When you first start working out, setting concrete goals can be intimidating. After all, you’re basically trying to force your body to meet a standard just because it’s written down somewhere, and maybe your biology just isn’t down for being controlled by numbers.

But setting hard goals for yourself is a key part of achieving real results and transformation. The key is being ambitious, realistic, and knowing what kind of goals you actually need to set. It’s not as simple as just giving yourself a goal weight or measurement, it’s about understanding your body, your goals, and how to read yourself. For example, you need to…

Determine If You Need to Lose Weight

When determining your “healthy” weight, most people go by the rule of thumb that your BMI should be below 25. But that isn’t always true: some NFL running backs are considered overweight or obese by this rule, so it’s safe to say there are some exceptions.

So what you really need to figure out is what your body wants. Have you suddenly gained weight due to stress or a change in schedule or diet? Are you getting winded from ordinary daily tasks, like climbing stairs or lifting your bag? That can be a sign that you’re not as healthy as you need to be.

That isn’t to say that every personal health goal has to come from your own intuition. If your doctor warns you about your blood pressure or sedentary activity, they can probably also give you specific goals about what to shoot for. The important thing is remembering to make your goals about you, not somebody else.

Set Goals

This can’t be stressed enough: Set an actual hard goal. If you plan on losing “some weight” then in a few weeks you’ll just weigh yourself, take your jacket off, weigh yourself again and proclaim victory. Don’t shy away from that hard number. As long as it’s a realistic and healthy number, it’s going to keep you on track and make all the difference.

The trick (and if it were easy, it wouldn’t be a trick) is to hold yourself to a high standard while not actually being cruel to yourself. If you’re too hard on yourself, you’ll just crack, but if you’re too easy on yourself, you’ll never get where you’re going.

Make a Plan

Goals are great. A mindset is also great. But those two things don’t mean diddly-squat if you can’t rustle yourself up a solid plan. And this, more than anything else, is where you need to turn to the experts.

Fitterclub is a fantastic online exercise app that can set you up with everything from nutrition to personalized fitness goals to specific training regiments, just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Their simple questionnaire will make sure that you are building something that is personal to you.

Normally $119.99, you can get a year’s subscription to Fitterclub in the Goalcast Store right now for just $19 (that’s 84% off). And all that saving is on top of the time and energy you’ll save as the faster, stronger, fitter you.