If I could just lose 10 pounds, I’d be happy.

All I want is a nice firm butt, washboard abs and sculpted arms. Is that too much to ask?

If I could only get down to a size 6, all would be right with the world

If only I looked like her, my life would be so much better.

The list goes on. And on. And on. I’ve heard people tell me goals like these, maybe phrased a little differently – maybe phrased exactly like that – for decades. In my youth, when I was forming my identity and perception of who I was and who I wanted to be, I may have even had these same thoughts a time or two.

Physical transformation goals that drive us forward can sometimes be the very things that hold us back. Wanting and wishing for a physical change, or having false notions that physical changes will bring happiness or make life better, can potentially bring disappointment and despair.

But confidently striving to reach a realistic goal, committing to it and working towards accomplishing it, can drive us forward to the point that we are unstoppable.

But don’t be fooled into thinking a physical transformation will bring you happiness or fill some empty void in your life. The journey of attaining a goal can very well change you for the better – and in incredible ways that could lead to more happiness in your life – but believing that physical changes will bring you happiness or solve all your problems is like chasing a ghost.

You wouldn’t know it from looking at them – if you were just looking at the surface – but I have known people with amazingly fit, ripped bodies, living the fitness lifestyle to the max, who were still not happy with themselves. Just as I have known people with tendencies toward depression or anxiety, self-doubt, low self-esteem, or various other issues, who believed everything in their life would be ok if they could just lose that extra weight they were struggling to shed.

But after reaching their goal, a good number of these people realized they were still the same person inside. Some even ended up gaining all the weight back (and more) when discovering that reaching an external physical goal wasn’t going to fix what was broken inside.

Sometimes we can be so busy and preoccupied with chasing a “fitness phantom” that we don’t stop to see how far we’ve come, and how much we’ve achieved as a result of all that hard work. We don’t stop to smell the roses because we are so focused on the next goal that we didn’t even realize how much we had actually achieved – we didn’t even see the roses. And we just zoomed right by one of the sweetest parts of the journey.

I don’t need to tell you how wonderful it is to have goals in life. We are all here on this incredibly motivating and informative website because we want to better ourselves in some way. We are all aiming high, and that means different things to every single person reading this – every one of us is in a unique place in our fitness journey and in our life.

The little victories, mile markers, successes and goals are our own to be proud of and to cherish. And they are all significant and important, no matter what they may be. That is why you often hear Nicole and others say “Don’t compare yourself to other people” or “Look in the mirror – that is your competition.”

If you feel confident, secure and happy with who you are and where you are on your fitness journey, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have goals and strive to improve and take things to the next level. As I have worked toward achieving my own fitness and body composition goals over the years, I have heard comments such as “You don’t need to work out, you’re already there,” or “Live a little, you’ve earned it,” or “How much more muscular and lean can you get?”

I have been very secure with my body for quite some time (even “pre-muscles”), and very happy with what I see in the mirror. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to work to maintain what I’ve already achieved, or that I don’t strive to achieve a higher goal than what I’ve already reached. Just because you have healthy self-esteem, you’re secure in who you are and happy with how you look, doesn’t mean you are done just yet!

On a similar note, just because you are striving to attain a physical goal doesn’t mean that you are insecure or unhappy with how you look or feel, or don’t recognize how far you’ve come. Being secure and happy with who you are helps you to be confident and realistic in what you want to achieve. It also allows you to recognize, with open eyes, when you’ve achieved your goal and when it’s time to set a new one.

Achieving a goal doesn’t magically bring you happiness or make you a different person, it just means you’ve accomplished what you set out to accomplish. And that can make you stronger – inside and out – and can, as a result, bring you happiness and pride with what you’ve achieved!

Here are some tips to help you keep a positive, realistic outlook on your fitness journey and the goals you set and achieve along the way:

Take it one day at a time, knowing that this may be a long journey. But don’t get discouraged.

Set realistic goals, realistic expectations and a realistic time frame for achieving those goals

• Recognize your victories and achievements (no matter how small), don’t get down on yourself for what you aren’t doing or seeing, celebrate how far you’ve come and what you’ve achieved

You are not in the same place as other people, so comparing yourself to someone else who may have been at this for years more than you is unfair to you and will only make you feel like you aren’t doing enough. You may not be there yet, but you will be if you look at what point you – and you alone – are on your individual journey. You can look to others for inspiration and motivation, but not for comparisons.

Happiness comes from the inside, not the outside, and no amount of weight loss or muscle gain – not even attaining the “perfect body” – is going to change how you feel about yourself on the inside. Good or bad.


Tip Me Tuesday: The Myth Of Lifting Like A Man
Tip Me Tuesday: Food Journaling 101
Tip Me Tuesday: To Cheat Or Not To Cheat
Tip Me Tuesday: How To Set – And Reset – Your Goals This Year
Tip Me Tuesday: Don’t Slack Off Through The Holidays
Tip Me Tuesday: The All-Or-Nothing Trap


Naomi-lighterBIOOne of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.

Go here to find out more about training with the NW Fitness Training Team!