Fitness guru Kayla Itsines: How to set goals and actually meet them

Kayla Itsines: Here's how to set and reach your workout goals
Kayla Itsines: Here's how to set and reach your workout goals

Kayla Itsines knows a thing or two about smashing goals. She built a fitness empire from the ground up, turning her massive social media following and her experience as a personal trainer into Sweat, a lucrative fitness business that is raking in millions.

But for many, goal-setting — whether it be for your business or your body — can be a daunting task and can often end in disappointment.

Itsines says she has a strategy that actually yields results. And it isn't about actually setting the goal, she says.

"It's more breaking down the goal," Itsines tells CNBC Make It.

"You set a goal, but you break down the goal. So, if I'm going to go to the gym, it's like, okay, where's the gym? How long does it take to get there? How much does it cost? Who are you going with? Who's going to motivate you? When you feel unmotivated, who's going to come with you?

"These are things you need to think about when you say, 'I'm going to go to the gym.'"

The approach, Itsines explains, is about being realistic. "Put your goal, and then you need to think about all the things that surrounds that goal and is it actually something that you can do?"

Setting realistic goals is key to following through with the them, she says. Because if the goal is too overwhelming, and you "miss two days a week or three days a week, then you become unmotivated and then your whole goal thing goes out the window," she says.

You need to be specific and detailed-oriented with your goal-setting.

"Saying, 'I'm going to work out every day' is not a goal,' Itsines says. "That's not a thing. Because you haven't put it in your calendar, you haven't worked out where you're going to work out."

Itsines uses the same goal-setting strategy for her business.

Itsines and her fiance, Tobi Pearce, leveraged social media to market personal training sessions and bootcamp classes, and in early 2014 they launched an e-book featuring Itsines' Bikini Body Guide program, which launched the now ubiquitous Instagram hastag #BBG (it has 7.1 million posts and counting). Since then, the program has evolved into a monthly membership app called Sweat, which, as of June, was on-track to pull in $77 million for 2018, TechCrunch reported.

But Itsines recalls that when starting out as a personal trainer, she too set vague and lofty goals that didn't work.

"I did that. I said, okay, I'm going to have this many clients. Like, that's really [dumb], " she says. "Where am I going to fit them? What am I going to do with them? How do I make a session that is going to be fun for everyone? If I have the same client twice in that week, do I have to change the session around?

"You have to think. You actually really have to think about your goals and how you set them, [in] everything, in business."

And the process doesn't end when you reach your goals. Have another goal set so you don't lose momentum.

"You need to set goals so if there's a mountain, if you get to the top of the mountain, there's got to be another mountain you want to climb," Itsines says. "You can't just go to the bottom of the mountain and sit there and do nothing."

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Cancel your gym membership and save thousands each year by working out for free
Cancel your gym membership and save thousands each year by working out for free