Keeping It Real: Setting Goals That Work

Woman looking in mirror

Do you set realistic fitness goals?

How many times have you opened a magazine and thought, “Wow, I wish I could look like her.” Our society is overstimulated with beautiful people and it drives us to set unrealistic diet and fitness goals.

I know in my own mind I want obliques like Erin Stern and abs like Ava Cowan. However, genetically I am not built to look like either gorgeous lady. Thus, I have to work on building the best me rather than building a me that looks like someone I’m not.

Don’t Make Failure an Option

We only fail with our weight loss goals because we expect far too much from ourselves. Don’t let failure be an option in your plan.

Set goals that work for you. Be inspired by those impeccable models, but avoid getting down on yourself because you don’t emulate their physique.

Exercise Patience

Patience isn’t just a virtue, it’s a way of life. Especially when you are working on improving your overall health and wellness. Gimmicky diet pills and fad diets won’t work for your long term goals.

Though you may see quick results from these plans, they are detrimental to your health. Set a realistic goal to lose a pound a week, or be down a dress size in a month.

Once you reach that goal, you can gauge how quickly you saw results. If you lost more than your goal, then up the ante for next month. If you are a bit behind, take your goal down a notch. Never overkill your plan just because of an ideal set in your mind.

Reward Yourself

So often we are dead set on getting somewhere with our diet and fitness goals that we forget to recognize when we get somewhere. Though you have a long term goal in mind, always reward yourself when you reach a short term goal.

A good measure is to do a little self-recognition at the end of each month. It doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal, and it definitely should not involve an all out sugar fest.

If you go up 10 pounds on your squat, treat yourself to an iced coffee with a friend. If reach your weight loss goal for the month, buy a new pair of earrings.

Sometimes the satisfaction in knowing you reached your goals is good enough. I always recommend a little boasting to your friends, but that is just my way of celebrating. :-)

Understand Setbacks Are Inevitable

Life happens. Prepare yourself for illnesses, a busy schedule, and other setbacks that may occur. Don’t let them get you down. Breaks are a necessary part of reaching your goal and are often healthy.

If you fall off track, jump right back on board once everything else in life is in place. Never look back or think too long about what you’ve missed. This goes back to not making failure an option.

I’ve had tons of setbacks along the way. When teaching, it seems I was sick every other week. My kids get sick from school, family visits, and sometimes I am just plain exhausted.

I just don’t let it bother me. If it does get to me, I get over it quickly and push forward.

Go ahead and take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Reflect back on a time in your life when everything seemed to go your way. How did you look? What activities did you enjoy? What was your diet like?

Use this as a measure when setting your goals. Essentially, think about the perfect you and how to achieve that girl. Not the perfect model clipped from a magazine cover, but the perfect woman staring right back at you at this very moment.

What are some things that help you stick with your goals? Join that conversation. I would love to have your feedback.



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  • Attention on how to take care of our digestive tract in addition to keeping a healthy diet must be widespread so that more folks will get to understand the importance of their well-being.

  • Great insight!

  • Good post. We do need to love ourselves, and not some gawky teenager in the magazine.

    See yourself as you want to see you, look back on old photos of when you looked young and fit! Regain those moments!

  • Wonderful advice, Molly. Thank you for sharing.

  • This blog is awesome Kellie.

    My tip (and it’s a practice, for sure) is finding daily gratitude. No matter how small.

    I have a new set of challenges in my life in terms of fitness. I am struggling to get back the ‘me’ I took for granted for a long time. I never sat back and thought, gosh- I am grateful for my healthy & fit body. One thing I have to look forward to once I do find the me I am missing…I will never take my health & fitness for granted again!
    keep up the great work Kellie, you are a wonderful inspiration.

  • Thank you for sharing, Rebecca. I can’t wait to watch you reach your goals this year.

  • I love the down to earth way in which you write and the fact that it embraces life, rather than trying to separate life from fitness and health. Aiming for 100% doesn’t get us anywhere in the long term because life happens. We have to become skilled at dealing with it.

    What helps me stick to my goals? Well, I used to think it was having a set goal in mind, however have discovered that it is by actually choosing a decent goal to start with, ones that make me happy and encourage me to embrace life, rather than depriving myself or doing workouts which I don’t enjoy.

    Thanks for the words Kellie!

  • Great advice, Kristine. Thank you!

  • […] Sep Check out one of my inspirational FIT friend’s new blog. She never fails to amaze me with her knowledge and […]

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  • Every day I wake up, I think of what I can do TODAY to bring me closer to my ultimate goal. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so if I consistently push myself closer day by day, eventually I will have reached my goal without even realizing it :)

    Great read!

    Who DOESN’T want Ava’s obliques, right? ;)

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