How to Set Loving Goals for Lifestyle Change

For the last few weeks I’ve been writing about different aspects of self-image, body positivity, and health. This is difficult material because our culture is steeped in body-negativity, harsh judgments and confusion between health and body size. My hope is that I can inspire you to think about this material from a new perspective, one grounded in hope, love, compassion, and kindness, especially for yourself.

Today I’m going to focus on goals, which are at the root of motivation. Setting loving goals is part of the key to success in most things, and definitely in body things.

What are your goals for your relationship with your body? Go ahead, write them down. What kind of relationship with your body would you like to have?

What kind of relationship do you currently have with your body? Write that down too.

Now consider. How far apart are those right now?

Now I’m going to apply my best couple therapy tool to the relationship between you and your body. What would YOU NEED TO DO to get closer to the relationship with your body that you aspire to have? (Clue: don’t write down anything about what your body needs to do or become).

How are you feeling right now? I hope you feel empowered and inspired. Because you actually are completely in charge of the relationship you have with your body. You and your body are one organism, not two. You definitely have complete control over what kind of relationship you want to have with your body.

Now consider your body-related goals again. Is your body happy about how your mind is handling body-related decisions these days? Here’s the thing. You ARE your body. There isn’t that much separation between body and mind. Your brain is a collection of nerve cells that connect throughout your body. Your body and brain are completely intertwined.

How could you be kinder to your body? Make a list.

Get curious about how you talk to your body. Look at yourself in the mirror, and listen carefully to what your mind is saying to and about your body. Think about what you are hearing yourself say. Is this what you want to tell yourself? If not, today is the day to change.