At the start of a new year, as fit pros, we support our current list of clients to renew their goals. We encourage potential new clients to get started on theirs. We know and have a sense of what they expect from us. This should also queue us to look at our own business goals and expectations. Like anything else with an outcome measure, setting goals for business success is a process, and how you approach it can make all the difference. The success triad can help a personal trainer outline a plan for success.

The Success Triad

Think of categorizing your professional goals into three areas:Success Triad Visual

1) Business Acumen
2) Your Craft
3) Self-Development

This process of professional goal setting is akin to helping clients develop their physical bodies in the gym and their minds through motivational coaching.

Let’s take a quick look at each category and things to consider for each one:

Business Development

Personal trainers are often excellent coaches but without formal education or mentorship in business and finances, often find these areas to be the weak link in achieving success.

What’s your current level of skill and comfort creating client targets, finance goals, and marketing and sales strategies? Do you have the need to develop any of these areas? If so, research business workshops and conferences, taking business classes through community centers and colleges. Consider attending networking meetings, participating in business growth webinars, or partnering with others who can bring this to your fitness business.

Your Craft

Staying on top of your game with regard to your skillset is paramount in any industry. Do you hold only one certification or several? Do you keep track of when will your current certifications need to be renewed? If you need Continuing Education Units (CEUs), think about which ones you can leverage by advancing the knowledge of your craft.

You can also think of adding a specialization. When a specialization is added through your current certification body, it usually counts towards CEUs so you’d be earning a double win by adding a specialization and earning CEUs at the same time. Think about an area that you’re drawn to or a type of population you’ve found yourself working with more than others and take it to the next level .

If you have a number of specializations already, is it time to pursue a Master Trainer credential?  This type of pursuit takes time and commitment, just like when clients commit to a fitness program and to working with you. Does something like this appeal to you and seem like a worthy investment? Now is the time of year to assess and make plans to jump in, if this is your goal!


Who you are as a person, your worldview, your character development are just as integral to professional success as business and professional training. What kinds of activities do you like to do when you aren’t working with clients? How much time do you spend on them? How much time do you allot for self-care and rest?

Taking time off for yourself may sound luxurious, yet it is not. Rest and rejuvenation can help fresh ideas come in and help to prevent burnout.  This can include taking a vacation, doing a personal retreat, going on a family getaway, experiencing a staycation, listening to motivational speakers, and investing in self-improvement books and classes that support your personal goals. Even allocating a requisite two-days off a week can be challenging when you’re hustling but time off is just as important as time on. It can create a recovery-related mindset, helping to sustain balance during the year and return successes.

Here’s a couple of tips on how to take this 3-D approach to develop your Success Triad:

  • Block off your calendar and schedule time to develop your business, your craft, and yourself. As fit pro’s, we can get busy working with clients, raising families, and taking care of life’s needs. Therefore, it’s important to ‘write ourselves’ into our calendars. We can do this by making ourselves a client on our roster; scheduling ourselves just like we schedule our clients promotes intention and focus.
  • Budget some finances for each of these three categories. This is a great time of year to allocate some funding for development because chances are, you’re getting your taxes done or already have. You should know where you stand in terms of your profit and loss.

By setting aside some time and financial resources to plan a course of action to develop your Success Triad, you can be the ultimate role model to your clients.  It can also help you stay centered while advancing your fit pro career at the same time.

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Shay Vasudeva

Shaweta “Shay” Vasudeva, MA (Psychology), MS (Kinesiology), NFPT-CPT, NASM-CPT-CES, THSA-CNT, and Tai Chi & Black Belt Karate Instructor is a teaching professional, speaker, author, coach, and cat lover! Her passion is to help people become the best version of themselves by using an interdisciplinary and holistic approach, bringing 10+ years of experience in Psychology, Personal Fitness Training, Corrective Exercise, Nutritional Coaching, Cranial Sacral Work, and teaching Karate & Tai Chi classes to her business, ShayTheCoach. Shay teaches classes at Maricopa Community College District as an Adjunct Professor. For more information visit her personal webpage: