We all love setting goals. But here’s the thing: you shouldn’t be ashamed if you didn’t smash all of last year’s health goals. Here’s why.

We’ve only got a couple of weeks left of this year (how did that happen?)

This means summer is officially here and we’re all getting ready to get horizontal on the beach in our brand-spankin’ new swimsuits.

It also means it’s nearly time to set new goals for the new year and reflect on those we set for the previous year.

Let’s be honest: we all love setting goals for the new year, especially when it involves starting a fresh new planner.

New goals make us feel inspired, intentional and like the future is bubbling with possibility. It also makes us feel like we have our sh*t together!

About that health goal, you didn’t achieve…

What most of us don’t love quite so much is thinking about all those big, exciting goals we set for the new year but didn’t achieve. I’m looking at you, person who has written ‘get visible abs’ on your goals list for the last 10 years.

But here’s the thing: you shouldn’t be ashamed if you didn’t smash all your health goals last year.

Because even if you can’t tick all those things off the list, I’m willing to bet you did loads of other brilliant stuff you’d never even dreamed of, but should be totally freakin’ proud of.

We all love setting goals for the new year, especially when it involves starting a fresh new planner. Image: Unsplash
We all love setting goals for the new year, especially when it involves starting a fresh new planner. Image: Unsplash

Maybe you didn’t run that half marathon, but you found a yoga studio you love. Perhaps that last 5 kilos didn’t fall off you (perhaps here’s the reason why), but you fell in love.

Maybe you didn’t master those bodyweight pull-ups, but you birthed an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING.

Life is unexpected and unpredictable, and sometimes we have to let go of the things we thought we wanted in order to embrace those random-but-oh-so-wonderful opportunities.

However, that’s not to say you should completely ignore the goals you set this year.

Revisiting those aspirations can give you a valuable opportunity for self-reflection and growth and help you set smarter, better health goals for the year ahead.

Here’s how to set health goals this year

Go through the goals you set for this year and ask yourself:

  1. Did I achieve this goal?
  2. If not, did I make significant progress towards this goal?
  3. If not, was this the right goal for me?

Basically, you’ll be able to put your goals into three categories.

Goals you achieved

Tick those ones off the list, lady, because you smashed it!

If you like, you can put a more advanced version of this goal on your list for the year ahead. However, be careful of falling into the old  ‘the goalpost keeps moving’ trap.

Smashing goals feels brilliant! Image: Lyndi Cohen
Smashing goals feels brilliant! Image: Lyndi Cohen

If you reached your goal of getting toned and fitter, question whether you really need to keep trying for leaner. Sometimes to get the perfect body, you have to sacrifice too much.

Be like goldilocks and know when enough is enough. Harder, better, faster stronger isn’t always better if it compromises your balance, freedom and flexibility.

(Check out this blog post: How to know if you’re over exercising or under eating).

Goals you didn’t achieve, but you made progress towards

Slow progress is still progress. Let me repeat that a little louder for the people in the back: SLOW PROGRESS IS STILL PROGRESS.

An ‘all or nothing’ mindset leads to perfectionism, which we all know is no bueno and will get you nowhere. If you set the goal to run 10 km non-stop by the end of the year and only got up to 8 km, or didn’t run at all and just started going to yoga instead, that’s bloody brilliant.

The people who are successful in life aren’t necessarily the people who reach their goals quickly and easily. They are, however, the people who realise that small changes really do make a big difference.

The fact that you did make progress towards your goal suggests that it is something you want to achieve — so most likely, you’ve got a strong enough ‘why’ behind it.

Goals you wrote down but didn’t make any progress towards

We all have those ‘goals’ we write down on January 1 and have basically forgotten about by January 5. Generally, these goals are unrealistic and/or based on things that other people are doing that we think we should be doing, too.

If you haven’t worked toward these goals after a year, perhaps, they weren’t right for you right now.

Give some long, hard thought as to whether this goal is still serving you and if it deserves a place on your list. Chances are, it’s time to channel your inner Ariana Grande and say ‘Thank U Next’.

P.s. This was my health goal for last year.

Health goals shouldn’t make you feel nauseous or overwhelmed. They can (and should be) gentle and supportive.

For real health that lasts longer than a celebrity marriage, it’s time for a new approach. Here’s how I can help you…

Want to be healthy but can’t handle going on another pesky diet? My Back to Basics App has everything you need. Try it FREE for 7-days.

Listen to my podcast No Wellness Wankery, which will help you sidestep wellness wankery (phew!) so you can be healthy without dieting and feel better in your already wonderful body.

Want help with binge or emotional eating? Check out my online program Binge Free Academy. It’s already helped thousands of people create a healthier, more balanced and intuitive relationship with food.

Just looking for recipe inspo? You’ll be stoked to find hundreds of FREE, deliciously simple recipes on my website!

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