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Setting fitness goals the right way

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

I love my job. I get to help people every single day, whether it’s online or in person. It is a career that I have been passionate about for the past decade and I’m happily continuing. People have often come to me with the goal of losing a certain amount of weight. We’ve all been in similar situations; I certainly have. Especially after the holidays (lol). It’s no wonder the gyms are packed come the beginning of January! But a lot of us don’t stick with it. We get so excited and motivated to “shed the extra weight” that we put on during the holiday season. We go full throttle at the gym. Committing ourselves to go 4 or sometimes 5 days per week. But then. BUT THEN! We stop. Why?

Setting fitness goals the right way wit the SMART method

Photo by navanita.s_photography

There are lots of opinions, articles, and blog posts out there that will give various reasons about how you need to create “smart fitness goals” or “realistic fitness goals”. As a personal trainer, I can certainly vouch for the validity of this.

S.M.A.R.T. Fitness Goals = specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-specific.

However, one thing that is not talked about enough is the negative mental impact of setting goals with the intention of changing what you look like. If your sole purpose is to change your appearance, you will never be satisfied. You will get in the habit of always finding something you don’t like about your body. And truthfully, one of the main reasons that I see that people start to lose motivation and stop going to the gym is because of this very reason… It is mentally exhausting to be constantly reminded that you should hate your body and you need to change how you look. I’m exhausted just thinking about it ha!

I promise you; the moment you shift your focus from how you look, to how moving makes you feel, you will start to enjoy fitness and stick with it once and for all! (Check out my previous blog post about making fitness fun here)

I am talking from experience here, both personally and through the experience of my clients. Letting go of aesthetic fitness goals will allow you to become more empowered in your body; not just when exercising, but in everyday life as well.

So today I challenge you. Decide on one or two body-neutral fitness goals (i.e. goals that have nothing to do with how you look). Decide how you want to feel and what you want to experience along the way.

Here are some body neutral fitness goals examples:

- Learning a new skill like how to do a back squat, how to do the Beto Shuffle, or how to do a standing pigeon

- Getting stronger muscles and bones

- Running a 5k

- Being able to run for the bus without being out of breath

- Dancing all night at parties

- Carrying all your grocery bags in one go

- Healthier lungs and heart

- More flexibility and less pain

- Reducing stress

- Getting better sleep

- Gaining more energy

- Making new friends at the gym or in Zumba class

- A better mood in general

I could go on and on!

I promise you this shift in mindset is life-changing.

Emphasize the journey, and celebrate your little milestones along the way.

And remember: you are STRONG, you are RESILIENT, and YOU GOT THIS!

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