The Best Fitness Challenge You Could Ever Take – Focus on What You Can DO


Today, I present you will a challenge.

It’s a challenge I think everyone should accept, and I’m taking it, too. 

Generally I encourage my clients, and you, to focus and strive to achieve the LOOK they want, and not be obsessed with how much they WEIGH. This is an unfortunate trap many people, especially women, get stuck in for extended periods of time. Heck, I battled that for years myself, and it’s a life-sucking situation.

The scale is not the best indicator of your success, or sometimes the perceived lack thereof, as I explained in Stop Weighing on the Scale. However, in the challenge I present to you today, you’re going to take this a step further in an even more positive, and motivating, direction.

The Challenge: Focus on What You Can DO, and Nothing Else

Yes, it really is that simple. I think some elaboration on my part is in order to help you be super successful with this challenge. I don’t want to leave the challenge at “focus on what you can do” without giving you some examples.

Take this challenge for a minimum of 30 days, but the duration of a solid program would be even better (60+ days).

HOW to Tackle This Challenge

Your challenge is to focus solely on what you can DO, and nothing else. Here are a few ideas to help you succeed. You can apply these tips to your current workouts.

Focus on your performance. No matter what exercise(s) you’re doing, focus on your performance. Can you perform an extra rep this time? Can you add a little more weight to the bar? Can you improve your technique? Try to improve each and every week in some way. Remember, this doesn’t mean you have to constantly add more weight to the bar. You can strive to perfect your technique or decrease rest periods.

During your workouts take the time to appreciate what you’re doing. Acknowledge how far you’ve come. Be excited that you’re getting closer to your goals. Be proud of your unique physical abilities.

Set a goal to perform new, or more challenging, exercises. Maybe you want to learn some new exercises like the powerlifts or strongman exercises. Perhaps you want to perform more advanced bodyweight exercises. Set a goal that gets you excited and go for it. I did this recently in my workouts and made it a goal to perform handstand push-ups. It was a fun and very rewarding challenge.

Quick Reminders

Remember, this challenge is all about focusing on what you CAN DO. I don’t care if you’re a beginner or if you’re battling an injury. Even if you’re only capable of doing elevated push-ups and bodyweight squats, it doesn’t matter — you’re able to DO something, so be proud of it.

Maybe you’re nursing an injury and you can’t perform the workouts or use the same weights you’re accustomed to. I understand this can be a hit to your ego and have been recovering from an injury myself for many months now, but don’t dwell on it. Focus on what you CAN do and set new challenges that get you excited.

For the duration of this challenge, focus on what you can do, and nothing else. Not how you look or how many calories you’re burning. Definitely do not get on the scale. Never at any point think “I wish I could do X” or anything similar.

No matter where you’re at right now with your experience level, physical strength, or physique — focus on what you can do each and every workout.

Great Challenge Expectations

This is a challenge I regularly take myself when my focus shifts in a negative direction. I’ve been in ruts where I focused too much on how I looked, or even my weight. In the end I was drained from being driven by what became negative motivators and I would dread my workouts.

I anticipate you’ll discover some wonderful, positive things about yourself with this challenge. More often than not, people develop a greater sense of self-confidence and start to enjoy their workouts more than ever before. And many even discover they start liking their physique much more — by focusing on their performance, improved body composition just becomes a wonderful side effect. This truly is a win-win opportunity.

Take the challenge. I can almost guarantee you won’t regret it.

Need a Plan?

Sometimes having a plan is the best way to reach your goals. This ensures there’s no guess work on your part. You just show up to the gym, do whatever the plan instructs you to do that day, and then move on.

If you’re in need of a plan while tackling this challenge, then I suggest one of the following:

 Beautiful Badass — this contains a manual in addition to 19 different workout programs along with demonstration videos for each exercise. If you want numerous programs and need to know how to properly and safely perform the main exercises in addition to other Beautiful Badass information, this is for you.



 The 16 Week (S)hero Workout Program — this program is for intermediate to advanced trainees and provides you with a 16 week program. If you’re up to a physical and mental challenge, then this is for you.


 The Get Strong! 19 Week Program — if you’re interested in increasing your strength, then this may be the program for you. Focusing on increasing your maximum strength is a great way to focus solely on what you can do, and nothing else. (Please note, this program is included in the Lift Like a Girl Guide Special Offer).


Whatever path you decide, take this challenge and commit to focusing on what your body can DO. I think you’ll be exceedingly happy with the results you achieve.

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  • “I freaking LOVE this info! I'm determined to be a Beautiful Badass!” -Tina V
  • Linda

    Thanks for this challenge, Nia. After a lifetime of good health I’ve recently been diagnosed with a desicated disc in my back and cannot do back squats and a bunch of other exercises that I used to be able to ace! After losing 130 pounds 11 years ago I’m determined to keep it off and have felt that this diagnosis has set me back as far as keeping the weight off. I know that muscle is my friend and I very hard to keep the muscle that I have now. But I can soooo see how looking at what I cannot do anymore is a negative focus that won’t assist me in my physique goals at all. I also need to continue to consider how far I’ve come rather than how far I have to yet go (still have about 10 pounds of very stubborn fat to lose). I will henceforth commit to rejoicing about what all this body can STILL do and do quite well, I might add. Thanks again, Nia, for shining the spotlight on this area for us all. ;)

  • Lesley

    I so needed this right now – I had a ruptured ovarian cyst a month ago and have been sitting around pitying myself (at least with regard to my ability to work out) ever since. I think this is exactly what I need to try while I wait until I feel able to get back to lifting!

  • Steph

    I’m so down for this challenge!! After years of focusing on trying to lose weight (and not succeeding), I’m giving myself a break and going back to “fun” training. So I just purchased your Beautiful Badass programs and will be starting the Beginner program next week (or later this week, we’ll see)! I can’t wait to be setting strength goals again!! :D

  • Callie Durbrow

    This is awesome Nia. I always try to shift my clients thinking about results and I think you hit the nail on the head with this. Too much focus on appearance and not enough on actually improving your life. Keep up the great work!