Helping Your Clients Set Realistic Goals In 2016
The start of the year is always a great time for people wanting to get fit, healthy and back in shape for summer.
To help your clients achieve their fitness ambitions it’s important to help them set goals or objectives. Having a goal means your clients are more likely to be successful, and less likely to lose focus and motivation, and go back to bad ways.
Make sure the goals are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. If they’re done well, goals can be a great way to keep your clients motivated. Even when things get difficult, the goal is still at the front of their mind. Success doesn’t seem too far away, so they’re more likely to stay on track.
There Can Be Problems
The problems can come in the actual setting of the goals. When it comes to losing weight, for example, many clients want overnight success. It’s important to explain that slow, consistent weight loss, through healthy eating and exercise, is much better than losing weight quickly by going on drastic diets.
If your client would like to improve their eating habits you can also set nutritional goals. Rather than general goals such as ‘eat more fruit and vegetables’, make things specific. Encourage your client to eat their five a day. If this is too difficult, start with three. Show them how they can include more fruit and vegetables in their diet.
Get Them To Think
When you are helping your client to set their goals, encourage them to think about their achievements last year. What were they proud of? What were their struggles? What would they have done differently?
Ask them to write down all their health and fitness ambitions for this year. Once you have this information, the goal-setting process can begin. Ask them to prioritise the list. What are their top three? For some people, the goals may be so big they are overwhelming. For example, if your client’s ambition is to run a marathon, but they haven’t run 5km yet. If this is the case, break the goals down into achievable smaller goals. It could be to run a 5km, then a 10km, and half-marathon. Once they start achieving things, your client will feel much more positive that the main goal is achievable. They’ll feel confident and have the momentum to keep going.
Make sure the goals are specific. Instead of ‘I want to improve my fitness,’ encourage your client to focus on a particular aspect of their fitness. It could be taking part in a specific race, or event. For example, their goal could be to complete a particular city half marathon by 1st June. Each SMART goal should have a deadline and it should be easy to measure success.
So Keep measure their progress throughout the process, and encourage them to celebrate their success. Then they can focus on the next goal. It will help them keep striving. Goals really can create a culture of success.