We prefer focusing on performance goals over appearance goals because they tend to lead to healthier practices. Yes, performance goals can lead to you becoming obsessed with numbers too, but generally they lead to healthier habits when done sensibly.
If you are smart about it, performance goals are a great way to move away from being body image obsessed. This is our number one strategy when working with clients who are body image obsessed. Focusing on performance will typically help those people improve their body image obsession. And guess what–train for performance and the body tends to look better anyway.
The easiest thing to measure for performance is strength. Simply, am I stronger than I was last week? The downside is that it’s not always linear and it is not forever. At some point you will hit a plateau in strength. Still, I like to say strength is the glass, everything else is the water that goes in. The more strength you have, the more water your glass can hold.
Mobility is another good performance measure. Can I get lower in a squat? Can I stay upright when pressing overhead? Mobility is great to improve because it will always treat you well, as long as you do not get obsessed with flexibility. And yes there is a difference between the two. Mobility is control within Flexibility.
So, while having image goals, or weight goals, can be helpful, they are not where Sarah and I like to focus. As we go forward, we will try to work with you guys on some performance goals, so be thinking about the movement tasks you would like to be able to complete or improve.