Setting Goals that Stick



A mature woman taking notes about setting goals that stick

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One of the most important steps in developing new, healthy habits is to set goals for yourself. Goals keep you going when you want to quit and give you something to celebrate when your hard work and dedication has paid off.

Did you know that there is a particular way to set your goals that are proven to set you up for success? I'm going to teach it to you now!

A well-formed goal is:

  • Stated in the positive (it says what we want, not what we don’t want)
  • Initiated and maintained by self (we don’t need to rely on someone else changing)
  • Achievable within the time frame given.
  • Has a specific sensory-based description – so we know how it feels or looks once we achieve it.
  • Appropriate chunk size – big enough chunk to be worthwhile yet small enough to feel attainable.

Outcome Goals vs Behaviour Goals

Most people only set outcome-based goals, where the focus is the end result that they want. They describe how things will be once they reach their goals. For example, an outcome goal is “lose 10kg, have more energy, fit into my favourite dress etc”

This doesn’t give any clear outline of how that goal will be achieved, and often, it can easily end up being forgotten as soon as life gets stressful.

Once you have your big clear outcome goal, it’s really important to then set some behaviour-based goals to help you see a clear path to reach your bog goal.

Behaviour goals are super important as they focus on the things we can control. They are the action steps we will take in order to reach our big goal.

For example, a behaviour-based goal would be:

“create a relaxing sleep routine every night to help me sleep better”

Rather than the outcome-based equivalent of:

“get 8 hours sleep”

Another behaviour-based goal would be:

“go to pilates 3 x a week”

As opposed to an outcome-based goal of:

“tone up”

Can you see the difference?

Avoid Goals vs Approach Goals

Avoiding goals is like a big bossy parent telling you to stop doing something. For example, “Stop eating ice cream every night”. If you keep telling yourself to STOP doing something, you end up awakening your inner rebel and find you want to do it even more!

An Approach type of goal is more positive, and it focuses on a behaviour you can do more of – for example, instead of telling yourself to stop eating ice cream, an approach goal would be “eat berries after dinner 5 nights a week”

It works better because it’s empowering, and it’s clearly giving you an action to follow.


Another important part of the goal-setting process is uncovering the WHY beneath your goals. It's why you truly want to achieve them. It's about what this will give you more of (or less of) in your life. To reach your ‘why' we need to dig deep, asking enough questions until we hit an emotion!

When you have a clear understanding of WHY you want something, you will always figure out the WHAT and HOW to get you there.

The most important element of goal setting is knowing your WHY.

This is the underlying reason that you want to achieve this goal. It's highly likely that you aren't even aware of what this is on a conscious level.

To uncover it, you need to go deep and uncover what is often called “the why beneath the why”

Keep reading to learn more about this process, and then complete the exercise in your free downloadable workbook.

Ultimately you are looking for a feeling or emotion – (welling up is a good sign to let you know you've got it!)

For example, maybe you want to release 12kg of body fat. And you have 6 months to do it because you have a family holiday coming up.

Write down your goal – “I will release 12kg of body fat within the next 6 months” and then ask yourself “Why is that important to me?”

You may come up with an answer such as, “Because I want to look good in my swimmers”.

That's great, but it's not enough. You need to keep digging to get to the real underlying why!

In the workbook, you will see there is a series of simple questions to keep digging deeper… so with this example, we would continue by asking, “What’s important about looking good in your swimmers?”

You may answer, “So I don’t feel self-conscious”

Ask, “What is important about that?”

You answer, “I’ll feel confident”

And then you ask yourself, “What’s important about feeling confident? Or what will that give you?”

And you say, “I will feel confident, so I will go on the kayaks with my kids rather than sitting on the beach”

(getting close now!)

And again, you ask, “And what is important about that?”

You say, “Because this is such a special family holiday, we’ve saved really hard, and I want to create wonderful moments with my kids. I don’t want to miss out because I am sitting on the beach feeling self-conscious”




We humans are forgetful creatures – life gets busy, stuff happens, and we may forget what's important to us. Your goal needs to be ‘anchored' in order to keep it front of mind.

To anchor a goal, you need to find something in your environment that you see often to act as a reminder or prompt of the goals you have set. Some examples of anchors could be:

  • an item of Jewellery
  • a perfume, aftershave or essential oil
  • a song you can play each day
  • an inspiring quote that you see
  • a watch
  • a pebble in your pocket or something you carry with you

It's really good to pick at least 2-3 anchors that act on different senses so that you are surrounded by them. Anchors both inspire you to keep going and also can act as a ‘pattern interrupt' so that when you catch yourself in old behaviours or ways of thinking, you can snap back out!

In the workbook, we will take you through a process to help craft your health & wellness goals in a way that will make them STICK!


The final part of the goal-setting process is to clear the clutter in order to make way for something new in your life.

As the saying goes, “Out with the OLD, and in with the NEW

Clearing the path for new things in your life is so crucial to achieving your goals and getting what you want. It is important to systematically or structurally change something in your life to make way for new things. Energetically, it’s telling your powerful mind that you are ready to embrace change.

Imagine what would happen if you are trying to redecorate your house but can't fit in the new furniture because you haven't cleared out the old furniture!

So, ask yourself this: “Is there any clutter in your schedule or environment that needs clearing before you can move forward?” In the workbook, you will have space to brainstorm the areas of clutter in your life.

Try it for yourself now. Download my FREE “Setting Goals that Stick” workbook to start getting laser-focused with your goal setting.


Jayne is a bachelor-qualified Clinical Nutritionist specialising in weight loss, particularly for women who are experiencing challenges maintaining a healthy weight during peri-menopause, menopause and beyond. Book your FREE discovery call today to find out more about how Jayne can help you achieve your health goals. Book Your Free Discovery Call Here

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