Heading out for a workout doesn’t always seem like the most appealing use of your time – unless you change the intention behind it. Here, we make a case for why silly fitness goals could be they key to unlocking greater fitness, and fun, in 2024.
With marathon season still going strong, and the third and final month of hot girl summer in full swing, many people are going hard on their fitness goals for the year – or are already losing steam.
While there’s usually a flurry of intention setting as the new year begins, with training plans drafted and deadlines circled on the calendar – five weeks in and the promise of a fitter and stronger year can sometimes feel just a bit too hard.
Suddenly waking up early to do Pilates before work feels less empowering and more draining, and the thought of trying to clock up 10 kms on a weekend run makes your tear ducts start to quiver.
Trust us, we get it.
But as important as it can be to set powerful, ambitious goals for your fitness, there’s something to be said for silly goals too – ones that are less about tracking your mileage, and more about moving your body in the first place
The power of silly fitness goals
Silly fitness goals are intentions for your exercise that revolve around…anything but the exercise. It could be running until you pass through two separate suburbs, or walking around the park until you see three different golden retrievers.
While setting realistic goals is important when you’re trying to improve or hit a certain target, say, running a marathon, or moving up a weight class, silly fitness goals are great for the exact opposite reason.
Rather than prioritising outcomes, silly fitness goals help you to focus on the joy of doing the exercise itself – and can make it easier to workout when you’re lacking motivation.
“I do believe that when you start focusing less on a number and more a goal in mind, for example, I am going to run to the coffee shop in the next suburb and my reward is a coffee, it makes your goal more visual and achievable,” high-profile trainer Sam Wood tells Body+Soul.
By changing the intention behind the exercise to be about caffeine intake or seeing the sights, it takes the focus off the slog, which can make doing the workout much more attractive, thus achievable.
Can you still reap the benefits of fitness with silly goals?
Silly fitness goals may not satisfy your friend’s suggested half marathon training regime, but that doesn’t mean they’re not useful or worthwhile.
“By breaking your goals down into smaller, achievable actions, it will help you not only feel rewarded but likely to then keep going until you reach another milestone,” says Wood.
“Exercise is meant to be enjoyable, and yes there may be times that you’ll be wanting a certain type of exercise to end, but what we tend to say in the fitness industry is ‘What can we do to make the medicine taste better?’ he continues.
In your case, if the medicine takes better with an iced soy latte at the end, or a gossip session with a friend on the way, then so be it.
“That endorphin hit you get after a workout is like no other,” says Wood. “Something you have to keep in mind when you’re feeling ready to throw the towel in.”
Fitter, but fun-ner
Since you’re still heading out to do some exercise, it’s great if those activities are still helping to improve your overall fitness, even if you’re going about it in an unconventional way.
“If you are using visual pointers as measures of success, try to build on them each time so you continue to increase the intensity of your workouts as you go on,” Wood suggests. Make sure you’re focused on the process, not the result. If we focus too hard on the result, we lose momentum in the present.”
He also suggests keeping yourself accountable via writing your goals in your notes app, and ticking it off each time you head out. That way, you have fun while still getting in a workout, and secure yourself a sweet little dopamine hit by ticking your activity off the list. Sounds like a win-win to us.
Ready to kickstart your health transformation this year?
To help you kickstart your health journey this year, Body+Soul and Sam have joined forces, offering Australia access to a FREE eight-week Health Club with at-home workouts, personalised meal plans, and daily motivation as part of our Health of the Nation campaign.
The Health Club is free to join, with no credit card required. All you need to do is sign up at 28 by Sam Wood and agree to the terms and conditions (which includes a marketing consent).
The program It starts February 5 and ends March 31, so sign up in time to get the full 8 weeks!