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So you've started on a body positive fitness journey, and you're setting goals that aren't related to shrinking yourself! Congratu-freaking-lations! That is heckin rad, and I'm super proud of you. It's hard as hell to break out of the mainstream fitness and diet culture that pushes you to endlessly try to shrink. Now that you've started moving your body and are trying to make it about feeling good, it might be hard to figure out how to set goals. Here's a few ideas to get you started.

  1. Consider setting a frequency goal. This can look a lot of different ways. Maybe your goal is to attend a specific class every week, or walk 3 days a week, or to get up from your desk three times a day. There are many options. I had a student in an indoor cycling class I teach (shoutout to Upcycle!) set a goal recently to do back-to-back classes every Sunday morning. I love this as a frequency goal!

  2. Set a skill based goal. Maybe there is something you'd like to learn to do, or work towards doing. It can be anything, a high plank, a headstand, a front squat, a push-up. Skill based goals are fun for me as a personal trainer because I can look at all the various components that go into that particular skill and figure out ways to work towards it. So we might work on specific mobility, or building strength in a particular part of your body, and gradually build up towards that skill.

  3. Set an endurance goal. Maybe you want to work up to being able to finish a 4 mile hike, or run for a mile without walking, or maybe you want to do a full dance class. There are a lot of ways to work up to an endurance goal like that, and this is a cool way to mark progress without focusing on body weight or aesthetic changes.

  4. Set a strength goal. This one might be my personal fave. I love working to see increases in my lifts. You can work to increasing a one rep max, or work to being able to do more reps with a weight lower than your max. I have clients who work on strength goals without specifically focusing on powerlifting style one rep maxes.

Once you remove body weight changes from your fitness equation, it might seem hard to set fitness goals, but being able to focus on these types of goals can be very liberating, and can help you structure your movement sessions in a way that helps you progress towards those goals. Of course, there is no requirement to have specific goals. Our culture is a bit obsessed with achievement and sometimes, that achievement obsession can distract from doing a thing just to do it. It's completely fine to move your body without having any particular goals for outcomes.

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