While we all know that working out is good for our health, let’s face it; a majority of us do it for looks. We want to attract that girl/guy, fit into a special dress, or wow our old classmates at the next reunion.

Unfortunately, when we workout with the goal to look a certain way in mind, we are focusing on one particular outcome and if we don’t get it, we lose hope, become discouraged and give up.

Just like anything else in life, how often do things work out exactly as planned? I’m not saying that reaching your ideal weight or size isn’t attainable. Many people have set goals for themselves and achieved them, but how many continue that lifestyle of healthy diet and exercise beyond that?

If you could change the way you think about this, your fitness goals will have a far better chance of surviving beyond the first few weeks.

Instead of measuring your waist or hopping on the scale after every workout, focus on how good you feel after sweating out all the toxins in your body or the sense of accomplishment when you finally nailed that yoga pose.

Don’t become addicted to wanting to look a certain way; become addicted to the great way exercising makes you feel and the energy you have from eating well.

As a dancer, I love movement that challenges both my brain and body. It forces me to be mindful of every action and totally present in all of my steps. It’s a habit that I find quite meditative. Whether it’s a push up or a pirouette, I become completely engrossed with achieving the proper form by being conscious of every single body part-it’s placement and function. Becoming completely in tune with what my body is doing takes me out of a stressful mindset that can so easily take over in daily life. I leave my class or practice with a sense of ease and being centered much like when I actually sit to meditate, only now I’ve had the added benefits of burning excess calories, strength training and building stamina.

I crave that feeling of balance I get from taking a dance or Pilates class and it keeps me coming back for more. I don’t see it as a chore; I see it as something I do for myself.

It might take some exploration, but find a fitness activity that agrees with your personal body and mindset without worrying about exactly how many calories you’re burning.

The way you look will change as a side effect if you’re really committed to what you’re doing, but most importantly, your physical and mental health will be benefitting.

Turn your fitness resolution into a lifestyle not just a one-time deal.

What are some of the positive effects you feel after a great workout?