How to Set Health Goals & Succeed

It’s a New Year, which means a lot of us are likely setting up new goals and figuring out how to set ourselves up for success this year (and a new decade!). If you start each year setting new health goals but only stick with them for the first few months- you’re not alone. Did you know that around 80% of people that set health goals in the New Year stop trying by March?

– You set up a goal as soon as the New Year is here. Let’s use Alyssa for an example- “This year is THE year that I lose 40 pounds and feel good about my body. I will sign up at the local gym, go 5 times every week, drink lots of water, throw all the junk food away, don’t eat carbs and sugar, and do lots of cardio. I will also eat lots of protein! Oh and I will quit drinking and take that supplement Julie keeps talking about to help with weight loss!”.

– For the first week, she is motivated and hitting her long list of goals. In the second week, she misses a few days. By week 3, she is tired and ready to throw in the towel. Her results aren’t coming fast enough and she is constantly sore from working out so much. She has gone off her plan several times because she cannot stick to her restrictive diet.

– By week 6, she is no longer making time for the gym and off her diet plan. She feels like she has failed, which is creating a continuous cycle of emotional eating. She is physically and mentally exhausted. She quits and feels defeated.

Does Alyssa’s story sound familiar?

“I have tried everything and nothing works”

“I can’t stick to a plan, I am a failure”

“I will never reach my goals”

You’re not alone, friend. So many of us set up health goals the wrong way. I’ve worked with hundreds of women that their stories begin with this, believing something is wrong with them. I am here to tell you that NOTHING is wrong with you, it’s the method and plans you are following.

How to Successfully Set up a Health & Fitness Goal

Top 3 tips for fat loss

Setting up goals in a sustainable AND enjoyable way is key to successfully reaching them. The goal-setting process is supposed to be exciting, where you know it will be challenging but worth it. It shouldn’t make you want to quit before you start. Here are 5 steps to follow to create a successful goal-setting process.

Find your Why

Maybe you want to run around with your kids without losing your breath? Perhaps it’s to feel good in your clothes again? Or even be able to feel and look strong? Whatever your reason is, find it and use it as a motivator. It’s important to get clear on WHY you have these goals set for yourself. If you wrote down to lose 40 pounds, why? Be descriptive and honest with yourself here.

Use Past Experiences as a Lesson

When setting a new goal, don’t think of past goals that you didn’t reach as ‘failures’. They are learning lessons, meant to teach you what works and what doesn’t. Was following a keto diet too restrictive for you? Now you know you need to follow a plan that includes carbs. Was going to the gym 5 times per week unsustainable? If so, now you know that around 3 days per week can work better.

The important thing to remember here is to be patient with yourself, you’ll learn what works for you when you try new things and fail. When you fail, you learn.

Define HOW You will Reach Your Goal

Changing your routine is hard, no matter the goal. You are creating new habits that weren’t there before, which will be challenging in the beginning until it becomes a habit. When creating a goal, you want to be descriptive on WHY you want to reach it and HOW you will. This doesn’t mean writing down “I want to lose 40 pounds and get toned”. Instead, a more specific one will be “I want to lose 40 pounds in 8 months, with each week training 3-4 days per week, walking outside at least twice, and consuming a source of lean protein and plenty of vegetables with each meal”. The difference between the two is that you are being clear on what your goal is and methods to reach it.

Ask Yourself The Important Questions

– How will reaching your goal improve your life/mood?

– What are your non-negotiables when reaching your goals? What are you willing to do in order to reach your goal? For example, my non-negotiable when reaching a goal is daily self-care. Tracking my food and paying for a gym membership is what I am willing to do to reach a physique goal. A non-negotiable for you may be not spending more than 3 hours a week at the gym. Be specific here as it’s important to be clear on what you’re willing to do and what you’re NOT.

-Focus on how you want to feel months from now when you reach your goal. Close your eyes, imagine what you will be wearing, how you will feel and what your mindset will be like. Will you feel more confident in your body? Will you look and feel stronger? Will you feel happier?

-Who are you reaching this goal for? If you say for yourself, you’re off to a great start. If you say for someone else or to look good for others, I hate to break it to you but you won’t find happiness there.

– Will this be sustainable AND enjoyable for you? Can you be consistent with it? This is where most people struggle as they follow very restrictive, unrealistic plans for them only to believe it’s their fault if they fail. If you have everything written down and your method is planned out BUT in your head, you’re telling yourself “just 30 days and you can stop” – it’s time to rethink your plan. Will it be hard? Absolutely. Anything new is, but it shouldn’t make you want to quit before you even begin. Your plan should allow you to reach your goals, while still enjoying your life. It should be balanced, where nothing is forbidden or ‘off-limits’ but instead enjoyed in moderation. Make your plan a lifestyle, not a quick-fix.

– Are you setting up actionable steps you can take each day, but not overloading yourself? Each week focus on 1-2 goals to reach, rather than a long list (which makes it complicated and overwhelming). Make things simple for yourself. One goal this week may be making it to the gym 3 times, next week try adding a source of lean protein with each meal, and the next week adding something else onto your list. One goal to reach at a time, once it gets easier- add another. Make it simple so you can succeed.

Focus on the Process, It’s a Journey

There is so much more to be enjoyed here, to celebrate those small victories rather than only focusing on your end goal. You won’t reach your goal within one day, week, month. Instead, take your time to really enjoy the journey. Test your strengths, reflect on the lessons you’re learning along the way and celebrate the times that you succeeded (no matter how small).

Focusing on the end goal only can make seeing progress so damn hard. For instance, if you have a weight loss goal and only focused on this- you will miss out on all of the progress you’ve made along the journey. Maybe you went to the gym all 3 times you had scheduled, maybe you practiced self-care every day like planned, and maybe you had a meal off plan but didn’t beat yourself up and stayed on track. Those are all things to celebrate, that will help you see how much you are growing and how strong you are becoming. Don’t miss out on everything you’ve learned only to be disappointed when you don’t reach a specific goal. Trust the process and enjoy the journey.



Setting Health Goals doesn’t have to be Complicated

When putting the 5 steps to setting health goals together, you can see that they really aren’t that complicated or time-consuming. A goal without a plan is just a dream, which is why setting yourself up with actionable steps is so important.

It’s time to level up your goal-setting process, where reaching your goals is no longer complicated.



If you’re ready to work with a coach, to receive the accountability and support you’ve been needing all along- Check out the 30-Day Jumpstart program designed for those ready to kick off the New Year with healthy, sustainable goals that WORK for YOU!




Health & Mindset Coach