Last updated on February 5th, 2023 at 12:15 pm
Get some inspiration and motivation with this list of 25 goal ideas for health and fitness. If you always set goals, but never follow through, this article can help. These amazing examples of actionable fitness goals can transform your body and mind!
If you’re someone who always 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. I know.
Since then I read a lot of articles, listened to some audiobooks, podcasts 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 items on each and every one of them. I had 10 different planners that I’ve been filling out with the same things 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 achieved and the goals I didn’t achieve was whether they were actionable or not.
In the past, I often used to set goals like:
I will have ___
I will be ___.
I made them SMART, but it didn’t work. The goal was always to own something I didn’t have. Or someone I want to be, someone completely different from what I was.
As if I wasn’t grateful for what I have and who I am and couldn’t wait to change my situation.
The other thing that those goals kinda made me feel after being inspired for a few minutes, was powerless. I can’t really control how much weight I lose or gain in a month. Even if I push myself to my limits. If 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, express gratitude and start with what you already have. With 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 now. 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.
With this, I have the vision, a bigger goal in mind, but I break it down and focus on the steps. On the action. If you struggle with goal setting, you can use a goal planner like this one. Make sure to use the code NTB20 for 20% off.
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 that 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. I realized you need to have a plan, to know what’s important and to prioritize.
25 Goal Ideas For Health & Fitness
Now here are some goal ideas for health and fitness that can help 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. That’s why it’s the first one on our list of goal ideas for health and fitness! Because it’s important.
Last week I made a challenge to wake up at 5:30 am every day 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.
So waking up early (within reason) will give you time to start your day in peace, doing things for your health and your mindset.
2. Try New Healthy Recipes
Next on our list of goal ideas for health and fitness is cooking! 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. If you need some help with eating healthy, you can start with this 7-Day Mediterranean Meal Plan.
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.
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.
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. If you need some inspiration here, I’ve got some low-glycemic recipes right here.
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 more plant-based meals. Now, you don’t have to go vegan, but plants are full of polyphenols and other phytochemicals that come with amazing health benefits, which you can’t find in animal-based products. That said, stay away from processed vegan foods. Just because something is vegan, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Potato chips can be vegan too, you know? So use your best judgment and add a variety of healthy plants to your diet!
20. Eat What You Like
Keeping that in mind, 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 Things At The Gym
Try a different class at the gym, something you’ve never done before. Maybe Zumba, maybe boxing, maybe karate or maybe lifting weights – explore different options and see what makes you feel really good.
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
Last on our list of goal ideas for health and fitness is building your own evening routine! Create a healthy bedtime routine that helps you go to bed earlier. No phones, no TV, no food, at least 30 minutes before bed.
More Healthy Living Tips
Well, I hope our goal ideas for health and fitness helped you find some inspiration to create your very own list of fitness goals to achieve in the next few months! For more healthy living tips and motivation, read these:
- 6 Healthy Habits That Can Change Your Life
- 9 Goal Setting Tips To Achieve What You Want
- My Morning Routine For Health and Productivity
This post was originally published in May 2018 and last updated in February 2023.