I think one of the most fundamental steps to improve your relationship with yourself, is to set realistic goals. In the past I made attempts at improving my relationship with my body and mind just to immediately abandon them when I did not fulfill them a hundred per cent. I think this is something many of us struggle with: expecting perfection (which is non-existent) and then giving up when falling short of a goal that was never sustainable or attainable anyway.
But how do I know if a goal is realistic? I think you need to get to know yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses. The German word for Self-confidence Selbstbewusstsein directly translates to self-awareness. This means to be aware of your limitations, but also and most especially of your potential. How we see ourselves determines how we live our lives. For example I never saw myself as a sporty person. This perception mainly came from my complete and utter lack of talent or ambition in the type of sports, that were very prevalent in P.E: track and field, literally every ball sport and quick sprints. I was generally the last person to be voted for teams, I was the girl claiming to have her period four weeks a month or who forgot her workout clothes and who sat on the bleachers with her best friend listening to La Roux.

But I was sporty nontheless: from the age of three I was horseback-riding with an intense passion. I spent a lot more time with horses than with people for a while, I spend entire summers on farms. I was working out at least four, sometimes seven times a week and still was convinced I was not sporty, that I could not do certain workouts. Even though I had to sell my horse when I was 16, I have continuously worked out regularly since then. I worked out in gyms, I went on runs, I did workout classes. This year I regularly worked out almost every second day, despite travelling a good chunk of the year, despite living out of a van for four weeks, despite not having a flat for the past six weeks. I actually got a gym membership in Germany before I had a flat, a job or a plan. I dragged my ass to the gym four times this week after work. I can run 10 kilometers despite not having run regularly in a while. I can deadlift 50 kilos. I can do the crow and a headstand in Yoga. And despite all of these things for the longest time I did not think I was fit or sporty or anything. The picture I had of myself because of a bullshit sports class in school determined how I felt about and how I behaved in workout situations and when setting goals for myself.

This is what I mean when I say set realistic goals. Sometimes we are quicker than anybody else to judge ourselves and what we can and cannot do while ignoring all factual signs. Just as much if not more as in politics we judge ourselves with an intense bias. To set realistic goals you need to take a step back and factually evaluate yourself and your life. Maybe grab a friend for this as this is a huge challenge: we constantly think about ourselves, judge our every move and have a deeply ingrained idea of ourselves. It can be very refreshing to actually see ourselves through outside eyes.
For example I am an intensely nervous person. I overthink almost everything: if people like me, if I come across to harsh or too weird, if the work I am doing is good enough. However this monologue is entirely in my head - when I get stressed I get very quiet. Others thus often think I am super chill and relaxed in stressful situations while I am screaming internally for about 20 minutes straight. So while I tend to underestimate what I can do, other people sometimes overestimate it. It´s good to get a well rounded opinion before making new goals.

So to make realistic goals evaluate:
1) where am I at right now? and 2) where do I want to end up?
and once you figured that out, actually plan how to get from 1 to 2 and how much time it will take. I think the most important thing is to make attainable and measurable goals. One thing that has worked very well for me personally was to make goals for each month e.g. lift three times per week in April or to do 10 000 steps every day in January. It gives you a clear time line and it can build a true habit. It is easier to stick to these goals for thirty days than for 365 and you have little successes along the line, which I think is crucial to stay motivated. A goal should be possible for you to fulfill so if you never run you should not aim to run a marathon in a month, but it should challenge you to keep it interesting and actually make you want to work towards something.

Another super important thing is to not expect perfection. One of my New Years Resolutions was to complete BBG. I stuck to it for 10 weeks, worked out in hostel gardens, on camp ground, early in the morning or really late at night and managed to not miss a single resistance session, LISS or even HIIT workout. Then I got back to Germany and completed the 11th week even though it took me two weeks to do so and even started the 12th and final week - just to quit with about two workouts left. I had hated the last two weeks of the plan, I was tired of it and I felt like it had done what I wanted it to do: it got me back into a routine, I was able to do it with minimal equipment and everywhere I went. But to just stick to it to complete it, while being miserable about doing it made no sense to me. I still think I fulfilled my resolution, because I gave it my all, I did every workout once and I got significantly fitter. This is the main lesson I learned this year: to be okay with doing things as good as I can even if that does not mean I do it perfectly. I only did 29 of the 30 Day Yoga challenge in January. I did truly love every second and I still have an intense love for Yoga in me, but at that point I was not able to do the last day: I was on a girl´s weekend with my friends from Melbourne as a goodbye and I wanted to enjoy it fully. I don´t think I failed, because I fell a little short - I completed the challenges I gave myself in my own way.

And finally: see your limitations. I have struggled with emotional eating my entire life. I am no good at having one chocolate bar or a handful of chips, it simply does not work for me personally. I noticed once again how addicted I am to candy and junk food, when I gave it up completely over lent. There are certain times, when I personally immediately want to grab chocolate: when I had a stressful day at work, when I am sad, when I am tired... These patterns are addictions just as much as my desire to light a cigarette, when I have a hard day. Just the same as I had to do with cigarettes you need to evaluate your desire and decide if this is a healthy approach to the situation - spoiler alert NOPE - and then to consciously decide not to follow that urge. The other day I had french fries for the first time since mid march and in my head I immediately decided to just get all the candy and chips I wanted. I am not a very balanced person. I am not good at having a nibble of chocolate, actually I am absolutely terrible at that. Yesterday I polished off a bag of chips, a bag of licorice and a bar of chocolate. I felt terrible this morning and I could have easily followed my old patterns to 1) restrict and not eat  all day or 2) continue my binge and eat more stuff that was terrible for me. Instead I decided to have a healthy breakfast and to be okay with the fact that I have not really overcome my unhealthy eating patterns. I will allow myself chips and candy, but I will not buy these things for myself or in bulk. I simply cannot handle them. I may buy a candy bar after lunch at work or eat chips at a party, but I am simply not in the mental position to have this type of food at my home. And that is fine. I have not failed, because I overate I have simply made a little mistake. I will not punish myself, but I reevaluated the situation and will move on from it.

So in conclusion:

1) Find goals that are attainable and measurable, but still challenge you
2) Set yourself small monthly goals.
3) Do not strive for perfection. It does not exist. 
4) Accept that you will mess up. Do not beat yourself up for it. But reevaluate and find a healthy loving approach to deal with your limitations. 

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Thanks so much for your lovely comments, constructive criticism and suggestions. I will try to answer all of you!