Fitness, Personal Training, & Exercise Science

Setting Personal Training Business Goals

Everyone knows the importance of setting goals. As personal trainers, we’re constantly revisiting our client’s health and fitness goals to establish the right plan and steps to get them where they want to be. But when it comes to our own personal and business endeavors, we often forget about the importance of setting goals.

Whether you’re a beginner or experienced personal trainer, setting effective goals is crucial for your career’s success.

In this article, you’ll learn how to set realistic goals for your personal training business and career.

Three Important Goals to Set as a Personal Trainer

Before you start marketing your personal training services to new prospects, it’s important that you set specific goals designed to keep you on track.

Your goals give you a sense of direction and purpose. Without them, you may not know which steps are actually moving the needle forward. As a personal trainer, we recommend setting three separate goals – short-term, long-term, and revenue goals.

#1. Long-term Goals

Long-term goals give you direction, a better understanding of possible roadblocks, and a sense of greater purpose. These are specific results you’d like to achieve over 5 to 10 years and act as the final destination of all your efforts.

Rather than spending 4 hours in front of the TV after training your clients, regularly revisiting your long-term goals will fire you up and encourage you to take action.

It’s crucial that you know exactly what the long-term outcome of your actions will be.

If your end goal is to run your own million dollar personal training business with other trainers working for you, you can then break this long-term goal into several, smaller goals to get crystal clear as to what needs to be done daily.

#2. Short-term Goals

Short-term goals allow you to “stay on track” with your daily tasks so you know exactly what you have to do to achieve a specific result within a short deadline.

One of the most effective approaches for short-term success is by setting 3-month goals. By doing so, it becomes much easier to determine which actions you must take on a daily basis to move you forward and reach your desired outcome.

Setting short term goals is a fantastic way to boost your motivation and keep you on track with what needs to be done day in and day out.

For example, if your goal is to sign 12 new clients in 3 months, you simply break this goal up into monthly, weekly, and daily tasks such as reaching out to 10 new prospects every day.

#3. Revenue Goals

We encourage establishing a monthly and yearly revenue goal.

To find out your revenue goal as a personal trainer, you should first determine how much you’ll want to make yearly. If you want to make over $100,000 a year, you would need to make around $60 an hour and bill 40 hours a week.

You can then divide that number by 12 to determine how much you’ll make per month, in this case, $10,000 a month. To make things even more clear, divide $10,000 by 30 to see how much you need to make each day to hit your yearly revenue goal.

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How to Set SMART Goals

You’ve likely already heard of SMART goals before, but have you applied it to your personal training career goals?

Setting SMART goals for personal training is a highly effective way to get a crystal clear picture of what you want to achieve and acts as a great motivator to help you push forward when things get difficult. This acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Let’s dive into each category and how you can apply SMART goals to your personal training career:

#1. Specific

Your goals should be laser focused and well defined. The more clear your personal training SMART goal, the easier it is to get to where you want to be. When you’re drafting your goals, the more specific, the better. Answer these questions to help you gain more clarity:

  1. Who is involved with this goal?
  2. What do I want to accomplish?
  3. What resources are involved with this goal?
  4. Why is this goal important to me?


A specific goal as a personal trainer could be, “I want to sign 5 additional weekly clients by the end of Q1 so that I can quit working for a commercial gym and make a six-figure income on my own terms.”

#2. Measurable

Tracking your progress every step of the way will hold you accountable and it’ll help you figure out what actions are moving you towards reaching your goals.

Measurable goals should address how much money you want to make, how many more clients you want to land, and a specific date in which you’d like to achieve these metrics.

There are several apps and software that can help track your progress with your personal training career goals. If technology flusters you, even a simple excel sheet or notepad will suffice.


Having a goal to make more money is too broad whereas signing 3 additional clients in the next month is a better, measurable goal. Another measurable personal trainer goal could be, “I want to make an extra $10,000 by the end of the year by landing 10 extra clients”.

#3. Attainable

Make your goals large enough to motivate you but small enough that you can actually achieve it.

A lofty, seemingly impossible goal would only end up discouraging you. Setting the goal to become a successful gym owner with 3 different locations and making $1 million a year immediately after graduating as a certified personal trainer is a little too far out of reach.


A challenging but realistic goal would be to land 4 new clients by the end of 3 months after getting certified.

#4. Relevant

Keep your goals targeted and consistent. This step focuses on ensuring your goals are in alignment with your other personal training career endeavors.

If you want to quit working for a commercial gym and establish your own personal trainer business, asking to work more hours for your boss won’t be in alignment with your entrepreneurial goals.


Relevant goals include landing more clients, increasing your rate, furthering your specialized education, and creating more effective workout plans for your clients

#5. Time Bound

Always have a deadline with your goals. The sense of urgency that comes with having a specific deadline push you to take more action.

We recommend setting multiple short term goals and one or two long term goals to keep you on track.


A goal of landing 4 new clients in the future is too broad. A better, time-bound goal could be, “to land 4 new clients by the end of February”.

Re-Evaluate Your Goals

It’s important to take a step back and determine whether or not the actions you’re taking daily are putting you on the right track towards success.

We encourage personal trainers to re-evaluate their quarterly goals on a bi-weekly basis and yearly goals on a monthly basis. Long-term goals can be re-evaluated yearly.

Set New Goals

Your goals will be constantly changing as you advance in your career.

When you’ve reached a specific short or long term goal, make sure you set new, more challenging goals to pursue. This will help prevent you from getting complacent.

Think about setting new goals on a monthly or even weekly basis. If you want more clients, then spend some time determining the actions you have to take every day to reach your desired outcome.

Goals are Vital to Your Personal Trainer Business Plan

If you’re working for yourself, having a business plan in alignment with your goals is crucial. The busier you get with your business, the less time you’ll have to spend doing the activities that will grow it.

Without a proper plan in place, the chances of you being lost in the mundane tasks that don’t push you forward will increase and you’ll find yourself hitting a ceiling with your business.

For example, if the goal is to have your own gym with other trainers working for you, your business plan will give you more clarity as to what steps you need to take to reach your desired outcome. In addition, if you need a loan from a bank or investors, they’ll need to see your business plan before they consider lending you money.

Bottom line: Creating a business plan will allow you to build your personal trainer business to new heights and help you understand where you should be allocating more resources to take your business to the next level.

Having Crystal Clear Goals Can Take Your Personal Training Career to the Next Level

Setting realistic goals will guide you in the right direction and keep you motivated no matter how hard things get.

Between prospecting for new clients, getting existing clients results, and billing more hours, setting SMART goals can help you stay on track so you know exactly what steps to take on a daily basis to reach your specific target.

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