Fitness and wellness CEOs setting goals for 2023


They coach others, but how do they stay strong and driven without burning out?

Ben Lucas | Image source: Supplied

Ben Lucas, founder of Sydney boutique fitness and yoga studio Flow Athletic

My big goal for the year is to run the 84km ultra marathon in Bali in May called the Bali Hope Ultra. This was the favourite race of a good friend of mine who passed away in 2022 so I will be running the event to honour him. I am currently running about 4-6 hours a week so I will need to increase my weekly running hours to around 13-15 hours per week. I will also need to increase my strength training work to prepare my specific muscles to be able to do the work and I will increase by recovery practises including yoga, sauna and massage to get through the plan injury free.

I took up running back when I retired from the NRL as a way to keep myself motivated and for my mental health. At the time I was a franchisee for another fitness company, and I owned three studios through them, but I really struggled with not having the ability to get creative and have a goal to work towards as I was following a playbook. I ended up turning to running as an outlet and I ran 35 marathons and ultra-marathons in the space of 5 years while running the three businesses. After that I ended up opening Flow Athletic with co-founder Kate Kendall which really helped me get my drive and passion back.

Running has been a part of my life ever since, but it became very important to me again around a year ago when my fitness business was struggling through lockdowns. I had a lot of sleepless nights trying to keep 20+ staff employed, clients satisfied and also being there for clients, staff and other businesses in the area that were struggling. My working hours also nearly doubled during that time as we had to do PT sessions for everyone rather than having them all in a set class! I set myself a challenge of running 5k a day for 365 days for my mind and it worked a treat. I just finished the 365 days, but I haven’t stopped running. 

Ben Seymour | Image source: Supplied

Ben Seymour, co-owner of Recovery Lab and ex professional athlete

I have a lot going on in 2023 personally and professionally and I am really looking forward to the year ahead.  

Business wise, I plan to continue to grow our successful Recovery Lab studio network so that we can continue to provide market leading wellness solutions to a greater number of people. As we know, people are valuing their health more and more and there has certainly being a rise in the uptake of interest in the likes of ice baths, infrared saunas, NuCalm and other modalities thanks to the likes of Wim Hoff and Tony Robbins. We have managed to attract a plethora of people from busy execs and weekend warriors, to mums and locals who just want to feel their best. 

For us to be successful at this, we will continue to support our current franchise partners and continue to evolve our systems in place to ensure our future studios are seamless to roll out for franchisees and also to ensure our product offering is second to none in order to attract and retain new loyal customers.

We will be launching at home subscriptions to NuCalm which is the worlds first patented, drug free, stress relieving device. Think forced meditation, less stress = greater recovery, more productive and better sleep! Stay Tuned!!

On a personal note, I am big on endurance events so I am currently training for the Coast to Coast NZ Multi Sport Race which consists of racing from the west coast to to the east coast of NZ in one day. The event including running, kayaking and cycling over 243 kms so it will require a lot of training, a lot of focus and obviously a lot of recovery. I would also like to head back and do the Bali Hope run again raising money for the Bali Children’s Foundation and also do another Multi Stage Ultra Marathon somewhere overseas. 

While all of that is happening, I will also be planning a wedding.

Lots on the agenda for 2023, but I thrive on that, so I am looking forward to seeing what the year brings. 

Vikki Weston | Image source: Supplied

Vikki Weston, Paddleboarding Instructor, Founder of She SUPs & Ambassador for Red Paddle Co

The one thing I’m wanting to achieve in 2023 is to bring stand-up paddleboarding to more women who perhaps don’t have such easy access to watersports. Since starting my business and all-women’s SUP community, She SUPs, in 2019 I’ve witnessed the incredible power connection to water and connection to community have on women across the world – especially during periods of disconnection such as the last 2 years of the pandemic. Increasing women’s self-belief, confidence and helping them feel a sense of belonging in an industry that for many decades was male dominated drives me both in business and my personal life. And so, continuing this work on a wider scale to reach women in more vulnerable circumstances or more remote areas is my number one focus heading into 2023.

How I plan on doing this is working collaboratively with empathetic and human brands in the outdoors industry such as Red Paddle Co, who are pioneers in inclusivity, and with the support of my passionate paddler community who I know share the desire to leverage our collective power to help and support others. Working collaboratively and within the community, I know we can achieve so much more than my single mind can ever imagine.

Dave Aitchison | Image source: Supplied

Dave Aitchison, CEO of BFT APAC. BFT is an Aussie fitness franchise that has secured a $60 million cash up-front deal with Xponential Fitness in the US

I started my role as the CEO of BFT APAC in July 2022 so a lot of my goals for 2023 are centred around how we can continue to better service our franchisees to keep their businesses thriving. Our core offering is our key focus and we will be focusing on new ways to be more innovative with our delivery and improving the customer experience via our bespoke BFT3 innovative Heart Rate monitor product. My other big goal on the business front is to create additional revenue opportunities for our franchisees while ensuring our members continue to have the best group training value and experience. How I plan on achieving that is by looking at expanding additional partners who offer complimentary services and offerings for our franchisees as well as bringing in a few additional offerings for members to utilise. 

On a personal note, I have recently taken up rowing in a coxed quad. I was inspired to start by my daughters who have been rowing for a few years, so I got a few mates together and we decided to give it a go too. We aim to get together once a week to train and this year we plan on getting involved in more Regattas to test how far we have come and see where we need to improve. Even if you have a big job and have a lot going on with the family, I think it’s important to have some goals outside of work. It helps to keep you inspired and motivated, and it is always good to have someone going on that is just for fun and just for yourself.