5 Practical AND Powerful Tips to Help People Achieve Exercise Goals! (UPDATED)

Happy Couple Exercising in gym together

Whether it's an exercise goal, yoga, meditation or some other new activity you want to make space for in your life, there are many things that can derail us. Life is so busy - and we always seem to be packing more in. But don't let that stop you - instead make it easier to achieve goals with these quick tips!

First, my All-Time Top 3 Action-Centered Tips to Help Achieve Exercise Goals:

1. Do it EVERY day:

  • Don't say you'll run/do yoga/meditate once or twice a week - do it DAILY (for less time if necessary - eg. 10, 15 or 30 minutes a day).
  • This way it'll become a healthy habit, and if you DO miss a class or run, you'll be right back at it - the NEXT day!
  • A variation on this tip is to instead pick the day you're NOT going to exercise and luxuriate in that!

Example: I used to run twice a week. It was a chore. I would be tired, miss one session then not 'feel' like the next one. And then it was only one day until the second run that week, so I may as well wait right? Well, I just decided to do short runs EVERY day. Now when I get up, I know I am going to run. No decision making. I just run. How easy is that? And it's actually a multiple win as I have to walk the dog anyway and it saves me time too... See the next tip!

2. Look for the MULTIPLE WINS:

  • This is possibly my FAVOURITE goal and action-setting tip. Ever.
  • Find the action or solution that has MULTIPLE benefits. Or help your clients look for additional benefits so the mind has MANY reasons to WANT to go for it!

Example: I had a client who wanted to get fitter. His answer? He decided to cycle to work. Turns out it took the same amount of time as driving AND he got the following Wins:
Win 1) Saving money - gas and parking/bus fare AND gym membership!
Win 2) Getting fitter,
Win 3) Better for the environment (this was important to him),
Win 4) Cycling through Stanley Park every morning left him feeling calm and connected to nature,
Win 5) Losing the excess pounds,
Win 6) Feeling strong and confident - and an unexpected
Win 7) New friends who also cycled to work!


  • It's OK not to exercise, but it's not so OK not to make excuses!
  • We're all full of them: I'm tired, coming down with something, don't have time for a shower, need to get into work early, have a meeting then, need to pick up a birthday card etc.
  • It's time to STOP! If you really are sick or super-tired, just don't exercise! Don't make excuses, simply don't do it.
  • Then, unless there's a REALLY good reason (a REASON, not an excuse) you exercise.
  • And if you decide NOT to exercise, make it a conscious decision - ie. a REASON.
  • If you don't allow the excuses, they can't stop you!

And 2 More Great Tips:

4. Make it FUN

  • Exercise can be fun - when we let it. Brainstorm ideas that go beyond going to the gym!
  • Always wanted to Kayak? Bellydance? Run an obstacle course? Love nature or the views from a mountain top? Wearing bright clothes? Dancing?
  • Help your client tap into what excites them and a passion or desire for learning and exercise gets so much easier!

5. Do it with OTHERS

  • This is an oldie - but SUCH a goodie
  • Find an exercise buddy. Better than that, find a FEW exercise buddies.
  • And one step better, create an exercise ritual before or afterwards where you bond/support and encourage each other. This ritual could be as small as a verbal check-in from everyone while you get warmed up, coffee, lunch, or something more structured. But the more you BOND with your fellow exercisers the more you (and they) will want to be there.
  • You may just make some new - or deeper friendships into the bargain!

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Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce Kindness.com. She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools for coaches, plus resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>

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