Raise your hand if you thoroughly enjoyed a Christmas cookie…or twelve…recently. 🙋

Raise your hand if getting back on track with healthy eating and consistent exercise is at the tip-top of your To-Do List. 🙋

And raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by Regina George. 🙋 

You may relate to Regina in that, “sweatpants are all that fits me right now,” and that may leave you feeling way less fierce than Beyonce would approve of. But, decorating cookies with your cousins and eating your mom’s pumpkin pie because you care about her are the things that make the holiday season so joyful.
Hate to break it to ya, but the gym is not the end-all-be-all of your existence. #sorrynotsorry 
A self-proclaimed fitness addict, I even scare myself by saying that. When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, though, aesthetic goals are usually the most popular, and usually the first ones broken.

Why is that? You may ask.
Well, first off, I cannot commit to whether or not a new sticker is worthy of being on my laptop case, much less a resolution for an entire year.  Snaps for those who are not terrified by the permanency of stickers.
But mainly, it is because setting aesthetic resolutions (i.e. weight loss, shredded abs) after an entire holiday season’s worth of treats and missed gym sessions is really setting a resolution because you feel guilty for eating Santa Claus’ cookies, not because you truly want to better yourself.  
How many of you came up with that resolution because you had some sort of insecurity about your appearance, not because you genuinely want to work up to 45 minutes of cardio per day? More like cardi-no…


A better approach may be to set fitness goals that relate to performance instead of aesthetics. For example, I think it would be rather impressive to be able to run like Usain Bolt, so I’m going to work some sprints into my cardio regimen and pretend like I am an Olympian every once in a while. I also really want to be able to do 10 non-assisted pull-ups just because it looks fun.
You don’t have to have good reasons for your performance goals, just be sure that they motivate you to get out and get active for reasons other than appearance. But get this…fitness is not the only way you can better yourself in the New Year, though. Shocker, I know, right?
Excuse me, Eileen, but having shredded abs will make me an overall awesome person this coming year.  

Excuse me, but you are so much more than your appearance. 

Smart is sexy. Getting more sleep is beyond attractive. And putting down your phone to have an actual, face-to-face conversation…well, that is a beautiful treat in today’s society. It’s science, guys. Really.


So here are a few resolution’s I’m setting this year that don’t have to do with the gym

Stay Up to Date with Current Events

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively had their second baby…and I missed it?! See? If you spend too much time focusing on your physical aesthetic rather than keeping up with current events, you’ll miss all of the important things in life — like how an Arizona company may have just produced a mushroom that tastes like bacon. It’s equally important to keep up with things like politics, too.

Decrease Time Span of Netflix Binges (slightly)

I’m Eileen and I am addicted to Netflix. It’s true. But, I mean, who wouldn’t be when there are 10 captivating seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, and a super duper Gilmore Girls reunion right at your fingertips? Oy, with the poodles already. However — and I say this in all seriousness — there is more to life than Netflix. Take a minute to let that fact sink in… If you simply shut down the media streaming site one episode earlier than normal (which means you still get to watch about 7 episodes, give or take), you could spend that extra 18 to 42 minutes getting a kickstart on your dream career OR catching up on current events (killing two birds with one stone, my friend).

Get More Sleep

Ok, for all of you dying for at least one fitness resolution, here you go. If you are pushing yourself in the gym regularly and trying to build muscle, get faster, etc., the best thing you can do for yourself is giving your body sufficient time to recover. AKA get yourself a cute, little eye mask and go to bed earlier so you can go harder in your training session tomorrow. And this may be the easiest resolution to set, too, because you literally just have to close your eyes.

Fitness is my passion and I hope to make it my career, but progress is most often made when you do something with a genuine desire to get better. Don’t let the extra treats force you into thinking that the New Year has to begin with outrageous diets and workout plans, and don’t let society force you into thinking you are any more or less of a person because of your appearance. 
Get better at your sport, improve your performance, and fall in love with your passion all over again. But, don’t forget that there is so much more to life fitness, too. Cherish the memories you made this holiday season, set new goals, learn about the world around you, and everyday, work towards your ultimate dream fearlessly. That’s what this new year should be about!

Check out these articles too:

Managing Fitness Goals Without the Scale
Ditch These 3 Mindsets If You Want Better Workouts
No, I Didn’t Always Love Staying Fit (But I Do Now)
Fitness is About More Than Your Appearance: Here’s Why

About The Author

NYC bound, but currently a junior at Miami University, Eileen gets through long hours of studying Public Health and Nutrition by drinking at least 4 cups of coffee a day. When she's not looking up cute animal videos on YouTube, she can be found intensely picking things up and putting them down at her school's gym. One day you will be able to pick up an issue of her health and fitness magazine at your local newsstand, but for now, check her out t on Instagram!

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