Treat Yo'self: How to Celebrate Your Fitness Benchmarks and Milestones

April 9, 2019 • By Penelope Torres

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Celebrating fitness benchmarks is just as important as achieving them. Here's how you can reward yourself while you're on the journey to a healthier life.

Did you know that 59 percent of Americans created a fitness New Year's resolution in 2019? Or that 80 percent will break them before the year's up? 

Does that mean creating exercise goals just isn't worth it? Not all! Even moderate exercise can yield huge results including lower blood pressure, better mental well-being, and increased energy and stamina.

What's more, regular exercise proves effective in managing a healthy weight and dropping your cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes risks. Of course, maintaining the motivation to get out there and move can prove difficult at times.

But with simple changes to how you approach fitness benchmarks, you can increase your stick-to-itiveness and smash through exercise barriers.

Read on to learn more about how celebrating small wins can help you stick to your resolutions over the long haul. 

Why Resolutions Fail

Our minds often do a number on us when we decide on a new goal or resolution. We start fixating mentally on achieving our final outcome. And anything that we do contrary to that goal inspires a self-imposed guilt trip. 

We forget to celebrate the small wins or see our journey as one involving many little goals along the way. Coupled with the aforementioned tendency to focus on the negative, we may end up in a vicious cycle. 

This cycle involves an inordinate focus on negative minutiae and little to no recognition of how far we've actually come. The result? We may end up feeling like failures and even take our progress for granted.

Unfortunately, this perfectionistic swirl of contempt can lead us to drop the very goals we hoped to achieve. And, usually, we're much closer to the finish line than we may acknowledge at the time. This all-or-nothing approach leads to failure. 

Start Celebrating Small Wins

Resolutions fail because we don't give ourselves a break. And we forget to celebrate the little victories on our road to better fitness. Fortunately, changing this all-too-common trajectory proves easier than you think. 

It starts with celebrating small wins.

What do we mean by small wins? These are your stepping stones on the road to achieving a bigger goal. These waystations lead to ultimate victory, each one representing an important goal along the journey.

You can't skip over any of these milestones. What's more, celebrating each one of these little moments will help you keep your focus on the big picture without becoming overwhelmed by all you have yet to do. 

In other words, celebrating small wins shifts our focus to the positive rather than the negative. And that's an essential ingredient to long-term success in fitness and in life.

Avoid Detrimental Rewards

But let's get one thing straight here. Celebrating small wins doesn't involve backtracking. What do we mean by backtracking?

Some people stay on a bodybuilding diet for months only to reward themselves with a feast of "bad" foods. This approach totally undermines their accomplishments, both mentally and physically.

Others may take a break from exercising daily only to feel discouraged and find themselves procrastinating when it's time to return to their healthy routine.

These approaches make about as much sense as an alcoholic going on a bender to celebrate their sobriety!

What's more, neither communicates the idea that your new fitness and diet routines are long-term lifestyle changes. And these "rewards" can lead to a tailspin of other destructive behaviors, too.

Instead, choose "gifts" that support your healthy new way of living.

Keeping Goals Concrete

You also want to choose concrete weight-lifting goals that you can consistently work towards. These might include bench pressing 150 percent of your body weight or completing a standing barbell press of your body weight.

Other strength benchmarks include holding plank pose for two full minutes or performing 50 clean push-ups. Write down these goals and create a timeline for working consistently towards them.

Stick to small milestones. You don't want to feel overwhelmed by going too big too soon. It's all about baby steps. And believe us, they add up. 

When you take the time to decide how you'll reward yourself once you reach one of these goals, you'll have something to work towards.

You'll also have a concrete reason to stay motivated on the days when you'd rather sit at home doing a whole bunch of nothing. 

Not sure where to start when it comes to creating exercise milestones? Check out these solid ideas from, and let the total body transformation begin!

Rewards for Fitness Milestones

So, how do you choose rewards that actually motivate you while supporting your new approach to food and exercise? Here are some fun ways to celebrate your increasing strength levels. But don't stop here; keep adding to the list!

Nothing motivates us to get through a fitness routine quite like music. So, why not upgrade your music experience? Create a new playlist to help you maximize the burn or purchase a cutting-edge pair of sleek, wireless headphones.

Or, invest in new workout gear that shows off your ripped body and motivates you to keep hitting the gym hard. 

The whole point of breaking through fitness obstacles is to own muscles worth showing off. So, what are you waiting for?

More Ideas for Celebrating and Supporting Fitness Goals

If you're ready to tackle the past and drive home how much you've achieved, dive into that closet of yours. Bag up those old fat clothes, and replace them with a wardrobe worthy of a weekend warrior.

While food-based rewards are generally a terrible idea when it comes to dieting and exercise, why not shake things up by taking a healthy cooking class?

You'll come away with a new meal in your toolkit. And you'll continue to support a healthy lifestyle.

Enjoying a pool, spa, or beach day represents another great way to reward yourself. You can show off your solid physique while giving your muscles a chance to relax and rejuvenate. 

Or, schedule a massage. There's no better way to heal sore muscles and detox, especially when you've been busting through fitness plateaus. Massages will keep you healthy, and you'll get addicted to them before you know it. 

Celebrate Those Fitness Benchmarks

Setting major fitness goals proves huge to overall achievement. But you also need to track your progress and celebrate specific fitness benchmarks along the way.

That way, you won't feel overwhelmed but you will get serious motivation. Ready for more tips to keep you on the road to fitness success? Check out these wellness mistakes that could be holding you back and how to avoid them. 

Penelope Torres

She is a health blogger that knows exactly what readers expect from her writings on nutrition, health and wellness. She inspires them to act and educate them on nutrition and healthy living using real and scientifically-based facts that support her ideas.
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