Manage your expectations

One of the key things I talk about with my clients from day one is to manage your fitness goals and expectations. By this I mean when you have a fitness goal in place it is important that the goal you are setting is realistic to the time you have to dedicate towards it.

Look like a Cover Model

Everybody wants to look like a cover model, but the truth is not everybody has the time and commitment to look like a cover model. And unfortunately in social media you will often see a lot of false advertisement. These 10 minute body weight HIIT sessions are being advertised everywhere you look.
Ripped up models making statements like “Do this workout 3 times a week for that perfect beach body look”……. “Abs in 4 weeks with these 3 exercises” and so on and so on. But often what you don’t see or hear about from this person your following is the other 5 workouts a week he/she is doing in the gym, lifting heavy weights along with additional cardio sessions. Because the thing is Hard Work doesn’t sell as well as the Quick Fix does. The problem is what then happens is Mr Joe Public who has been lead to believe this is all it will take to look like this model becomes demotivated and disappointed by his lack of results.

Now before you think I am being negative towards anybody advertising these quick short workouts I am not. Far from that. In fact I think these are great for anybody with hectic lifestyles looking to stay fit and burn some extra calories. And taking part in any form of exercise is better than doing nothing. All I am saying is often what is advertised can be misleading, so don’t become disheartend if the results don’t show straight away. It is important to realise that building a physique takes a lot of time and commitment.

*Below is a nice simple principle to follow which will help you manage your expectations when setting new goals.

Smart goals definition

Specific: A common goal for many people is to “get healthy”. As a goal this is not specific enough. The most important thing to consider is ‘How’ are you going to get healthy? Is it by losing weight? Is it by stopping smoking? Is it to reduce your alcohol consumption?

Measurable: Make your goal measurable. If your goal is to lose weight then how much would you like to lose? And how are you going to monitor and measure your progress? Will it be using scales? Taking progression photos? Body measurements? Make sure you can measure your progress. Visually seeing a change in your progress is a fantastic way to help you stay on track and stay motivated, so make sure you have something in place to do this.

Attainable: Your goal must be attainable/ realistic. It is important that when setting new goals you do not aim too high that it will be impossible to achieve. On the other hand do not set your goal to low that it doesn’t motivate you enough to do something about it. Make sure you put some thought into what could be a an attainable goal. If you see a personal trainer or a coach you can discuss this together.

Relevant: Make sure your goal is Relevant to you and NOT your friend. Don’t make goals that are not important to you as you are less likely to follow through with them. Dig deep and think about goal that will really motivate you. If it is to lose weight then ask yourself why you want to lose weight? What is the emotional attachment behind why you want to lose this weight?  Is it because you have high blood pressure in your family and you want to make sure you are doing everything possible to avoid getting high blood pressure? Or is it because being overweight has ruined your self confidence and you know deep down that before you gained weight you were a much more confident person? Always try and think about the real reason behind your goal and keep reminding yourself of this throughout the process.

Time: Set a deadline to achieve your goal.
If research shows that a healthy weight loss is between 1-2 pounds per week and you would like to lose 10 pounds then 5-10 weeks would be a good time frame.


Use the SMART principle as a great tool to help you achieve a goal specific to what YOU want to achieve. Remember everyone’s situation is different. The cover model training twice a day might not have children to look after and therefore finds it much easier to get to the gym, so stop comparing yourself to others. Setting small realistic goals and smashing them will do far more for your confidence than setting a goal that requires more time than you can offer, and therefore not getting anywhere near it!

Thanks for reading, please check out my blog “The importance of consistency and how to stay on track” for more tips.


Matt Hall