If you always set goals, but never follow through, this article can help. Find out how to set goals that you can actually achieve without constantly beating yourself up and discover 25 health and fitness goals that will transform your body and mind!
If you’re someone who always sets goals, makes plans & has a hard time following through, if you’re always putting off the things you really want to do, we’ve got something in common.
How It All Started For Me
2016 was the first year I found out people set goals and don’t just live waiting & hoping for things to happen. Yes, I’m late for a lot of things.
Since then I read a lot of articles, listened to some audiobooks and watched A TON of youtube videos and TED talks about setting goals. And then I watched some more. And did nothing about my own goals.
I then made some vision boards, filled out planners and wrote never ending to do lists and lists with dreams, goals and detailed plans. Then I ripped them apart after I stared at them for 3 months.
My organizational skills were like those of a toddler. I had to do lists flying everywhere. Pretty much the same stuff are on each and every one of them. I had 10 different planners that I’ve been filling out with the same stuff I think I had to do.
But the good thing is, even this mess, me, actually achieved most of her goals. Maybe not as quickly as possible, but she did it. And she’s still doing it, it ain’t easy, but it’s possible. I feel so self-important when I talk in 3rd person.
How To Start Achieving Your Goals
Now on my journey during the past 4 years, I noticed something.
The difference between the goals I achieve and the goals I don’t achieve is whether they’re an action or not.
I often used to set goals like:
I will have ___ or I will be ___.
I made them SMART, but it didn’t work. The goal was always something I didn’t have or someone completely different from what I was. As if I wasn’t grateful and couldn’t wait to change my situation.
The other thing was that those goals kinda made me feel powerless. I can’t really control how much weight I lose or gain in a month? So when I didn’t see progress, I’d feel frustrated and stressed.
And that’s the completely wrong way to go about a goal. Because what’s the best way to change anything?
It’s to face reality and to start with what you already have, what you can do.
That’s it. You need to empower yourself. Work with what you have, because that’s all you’ve got. The rich lady you want to become isn’t going to take you out of the dirt. She’s too rich for that. And she doesn’t even exist yet. But you know who can do something about it? You.
How To Set Goals You Can Achieve
It’s a different story when the goal is an action you can take. Here, you can start doing something right now. It’s not impossible, it’s not overwhelming. All you have to do is: Just do.
For example, if I say:
I will lose 10 pounds by the end of this month.
I actually put on weight for some weird rebellious reason.
But when I say:
I’ll do 2 weeks of intermittent fasting because I wake up feeling lighter in the morning.
I do it. I say what I want to do and I give myself a strong reason for it. It’s a specific action I can take. This way instead of feeling powerless, I feel empowered and motivated to get disciplined and take that action.
The outcome? Well, I might even lose some weight. Because losing weight is not an action. It’s a byproduct of a healthy lifestyle.
How To Make Progress
You picture yourself doing the action over and over again and you actually do it. And start to enjoy and appreciate how it makes you feel. This action then becomes a part of your daily routine.
It’s tough in the beginning, but then it gets easier and easier and it becomes something you just do. Then you say you want to add to this.
For example after a week of intermittent fasting, you say I want to have a green smoothie every day. So you picture yourself making green smoothies, start collecting recipes and you actually start your mornings with a green smoothie.
Set goals about what you want to do, not have or be.
It’s all about exploring. About approaching things with curiosity. Trying out something new more often. Surprising yourself. What will happen if I do this for a week?
A healthy lifestyle is not a boring lifestyle, it’s just different kind of exciting.
Think more like: “I want to do this” and not “I have to do this” or “I want to have”, “I will be…”.
The One Question To Ask Yourself
What are you not doing that you should be doing and will make your life and your health WAY better?
That thing’s probably not that hard to do. Find out what your biggest struggles are, what causes you stress and figure out your goals from there. Let’s take me as an example.
The major things I struggle with are:
- eating too late (like I’d actually eat right before I go to sleep)
- sitting for hours at time
- spending too much time indoors
So for me this month, these are the things I want to achieve & get better at:
- Last meal at 5 pm. I love the lightness I feel when I don’t eat late at night and this will also help me sleep better, so I can wake up early feeling rested.
- Hike 2-3 times/ week. To move my body, relax and to get more connected to nature again.
- Get into a healthy evening routine: some stretches, maybe bedtime yoga, some reading, shower, candles 30 min before going to sleep. No phone/computer.
I’ll start with the biggest struggles one at a time. I’ve tried to do everything at once in the past, but, sadly, it did not work.
25 Goals To Transform Your Body & Mind
Now here are some ideas for health and fitness goals you can set to transform your body, mind and to improve your life.
1. Wake Up Early
Wake up early so you have time to take care of yourself before you start taking care of everyone else. Don’t skip over this. I know everyone’s talking about it and it’s getting old and annoying, but it works. It actually works.
Last week I made a challenge to wake up at 5:30 am and for the 5 days I actually did it, I got so much done for myself and for my work. It made me feel so happy and productive. Truly if I had to describe it, I felt like a winner.
2. Try New Recipes
Start cooking more often and try 3 new healthy recipes every week that seem delicious. You can find recipes in cookbooks, magazines, on Pinterest or by googling.
Another option if you want to save some time and skip grocery shopping and searching for recipes is to try Sun Basket. It is
When you sign up you basically get different healthy recipes and all the ingredients you need,
Hike 2 times this week. This is not only going to help you make 10,000 steps and burn calories
4. Add More Fun & Creativity To Life
Strive to have fun and to learn something new and interesting every week. It might not seem obvious, but improving yourself is one of the best health goals you can have because it will make you happy in the long run.
And happiness = health.
You can go to local classes or try online classes, whatever works for your schedule and is easier to do. I recently discovered and LOVE MasterClass. It’s a place where you can find online classes in every creative area you’ve ever wanted to try and here’s the best part: they’re taught by the people you already love and appreciate.
I mean here are some examples:
- there’s a film making class by Martin Scorsese
- Christina Aguilera teaches singing
- Helen Mirren teaches acting
- Malcolm Gladwell teaches writing
I mean…it seems unreal, but it actually exists. And I cannot possibly mention everything here, but it makes me so excited to learn ALL of these things and develop the skills I always wanted to have. If you want to check out all the classes, you can do so here.
5. More Vegetables, Please!
Make 1/2 of your plate vegetables. Even if the other half is a slice of pizza, you’ve done something good for your body.
Don’t beat yourself up for eating pizza, focus on eating the vegetables. You need 8-9 servings a day to be your best self physically and mentally.
Eating more vegetables is the most important part of ANY healthy diet. Paleo, vegan, keto – whatever you’re doing, if you’re not eating vegetables, you’re missing the point.
6. Do Yoga
When you do yoga you’re not only moving your body, you’re also calming your mind. It’s pretty magical. Again, you can go to a class at your gym or if you don’t have access to a gym, find yoga classes online.
You can find many videos on Youtube, but if you want more resources and something a little more structured I recommend MyYogaWorks. They have over 1,200 yoga and meditation classes on their platform for all levels – beginners, intermediate and advanced. You can check them out and get a 14-Day free trial here.
I didn’t believe in yoga for the longest time and thought it was only for lazy people (sorry) even after I went to a few classes. It wasn’t until I started practicing it almost every day at home that I realized how good it made me feel even after the class was over. So I highly recommend, whenever you have 10-20 minutes do yoga.
7. Fix That Posture
A good posture has a positive effect on your mood, confidence and health. However, most of us these days have developed hunchbacks.
Hunchback is not a good posture. It doesn’t look good and it doesn’t make you feel so great either. So work on your posture by doing appropriate exercises and stretches. I have created a little round up of workout videos that can help you improve your posture here.
Read every evening for 20 minutes. I don’t know about you, but reading a book is the fastest way I can fall asleep. And, of course, it’s a great way to learn new things as well.
So read more books. It will help you relax and grow as a person, all it takes is 20 minutes every night.
Have breakfast and not just coffee. Coffee gives you nothing, a healthy breakfast will nourish your body, so you stay strong and healthy.
Here are 5 easy healthy breakfast ideas you can make in 5 minutes or less.
10. Watch That Glycemic Load
Cut your grain or carb consumption in half and
This will help you reduce the overall glycemic load of your diet, which is important not only for weight loss and to manage diabetes, but also to reduce chronic inflammation in the body.
Read more on this: 3 diet changes to reduce inflammation
11. Go For A Walk Every Day
30 minutes a day, every day. Just like hiking this will help you burn calories, but will also give your mind the rest it needs.
12. Eat Low Carb Later In The Day
Eat carbs until lunch and then try some lower carb recipes. You don’t need to avoid carbs altogether, but be conscious of them, because they do pile up.
This is another simple way to reduce the overall glycemic load of your diet, so you can lose weight and reduce inflammation.
13. Make overnight Oats
14. But First, Water
If you don’t know whether you’re hungry or not: drink water first. It can reduce cravings and improve your gut health.
15. Practice This
When I want ___, I will___ (for example for me: When I want coffee, I will drink water;)
16. Be Active In The Morning
Start your day with exercise! This will wake you up, make you more alert and energize you. When you do 30 minutes in the morning you’ll feel accomplished for the rest of the day.
17. Drink Green Smoothies
Have a green smoothie every day and experiment by combining different ingredients you love.
18. Sneak In More Movement
Stay active throughout the day. Walk to work and back, whenever you forget something in the other room go and get it, don’t wait for things to pile up, tidy up for 10 minutes. Do the small things throughout the day, it’s the best way to maintain a healthy weight. This is so key, e
19. Eat More Plants
Eat plant-based 3 days of the week. You don’t have to go vegan, but this will help reduce your overall animal product intake. It’s better for your health and for the environment.
20. Eat What You Like
Have 3 healthy meals/day that you really enjoy. This way you won’t mindlessly snack on whatever’s in front of you.
21. Try New Classes At The Gym
Try a different class at the gym, something you’ve never done before. Maybe Zumba, maybe boxing, maybe karate, explore different options.
22. Talk To Strangers
Talk to one person you don’t know and see what happens. 98% of the time I don’t regret this and it’s totally worth it.
23. Improve Your EveryDay Environment
Find simple ways to improve your everyday environment. Buy some candles, get flowers, play relaxing music, declutter and organize your house or desk.
Actually, write every night for 10 minutes to reflect and relax. This is important for your mental health to relieve stress and anxiety.
25. Evening Routine
Create a healthy evening routine that helps you go to bed at 10 pm. No phones, no TV at least 30 minutes before bed.
You Might Also Like:
- 7 Ways To Feel More Confident In Your Body Today
- 6 Healthy Habits That Can Change Your Life
- How To Be Happy: The Only Thing You Need To Know
This post was originally published in May 2018.