10 Realistic Fitness Goals to Set for 2023 [that you will want to achieve]

It is 2023, and we are changing the narrative regarding setting fitness goals. This year we are setting realistic fitness goals that will influence our consistency and help us to achieve our long-term fitness goals.

Most of us start the New Year with a list of goals; certainly, fitness is part of that list. So, naturally, we want to get healthy, fit, and toned, but our goals are often unrealistic, and by the second week of January, we have given up.

And that is why we are publishing this article today—maybe you have set fitness goals that you have already given up on. But we are here to share 10 Realistic Fitness Goals that you will want to do consistently and ultimately reach your much more meaningful, long-term goals. When we say we want to get healthy, fit, and toned, they are tied into a long-term idea of losing X amount of weight or looking and feeling better in my clothes or no more jiggle arms, et cetera.

We forget that getting Healthy and fit requires Lifestyle Changes and takes time to accomplish our goals. We forget we did not get to where we are overnight, but a set of habits we practiced got us here. And when we try to rush the process of adopting new healthier habits, we feel disappointed and like we have failed.

Changing the Narrative

I am on this journey with you—I want to lose weight and get fit and toned, but I am miserable when I am unrealistic. And so this year, let us commit to changing the narrative. Let us set short-term goals that you will stick to—that are good for you and will eventually take you to the healthier, fitter, stronger, and better version of yourself.

10 Realistic Fitness Goals for 2023.

While these may seem small and insignificant, they are the goals we can build upon to achieve larger long-term goals.

1. Schedule your workout

Understanding that Health is wealth and that without good Health, nothing else matters changed my perspective on working out. You get your workout done when you put them on your calendar, just like you do your tasks, meetings, and appointments. It is an appointment with yourself, and it is a priority.

Here is how to achieve it

I do a Sunday night strategy where I plan my entire week. This is where I plan my workouts for the week, just as I have everything else. So get into the habit of scheduling your workout at the beginning of the week instead of figuring it out as you go through your week.

Make exercise one of your Top 3s

Every day I list the top three things [priorities] that will push me closer to my goal and make my day a success if I get them done. So list your workout as one of your top 3s—it will set you up for a successful day and bring you closer to your larger fitness goal.

Be Prepared

I have learned that being prepared for whatever I want to get done is one of the best things I can do for myself. This means that on Sunday, take out your workout clothes for the entire week, sign up for that virtual or in-person class or take the jump rope out. Being prepared will make it easier to keep your workout appointments to yourself.

2. Begin by Walking

Walking has always been how I ease back into an exercise routine if I have not worked out. Walking has many benefits but is often overlooked, and it is the perfect Segway to begin any workout routine.

Benefits of walking

  1. It is FREE
  2. It increases longevity
  3. It is excellent for your legs [trust me]

Here is how to achieve it

Start Slow

As a beginner, you can start with just 15 minutes a day and eventually increase your time, intensity and pace.

Get an Accountability Partner

Years ago, I recruited my tenant to walk with me when I wanted to start walking. She had an upcoming trip and was motivated by fitting in a two-piece. On the days I did not want to go, I would push through because I did not want her to go alone at 5 AM during the Winter.

3. Learn the Foundation

When you are ready to graduate from other forms of exercise, having the correct form will get you the best results. At my first Soulcycle class, the instructor celebrated this young woman riding at her 50th class. It was impressive—I had the privilege of riding with that young lady in several classes. She rode her 75th and 100th classes while I was there, but her form was incorrect. And I am not judging her, but I believe she would have gotten more from her classes had she focused a little more on her form versus getting to a specific number of rides.

It was almost painful to watch the way she rode the bike. I was afraid she might injure herself. If you have an improper form, you risk injuries and are not the benefits of the workout.

When we approach exercising correctly, we protect ourselves from injuries, strengthen the right muscles, and become healthier.

Here is how to achieve it

For example, I want to get better at mobility exercises—I tried YouTube; I was frustrated when the channel’s owner did not respond. Still, YouTube channels are a fabulous resource, so use them.

I decided to look for a class that offered the foundation of mobility exercises. And I found one that cost me $49.00, but it is helpful, and I am confidently doing the exercises—I am not afraid I will hurt myself.

Ask for help

Most gyms offer free training sessions. Take advantage of it—they will show you how to use the machines, et cetera. Places like CKO provide the first class free, and I am sure other places do the same. If you are taking a yoga or Pilates class, ask the instructor for help—I have done this in the past, and they were happy to demonstrate or assist with proper form.

Asking for help is one of the best things you can do for yourself when it comes to learning the appropriate form.

Stay focused and increase reps incrementally.

I want to incorporate weight and strength training in my weekly workouts, and I am doing a kettlebell class. Two of the things I learned as a result of this class were:

  1. It is essential to pay attention to my form when I begin to feel tired.
  2. And not because I am killing it means I get up my reps. However, especially if you are new to a form of exercise you are doing, it is best to increase your reps slowly, and if you are unsure, ask the instructor or trainer.

4. Get your Glutes Stronger

Last Spring, I started getting terrible lower back pain, and after a CT Scan, my doctor suggested Physical Therapy. My Therapist said we would focus on my glutes and gave me many reasons why I should start there. Strengthening your glutes will prevent knee injury and support your lower back.

Here is how to achieve it

Incorporate resistance band

Using a resistance band helped me with my form and made the exercises easier. In addition, my Physical Therapist said starting with a resistance band assists with the mind and body connection.

Train your Glutes 3 times a week

I started three days a week, and my lower back pain was gone within two weeks. I still do glute exercises three times a week—here is a favorite of mine. And I think it is a great place to start. I started with three days a week at my Therapist’s recommendation, and I feel good.


5. Try a new workout each week

I would not say I like going to the gym—nothing exciting. Therefore, finding a fun, challenging, and enjoyable workout is a must for me. I stuck with Soulcycle for four years and, before that, Pilates for five. Maybe yours is kickboxing or kettlebell. Explore different exercises to find what you like and do it often. The best exercise is the one you have fun with but is still challenging, and you will stick with it.

Create a list of workout

The first thing to do is create a list of workouts you would like to try—maybe yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, martial arts, SoulCycle, et cetera. Once you have made your list, go to the fitness studio’s or local gym’s website and look at their schedules and schedule your classes ahead of time.

Take a free class

Most places offer free classes and discounts for first-time students. Sign up for a class or two or three to see if you like it.

6. Hold a 60-second plank

I love mini Challenges—they are a friendly, non-pressured way to meet small goals. Like the 30 days Yoga Challenge I do at the beginning of each year. After our Yoga challenge, we move on to another challenge, and this year it is a 60-second plank for 30 days.

Planks work your entire body, especially your core, which supports your abdominal and back muscles.

Here is how to achieve it

Start small

My cousin read somewhere that we should start small, so we decided to hold a 20-second plank twice a week in addition to our Yoga Challenge. That is an excellent way to work up to the 60-second plank challenge.

Begin on your knees

Planks may look very easy, but they are difficult. I am struggling. I am in my second week and holding maybe a 10-second plank, so I turned to YouTube for help.

7. Practice mobility exercises

We have all been told to stretch more; however, while I see the importance of stretching, I believe mobility is just as important—it is the foundation of physical Health. Mobility is your overall range of motion within your body, especially within your joints.

Here is how to achieve it

Start Small

I think the rule of thumb for starting anything is to begin where you are and focus on yourself. It is not a race or a competition. Begin where you are and work your way up. I started with this class, but there are other free options to get you started on YouTube.

8. Something for your mind

Fitness is a Holistic approach to how you take care of yourself. It includes your mind, body, and soul, and I think we should always set our goals or intention on all parts of ourselves that need nurturing and care.

Meditation does for the mind and soul what physical exercise does for the body. Meditation is beneficial in many ways for helping to minimize stress to decrease blood pressure—the benefits are tremendous.

Here is how to achieve it

Know that there is no right or wrong way to mediate.

Some people make us believe that there is a right and wrong way to meditate. But know that meditation takes different forms. For example, sometimes meditation means journaling with deep questions, while other times, sitting with your eyes closed as you pay attention to your breath.

For example, meditation for my friend Vivianna means cooking—she says cooking allows her to relax within herself and gives her clarity whenever she is confused.

Choose a space for meditation.

If space permits, set up a specific place to do your meditation. This could be a chair in your dining room or a cozy nook in your living room. For me, it is on a cushion in my flex room—I set it up the night before so that it is ready when I get to that room in the morning.

Use an app or YouTube.

If you are unsure where to start, an app may be an excellent solution—several apps offer meditation practices for targeted concerns. Or try YouTube. I have found the perfect sleep meditation on YouTube.

Start small

I firmly believe in starting small because that is how to build a solid foundation. Starting with just five minutes a day is enough to begin a practice. Then build over time.

9. Drink more water

For some people, this is easy. However, for others like me who dislike water, this is a challenging goal for me to achieve. Therefore I need to find ways to make it work—full transparency; I will probably never drink two to three liters a day of water or half my body weight.

And so I find ways to get my water, I cut back on my sparkling water, but I allow myself one bottle a day and one bottle a day of regular water. I compensate by including coconut water and water-filled fruits, and I like a little apple juice from time to time. So if I have apple juice, I add a two [water] to one [juice] ratio.

Water is essential. There are so many downsides to not drinking water, and it is certainly not a good idea to work out without being hydrated. I have experienced all of the downsides, from Dehydration to fainting, from not being adequately hydrated.

So how much water should you drink? Several factors determine this, but a good rule of thumb is that men should consume 3.7 liters [or 15.5 cups] of water, and women 2.7 liters [or 11.5 cups], according to the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine guidelines.

The Centers for Disease Control [CDC] recommends drinking water throughout the day to be adequately hydrated when sweating.

Here is how you achieve it

Find creative ways to get your water in

You can eat fruits that contain higher levels of water. Fruits that fall into this category are blueberries, oranges, peaches, pineapples, plums, raspberries, et cetera Or, for veggie lovers, eat vegetables with higher water content. And that includes vegetables such as celery, cucumber, iceberg lettuce, tomato, and zucchini.

Purchase a reusable water bottle

Having a reusable bottle with you all day is the perfect reminder to drink more water. In my opinion, this is one of the best investments you can make if you are trying to increase your water intake.

Drink your water out of a fabulous glass

An excellent wine or cocktail glass or a champagne flute inspires me and makes my water taste better—this may be inside my head, but it helps me stay on track.

A woman taking a rest

10. Rest and Give Yourself Grace

These realistic fitness goals are so achievable that when you find momentum, it is easy to want to keep going without rest. However, rest is an essential part of the equation. Resting allows our muscles to repair themselves and become stronger.

And for those who will fall short, even though these are small micro-goals, you can start again. Please do not beat yourself up; give yourself some grace and be kind to your body for all the other things it does for you.

Here is how to achieve it

Choose a ten-minute Yoga sequence.

Listen to your body; it talks to you—if you are feeling Exhausted and the next day is a workout, plan a rest day instead. Do not push yourself. But if you would still like to get a bit of movement in, do a ten-minute Yoga sequence.

Plan fun into your schedule

If you work out five or six days a week, schedule something fun to do on the sixth or seventh day. It must not include work or exercise, just fun. It is the perfect prescription to rest your mind, body, and soul.

Document your journey

Keep a journal during your fitness journey—it is a lovely way to track your process. However, it is also a beautiful way to go back and read what you have done since you started on the days you need a bit of kindness and Grace.

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