LiveBlog: How to set health and fitness goals led by Erin Kreitz Shirey

Saturday 29th June 8am – Gallery 3

Small Group Discussion: How to set health and fitness goals led by Erin Kreitz Shirey

LiveBlogged by Helen M


Erin introduces herself and talks about how she wanted to work with girls with self-esteem issues – young girls – and to help build that self-esteem with sports from young age. She’s always active – worked in corporate fitness – started boot camp and now her own fitness business. She currently lives in the Bay area of California after years in Portland. 

Your time is now! – don’t look back, look forward

People have bags that hold them back – it’s like you can’t stand up, things are pitching you back (like trying to stand up when wearing a heavy backpack). We all have personal struggles (Erin dealt with medical issues with her children when they were young), but she believes it’s made her a more balanced and person and trainer.

Every year she does a 21-day challenge which incorporates health, fitness and life balance…it’s so easy for people to lose sight of the goal and have tunnel vision about losing weight and not at the bigger picture – the challenge aims to incorporate all of that. (You can email her for a copy of the 21-day challenge) This is a step-by-step goal setting challenge.

Goals are often set and people feel defeated when they aren’t reached. But there are many factors that go into the reasons why. People often focus on the one specific HUGE goal and not the tiny ones along the way. Nor do they think about the contributing factors getting in the way of achieving the health and fitness success they dream about. My goal is for you to leave with some success, a game plan, positivity to pursue your healthiest life possible and a feeling of support. YOU have the POWER in you to make it happen. You showed up, that is a significant step in the right direction. 

Erin then asks everyone to share one goal and their challenge in attaining that goal;

  • Want to eating clean – but can’t give up the ice-cream
  • Want to lose weight – but can’t do cardio with hip issues
  • Want to go Vegan – but difficult in the area with options available to me
  • Want to get out of bed more! – has Fibromyalgia
  • Want to exercise more – but head doesn’t!
  • Want to do first 5km – but weight obsessed – activity versus pounds
  • Want to grow old gracefully – but self-confessed lazy and bone-idle!
  • Want to rehab yoga injury – but her ego gets in the way
  • Wants to drink more water
  • Wants to move on from her last big goal
  • Wants to only eating when hungry – not just stressed out
  • Wants to practice normal gait pattern – but suffers with knee injury from surgery
  • Wants to strength train – but lost in wind without next big goal
  • Wants to get settled in new home with new schedule – to be more active
  • Wants to lose weight – can’t get past that goal
  • Doesn’t want to gain weight during pregnancy – brain gets in way

Erin points out that most challenges are in our heads – it’s about changing mindset and triggers.

Start by setting yourself goals – a daily goal, weekly goal, monthly goal, 3 month and 6 month goals. But realise and acknowledge that if you don’t get done, if it’s not ‘perfect’ then you aren’t letting yourself down – it’s OK.

Social media can make you feel like shit, it’s easy to compare yourself to others and you end up getting fixated on other people’s goals and not your own.

It’s important that you surround yourself with people that will do you good. If you surround yourself with people that like going to Applebee’s for dinner then you’re going to end up in Applebee’s a lot – no good if you’re trying to lose weight! So surround yourself with those that are more in line with your goals. What fills you up; who you surround you with are what matters, don’t hold on to friends that drag you down. When you’re trying to get from point A to B you need to retrain, refigure it out and surround yourself with friends that will help you on your journey. It’s about shifting your mindset and moving forward – positively.

We are our own worst critics.

Practice this: For every negative find 5 positives. Instead of ‘needing to’ do something, it should be more about ‘wanting to’ – we’ve got to switch this around and this is your opportunity to do more!

Erin asked ‘Who is challenged by negative self-talk?’ – Most people raised their hands. We have to practice Positive affirmation. If you surround yourself with people who say you aren’t good enough then that’s what you’ll believe and think. Throw that stuff behind you. You’re starting this day to move forward.

  1. Spend an afternoon and map out goals (1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year from now) Write every single goal along the way that you feel will help you grow
  2. From your dream list, narrow it to 5-10 health/fitness/wellness/life balance goals
  3. Write them down and don’t look back at how they weren’t reached before, only look forward
  4. Create your support network. Share with friends that will take you up – but also ones that will be realistic with you
  5. Know your team – they together will empower, achieve and motivate and sure there are no ‘Debbie downers’!
  6. Surround with positivity. Like attracts like. It is OK to shift your friendships if they aren’t allowing you to live the healthiest and most vibrant life
  7. Baby steps – think small steps not the big roadmap. Each small step is significant
  8. Eliminate stressors to make change – body is naturally stressed and you can’t lose weight in that state when your cortisol levels are spiked from stress.

Job is usually the biggest stressor. It’s the biggest part of our life. Find where your strengths are, and the rest of your goals will follow.

So all this make sense – right? But we’re still not doing it. Why? Because it’s scary. But not as scary as you think and when you take one day at a time. You only live once. Take each day one day at a time – they say that it’s around the 18 day point where change will stick.

Idea: Create a healthy active jar – money IS a motivator! Every time you make a healthy choice put your change/money in the jar and see it building up! Then when you reach your goal use the money to do something healthy and active – not food! Maybe buy a Groupon to try seething new – SUP, or a new fitness class etc.! Or maybe use the jar fund to save for FitBloggin’ next year! Most of us need carrots in front of you for motivation!

  • Believe you CAN DO IT
  • Don’t focus on other’s goals and successes, only focus on your own
  • Know that some people will try and pull you down and it’s ok to put your ‘Big Girl Chonies On’ and stand solid and tall on your own two feet
  • If you feel stuck, uncertain and lost Therapy is Good! It can help you propel forward if the other ways are getting to hard to do so!
  • Know that just because you SET a goal, it doesn’t mean you have to be stuck doing that goal if it doesn’t feel right. We CHANGE! As time progresses our bodies, lives and energies change. Re-visit your goals and re-commit to yourself. Move forward, not back
  • When paying attention to the outside elements of health/fitness/life/balance you are able to move forward to achieve weight loss and fitness success. You never do by wishing on the goal alone.

Goals take hard work – you are creating change. Honor that. Change can be tough, but change is good. It is how we grow! If we stagnate our lives would forever be put on hold and the incredible moments of courage, love, success, pride, challenge and sense of accomplishment would never happen.

Did you set a goal you thought you couldn’t do? Once you achieve life is golden – right?! But once it’s done you feel all ‘I’m set’, ‘I’m done’. But what’s next? You want to hold onto that energy and sense of achievement to use to move to next goal. Give yourself credit for what you DO achieve, even if it wasn’t the full goal (not making it to the finish of the ½ marathon – only got 8 miles but it’s so much more than most people would do). Don’t judge yourself on others – you’re NOT them! This is what’s called the ‘Facebook effect’ – you’re reading blogs and social media about everyone else – but what you’re actually doing is comparing your worst with their ‘best’. There are those voices in head – not good enough – when you don’t reach a goal you feel like they were right. Some people just can’t do stuff – so you try and find something else to do.

You can’t judge a fish by its ability to fly!

Don’t feel resentful to others achieving certain goals – that’s your own negativity. No-one can be the best at everything – it’s not going to happen! But be authentic – it’s not easy all the time!

Q: How do you balance the physical inability to not meet a goal? I don’t want to set high expectations but have physical limitations – have to pace myself. Don’t know how high to set goals

A: You need to use baby steps – keep setting new goals

One person described their fear of going running; that she’d go too far and couldn’t get back home – so she stayed at home and used treadmill. Another person talked of how she felt bad that women are naturally endurance athletes and she was just not built that way, but instead she found out she was power athlete. ‘I WILL’. It’s important to be social around others and draw on their energy – for lady with fibromyalgia she could use aqua therapy and get social support. It’s all about perception of effort rate of perceived exertion and it will be different for everyone. You want to get out of your comfort zone and it’s the same with goal setting – how hard it is to achieve your goals will be different to someone else’s.

To Do’s for Athletic/weight loss success

  • Take away the numbers! Try not to highlight the number of pounds lost because that doesn’t equate happiness. Highlight athletic goals and naturally the weight will come off. Do weight check-ins weekly or monthly if you have to – never daily!
  • Make a calendar and add in athletic goals. Commit and pay!
  • Commit to your fitness dates first thing in the morning if possible – no time for excuses that early in the day! Life gets in the way later
  • Motivate yourself with positive affirmations daily. Positivity breeds success.
  • Have fun! Create adventure days with your family
  • When you achieve a goal, own it, celebrate it and create a new one.

Goal setting is all mind issues

Finally Erin asked everyone what the one thing that they will do once they get back home

Responses from around the room;

  • Getting my 225lb strength rep test
  • Actually setting goals and telling someone
  • Go to the grocery store
  • Make doctor’s appointment to get blood work done
  • Call and schedule a yoga class even if friend can’t go
  • Start working out more
  • Start working through one drawer to reorganise
  • Sign up for a race and actually train for it
  • Drinking water with all meals
  • Get rid of scales
  • Figuring out what is the next goal to accomplish
  • Plan
  • Map out home PT exercises on specific days of week
  • Explore what I want next big goal
  • Go for a walk before husband leaves for work
  • Celebrating the small victories
  • Go the gym on specific days

Presenter Bio

Erin Kreitz Shirey is the Master Trainer/Running Man Coach/CEO of Power Fitness PDX. As a Fitness presenter, her style of training and presenting is to make clients laugh, while helping them challenge themselves to LIVE in the moment. She has a BS in Kinesiology, is ACE Certified, Stott Pilates Mat Certified, TRX certified is a sports nutritionist, and has written about health, fitness, and family for many publications including: CitySport, Parents, SHEKnows, Good Housekeeping and Walk About, in addition to being a contributing fitness editor for the TV show

Facebook Page:

Twitter: powerfitness
Instagram: RunErinRun
Pinterest: RunningE



This session was captured by Helen Mills who blogs at What Happened Next… Helen is Brit Chick who blogs about running, fitness, food, crafts, her Vizsla pup and her awesome Canadian life!

Twitter: britchick74

Instagram: brit_chick

Pinterest: helenmills


  1. Gtdagenda says

    If you’d like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.