The S.M.A.R.T Way to Setting Fitness Goals

The S.M.A.R.T Way to Setting Fitness Goals

The S.M.A.R.T. Way to Setting Fitness Goals

Author:  Milly Nunez, Personal Trainer

One of the first questions a personal trainer should ask you is: what are your goals?  Setting goals is key to being successful in life. Whether the goal is big or small we all need a destination and the direction to get there. I have been a personal trainer for over five years and have discovered that setting goals and a plan to accomplish them increases your probability for success.

We have all heard this before: set goals, make your plan, and ta-da…unfortunately it is not that easy. There’s a little thing called life that can throw some detours into any plan no matter how well set. Over the years I have learned that despite obstacles, good or bad, all goals can be accomplished with the proper mindset, guidance, and hard work.

When I ask a client what their goal is I like to follow up with why they have that goal. Without a purpose there will be little commitment. Without a commitment there will be little if any progress. Keep in mind that when you set goals you are working toward something that is going to bring change to your life. A popular saying is “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”. I would agree. Our minds and bodies adapt and like their comfort zone and habits. It is when we challenge ourselves that all sorts of obstacles come up: it’s too hard, I don’t have time, nothing has changed, etc.

A simple and effective way you can set your goals alone or with the help of your personal trainer is learning to set S.M.A.R.T. goals using these elements and examples:

Specific – I will lose 10 lbs. versus I want to lose weight

Measurable – Can you track the progress of your goal? If you are looking to lose weight decide when and how often you will weigh in.

Action-Oriented – What is you plan of action? How many days a week will you work out and what will you be doing during those workouts?

Realistic – Is your goal realistic? Hoping to lose 50 pounds in 1 month is going to be impossible, versus losing 4-8 pounds safely in a month.

Time Bound – When will you accomplish your goal? Set a date to help keep you on track.

I have had the pleasure of working with these three amazing women, among several other clients over the five years of my personal training experience and want to share their stories with you.

Nina Snow – I met Nina two years ago when I volunteered to coach a “Couch to 5K” training group. Nina was 50 years old and decided she wanted to start running to improve her health and accomplish a goal she had set for herself – running her first 5K. Nina dedicated herself to meeting with me two times a week at 5 am to run and she successfully completed her first 5K. Now, two years later she has ran her first half marathon, is signed up to run two more this year, and has set her next goal: running the CIM full marathon next year! Nina is truly an inspiration with her positive attitude and humble attitude as she continuously improves and surpasses milestone after milestone.

Memory Rudolph – Memory is one of my closest friends and now one of my most successful nutritional coaching clients. Memory entrusted herself to me when she signed up for my very first nutrition challenge. She committed to 6 weeks of clean eating and weekly check-ins. She successfully lost 14 lbs. and continues to lose an average of 1-2 pounds a week as we continue to work together. Memory’s positive attitude and dedication has her moving toward her goal of a healthy weight and improved fitness levels. Despite her hectic schedule which includes a daily commute of over 3 hours leaving and returning home she is committed. Memory has realized that staying committed and following a plan will help her succeed. She has a clear goal set and weekly checks in to discuss her successes, challenges, and plans to stay on track. As her coach I help her as she moves forward toward her path to success.

Lorena Sanchez – My sister, Lorena Sanchez, is one of the strongest women I know. Since becoming a personal trainer she has patiently listened to all of my advice and pleas to work with me. She is a great example of how mindset is key to setting, planning, and committing to accomplish your goals. When she was finally ready, she committed to a nutrition challenge and successfully lost over 10 pounds in 4 short weeks. A goal-oriented mindset is key, and with constant coaching and listening you can help a person stay on their path to reach their goals. Lorena is committed and continues on her path to successfully reach her goals now that her mind and body are in sync.

For fitness and nutrition coaching, please feel free to contact me at


Milly Nuñez, CPT

Milly Nuñez graduated from the University of California Davis in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in Managerial Economics and later completed her Masters in Business Administration in 2007. After 10 years of working in business she discovered her true passion in personal training. She enrolled in Bryan College where she studied and received her Associates degree in Advanced Health and Fitness Training in 2011.

She discovered personal training after participating in a women’s running group. After successfully completing her first 5K, 10K, and ½ marathon she began participating with the group as a coach. Inspired by all of the women who participated and reached their goals she took the advice of her personal trainer and pursued her new career. After five years as a personal trainer Milly decided to add the title of sports nutritionist to her resume. Currently, she works with clients to help them improve their health as it relates to fitness and nutrition.

When she is not working with her clients she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and learning. She considers herself a life-long learner and actively pursues challenges in her own personal fitness both in fitness and nutrition.






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