What kinds of New Year’s fitness resolutions do feminists make?


I’m not making any resolutions. I am going to hot yoga on Sundays with my friend & neighbour Kim. I’m heading back to cxworx on Tuesdays and I got new running shoes for Christmas. I do tend to get back into running around Christmas each year. It’s the extra time holidays afford and it’s a quick, flexible workout when things get hectic.

I do tend to reflect on my fitness goals around my birthday in October. The fall always feels like my time to commit to new routines and indoor activity.


I don’t make resolutions. I do set goals. As an independent consultant who helps organizations create strategic plans, I decided several years ago to create a strategic plan for myself. The four key planks rarely change: live joyously, eat deliciously, move lots, and do good work. Threaded through the four are spending time with family and friends engaged in some or all of the preceding.

For move lots, I set separate goals. For 2018, I want to make some gains in my deadlift, squat, and bench, currently at 101 kgs, 215 lbs, and 49 kgs respectively. I plan to swim at least twice a week. Although my fitbit is dying, I want to track more regularly in 2018 and get a few more urban hiker awards.

But achieving those goals won’t happen unless I create the steps to get me there. Before the new year begins, I will have refined the processes for each one, some on my own, and some with others to help keep me on the right path. Over the coming year, readers of Fit is a Feminist Issue will learn about some of the things I will do to achieve my goals.


Like Martha I prefer the language of “goals” to that of “resolutions.”

And I’ve made three so far. First, I intend to workout 218 times in 2018. Second, I aim to ride 4000 km in 2018. Third, unlike in years past I am not going to drop strength training in the summer riding season.

I’m amused that all the weight loss resolutions in my newsfeed don’t come from my women friends. Instead, it’s the competitive cyclists who are organizing diet pools, talking about race weights, and asking each other how much they have to lose before their first race.

Oh, and I’ve told you my goals but maybe I shouldn’t have. Research shows that people who share their goals are less likely to attain them. Why? “Announcing your plans to others satisfies your self-identity just enough that you’re less motivated to do the hard work needed.”


I’m not a new year’s resolution person, at all, but this year I’m making an exception. My brilliant new neighbour and I were having a drink and a chat the other evening, and discovered something we have in common: we tend, almost as a reflex, to make ourselves small and shy when confronted with men (in a non-threatening way, let me emphasize) on the street or otherwise out in the world. That is: while we are both interested in men and interested in meeting new men, we struggle to overcome our inherent sense that no man, ever, would want us – so loathsome are we! – and so not making eye contact with men becomes a protective mechanism.

I should say here that we are both feminists, and both very bold and strong in other aspects of our lives, including professionally. Also, I’m pretty sure I’m pretty attractive, and my neighbour is *totally* hot! But old habits, ingrained by childhood experiences and ossified by a life lived under a relentless patriarchy, die hard. (In fact, when we both admitted we shared this problem, we looked at each other and laughed, out loud – so ridiculous does it seem, when it’s named and called into the light.)

So, this year, we’ve both decided to resolve: let us be more open to the world. That’s it. To look up, not down. To meet eyes, not shy away. To take a few more chances, safe in the knowledge that we can handle what may come.


When we were talking about writing this post, Tracy said “don’t we just always come out against resolutions? LOL.” My kneejerk response was to agree with her, and then I realized that I have actually demonstrated many times this year that goal-setting really works for me. I didn’t make a “resolution” to do 217 workouts in 2017, but I did set a goal. I also set a semi-successful goal to stop eating mindlessly after 8 pm (it worked until I got super-busy, travelly and tired). So I think, for 2018, I need to set some intentions.

First, I’m going to continue with the workout goal, with 218 in 2018. It works for me to be part of this kind of challenge, and as the counting adds up, I feel more motivated. I turn 53 in a few weeks, and I want to keep building the habit of moving my body most days a week. For fitness now, yes, but more importantly, preserving mobility as I get older.

Second, in the first quarter of 2018, I want to make sure I do at least one high intensity workout a week, deliberately. I am doing a bike trip at high altitude in May, and I want to really revel in where I am, not be fighting the thin air. This kind of goal works for me.

Third, back to the eating habits. For January, no snacking after dinner, except one weekend day. I need to get a grip on this random before-bed eating I’ve been doing.

And finally, most importantly, I want to feel less busy this year. I write about that a lot. That means building in more time off where I’m doing nothing, and making a lot more space to be friends with people “in real life,” as Susan put it recently — especially the people who live near me. I’ve got in the habit of letting time zip by in a blur. It means saying no to some work things, and that’s hard for me. I need to build better practice around that, and that will be my focus. Let’s play outside, my friends ;-).

More reading on resolutions….

50 Body Positive Resolutions that Don’t Involve Dieting

How to make and keep new year’s resolutions

2 thoughts on “What kinds of New Year’s fitness resolutions do feminists make?

  1. I’m also not keen on setting ‘resolutions’. Why change at the beginning of a new year? You should live your best life every day! Nevertheless, I’ve actually posted about my ‘resolutions’ as well 😉

  2. I don’t have resolutions. Or goals. I used to plan everything…but eventually I was unable to cope when things went awry. Severe anxiety can be helpful with getting things done, until it becomes crippling.
    I try to live Day to day. It’s what I need right now.
    That said, my inspirational word this year is believe. Believe in myself, in my value and in my intelligence. I have a lot to offer. But I can forget sometimes.


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