How to Set Health & Fitness Goals You Can Actually Reach

“I want to lose weight.”

“I want to get strong.”

“I want to eat better.”


While made with good intentions, these goals will not put you on the road to success or change. They may help to motivate you initially, but eventually you go back to old habits, get frustrated, and then repeat the cycle.

Well, what can you do about it? Change the way you set goals.


First, decide what it is you want to get out of your health and fitness journey. Break it down into clear intentions. Try to understand why this is a goal of yours. Do you feel pressure from others to achieve this?

Make sure this goal is your own. If it’s something you truly want, you will be more motivated to keep working at it.


Once you’ve decided on your focus, set a goal that is:

  • Specific. Exactly what you want to accomplish. Focus on one thing to start, and then add goals as you go. Example: “I want to be able to squat my bodyweight.”
  • Measurable. How will you know if you’ve reached it? If your goal is, “lose weight,” when will you have lost enough? If it’s, “be able to fit into my old pair of jeans,” you will know when you’ve reached that goal.
  • Attainable. Work towards something that challenges you, but something you know you can reach. Achieving things you work for feels good. It will keep you going.
  • Realistic. If you’re really far away from your true end goal, don’t let that scare you. But, make sure that you are setting realistic goals along the way so you notice progress when you’ve earned it.
  • Timely. How long until you’d like to reach your goal? 3 months? 3 years? You may not know. However, give yourself a timeline. Make smaller, short-term goals that you’re able to accomplish to motivate you to keep going long-term.



  • Once you’ve decided on a goal and are working towards it, be honest with yourself. It won’t help your progress to pretend you’re somewhere you’re not.
  • Also, maintain a support system. Find a community of people working towards their own goals, like STAVE OFF! Being around people who are working to better themselves will continue to be a motivator to you.
  • Finally, it is important to note that throughout your health and fitness journey, your goals may change during the process. That is expected! It means you’ve made some progress and you know yourself better. Maybe your initial goal has changed, or the time it is going to take you to attain it. Whatever it may be, enjoy the journey. Lifestyle change takes time, consistent effort and patience. You are already making a positive change by taking the time to set a good goal for yourself!

Vanessa Kiriakou