By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Kelly Farris,  ACSM CPT

The importance of goal setting in exercise
By Kelly Farris,  ACSM CPT
Owner of Ladies Workout Snellville

Ladies Workout had an idea. Why don’t we announce that starting in September, we will offer 8 weeks of free guided C25K (Couch to 5K) training runs leading up to the Veteran’s Day race. See if any of our members show interest. We’ll just see who signs up. Just see how it goes... 


Turns out there was quite some interest. 103 members signed up to participate. Women who have never considered themselves “runners” are putting themselves out there and giving it a go.

Josh Clark, the developer of the C25K program designed it for his mother who was 50 years old and inactive at the time. It is never too late to start a path towards fitness. 

“I actually wrote the program with my mom in mind. She was 50, didn’t exercise, always hated it, but wanted to do something for her health. And I couldn’t have been more pleased when the program worked for her.” - Josh Clark 

While the fitness aspects of these ladies taking up running is exciting in itself, there is so much more going on. Women are making connections, establishing friendships, supporting one another and women are setting goals for themselves. 

It is important to have a goal. Especially in fitness related endeavors. 

A goal gives you a point of focus. Something to strive for. A target that enables you to reach out past your current self for a better, future version of yourself. 

Why is it so easy to talk ourselves out of doing something? Why do we limit ourselves? Fear of success? 

The American Council on Exercise recommends using the acronym SMART when setting fitness goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. 

Realistic goal setting is important. But that doesn’t mean you can’t dream big.  Set a goal. Accomplish it. Set a new goal. Keep doing the thing. Keep moving forward. The C25K regimen is a good way to ease people into the world of running. C25K is an excellent example of mapping out attainable goals. 

Participants get a taste of success and then they build upon it. If they commit to the program and the required number of weekly workouts then at the end (all things being equal) they will be able to run a 5K. 

You attack it in little chunks and progressively increase the workload over time. This might seem like a foreign concept in our world of instant gratification and promises of a quick and easy remedy for what ails you. The eternal quest for the magic pill. 

There are no magic beans, there, Jack. 

Good REAL lasting results are worth REAL work. It is so easy to let life get in your way. This is where having a gym/workout buddy comes into play. 

“It just seems less daunting if you don’t have to do it by yourself. It is less lonely.”  - C25K Participant 

Having a friend who will keep you accountable to your goal, keep you on track and keep you company is a precious gift. Also, women are not the only ones who benefit from having a workout buddy. Men need workout buddies, too. 

Goal setting doesn’t have to be restricted to newbies or couch potatoes. The rule applies to athletes of every level. Ultra marathoners and IronMan triathletes are quite serious about goals in their training. 

I witness my training clients make breakthroughs they never believed possible. These achievements are often stepping stones to bigger and better things. With the right mindset and dedication, the journey will have an upward trajectory. 

“I'm not a runner. Not yet...” - C25K Participant 

But she will be.

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