5 Steps to Achieving Goals

Many of us have riding goals and ambitions, whether it’s to be a better rider, reduce riding aches and pains, lose weight, get fitter, ride at a certain level or compete at the top. 

One of the most common things I deal with when working with clients is the uncertainty of what a person truly wants to achieve. Many clients ask me to help them to achieve a goal but what they originally asked me to help with isn’t what they really want.

As a Personal Trainer for over 15 Years the most common thing to be asked is to either lose weight, tone up or get fitter. These are quite generic terms, so it is really important to understand what a person’s understanding of what they have asked for is. 

By listening, talking and understanding more about a person, their history, their feelings, insecurities, and understanding of who they are as a person and where they are in their life, I am better positioned to truly know what it is they really want and help them get there.

For example. Someone who wants to lose weight may believe that they need to look slimmer however, it could also mean that they want to feel more confident, have better mobility or reduce the number of aches and pains that they regularly experience. To be able to play with the kids, to sit better in the saddle, to not feel out of breath after 5 minutes riding. The generic term ‘lose weight’ could mean so many things and will often mean something in particular to the person. 

Having a better understanding of what you REALLY want and what that means specifically will make it easier for you to understand what you need to do to get there and how you plan to do it. It really can be that easy! 

To help you make it even easier, follow these 5 Simple Steps and complete the downloadable form to create a plan of action to take you where you want to be.


5 Easy Steps to Achieving Goals

Step 1. Write down what you REALLY want

Write down what you think you want to achieve and then explain what that actually means to you. 

Examples of Goals: 

  • Improve general rider fitness
  • Take part in a pleasure ride
  • Lose weight
  • Go hacking on your own
  • Jump 1.30 at home
  • Improve overall rider confidence
  • Take part in an Endurance ride
  • Win a class at a competition
  • Be selected for nationals

Step 2. Identify and Understand Targets 

Having a better understanding of what you really want to achieve gives you clarity and enables you to move forward but to make a plan of action we need to break it down even more. 

From your detailed description of your goal, we need to identify targets to work on that will get you to your goal.

Let’s say MY goal is to improve Rider Fitness. From Step 1. I have a greater understanding of what ‘Improving my Rider Fitness’ means to me: 

  1. Not to get out of breath when riding
  2. Sitting balanced through transitions
  3. Not aching after a 45min lesson

This gives me 3 targets to work on that will help get me to my goal of ‘Improving my Rider Fitness’

Now I need to understand how I can achieve each of these targets.

  1. Not to get out of breath when riding = Improve my cardiovascular ability 
  2. Sitting balanced through transitions = Improve my mobility and strength so that I can sit neutrally on my seat bones centrally in the saddle and that I have the strength to keep me there.
  3. Not aching after a 45min lesson = If I can deal with the demands on my breathing when riding and am less stiff and stronger when I ride then I should reduce the aching after riding as I will be ‘fitter’. 

Step 3. How am I going to do it?

We now know that in order to improve MY Rider Fitness I need to improve my cardio ability, mobility, and strength. So how am I going to do it? Let’s list some options:

  1. Go to a local class 
  2. Join a gym
  3. Go running 
  4. Workout at home 
  5. Personal Trainer

With the possible ways in which I could achieve my targets, I need to detail the pros and cons of each. This will really help to understand how achievable they are before I commit further. 

I can now see easily what the pros and cons are for each possible options so now I am able to make a more informed decision about the options but first, let’s look at barriers.

Step 4. What are your Barriers?

Barriers could be anything from not knowing where to start, having difficulty managing time or money or just lacking in motivation but in order to move forward it is essential to understand what all these barriers are.

Barriers are often the single reason why goals are not reached.

Possible Barrier Examples

  • Time
  • Money
  • Childcare
  • Motivation
  • Knowing what to do exactly
  • Lack of confidence
  • Previous injury/illness
  • Feeling embarrassed
  • Lack of belief
  • Fear of commitment
  • Lack of support from others

Keeping with the same example, let’s say I struggle with time management.

I have to work, have horses and a family to look after and by the time I am home I don’t have the motivation and energy to do it but when I can muster up the energy I am not sure of what to do.

You can see how one barrier quickly becomes many and how easy it can be to feel overwhelmed and feel like there is no point and it’s not worth it.  But this is where having an understanding of those barriers will help you to create your ‘Plan of Action’ and stick to it.

Step 5. Your Plan of Action

The final part of how to achieve your goals in 5 easy steps. Let’s just take a quick look at what has got us to this point.

Step 1. Helped me to identify what my goal ‘Improve my Rider Fitness’ really  means:

  1. Not to get out of breath when riding
  2. Sitting balanced through transitions
  3. Not aching after a 45min lesson

Step 2. Gave me Targets to achieve my goal:

  1. Improve my Cardio
  2. Improve my Mobility & Strength
  3. Achieve Targets 1 & 2 to get to Target 3

Step 3.  Provided a possible way to achieve my targets

  1. Go to a local class
  2. Join a gym
  3. Go running
  4. Workout at home
  5. Personal Trainer

Step 4. Identified my Barriers as:

  1. Time Management
  2. Motivation
  3. Knowing what to do to specifically improve my riding

So what is my plan of action? Well, in summary, I need an option that provides me with the motivation, gives me support and guidance and that fit’s in with my timetable. With the table in Step 3. I am able to easily see what options provide me with what I need so I will investigate a little further into those two options then make an informed decision.

My Plan of Action

  • Look into Local Classes
    • Find out how far they are so I know if I can fit the class and travel into my timetable
    • Find out how big the classes, how often I need to go and whether I will receive the instruction I need to help me improve my Rider Fitness specifically. Also how much support I will get to help keep me motivated.
    • Find out the costs so I know if I can afford the classes and petrol, also parking if needed
  • Look at Personal Training
    • Find out whether I can do this Online or whether I need to go to a place and often I need to do it to achieve my goals

Find out more about Training Online with Clare

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