5 Fun Fitness Goals for When You're Looking for a New Challenge

By , SparkPeople Blogger
This time of year, I enjoy reflecting over the past 12 months and thinking about what I'd like to do differently next year. But I'm not the type of person who sets resolutions. I do think goal setting is important and necessary, and that many of the things people strive for come January 1, are worthwhile. But to me, there is something very "serious" about New Year's resolutions that makes them different from other goals.

I liken resolutions to "going on a diet" and goals to "making small, healthy changes I can live with." One is serious, even restrictive and the other is less formal and more of an idea than a rule.

Similarly, I think too many people wait for the New Year when they could just start right now. What's wrong with eating better on January 30 or quitting smoking in November? Sure, you might feel less guilty about eating a plate of holiday cookies when you tell yourself "I'm starting over in January," but really, you're only doing a disservice to yourself in the meantime. Often, "resolution-ers" hype up their goals so much or set so many that they're unable to stick with them for very long. Maybe yours has been different, but that's been my experience at least.

So instead of setting lofty resolutions that I know I'm not going to stick with, I like to think about—even write down—some overall changes or goals that I'd like to strive for each year. And I like some of those changes to actually be FUN!

I don't necessarily do all of them at once or even start them on January 1, but I use it as a guide to keep improving and striving for something better throughout the year. Some are things that I stick with, like my goals of doing real "boy" pushups (instead of modified ones) and running more regularly. I not only mastered the pushups, but I also ran my first 5K last year! Neither of these goals required me to severely change my habits or overhaul my life—they were fun and laid back, and that's why I think I was successful in reaching them.

So whether you set your own resolutions or not, I propose that you add some sort of fun, adventurous or even ambitious fitness goals for 2009. You don't have to call them resolutions, and you don't have to go crazy to reach them. But it can break up the monotony of all the "usual" resolutions that you're aiming for and keep you motivated to stay fit. Here are a few fun fitness goals that you could strive for in 2009:

  • Do the splits. I know it seems crazy, but I hear people talk about this all the time! With regular stretching and maybe some yoga, this could be within reach for many adults.
  • Do real pushups. This was my goal last year and it was really motivating. Once I reached it, it was a real feeling of accomplishment. Already mastered pushups? Then train for another fitness feat, like pull-ups, the Pilates teaser or a yoga headstand!
  • Complete a 5K. Whether you run or walk, there is nothing like the experience of completing a race. Get a free training program!
  • Learn a fitness skill. Swimming, karate, self-defense, and boxing are all fun and potentially useful fitness pursuits. Join a class for adults to improve your skills and exercise at the same time.
  • Play in a sports league. A goal like playing soccer once a week can really break up your treadmill routine and remind you of years gone by. Find an adult sports league in your area and relive your youth sports dreams while getting exercise at the same time.

The point I'm trying to make is that no matter what you call them, goals and resolutions don't have to be all about drudgery. Let's make fitness fun again!

Do you have a fun, silly or adventurous fitness goal for 2009? Share it below!

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CECELW 2/20/2021
I love these ideas Report
SPARKNB 5/21/2020
Re-up'ing my fitness goals here, even tho it's mid-Covid-May & not Jan1):
1) Continue with training to do 'real' push-ups: 13 will be first goal, then age (58, which is how many I can do @ wall right now)
2) Start working on splits
3) Start some self-defense/kick-boxing videos

Some fun things I do now, but want to do more
1) Smile more
2) More positivity
3) More yoga
4) More dancing (even in quarantine!), both ballet & belly!
5) More Gardening (which I'm off to go do!)

Fitness Goals in future, post covidVax or when I feel safe (& won't hurt my octo roomie parents):
1) Paddle-boating &/or Kayaking
2) Rock-climbing
3) Chin-ups
4) Climb a rope (never could in gym class, 1 of only ones)
5) Triathlon
6***) Half or Full Marathon? Report
CKEYES1 5/16/2020
ok. I'm out Report
PATRICIAANN46 5/5/2020
Thank You............. Report
I'm going to have to make a list like this for myself! Some of these are already on it. :) Report
1. Take a paddleboarding class
2. Run a 5k with my family
3. Take a Zumba class
4. Go Rock climbing with my family
5. Work swimming into my cardio routine.
I'm already training for my first 5K, but I'd love to be able to do real push ups, and maybe, later learning to swim. Report
I want to do some serious hiking as I live in the Smoky Mountains and there are great trails all around. Problem is, my husband is not interested, nor do I know anyone who wants to hike and I am scared to do it alone. I am thinking about joining a hiking club to have some companions. Until then, I will continue to follow my fitness routine to try to get into shape enough to hike! Report
Would love to walk a 5k. But to run it, would be above and beyond for me. Also would like to take BellyDance classes. Did it for about 1 year and then stopped. Would love to get back into it. It was sooo much fun! Also, hope to volunteer to walk dogs at least 1 time per week. Report
I agree, I do not think fitness goals should be held off for a 'new years resolution' mostly b/c I am already doing so many fitness things! so this year I plan to:

1. smile more
2. not let negative people stay in my life
3. learn a new recipe each month (healthy of course)
4. learn a new skill
5. stretch more

I think these are pretty easy things that I look forward to accomplishing this year!! Report
I am so going to get to that 100 pushups this year and I think I will aim for modified pushups and those wall pushups for now. Once I reach that goal I will see about the "boy" pushups and planks!
I also would like to be able to jump rope continuously without getting tangled up, this is a goal I can do with my son- what a great way to spend time and laugh together.
I would like to learn to run at least 1 mile before 2010 is over, and have started adding running intervals in with my walks.
The major accomplishment would be to start training for a 5k walk race, and see it to its completion. I have never done anything like that in my life, but truly enjoy walking. I think it would show just how far I've come in one year. Report
Mastering simple jump roping would be a great improvement. Who knew that it could be so hard. As a child, it was not a problem. Report
I got a head start on a New Year's resolution and started Tae Kwon Do this past November. It has been awesome! And! It gave me something to show my family when I was home for the holidays.

Great suggestions! Thanks Report
I want to run like Phoebe from Friends, look it up on youtube-run like Phoebe. Report
I always thought doing the splits would be awesome!! Report
I always thought doing the splits would be awesome!! Report
I want to learn to paly the flute and go for a hot air balloon ride Report
I joined the C25K program and signed up for my first ever 5K at the end of February. My 12 year old grandson is going to run with me (he's SO excited)!! Report
Hi! Oh how I wish I were a runner. I'm just not one... But anyway, I guess I will make some resolutions while I'm here. First off, I would like to lose 10 pounds. It might not sound like much, but I've been on a plateau for about two months! Secondly, have less calories. I used to use the tracker on here quite frequently, but recently I have not used it too much. Started back up again yesterday! Hmm... a third goal. I would like to start up with the online exercise videos *again* and maybe join a bootcamp? Who knows?

Pale Report
I would like to complete a parent daughter skulling (rowing) race and have this be a fun and memorable experience.
I would like to complete a high rope course.
I want to find time in my schedule to at least ski four times this season (the Northeast season might be cut short because of a delayed arrival of our winter and now it is FREEZING!!!!)
I want to erg a 2K consistently under 10 min.
I am haggling over a running goal- I don't love it most days but it makes me a better athlete) Report
I was challenged yesterday by an old friend to take part in a 15 mile commemorative walk of the Bataan Death March on March 21st. I think I'm going to do it. There's also a 26.2 walk but maybe that will come in 2011. The walk is at White Sands Missile Range, which is lots of white sand! It will be the longest walk I've ever tried, and it will also be in a very sandy terrain which is even more of a challenge.
I also want to start training to run 5k's. I've never been a runner but as I go toward hitting the 55-year old mark the end of February I want to start. Report
After reading your blog, and all the comments, I feel like I need to come up with some goals. I think I'll sleep on it.... Report
I would like to run a 5k, engage in some more outdoor activities, and do standard pushups. Report
I'm striving for sub 7min mile pace in a 5K race Report
I want to take a Zumba Class. Report
1. Complete the Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant certification. I want to help others make healthy lifestyle changes.
2. Try a rock climbing wall.
3. Run a 5k (vs walking/running one) Report
1) at least 10 real "man" push ups
2) do the splits all 3 ways again
3) do 3 5k's this year Report
After checking out some of the ideas posted:

Get outside on the trails more!
Enjoy my husband more! Report
This was a great article Nicole and mirrored my own thinking this year. Here are mine:
1) Eat breakfast every day
2) Do sets of regular push ups (me too Nicole)
3) Do Yoga once per week
4) At home, use it up and wear it out. That means using all of my fitness videos and equipment and not buying anything new!
5) Do 5 chin ups on the jungle gym! Report
I'd like to be able to Belly Dance again - on purpose, not just when I walk.

I studdied for about 5 years when I was finishing college and starting to work full time. That stopped temporarily when I sprained my back and stopped perminently when I hurt my shoulder at work. My dancing days ended about 17 years ago but I've taken to dancing along while watching 'Shimmy' on FitTV as a way to make my foot stronger (yep - I broke it at work).

Its fun but I have a long way to go before all of the shimmying is on purpose. Report
I really like the goal of being able to do a real pushup! So I'm going to add that to my goals.
Also, recycle more, I'm trying to be more green.
I would also like to be able to run a mile with ease.
Walking more often is also on there.

Yay for easy goals! Report
My fun goal is to do man push ups. Report
1. Walk a min. of 2 miles per day (I like to walk)
2. Run or jog a mile with ease.
3. Do push ups
4. Take off 60-80 lbs So I will see more improvement and won't have to get adjusted every week or 2.
5. Look decent in my clothes
6. Tighten my flabby arms Report
1. Lose 80lbs and KEEP IT OFF!
2. Finish the Peachtree Road Race in under 50mins
3. Apply to Grad School
4. Purchase a Home
5. Make sure that my savings account is a Saving acct and not extra "Spending Money"
6. Make sure that all these goals are kept! Report
1. Do the spits again
2. finish grad school
3. have a healthier lifestyle
4. run a mile with ease Report
1. enroll in college for nursing
2. become healthy physically & financially
3. Get involved with my children's school work more
4. be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend (I'm already great at it)
5. Attend church more and become a better Christian (tithe)
6. Live like Christ.
7. Hit my goal by my birthday, so I can fit into my goal jeans!
Mine are:
1. Do real push-ups
2. Knee raises on captains chair
3. Run a 5k
I would like to be able to run. It's something I was working toward before I injured my ankle last year. I'm going to start retraining for it. Coach Nicole, please forgive me, but I can't believe you haven't run a full marathon. Watching you on the videos reminds me of the energizer bunny. LOL Report
My fitness goal is to make time for exercise six times a week. I have never accomplished incorporating exercise into my life. This just might be the year to get healthier! Report
Do a Walk a Thon with my Sis...and teach Yuki to talk to me while I'm on the treadmill Report
Dance more and climb a rock wall!! :-) Report
1.) Learn to Spin
2.) Learn more Yoga poses
3.) Dance More Report
1.spend more quality time with my kids, read to them at night.
2.exercise everyday even if its for 10 minutes.
3. get out and spend more family time together, take the kids to the park, walking,or other fun ,free things. Report
1. spend more time with my oldest daughter
2. be happy even though the world looks grim
3.well?? spend more time helpping others Report
Like Nicole, I've been working on pushups this year, hoping one day to be able to be "man" enough to do a "real" pushup. I'll continue with that goal. In addition, I'm training for my first sprint triathlon, the MinneMan, on July 4, 2009 with the rest of my family! Maybe I'll place in my division (woman novice 50-54 yrs). Report
I intend to use the membership that is paid in full at my local gym. I haven't been since September and my membership will run out this summer. I WILL get there at least 3 days per week........ Report
I have 3 goals for this year: 1) Become healthier -lose weight, eat better, and green our homes and bodies 2) Be better to my self-increase confidence and self esteem, make new friends, and actually take time for me 3) Keep the house in presentable condition-striving for perfection everyday is driving me insane, so I need to back off a bit. #'s 1 and 2 are lofty, but I have a plan for both and am taking it step at a time to not overwhelm myself and quit on myself, yet again. Good luck to everyone on their goals!! May we ALL succeed in bettering ourselves!! Report
Finally make it to that Yoga class I've wanted to try!
And what is ZUMBA anyway? Report
1. Go to the gym at least 4 days a week
2. Run a 5K
3. Join a softball team
4. Join a competition dance class
5. Get my kids to exercise Report
I am finally going to join a gym and enroll in a spinning class. I am also going to run my first 5K. Woohoo! Report