How To Set Healthier Nutrition & Fitness Goals For The New Year

If your goal is to “get healthy” in 2021, I encourage you to think deeper about what that means to you. To be successful with your goal setting, you need clarity to start.

If health means exercising regularly, I agree! However, if it means exercising with the sole intent of weight loss, you’ll probably start to dread it and see it as punishment. That means, you likely won’t stick to you goal long-term, and your mental health may suffer as a result of daily body-shaming and disordered exercise habits.

Rather, I suggest finding an exercise modality that brings you joy and pay attention to how your body feels when you’re moving (this is a practice I call intuitive exercise). Using that mood, energy, and confidence boost as your motivation will help foster a much longer-lasting habit.

If “being healthy” means sticking to a strict diet, again, I ask why you feel that way. If you’re eliminating major food groups—without an allergy or medical reason—it may not actually be in service of your health. Of course, organic, nutrient dense, unprocessed foods are certainly good for the body. However, if don’t enjoy anything you eat or you don’t eat large enough portions to fuel your body, you could end up injured and depleted—the exact opposite of healthy.

I recommend reframing this goal to thinking about how often can you add in nutritious ingredients, rather than focusing on removing foods from your diet. This takes you out of a scarcity mindset and encourages a stronger bodily intuition. Plus, being satisfied by your meals means it won’t take effort to continue eating in a beneficial way. 

We’ve been sold by diet culture that if we diet and exercise a specific way, we’ll look a specific way, which couldn’t be more wrong. Even if we ate and moved exactly alike, we’d still all look different—and this diversity is a good thing. Instead of focusing on aesthetics, I encourage you try making specific functional benchmarks that demonstrate meaningful improvements to your fitness. For instance, being able to make it through the day energetically (without four lattes), or feel strong enough to carry your baby without back pain.

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