How to Define Your Personalized Fitness Goals

It’s great that we have many different personalized fitness goals, but that’s what makes it so confusing for so many people.

A moment of clarity this morning reminded me of a conversation I had with a man on the plane. During our chat, he suggested that people weren’t really “fit” unless they could lift a certain amount of weight.

This person didn’t know what I do for a living, and the weight they mentioned is irrelevant. It was obvious he came from a strength training background, strength was his fitness goal, and lifting weights was the filter through which he viewed the fitness world.

Personalized Fitness Goals

Coincidentally, Eliud Kipchoge had recently broken the 2-hour barrier for the marathon. With that in mind, I casually asked if they thought Kipchoge was fit as he likely couldn’t lift the amount of weight the person mentioned.

Not so surprisingly, there was a short, blustery, noncommittal response and the subject quickly changed.

I can appreciate that everyone has their own opinion, but it speaks to a key issue and a major source of confusion surrounding the personalized goals of health, fitness, and happiness.

There are a lot of people out there attempting to pursue goals in health, fitness, business, and happiness that aren’t ideal for them or even something they desire.

People are aspiring and working towards someone else’s goals, or a vague notion in their mind of being in a “different place”.

We all start at different points, have different endpoints, and may even take different journeys to a similar objective. This is fine, but most people don’t see health and fitness in these terms.

Perhaps the easiest way to explain the personalized fitness goals concept is through an analogy.

your starting point in achievimg your personalized fitness goals

Step 1: Your Starting Point

On our journey through life, we all start in our own respective cities. It doesn’t really matter what city you start in, or even if you like it. It’s simply where you are right now.

A key factor in embarking on any journey is to clearly understand WHY we want to go on that journey. Is it to see a friend, a quick business trip, a relaxing family vacation, adventurous explore, to learn something new, or to move beyond something in your current destination?

The answer to this question will determine many factors including where we go, how we get there, and what we do along the way.

It’s also a question that so many people fail to ask!

Step 2: The Goals

Where you want to go is entirely up to you. It’s just a matter of plugging the destination into your GPS or mapping app.

Some people want to live in Vancouver, others in New York, while others want to live in a small village in Switzerland. Some people prefer the energy and frenetic pace of a big city, while others prefer the slower pace of the country. Perhaps you long to live in the mountains, or by the ocean.

Once you pick an option, it’s important to narrow to the specifics. Which region? Which city? What about the Neighborhoods, schools, and style of home? These choices are all important so you can be sure you end up where you want.

So, plug that destination into your GPS or app.

Many people fail to do this with their fitness goals. They say they want to “Get Fit”, and will often work extremely hard trying to get to a destination that isn’t clear, and that doesn’t have any specifics surrounding it.

If you wanted to go to a small single-room cottage perched on the cliffs of a secluded ocean cove, you wouldn’t hop in the nearest Uber and say, “take me near water”. You could end up beside a pond, river, lake, stream, or in a rain squall on the prairies.

While it would be a different destination than where you started, you may not be happy with the end result.

Step 3: The Map

Once you’ve plugged in your detailed destination, a map is generated for you to follow. This is your plan to get you from where you are to where you want to be.

Like most mapping apps, there are numerous routes to take you to your destination, with various pros and cons associated with each route. Some are longer, some have more congestion or barriers, and others may have tolls to pay along the way.

create your own map for achieving fitness goals

Which you choose is more up to your personal preference than anything. You still have a map to get to your destination.

Step 4: Action!

This is where the rubber hits the road. You’ve got to start moving. How fast do you want to go? Who will be coming with you? How many stops will you be making along the way? What is your timeline to get there?

There will always be construction, traffic, detours, and other things that slow you down. These may even cause you to question whether the trip is worth the effort at all.

But if you keep moving forward…you will eventually arrive at your goal.

Step 5: Should I Stay or Go?

Sometimes you get to your destination and realize that it’s not how you imagined it. You may eventually decide to move somewhere else and take on another adventure and journey.

You may also decide it’s exactly what you want and stay there for a long time. That’s completely fine. It’s your life.

Now you know the process you must go through to get to your goals. Each journey becomes slightly less daunting the next time around.

Step 6: Perspective

It’s important to remember that other people might love living in a different city that has zero appeal to you. Perhaps you can’t imagine ever wanting to move to the country or the mountains while others wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. They may not comprehend how you could love living in a busy downtown core.

I think it’s fantastic that we don’t all want the same exact thing. It makes life interesting.

We each get to decide on our goals and if we’re willing to go through the process of making the journey.

Clear Goal Setting

Final Thoughts on Goals in Fitness and Life

Hopefully, this analogy got you thinking about your own personalized goals in fitness and your ideal life. It applies to everything we do, including our health, fitness, work, leisure time, and relationships.

The journeys we take in life are there to help you create your own version of success. So for the person I spoke with earlier this week…perhaps having excellent levels of strength and large muscles is it.

For me…I’ve lived that life in the past and have chosen to move on to different destinations. That’s OK. It’s what was right for me.

The idea is for you & me to create and live the life we want…and if you want my help in making that happen, book a free consultation.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, for more health and fitness tips and tutorials. 

Expert Personal Training and Lifestyle Coaching To Help You Thrive


  1. Working on my fitness goals right now. I used to run 3 to 4 times a week, but due to knee injuries, this isn’t an option anymore. I really have had to start back at the basics. Thank you for this timely post.

  2. For me, fitness is about staying health and well. It’s not about losing weight or anything like that, just keeping my mind and body in balance as much as I can.

  3. These are fantastic tips. Goals aren’t achievable if you don’t define them so you have a clear course of action.

  4. This is so important! No matter what your goals are – fitness or otherwise – you have to define them clearly and succinctly so you can make a roadmap to get there.

  5. Man, if this isn’t the truest fitness article you’ll ever read, I don’t know what is. I struggled for years to get fit, and it wasn’t until I really dialed down on what exactly I wanted that I was able to figure out how to get there.

  6. I love your Uber-based analogy for creating fitness goals, but indeed you’re right! I think I’m guilty of this because I create the kind of vague goal of being ‘toned’ without knowing what that means outside of a physical look.

    1. Author

      Yes, most people are struggling with that. But eventually you’ll get there.

  7. I am totally inspired by reading this. I am on a new weight loss journey and trying to get fit again.

    1. Author

      Glad that you liked the post Ann. Good luck on your journey!

  8. What an inspirational post. Started back on my fitness goal for the Winter season. So this blog was helpful in me gaining new perspective and insight in achieving my goals.

    1. Author

      Thank you for your feedback! We are glad you liked the post.

Leave a Comment