Personal trainer Erin Billowits, founder of Vintage Fitness and creator of’s Living Fit exercise videos, knows a thing or two about setting fitness and weight-loss goals that work. Here are her tips:

1) Commit to reaching your fitness goals in a healthy way, and don’t be tempted by the latest pill or program that promises weight loss with no energy or effort on your part. This will be hard work, but the benefits are long term, and will transform not only how you look, but how you feel and live.

2) Develop a “fitness report card” to understand where you are currently on measures such as upper body strength, leg strength and the number of inches around your waist. If you don’t know where you are today on health measures other than the number on the scale, your evaluation of success will be based on weight only, and you may not be as encouraged as you should be along the way.

3) Map out where you want to go by developing exercise goals. Like any goal, make it specific, measurable, realistic and time-bound. For example, “I plan to increase my upper body strength and be able to do 10 push-ups instead of five in the next 8 weeks,” is a better goal than “I want to be stronger in my upper body”.

4) Choose activities that you love (or don’t hate), that you believe will help you achieve your exercise goals. You may want to get some advice from a fitness professional to make sure that the program you have developed will help you achieve your goals.

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