“How do you decide upon fitness goals? I’ve struggled with this my whole life. I’m not interested in lifting any specific amount of weight or anything, I just want to be healthy and pain free.” – Watts
Personally, I do enjoy this stuff, so picking something challenging and going after it works for me.
I find it is helpful to go after performance goals even if you’re not interested in performance.
If the goal is healthy and pain free, then I would aim more for achieving certain movements mostly.
For instance, can you sit in a rock bottom squat for five minutes straight?
Can you hold an arms locked out gymnastic bridge for 30 seconds?
Can you do ten or so pullups or handstand pushups?
Can you move each joint in isolation easily in a full normal range of motion?
Can you run for a mile without undue strain, and only breathing in and out through your nose?
If you have specific areas that are in pain, can you get them out of pain?
Make that your goal then build your training around it.
“Every man should be able to save his own life. He should be able to swim far enough, run fast and long enough to save his life in case of emergency and necessity…he should be able to swim at least half a mile or more; he should be able to run at top speed two hundred yards or more; he should be able to jump over obstacles higher than his waist; and he should be in condition to pull his body upward by the strength of his arms, until his chin touches his hands, at least fifteen to twenty times; and as for pushing ability, he should be able to dip between parallel bars or between two chairs at least twenty-five times or more. If he can accomplish these things he need have no fear concerning the safety of his life should he be forced into an emergency from which he alone may be able to save himself.”
Those are some good base level abilities every man and woman should have.
I understand that lifting more weight might not float everyone’s boat. But I would encourage you to at least have some fun in being able to do things you previously couldn’t.
Finding enjoyment in training, of one type or another, goes a long way towards keeping you consistent with it. It makes it easy.