Aim for Progress to Reach Goals, not Perfection

Aim for Progress to Reach Goals, not Perfection


On January 2022 Lunch and Learn Event Goal Setting, Relax Teams member Denel Bingel shared her knowledge and expertise on making fitness fun and accessible while setting realistic goals.

Predict Obstacles Before they Show Up 

By Denel Bingel

Denel Bingel is a Personal Trainer/ Group Exercise Instructor. She teaches exercise science at a local college and she makes fitness fun and accessible for people who may not think that it’s possible. She spends a lot of time teaching students how to create specific exercise programs for specific people. 

a man and a woman jogging

Teaching at a local college, Denel realized over the years that her students need to eat their vegetables and they need to exercise. The students knew that before they even walked into the classroom so she started to work more on how to take things that we know, put them into practice, and maintain them over time. 

She is also a personal trainer and group exercise instructor. Every January 1st, everybody wants help to lose weight because that is their new year's resolution. It's either losing weight or quitting smoking. How does she help people to take what they know and then transition that into habits that help them and that they can maintain? For Denel, the secret sauce for that is similar to what Chris said, it is the community around them. 

A lot of us start off really strong and then after a week or two, it becomes very hard. So having that community around you to support you and help you to live in line with the goals that you've chosen is really valuable.

Write it Down

Losing weight is one of the most common goals.  You can just have that thought floating around in your head for years but taking the time to write it down is really key. In addition to that, you're going to need to make it specific and measurable, and time-bound. Write that down, hang it on the bulletin board, or by your desk wherever it needs to be. Identify the behaviors that are going to get you there.

It’s easy to say “I'm going to lose 10 pounds by April 1st”. That's a SMART goal because it’s specific, measurable, timely. You can add setting behavioral goals like eating three servings of vegetables every day as a positive goal. This way, you’re not taking anything away from yourself but adding positive things and then sticking with that.

Predicting Obstacles

Predicting obstacles is such a good idea because success has never gone straight up. It doesn't happen.You're not just going to continually get better and better so try to predict some of those obstacles so you don't get discouraged. 

“I know that my favorite thing is like ShopRite vanilla sheet cake. So if I know I'm going to a party, I'm going to say to myself  ‘this is going to come up for you today how would you like to handle it?’’ Then I have the opportunity to choose between having a piece of that cake to enjoy it or I can choose to stay away from that sugar right now because I need to stay a hundred percent clean for myself so that I can feel good.”

Denel also talks to her husband and teenage daughters as her accountability partners to help her stick to that decision. Once she gets to the party, she doesn't have anything to think about because she already made the decision. So she created that community for herself by telling other people. That's really powerful for Denel and it's powerful for her students too. 

Obstacles will happen so predicting how we are going to deal with them when they come up is the best way to be successful with your goal. You can also ask yourself, “how dedicated am I to this goal right now?” and be honest with yourself and your expectations. Know that results will be different depending on the dedication you put into it.

Behavior Change for Health

Behavior change is not something that you can just check off and say you’re done. It's something that we're constantly working on overtime. Denel’s personal coaching tends to focus on what progress a person can make and try to take the focus off of the scale whenever possible. Even if the scale doesn't change, if your body composition changes, that's huge. Especially as we age. After the age of 25, we lose half a pound of lean body mass every year. Think about the time you get to be 70 and 75 and 80.

Behaviors that will keep that from happening are strength training like cardio and eating less processed food, particularly sugar. These are going to help you feel better about yourself, be more energetic, have your clothes fit better, avoid cardiovascular disease and cancer, and all-around going to help your life feel better. 

Focus on what this change will do for you. What type of activities would you like to do with your family? Write it down and put it somewhere where you see it multiple times a day. Close your eyes and visualize what that is going to look and feel like. That reward is so much better than the piece of cake from ShopRite or whatever people crave. Keep your eyes focused on that and it makes the other things a little easier.


People tend to get frustrated and quit but the secret sauce to the programs that Denel is working on right now is accountability on a day-to-day basis. When you are trying to change your behavior, you need support. People need constant support in the beginning to make such a big change. Then celebrate together when you reach those goals. Progress, not perfection, is the big takeaway for Denel.

January 2022 Lunch and Learn Event: Goal Setting

Recommended Readings: 

  • Be the Best Version of Yourself in 52 Days
  • Things you can do NOW to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
  • The Secrets to a Happy and Graceful Aging
  • Basics of Exercise Science: Making Fitness Fun and Accessible For All
  • How To Live Healthily: 3 Types of Health Products For You

  •  ***
 is a platform featuring top professionals from your area. These professionals join teams of like-minded individuals with skills that complement each other. Each team meets via Zoom to tell their stories and cross-promote each other’s services leading to new business opportunities. Members realize they are #strongertogether so join a team today!


    Follow us on social media!
    Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.