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Wellness

4 Non-Traditional Goals for Your Body

It is March; the New Year’s health and fitness resolutions are inevitably beginning to fade. Many people are starting to find themselves back at where they started — far from their goals and feeling a little defeated. Every year, millions of women vow they will lose ‘x’ amount of pounds, drop ‘x’ amount of dress sizes, or finally get that sought-after “thigh gap.” Regardless of how strong our will is initially, most of us are unable to achieve these goals. We become so obsessed with the end result that we forget the desire that underlies these resolutions — to feel good about ourselves.

 

Goal 1: Be Grateful

It is easy to think of all the aspects of your body you dislike; but, it’s much harder to come up with what you are grateful for. An easy way to think about this is by asking yourself what your body can do that other’s can’t. Maybe you can run five miles; maybe you can hold a plank for three minutes. Obviously, these are both feats we see as impressive and noteworthy, but we also tend to overlook and take for granted many abilities we deem insignificant. Consider all the things you possess that enables your ability just to read this article —eyesight, literacy, hands to type on a laptop or phone, and the cognitive ability and intelligence to comprehend and (hopefully) consider how to apply these words to your life. Be grateful for the little things.

 

Goal 2: Find your Thing

Everyone has that “one thing” people notice about them. Sometimes it’s a hairstyle, sometimes it’s the perfect contour. Or maybe it’s your style or your appreciation for a genre of music. These are all great; but people instead noticed the way you walk through life with confidence or the way you made them feel about themselves? Try to find one thing about yourself to show the world that your beauty isn’t just skin deep.

 

Goal 3: Practice Self-Love

Challenge yourself to love your body as it is right now. That doesn’t mean you should not have fitness goals or goals related to weight — it simply means that loving yourself throughout the process is equally important. Loving the skin you’re in means something different to everyone; if you want to lose weight, do it! For many people, motivation to work on health and fitness goals comes hand in hand with confidence. Here’s the catch: falling in love with the “you” that you hope to become should never take away from the love you have for the current “you.”

 

Goal 4: Challenge the Definition

What defines us? Is it the number on a scale or on the clothing tag? Or is it the letter grade on a midterm? Too often we let numbers determine our self-worth because we don’t know how else to define it. Numbers make for an easy way to gauge our satisfaction: an A on a midterm is good and gaining five pounds in a month is bad. Somehow, we make it okay for us to use numbers to measure progress towards our goals. What’s not okay, though, is letting these measurements determine our value as people. Live by your own definition, not by someone else’s.

 

Break the mold this “pre-bikini” season. Instead of trying once again to achieve that flawless summer body by June, set your sights on something better. Goals give life purpose; it help us improve ourselves. They have the power to lift up ourselves and the people around us. The wrong goals, however, can exacerbate negativity and turn us against who we are now. Forgive your faults. Be thankful. Love the process.

Allie Helein

Wisconsin '21

Sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Dietetics and Psychology
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