Have you ever had good intentions of improving your sense of wellness, only to find yourself throwing in the towel? This year, you’ll crush your goals with this tips showing you how to set fitness goals that stick.
The New Year is an interesting time that really does a number on our expectations of ourselves. At the stroke of midnight on January 1, we expect ourselves to transform into perfect creatures, and any for habits of years past magically melt away. But that is just not how life works. We get ourselves into trouble when we get so wrapped up in unrealistic expectations, and don’t give ourselves grace and room to grow.
New Year’s resolutions are so popular because it provides a clear timestamp for the goals we set. Getting in shape is one of the most popular resolutions people set every year.
I won’t bash setting a resolution to get fit because there is no “bad time” to get fit. The best time to improve your health and wellness is when you are motivated to do so – and since that tends to be January for most of us – let’s get moving. Here are three tips for setting fitness goals you’ll that stick.
Try setting a performance-based goal.
Are there things you wish you could physically do, but just aren’t there yet? Well my friend, you just found your next fitness goal. Working towards a performance-based goal helps guide your workouts so you are less likely to wander around the gym aimlessly. For example, I really want to be able to do a full unassisted pistol squat, but my glute strength, hip, and ankle mobility aren’t where they need to be for that movement. That means I devote time during most of my workouts to improving these areas, and I spend less time wandering around the gym wondering what to do next. Having a performance based goal helps provide focus and motivation. What would you like to do? Run a PR mile time? Do a handstand without a wall? Write it down, and work towards it!
Set goals based off of how you want to feel.
Have you ever finished an awesome workout and just felt blissfully happy from all of those endorphins? It’s the best feeling, right? Often times, we set fitness goals based off of how we want to look which is a recipe for failure. How you look really doesn’t say anything about how healthy you are, and if you are only motivated by external appearances, it is easy for your motivation to go out the door. I don’t know about you, but I don’t exactly feel motivated to work towards having a six-pack during the dead of winter. But for that blissful, high-on-endorphins happiness? I would chase down that feeling every day of the year. What type of movement makes you feel stupid happy? Do you feel amazing tucking to the beat during barre? Do you love the mind-body connection of yoga? Do you feel super happy while lifting weights? Identify what makes you feel your best mentally, and set a goal to get even better at it, or to do it enough that you reap those mental benefits.
Stop doing shit you hate.
Ok, strong language – but seriously. Stop doing things you don’t like. If you loathe running, don’t sign up for that running challenge. If yoga bores you to tears, stick to more upbeat workouts. There is no one size fits all approach to fitness, and you don’t have to doany specific workout to feel fit. The most effective fitness routine is the one you will actually stick to. I have totally been there. Personally, I am not a fan of running but for years I forced myself to do it because I thought I had to be a runner to be considered “fit.” The reality was, I was easily bored by it, and every time I did a long-distance race I had major digestive problems for quite some time afterward. After my last miserable half-marathon three years ago, I hung up my running shoes for good. And you know what happened? My relationship with fitness and my body improved immensely because I wasn’t forcing myself to do something I straight up hated.
As long as you are getting your heart rate up and challenging your muscles, do whatever form of movement works best for YOU. Set a goal to do more of the types of movement you love, then go crush it.
- What are your fitness goals for 2017?
- What are your favorite ways to move?
Les is the founder of Balanced Black Girl and the host of the Balanced Black Girl Podcast. She’s a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and natural beauty junkie who loves 90’s R&B, trying new skincare products, and creating recipes in the Instant Pot. She created Balanced Black Girl to provide content and experiences empowering women of color to live well.