What is the SMART way to set goals for your clients?

No matter what your overall aims, setting goals can help you reach your target in a number of different ways. This is because goal-setting can give us more focus, largely because we have an end target in sight and know that to get there, we must doggedly stick to the path that will lead us there.

AsĀ a qualified personal trainer, setting health and fitness goals for your clients will become a big part of your professional career. With almost one million people employing the use of a personal trainer in Australia, according to Roy Morgan Research, you’ll need to become adept at this important part of your job if you’re to whip them into shape!

Setting health and fitness goals for your clients will become a big part of your professional career.

Some people will come to you with aspirations of losing weight before their wedding day, whereas others may want you to get them into shape in order to finish a half-marathon in under two hours. In either case, setting goals will prove a vital tool in helping these people reach their targets. An innovative acronym named SMART can help you lay out these aims for your clients. Let’s take a look at just what SMART is.


Every goal you set for your clients should be simple, direct, and above all, clearly defined. It’s important that the goals you do set are not loose or open to interpretation. For example, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, nearly two in three Australians are overweight. Therefore, you can expect that several of your clients are going to want to lose weight, but it’s too broad to set ‘lose weight’ as a goal. Instead, try something specific, such as ‘lose one kilogram per fortnight,’ or something similar.


As with specifics, making a set target measurable is of paramount importance. This is because it allows you to track your clients’ progress from week-to-week. The best way to do this is by the use of cold, hard numbers. They may not be everyone’s friend, but they tell you the facts in pure black-and-white, which will allow you to adjust goals accordingly.

How can you help your clients hit the bullseye?How can you help your clients hit the bullseye?


This is a vital part of goal-setting. Before you can sit down with your client and work out where they’d like to be in a few weeks or months time, you need to make sure that the target you set is attainable. Though it’s always a great feeling when your client achieves a difficult goal, there are few things in life more demotivating than failing to hit target over and over again.

On the flipside of the coin, it can be exciting for your client to meet an easy target, but setting the bar too low can also cause motivation levels to fall. Finding the right balance is essential, so be sure to take the time with your client to work out what he or she could conceivably achieve within the timeframe set.


There is little point in devising goals for your client that they are not interested in achieving, nor are relevant to their overall aims. Therefore, it’s vital that the goals that you do set really strike a chord with your client, inspire them, and are something to get excited about.

If you try to pressure your client into a goal they show little concern about, it stands to reason that they will have little motivation to actually attain them.


Of course, all goals, aside from ones that are ongoing, should have a timeframe. This will mean setting deadlines which, though they may sound daunting to your clients, are a great source of motivation. Having an end-point will add further focus to your client’s efforts, giving them a better chance of achieving their goals.

Being a personal trainer means a lot more than simply setting targets, however – get in touch with Onfit Training College to learn more about this fascinating career option, and our other health and fitness courses, today.