penny barnshaw garage fitness girl

7 Challenging (but Totally Attainable) Fitness Goals

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It’s the middle of the year, and it’s time to take a fresh look at your fitness goals!

Most people choose New Years as the time to set their fitness goals, but it can feel amazing to give yourself the flexibility to do a mid-year rehash. Perhaps the goals you previously set weren’t quite right for you? That’s OK — it is absolutely not too late to move towards new fitness goals.

Too often we set unrealistic fitness goals which are unsustainable in the long run, so let’s get this right! Having fitness goals can help keep you motivated and get out of a fitness rut, but they need to be attainable! Otherwise, we either give up because it’s too hard, or we overwhelm our bodies and experience burnout.

Below I’ve provided 7 fitness goals you can set (starting right now) that are both realistic and challenging💪💪.

#1 Start a walking program 

Don’t dismiss walking just because it’s not overly difficult! Studies have shown it reduces stress, increases cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness, it can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and it leads to an improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes.

When you start a walking program, the challenge lies in sticking to it, day after day. For me personally, I have set myself a challenge to walk every day. I find there’s so much less pressure when I haven’t given myself a certain amount of time I need to walk for, I just need to get outside and do it! If it’s raining, I love doing one of my walking workouts.

Too cold to head outdoors? Try my 60 Minute Low Impact HIIT Walking Workout (It’s actually a lot of fun!)

#2 Grow Stronger Glutes

The gluteus medius and minimus muscles work together to promote hip abduction and prevent hip adduction, and they also stabilise the hip and help us balance. Strong glutes are important for proper pelvic alignment, propulsion during walking and running, and for supporing the the lower back during lifting. Everything is connected, and having strong glutes also helps prevent knee injuries. Having strong glutes will also increase your power and performance when you’re exercising and lifting weights.

Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting stronger glutes because you like the look of a rounder backside! But just know that having this goal is going to give you so many additional longterm benefits beyond the peachy look!🍑

I have loads of glute workouts on my YouTube Channel, but here’s a great one to try. You’ll really be feeling the burn with this 30 MIN Leg & Glute Workout with Dumbbells!

#3 Increase Upperbody Strength 

I love this as a fitness goal, especially for women! I mean, the guys have already got this covered (they work on upper body so much that we need to constantly remind them not to skip leg day). But upper body strength is just as important for us ladies, too!

Without strengthening the upper body, your lower back muscles often have to compensate for the arms and shoulders, which can result in strain, pain or an overuse injury. Not to mention the fact that having defined shoulders, strong arms and a killer core looks and feels really good!

Try my Tight & Toned Arms & Abs | 30 MIN Standing Dumbbell Workout to give that upper body a super satisfying workout.

#4 Building a stronger core

You absolutely can build a strong core, you just need to start from where you’re at, and be consistent.

Strong core muscles are important for everyone, as weak core muscles can lead to more fatigue, less endurance and more injuries. Without a strong core, you’re also susceptible to poor posture and lower back pain.

It is safe to train abs every day (except please continue to have one rest day per week), but if you’re only just starting out and your core is particularly weak, you might decide to build a stronger core by doing your regular workouts plus a core finisher at the end, two or three times each week. These go for 10 to 15 minutes, and you can find some of those here, here and here!

If you’re looking for a stand alone ab workout to really get that core fired up, try my 30 MIN No Repeat Abs Workout.

#5 Improve your cardio fitness

Also known as aerobic exercise, cardio is super important! Improving your cardiovascular fitness is a great goal to have, since cardio has so many benefits. These include improving heart health, lowering blood pressure, helping to regulate blood sugar, improving sleep, strengthening the immune system and reducing weight.

Ready for a challenge? Try my 30 MIN Killer Cardio Supersets and let me know what you think!

#6 Lift heavier (or build more muscle)

Setting a goal to lift heavier or to build more muscle (depending on what motivates you) is a totally attainable and satisfying goal.

You will often hear me talk about the benefits of strength training! Strength training not only builds muscle and gives you definition for that toned look, it can also protect your joints from injury. I highly recommend women include two or three strength training sessions into their routines each week to experience the benefits. If you’re not sure where to start, make sure you’re signed up for my free monthly workout calendars and take the guesswork out of your fitness programs (I always include a good mix of strength, cardio, HIIT and more).

For now, try my Strength Training At Home: Weight Training for Women👇.

#7 Improve your Flexibility 

Let’s be honest, there’s nothing like a good stretch! Improving your flexibility means you’ll have fewer injuries, improved posture and improved physical performance.

If you’re keen to improve your flexibility, make sure you’re doing a couple of stretching sessions every week. You can even slot one session into your rest day. Everyone differs in how many stretching session they need to improve their overall flexibility, so listen to your body. Also, don’t forget the importance of long stretching sessions during your post-workout cool downs.

Ready to feel good and loosen up those muscles? Try my juicy 30 MIN Full Body Stretch.


So those were my 7 challenging (but totally attainable) fitness goals you can start moving towards right now! I’d love to know: what goals will you set for the mid-year? Choose something that motivate you and don’t give up!

If you want to make sure you don’t miss any of my follow-along workouts, sign up to my YouTube channel. I upload new workouts each week including strength, HIIT, cardio and so much more. You can also sign up to my newsletter to say up-to-date and receive free monthly workout calendars.

Happy training! 

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