Earlier this week I wrote a post about goal setting (or intention setting, as I’m preferring to call it). We all know how important it is to set goals for ourselves; it gives us something to strive for and helps to keep us heading in the right direction when life throws us a curve ball.
While most people have no difficult telling you what their fitness goals are when you ask them (lose weight and run a half or full marathon are the two I’m hearing most frequently right now), very few can provide more than a superficial response when asked why they’ve chosen those specific goals over all other options.
“To improve my fitness level”
“To fit into my skinny jeans”
“Because all my friends are doing it” (as a parent of three school age children, I particularly love this last one!)
Valid responses, all three, but superficial, none-the-less.
Why do you want to improve your fitness? Are there health concerns associated with your current level of fitness? Is it you who wants to become fitter or have your friends/significant other/medical practitioner created this goal for you? (In addition to being superficial, this goal is non-specific; what aspects of fitness are you wanting to improve upon?)
Why do you want to fit into your skinny jeans? What does being thinner mean to you? Do you like yourself more (and assume that others will too) when you’re 10, 15, or 20 pounds lighter? If this is an issue for you, I suggest you check out ‘Appetites‘ by Geneen Roth; it’s a fantastic book about the relationship between body size and self-image. (I might just do a book review next week ’cause I loved it so much!)
What does running a half or full marathon signify to you? Are you doing it because you genuinely like to run or because it seems like the thing to do (particularly for women in their 40’s…) to demonstrate that you’re still young and vital?
I frequently ask my personal training clients to look inside themselves and really question why they’re working towards a particular goal (some call this ‘navel-gazing’. Dig deep, into the inner workings of their own psyches and understand what really motivates their health and fitness goals.
Only once you’ve done the inside work, will the outside work get you closer to those goals.
I’d love to hear the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of your current fitness and health goals! Please add your comments below.
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