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Is Goal-Setting Actually Useful?

'Tis the season of goal setting. Or maybe we've already forgotten those new year intentions?! Irregardless of your approach to the new year, I'm asking today if there is an alternative, more useful approach to goal setting?

After all, those at the Olympics all have the goal to win a medal. They don't all achieve that, so it can't be the goal that sets them apart.

What if our ability to create the change we want in our life, body, confidence and freedom (in all areas of our life, not just health and fitness) came NOT from:

- setting endless goals

- beating ourselves up

- creating impossible expectations

- sticking rigidly to the plan

- warring with ourselves

- criticising ourselves

Rather than (just) goals, motivation or discipline or willpower, REAL, LONG-LASTING change in our behaviours comes from this:


- Extending kindness & forgiveness to ourselves

- Being flexible with the way we view ourselves, our goals, our methods and our habits

- Opening up to learning about ourselves; who we actually are and not who we or anyone else or society expects us to be

- Self-awareness with neutrality; observing and thoughts and actions and learning from them

Where have willpower and self-discipline been holding you up?

Could you relax them a little and open up to more self-kindness?


Someone else's method, training programme, morning routine etc won't fit you perfectly. Other people can inspire us, and show us what is possible, but their way of doing it is exactly that: what suits them.

When we get clear on WHO we want to be, and what we want to feel we can start to move towards an more empowered version of change. It's our change, in our lives. I firmly believe and coach in my one-to-one and group programmes, that you are the expert in your own body. The answers aren't in me; they are in you already.

When we just focus on outcomes (often borrowed from those around us - the women's bodies on TV, what is perceived as attractive etc), then we lose our way. We often go against what our body is trying to tell us. It's just health, fitness, strength etc. it's YOUR version of it. Maya Shankar talks about a friend of hers who experienced the loss of a loved one, and described how everyone was willing to help, share what worked for them, give advice etc about grief. What this person needed though was to work out THEIR way through THEIR grief.

We therefore need to be aware of the plan: rather than focusing on the outcome (cope with grief, get healthier, lose weight etc), I urge you to focus instead on a you-based plan. A love-based plan.

A plan that is not just following or copying someone else.

A plan that is deeply, compassionately curious about yourself.

Goals have a place. But great outcomes don't come from goals.

They come from you.


What's your plan?

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