Deep In the Ocean of New Year’s Resolutions

Dear Readers,

I haven’t forgotten about you! Please accept my sincere apologies for being a month late with the article. I figured that at the beginning of January there were so many articles out there on reflecting, setting goals and intentions and so on, that you didn’t need yet another one from me. And I have to admit it was soooo nice to take a break from social media (including my own platforms) to focus on my self-care and on attempting to ace my essays and reports for my master’s. Although, truth be told, reading academic journals and writing reports & essays, while interesting, sometimes felt draining and made me feel like I was under self-inflicted house arrest! Anyway, now I’m back and I promise to deliver, as always, one article in the last week of every month throughout 2019.

Now that 2018 is truly behind us and we’re in the thick of 2019, with this article I hope to provide you a few tips on how to stay afloat without drowning in the ocean of your New Year’s resolutions.  


Before we start, I want to suggest that you revisit your goals for 2019, take a good look at them and ask yourself: "Are these goals balanced?", “Are my goals spread out throughout all areas of life - family, health, friends, job, personal growth, fun and so on”?,”Are these goals in alignment with my VALUES & BIG DREAMS?”  This is important as when some areas of life are neglected for too long they might start encroaching on the parts of our life we are currently satisfied with. Let’s say you spent the last year putting 100 % into your work accomplishments but neglected your health and your personal relationships. As a result of that, you might be suffering from a lack of energy or other symptoms. Was this trade off worth making? Did it bring you the results or feeling you expected? Pause for a moment and reflect. Then, take a good look and circle the goals that truly matter to you. What are your TOP priorities for this year? What trade-offs are you willing to make?

Second, we often hear, that goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound) but I disagree. What needs to be SMART are the actions that will bring you closer to your desired outcomes. Goals give us directions so that we know where we’re heading in our lives, but SMART actions are what ultimately provide the pathway of turning goals from dreams into reality.  For this reason,  the next step is to write a minimum of 3 SMART actions for each of your goals that you can implement immediately. Don’t allow your 2019 dreams to become yet another “one-day” thing on your list you keep postponing- remember tomorrow isn’t promised. 

What do I mean by this? For example, if you wrote: “In 2019 I want to be healthier” that’s a great intention, but if not translated into daily actions then I’m afraid it won’t happen. Actions related to this goal may include:  eating 5 different coloured veggies a day, listening to your hunger signals, taking 8,000 steps each day, cooking at least three times a week, not eating processed sugar, not eating grains and so on. At first, these new actions might require a lot of self-discipline and willpower, but if you stick with them long enough eventually these will become your second nature - in other words, a habit ;-). When this happens, self-discipline and willpower won't be needed, and you will be able to allocate these finite resources somewhere else. 


As, Gary Keller in his book “The One Thing” writes “The hard stuff becomes a habit, and habit makes the hard stuff easy.” Habits are important as we are what we repeat, so choose your daily actions wisely. To help you visualise how to translate your goals into actions, google James Clear’s ideas on habit trackers. In fact, if you’re interested in changing or adding habits into your own life to help you with your dreams, I suggest you either read his books or, even better, work with a coach to guide you through this process. 


The third step in the process is to look at the actions and think of all the possible obstacles that might stand in your way. These obstacles could be your current belief system (i.e “I’m too lazy to cook.”; “I’m too stressed”; “this is too restrictive.”; “I can’t say no to this chocolate cake.” and the list can go on) or perhaps lack of resources ("no idea where to get healthy food"; "this is going to cost too much"; "I don’t have time"; "but I like to eat sweet things"). I’ve heard it all before. In fact, your mind will come up with plenty of excuses and your job is not to get caught up in these stories, but rather to get creative by coming up with solutions and re-writing any limiting beliefs. Let’s look at one of them to expose how false these are. For example, one of my clients recently said she found herself eating 2 pieces of chocolate cake during a work meeting without even realising it. When I asked her about why she did it, she simply replied that although she wasn't hungry she ate them because she likes food. But the truth is that when we truly enjoy something we pay attention to it, we don't just gobble it up, we want to be present with it and savour every bite of it. Trust me, I have been there myself. So the belief "I eat even though I'm not hungry because I enjoy food" is simply false. Eating when we are not hungry, or overeating, is not an act of enjoyment but a sign that there is an underlying emotional struggle that needs our loving attention. Excessive weight or other health problems are just the by-products of the root issue not the issue itself. Now your turn, have a look at your limiting believes and stories and start diving deeper. 


There is so much more about our behaviours and actions that bring us closer or further from our goals and dreams that I could write about. For today, though, that’s all I wanted to share with you. In part 2 of this article, I will touch upon creating a closer alignment between what we desire and how we live.

For more resources about your wellness & health goals you might want to read these 4 previous articles I wrote:

To your wellbeing in 2019 and always!


P.S. Most of my current clients are graduating this week which means there will be a few new spots for those of you who are ready to make a commitment and work with a coach. I find that free information is a great start, but it's personalised support and accountability that really make the difference. Find out more by visiting my website 

And here is feedback from one of my clients - Brian, from his health journey with me:

1. What were your biggest INSIGHTS from our time together? 

Learning a new way of eating and looking at macronutrients in food as a means to fuel the body in specific ways. Gone are the days of eating with emotion, instead now are the days of eating with purpose....mostly!

2. What were your most impactful RESULTS? 

Weight loss and sustained energy throughout a day without the typical 3pm crash. 

3. What HABITS are you going to take away with you? 

A primal way of eating most of the time, and continued purposeful movement to build muscle and lose fat. 

4. Did you achieve the GOALS you were looking for? 

I still have a little ways to go to achieve the aggressive body goals I’ve set for myself, but it’s clear that this lifestyle will achieve those results over time by doing what I’m doing now.  

5. What specific part of the program did you like best?

I still have a little ways to go to achieve the aggressive body goals I’ve set for myself, but it’s clear that this lifestyle will achieve those results over time by doing what I’m doing now.  

I enjoyed being able to talk openly about what my body goals are and how to achieve them. What some may consider vanity in fact has long lasting health benefits. And of course the result of looking good and feeling confident, can’t be argued with!

6. Is there any other feedback that you would like to add? 

I had a lot of fun chatting with you! I have always enjoyed cooking and of course eating. This way of eating has added to my enjoyment of food by gaining knowledge about how food effects the body. It’s had some changes in how I cook and eat, but i don’t consider it a sacrifice and greatly enjoy my new habits and of course feel great! I’ll still enjoy the occasional carbohydrate treat, but with greater conscience of the decision to do so, and the resulting effect on the body.