improve the health and wellness of each individual we see.

HeartCORE is located at Heart Niagara. The address is 4635B Queen Street in Niagara Falls.  For more information call 905-358-5552 ext.109, email or visit



3 thoughts on “How to Set Realistic Fitness Goals

  • September 20, 2017 at 4:20 am

    Excellent post on goals. I am very happy to read.Thanks for providing great information. Thanks.

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