It’s not uncommon to enter a new year and make a list of challenges or goals for yourself to accomplish. And while “I want to lose 50 pounds!” or “I’m going to run three marathons this year!” are exciting aspirations, the most impressive body goals are the ones you stick to. Being realistic and setting achievable goals will help you stay focused, as you’re less likely to feel hopeless in your efforts.
If you want to find a body goal that’s right for you, here are some tips on how to craft one and suggestions on where to start.
When making New Year’s Resolutions, a lot of people attach numbers to their goals: I want to lose this many pounds, I want to work out this many times a week.
But when we focus on numbers, we lose focus on the “why?” and arguably, it’s the most important element of a successful body goal.
That’s because it’s where the motivation stems from.
So why do you want to lose weight? Do you want to…
- Feel more energetic?
- Feel more confident?
- Minimize health risks?
Think about the “why,” and that will be what motivates you when you don’t feel like following through.
Goals That Don’t Involve a Scale
It’s easy to attach fitness goals to weight. But health isn’t as simple as losing or gaining weight. It’s much more complicated.
And when we attach goals to weight, we often attach our self-worth to that number as well.
So here are some body goals for this year that don’t involve weight.
- Choose Workouts that Help You Relax
- Increase Your Range of Motion Through Stretching
- Get Better Sleep
- Find a Workout Buddy
- Try New Workouts
- Increase Your Confidence
- Decrease Your Phone Usage
- Spend More Time Outside
- Do More Meditations and Breathing Exercises
How you get there may involve metrics. But these goals help set you up for deciding on a “because.” I want to do more meditation and breathing exercises because I want to decrease my anxiety. I want to find a workout buddy because this relationship will help me connect emotionally with someone while achieving my physical goals.
See what I mean?
How Does a Pedometer Help People Reach Their Fitness Goals?
While many people will opt for a fancy FitBit or Apple Watch, a simple pedometer could be a health game-changer on its own. For a lot of your health goals, you should try to stay away from measuring success with numbers. For example, choose to say “I want to have more energy” rather than “I want to lose 10 pounds.” Obsession over a number causes anxiety, diminishes motivation, and ultimately makes you abandon your goal, but focusing on the “why” will help you stay motivated.
Counting your steps is one instance where we say you can break the rule. Your step count can play a large role in assessing a particular day’s fitness. If your steps are low, you didn’t spend a lot of the day in motion.
Some health experts will say that movement throughout the day can have better health effects than staying sedentary and trying to make up for it with one workout. The day you had a workout may not be the day you had the most steps.
If your workout was core work, but you spent the rest of the day sitting, your steps will be low.
But if you didn’t have time for a workout because you walked the kids to school, did the grocery shopping, gave new clients a walking tour of the facility, and took your dogs to the dog park, some would argue that day is better for your health.
A simple pedometer can be a great reminder to get yourself moving, even if it’s just doing an extra lap around the block with your dog.
Be Realistic in Your Body Goals
Staying true to your wants, needs, health constrictions, and personality will give you the best chance at sticking to your body goals. While it may sound impressive to say you’re going to run five miles a day, if you haven’t gone for a jog since high school, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
As soon as you miss a day, you’ll lose hope, focus, and motivation, hanging up the running shoes where you’ll find them next year when you once again make a goal you won’t stick with.
Committing to one walk a week is an improvement if you don’t go on any walks at all. Being able to touch your toes in a few months is an improvement if you don’t stretch now. Choosing and sticking with body goals that are within reach is much more impressive in the long run, and better for your health, than a lofty goal you’ll drop in a few weeks.
And if you do lose focus? Don’t wait to work on your body goals until next year. You don’t need a new date on the calendar to start again. Every day you wake up is a new chance to reinvent yourself. So fall down as much as you want. All it does is give you a chance to get back up again.
Author, Artist, Photographer.
Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.
She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.
She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.