As the New Year starts to take shape, a lot of us look to goal setting, resolutions, new things we want to do, be, and accomplish. Often these goals are around what we want to look like or how we want to change our bodies. While sometimes we need to make changes to ensure our physical health, sometimes these types of goals push us to aim for unrealistic and unhealthy standards.
This doesn’t just happen in the New Year, health and wellness is so mainstream and on trend right now, it’s everywhere we turn, every day. Social media is a playground for fit people, women especially. But it’s also filled with models and unattainable (often altered) images and notions of ‘beauty’. It creates unhealthy standards of what people (especially young girls) think they need to look like, it turns anyone with an internet connection and a naturally fit looking body into a fitness expert, and it ends up creating feelings of dissatisfaction and unworthiness in a whole lot of minds.
While we all struggle to feel completely confortable in our own skin, everyday, here are some of the things we like to remember when we feel ourselves getting down and looking for the next quick fix.
Remember, not everyone knows what they’re talking about
It can be very easy to see a young, beautiful, fit person on instagram who uploads workouts and assume they’re trained, or at the very least educated in the field. But more often than not, they’re not. They might have found what works for them, they might look like that naturally, they might have someone else helping them or telling them what to do for their bodies, but they also may not know anymore than you or us. And that is ok. We think sharing is caring. But when using that information to train or compare your body to theirs, remember a lot of other factors are at play. And 9 times out of 10 doing their workouts won’t make you look like them.
Some things work for some people and not others
People have been swearing by certain workouts for years. Whatever it is, they swear by it and that it changed their life. That’s wonderful. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to do the same thing for you or do good things for your body. Remember to research, try a range of things, and be open to finding your own unique way of moving your body. One that makes you FEEL good, not just one that you hope will make you LOOK good.
Don’t look to others
It’s very easy to see someone and want to look like them. Or want more of what they have. Firstly, you can’t know how healthy someone actually is without knowing them. Are they mentally balanced and happy? Or are they living a life of extreme workouts and dieting? Are they naturally built that way? Should we all look the same? These are important questions to ask when you find yourself creating goals around looking like someone else. And secondly, goals around looking like other people are really unsatisfying and often unattainable. We all look different for a reason – and how boring would it be if we didn’t?
Think about your why
Goals can be great, but unless we know what we actually want to get from them, they can be really demotivating, even when achieved. Take the goal of losing 5kgs for example. Why do you want to lose 5kg? Why do you want to train glutes? Why do you want to tone up? Is it because that is literally what you want or is it because you want to feel comfortable in your own skin, feel comfortable wearing tight jeans, feel confident? Because when it comes down to it, something else will have to change for those things to happen. We look for fixes to change how we feel about ourselves, but usually that’s what has to change first. Look to your why, and then write a list of things that make you feel that way now, or closest to, and focus on that.
Extreme goals often feel unattainable
If we don’t think we can achieve a goal, it’s been proven that we are less likely to stick to it. So if our fitness goal is to lose 10kg or run a marathon and we don’t ever think we will, we stop trying, then nothing changes, and we get demotivated, and the cycle starts again. Start small. Create small changes each day to get you towards how you want to feel.
Quality of life should be your first priority
We are firm believers in being healthy and active. It keeps our bodies and our minds fit. But, your quality of life shouldn’t be taking a nosedive because of it. You shouldn’t be missing out on what life has to offer because you have to train and diet instead. Look at what you’re giving up and why and come back, again, to how you want your life to feel. Maybe focus a little less on what you want it to look like.