How to Reach Your Fitness Goals This Year: Choosing Health Over Perfection
Ahhh January. The month when gyms all around the globe are filled with newly ambitious individuals ready to get their fitness game on. Health food stores sell more organic veggies, fit bits are being purchased constantly and social media is a never ending pit of fitness declarations and aspirations for the year. Let’s fast forward six months. It’s mid-July, the temps are scorching hot and the gyms that were once packed are a lot less full. Why the drastic decrease? Well, I’ll give you a hint: It wasn’t because all of those individuals met their goals.
Goals that are founded upon a weak foundation will not hold our attention long.
It was my sophomore year in high school, and everything was a big deal, but especially my body. My best friend was four sizes smaller than me, and although I wasn’t overweight by any means, I felt insecure next to her. I wondered why my skin was paler, my stomach was curvier and my legs were bigger. I blamed my body for everything, and I disliked everything that made me different.
“I wish I had a flatter stomach, perfect skin and tall, slender legs.” All of my fitness aspirations, New Year’s resolutions and health goals were all founded on some version of this statement. Because of this, I began to resent working out and eating healthy, and I most definitely didn’t stick to my goals. Why? Because my goals were not attainable. My body is never going to look a certain way - AKA tall and super skinny. That’s literally impossible, and for me to try and attain that is extremely unhealthy.
We make our goals a priority when they have substantial meaning.
When we set goals out of insecurity alone, they will not last. When they are founded on superficiality, comparison and envy, we won’t stand by them. But when we set goals out of a deep desire to see change and from a place of true passion, this is when our goals see fruition. We have the determination to stand by them because they go deeper than the surface. They are founded on something that really matters.
When I was in college, I joined a CrossFit group. Not because I wanted to lose weight but because I was bored with my traditional workout routine, and I was tired of working out alone. Eventually, my CrossFit group became my family - you know, the kind that push you when they know you can do better. Fitness became my favorite hobby. It wasn’t based on attaining a certain appearance but on my genuine enjoyment of the sport. I continued CrossFit for years and enjoyed it so much! I was the happiest and fittest that I’d ever been.
Let’s set some meaningful goals and kick butt together!
When we can determine the deep and true meaning for setting a goal, we are then one step closer to sticking to it! And in honor of being a healthy human being and taking care of the body we’ve been giving, I’m sharing 5 things to keep in mind while chasing your fitness goals. Let’s prioritize health over perfection together!
1| Let’s shift that perspective. It’s not about perfection!
Let me preface by saying this: being fit, tone and healthy is AMAZING. I think we should all prioritize our health because this is the only body we have, and it deserves to be taken care of. So, I am in no way discrediting anyone’s fitness goals and aspirations or the people who are already completely content with their fitness level. That is wonderful! I am only suggesting that we shift our perspective around fitness.
As women, we have to stop making fitness about achieving the “perfect body.” We have to stop building our fitness and health goals on the weak foundation of looking like someone else, losing three sizes or having a bigger butt. We have to shift our perspective towards being healthy and feeling good in our own skin. It’s all about choosing health over perfection.
2| Determine what is reasonable for the season you’re in. Don’t over do it!
Instead of getting inspired and making the decision to go from not working out at all to hitting up the gym 7 days a week for 2 hours, try doing something active 3 days a week. Start with smaller, less daunting goals because often times when we over do it in the beginning, we won’t last until the end. Set goals that feel good to you in this season of life. The slower you ease into the changes, the more manageable they will be.
3| Prioritize your fitness by literally writing it on your calendar - like you would a date or a meeting.
In the midst of the chaos life serves us, it can be easy to put fitness on the back burner. It’s easy to hit snooze and say we’ll do it later. But hey, fitness is a form of self-love, and what better way to prioritize it than to pencil it in to your schedule?! Choose what days and times work for you this week and literally make it a part of your schedule.
Pro-tip! Even further than scheduling the times of your workouts, plan out what activities, circuits or classes you are going to take. This works wonders when it’s last minute and the thought of deciding on something else feels absolutely impossible.
4| Workout in a way that makes you happy! Fitness isn’t confined to a gym.
One reason we have trouble prioritizing or maintaining fitness is because it isn’t something we look forward to. We view it more like a chore, and so it becomes easier to just put it off. Instead of fighting your body and making it go to the gym, try going for a swim at the beach, going on a walk in a park, taking a yoga class or taking a dance lesson. Fitness isn’t confined to the four walls of the gym. It’s all about getting your body moving! Do what you want to do, and don’t feel hesitant about switching up your routine.
5| Choose balance! So, you ate one cookie? It’s not the end of the world!
The key to prioritizing fitness is BALANCE. The whole point of a fitness routine is finding something that is enjoyable and maintainable. Am I right?! If you can’t see yourself living this way in 10 years, why keep trying? Find a balanced and maintainable routine that works for you. Don’t neglect your body’s desire for the things that it loves. Definitely practice self-control, but don’t completely cut everything out. Food and fitness are meant to be enjoyed!
Let’s let go of the pressure to be perfect.
Let’s stand against the unjust standards women are expected to meet and prioritize our health over perfection. Because in 10 years, I want to envision myself healthy, happy and free not striving to look the way others want me to. Taking care of your body is a form of self-love. So that means being healthy while still enjoying the donut... and if you don’t want yours, I’ll gladly take it :). We are going to kick butt and we are going to do it together!
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What's one of your current fitness goals? Share with us below!