Being healthy doesn’t always need to involve exercise and kale salads. Here’s some inspiration for all the other amazing things you can do in life.


Goal-setting is a wonderful framework for the intentional life we want to lead. You can shape a plan with both short and long term goals, and make them about how you want to make the most out of your time.

However, many often find themselves setting goals that involve some type of fitness or weight loss goal.

It’s why the health and fitness industry experiences a boom in marketing during specific seasons throughout the year, touting New Year’s resolutions and bikini bodies.  For any of you who is exposed to these messages, this push to change your body – this message is for you.

You can say no.

You can make a decision to NOT participate or set diet and weight loss goals. Research indicates that 95% of diets will fail and of those 5% that succeed, these individuals may find themselves shaping their lives around being a certain size or shape. From meal planning to working out to skipping social outings, you may end up skipping out on life while trying to retain these perceived ‘healthy’ goals.

If you feel the pull to engage and participate, that’s OK. But if you’d like to challenge the status quo by setting goals that have nothing to with changing your appearance, here are ones you can consider instead:

  1. Learn to play an instrument (it’s never too late!)
  2. Set a number of books you wish to read this year.
  3. Aim to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and nature daily.
  4. Plan quarterly home projects with monthly financial plans to make those projects happen.
  5. Write in a gratitude journal daily.
  6. Develop a bedtime routine that will allow you to have better rest and sleep.
  7. Treat yourself at least once a month to a massage, a day at the spa, or just a lunch out alone.
  8. Catch up with an old friend at least once a quarter.
  9. Plan a trip out of town, even if it’s just for the weekend to a neighboring city. Set monthly goals to make it happen.
  10. Try one new recipe a week or a month, whichever fits your schedule better.
  11. Take one day a week to totally relax and recharge. Stay in your comfy clothes, wear no makeup, and relax on the couch.
  12. Learn about a new subject that piques your interest. Read one blog post or article about the subject every morning to get your day started.
  13. Schedule a date night with your significant other at least once a week, even if it’s just a movie together at home.

Feeling recharged yet? We do!

Adapted from the original article.

Amber Madden, MA, LPCA is a Kentucky-based licensed mental health counselor specializing in treating eating disorders. As the creator of “Beat the Binge”, a 6-week online program, she helps individuals tackle their food rules and break free from the struggles of disordered eating, binge eating, and emotional eating. Learn more about Amber at Bloom Nutrition Therapy.

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