Set fitness goals and become happier

Published 10:55 am Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Setting goals by Greg Leidal

We are all fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to live in this great country. We are all individuals that live our lives with somewhat limited direction. As a child, you are told what’s right from wrong, given guidance and raised with the understanding that you’d someday have control of your life and the decisions you make. I am that person. Nothing is ever easy and rarely is anything given to you. 

Greg Leidel

Greg Leidel

Email newsletter signup

As a certified personal trainer I have the pleasure of working with individuals to help them meet their fitness goals. The key word here is “goals.” The definition of goals is a desired result that a person envisions, plans and commits to achieve.

Goals are achieved by incorporating three words that were instilled in me during my lengthy and devoted military career. They are purpose, direction and motivation. They are military leadership drivers that I incorporate in my fitness profession.

There is an art to setting goals. Most people know how to set goals, but most people don’t set realistic or reachable goals. Let’s start by setting short-term goals, goals that expect accomplishment in a short period of time — although, goals need not be related to any specific length of time. One may achieve (or fail to achieve) a short-term goal in a day, week, month or more.

The time-frame for a short-term goal relates to its content in the overall time line that is being applied to. Oftentimes, several short-term goals are achieved to reach a long-term goal.

Goal-setting may involve establishing specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bounded — or SMART — objectives. In other words, take baby steps.

In fitness, measurable goals are easier to calculate and track improvement such as time, “I want to be able to walk three miles in 45 minutes by March 31”; weight, “ I’d like to drop 20 pounds by the end of the year;” and inches, “I’d like to lose 2 inches in my waist by Christmas.”


A couple things to clarify your goals:

1. Goals must be attainable. Attainable goals will help ensure success.

2. Write the goal down.

3. Formulate a plan.

4. Set both short- and long-range goals.

Back to my three favorite words. Purpose is an intended or desired result, end, aim or goal, the reason something is done or created or for which something exists. The purpose of fitness is to provide direction. Direction is a course along which someone moves. Direction is generally positive and gives an individual a path for success. Lastly, motivation is the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. Motivation can be driven individually or by an outside source such as a personal trainer or fitness instructor.

Do yourself a favor. Set fitness goals and become a happier person.

Greg Leidal is employed at Minnesota Corrugated Box Inc. as a key account manager. He spends his off time as a certified personal trainer and a fitness instructor at the Albert Lea Family Y. He is a retired Army National Guard infantry platoon sergeant. His motto is “Go big or go HOME!”