Mindy Kaling just defined #RealisticFitnessGoals for all of us. Today, the actress and writer tweeted, "Today I ran a 9.5 minute mile. Which is slow as hell but I've been trying to do it for 8 years! Hooray for me!" Naturally, the tweet featured a congratulatory post-run selfie. Responses to Kaling's tweet were overwhelmingly positive. One user replied to her, "I am beyond happy with my 11 minute mile so that's awesome," while another wrote, "For non-competitive distance running, 9.5 minutes per mile is a great pace. Well done!" These comments and others get at what we can learn from Kaling's accomplishment — she reached her goal on her own time, and that's what's worth celebrating. (Also, this is a good reminder that you don't have to be super-fast to call yourself a "runner.") We've talked before about how fitness isn't a one-size-fits-all concept — it looks different on all of us, right down to the goals we set for ourselves. A 2011 study found that people who set a "process" goal, such as improving their form, maintaining a certain heart rate, or, yes, even running a mile, rather than an "outcome" goal (such as weight loss) ended up enjoying their workouts more and stuck with them for longer.
So, whether you're training for your next marathon or still picking out the right sneakers, take a page out of Kaling's book and pursue the goals that fit you best — and maybe take a celebratory selfie when you reach them.
Today I ran a 9.5 minute mile. Which is slow as hell but I've been trying to do it for 8 years! Hooray for me! pic.twitter.com/Z7AkkPWWrG— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) June 29, 2016