Many struggle with how to set fitness goals in the recent pop-culture storm, obsessed with fad diets, rigorous exercise routines, and supplements. We are met with seemingly contradictory movements: one geared toward self-love and body acceptance, and another centered on goals and self-improvement. Contrary to popular belief, these two schools of thought can coexist quit easily together. Here’s how to set fitness goals while still loving the skin you’re in:
1. Focus on feeling better, rather than looking better.
Becoming health-conscience has many benefits, but most people report satisfaction in the way they feel after adopting a healthier lifestyle. Begin making changes because you want to invest yourself fully in this wonderful life you’re living. A balanced diet and moderate exercise can pay off in the form of newfound energy, clearer thinking, and reduced anxiety and depression. Changing your way of life as a punishment for the things you dislike about yourself will only lead to feelings of resentment, defeat, and embarrassment. View this as an opportunity to treat yourself better. You deserve it.
2. Make small, attainable goals daily.
Don’t become a statistic while trying to figure out how to set fitness goals. Forcing yourself to run five miles a day while only eating kale salads will only foster a breeding ground for self-criticism. Keep things positive and fun by setting an achievable daily goal, and go to bed feeling victorious. Maybe you want to keep track of how much water you’re drinking today, or you use half your lunch break to take two laps around your building. Maybe every hour you stand up and move around a little, or you park far away for your daily supermarket trip. These goals should supplement and enhance your lifestyle change, but they’re also easy habits to obtain in order to push yourself that extra step forward. Go ahead, girl! You got this!
3. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself.
Self-improvement does not equal self-loathing. Learn how to set fitness goals without obsessing over all the things you wish to change. As you are shifting into your new, healthy life, make a list of all the traits you absolutely love about yourself, things you would never change. Then, understand that taking steps to better take care of yourself will only enhance these fabulous attributes, and you’re worthy of such a change. View this as a challenge to be the best version of yourself, not a response to something that is wrong.
4. Fitness goals are not insta goals.
Don’t even THINK about using pictures of models to motivate your fitness journey. Comparing ourselves to others is not only dangerous and unkind to ourselves, but it also fosters feelings of unworthiness. We have a tendency to look to others for examples of how we should be, while they may be looking back at us and thinking the same thing! You cannot be someone else, so you have to focus on the most perfected version of yourself. That is more than enough. It’s time to be selfish, ladies and gentlemen!
5. Be disciplined, but leave room for mistakes.
We’re human. We mess up; we let others down; we let ourselves down. You owe it to yourself to be disciplined and adhere to a routine that maximizes your awesomeness. That being said, you’re going to make mistakes, and that’s OK. It’s no fun being perfect, and mistakes are the only way to learn. Instead of punishing yourself for a night of binge eating and Netflix, tell yourself that tomorrow will be better. Your fitness goals aren’t realized in a day, and they won’t be ruined in a night. Go ahead, indulge if you must, but wake up and get back on track. Sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission, just not too often!