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  • kerrilindsay

Unlocking Success in 2024: A Shift in Goal Setting for Women's Health and Happiness

Updated: Mar 19

Many of us find ourselves crafting resolutions and setting ambitious goals, fueled by the optimism that a fresh start promises. We believe that when the New Year arrives, or we wake up Monday morning we will magically have become an entirely new person. But the truth is life is unpredictable, and rigid timelines can create unnecessary pressure. Instead of fixating on arbitrary deadlines, I want you to consider the importance of setting realistic timelines that align with your personal pace and circumstances. In this blog post, we'll explore the common pitfalls that women face in goal setting and what shifts are necessary to pave the way for a healthier and happier 2024.

You’re not clear on WHY you want what you want.

The first pitfall many women face is setting goals based on what we think we should want, or what we have been conditioned to believe we should want. 

However, if you really want to achieve your goals, you need to define what happiness and health mean to you. This is important because your why is what will keep you going long term, your willpower will only help you get started. Getting really truthful with why you want what you want, allows you to generate a true desire for your future self. Finding your real intrinsic reason is your secret weapon to getting the results you desire. It is your secret weapon to persevering when willpower wanes, and interrupting the old patterns that have prevented you from moving forward in the past. 

Take me for an example, I set a goal to improve my physical fitness by exercising regularly. I have struggled with consistency in the past, often finding myself skipping workouts and feeling guilty afterward. However, this time, I decided to deeply reflect on why I want to reach my fitness goal.

After some reflection, I realized that my primary motivation wasn't just about looking better or fitting into a certain size of clothing. I  discovered that my "why" was rooted in my desire to live a long and healthy life so that I can be here for my children and grandchildren in the future. I want to set a positive example for them and instill healthy habits from a young age.

Armed with this newfound understanding of my motivation, I approach my workouts with a different mindset. When I face moments of temptation to skip a session or feel demotivated, I remind myself of my deeper purpose. I visualize myself playing with my grandchildren in the park, hiking with my family, and enjoying a vibrant, active lifestyle well into old age.

This shift in perspective transformed my habitual response to challenges. Instead of giving in to excuses or negative thoughts, I tapped into my "why" and found the strength to push through obstacles. I no longer see exercise as a chore but as a means to achieve my long-term vision of a healthy and fulfilling life.

By understanding my "why," I not only changed my approach to fitness but also gained a deeper appreciation for the journey toward my goal. This awareness empowered me  to stay committed and resilient, even when faced with setbacks.

Take a moment to reflect on why you want to reach your goal.  This allows you to change your habitual response to a situation and generate new feelings and a deeper understanding of the future self you want to become. 

You haven’t really decided

There is a difference between wanting something and actually deciding that it’s yours. When you decide, you make a commitment to yourself. Missing this step leaves room for excuses. It makes taking the actions required optional. But we don’t actually like making decisions because that requires us to give up on other options. Especially if those other options include giving up caramel covered popcorn or Friday night drinks with the girls.

Even when we deeply desire the results (an uncluttered house, losing 20 lbs, a strong and fit body), there is an uneasy feeling that comes with doing uncomfortable things. 

You constantly think “ should I or shouldn’t I?” You waste so much mental energy thinking this way that you spin with indecision, causing you to be inconsistent. Always one foot in and one foot out the door. When you stay in indecision, it is your brain's way of procrastinating moving forward.  Often it is a fear of failure that prevents us from setting goals. You're afraid that if you set a goal and it doesn’t work you will be disappointed, so we allow our brains to keep us safe by telling ourselves things like, “I will try”, “I am going to think about it”, “I will see what happens”, but in reality by not deciding to make this happen you are setting yourself up to be disappointed anyway. 

When you make a decision, it’s like you flip a switch. You become more focused and determined. And from that place taking action becomes easy, even if it is something you have struggled with for years. Making a decision is a critical moment- it is where you decide whether or not you are going to step into this new version of yourself. So what are you deciding today? 

You haven’t taken into consideration the extra time and effort that will be required

As women, we often set lofty, intimidating goals or succumb to procrastination and completely under estimate the time required to fit in the extra tasks to hit these lofty goals. 

You have likely set a goal in the past that seemed easy enough. And maybe for the first few weeks you forced your way through it.

I am going to work out everyday

I am going to start meal prepping.


I am going to lose 20 lbs.

Even something like I am going to read every night before bed. 

But all of these things take TIME. 

You can’t expect to maintain your current lifestyle and completely overhaul some area of your life. you’re going to have to adjust how you currently operate.

You are going to have to be realistic about where you will fit these new actions into your already jam-packed day, which means you need a good plan.  You may feel like planning takes away your ability to be spontaneous, but the truth is, if you don’t plan and create space to do the activities that help you reach the goal you won’t ever get to them. Instead you will find yourself reacting to other people's demands for your time and energy. By choosing 1-2 small tasks you can stick to and creating routines to get them done you actually free up time to do more of the things you love. 

This might mean you need to set aside a couple hours on Sundays to plan and prepare meals for the week. Or stop scrolling your phone at night so you can read. Or even get out of bed an hour earlier everyday. Whatever it is, you will need to find the time for your new behaviors to happen. 

So, decide right now, what are you willing to give up in order to make room for this goal? 

Your goal is based on an outcome you want not a small habit you can stick to 

As a health and wellness coach for busy women, I see how often women set goals based on an outcome and neglect creating a plan for how to achieve that  outcome. Take for example, you set a goal to drink more water. At first glance this seems like an easy goal to meet. However, if you don’t currently don’t drink any water, having a goal to drink ½ your body weight in water everyday will require a change in behavior. If you don’t define that change in behavior and plan for it, you won’t magically achieve the outcome.   

Success requires adopting small habits you can stick to. Something you can do 100% of the time. Instead of walking 10,000 steps try setting a goal to walk for 10 mins. Yes, it might seem like you’re not doing enough (a common limiting belief of so many of the busy women I work with), but starting small allows you to build up the momentum to achieve more.

You haven’t planned for detours and roadblocks

Let’s face it, life is not perfect 100% of the time. Heck, it’s not perfect as often as it is perfect! While you can’t plan for every setback, you can be prepared to face them by understanding how they affect you emotionally and having a back up plan. 

Sometimes, even our goals themselves may bring up emotions that we are unsure how to deal with. Maybe it’s fear, or overwhelm and even insecurity. If you don’t know how to navigate those emotions, procrastination may set in. 

You may find yourself doing something else that feels productive, like laundry or cleaning your house, or checking your emails, instead of the uncomfortable thing you committed to that moves you closer to your goals.

I know that I do this when I feel like I am “stuck” writing or working on a project for my business. That feeling of frustration often leads me to go do something else that I know I can do, just for the feeling of satisfaction I accomplished something. 

You will convince yourself that you don’t want to work towards your goal right now because you have more pressing issues to deal with. 

From my experience working with clients, this is often why they get distracted by the next diet, or workout plan . Something that is new, more exciting and more fun with the promise of faster results. But eventually you find yourself right back where you started with more evidence for your brain that you can’t change. Just as important as knowing why you want something, is knowing why you haven’t been able to accomplish it so far? So ask yourself this question, and make a plan for how to overcome those roadblocks this time around.

You're more focused on what you're giving up than what you are gaining

Whether you are trying to quit something you know isn’t serving you or start something that will help you reach your goals, your success comes down to one thing. 

What are you focusing on?

Are you focused on where you are going, or what you're giving up? 

Let’s say for example you want to give up eating sugar, but you’re focused so much on the desire to have sugar that you're continuously telling yourself “ no I can’t have that’, or “I am not supposed to eat that”. It becomes a battle in your mind, part of you wants dessert, and part of you wants to use willpower to say no. Because you are so focused on not having the sugar, your mind will then come up with excuses and justifications as to why you should go ahead and have the treat. 

Instead, imagine what your life might look and feel like if you were to cut out sugar. What benefits will the future version of yourself receive by cutting back or eliminating sugar? How will she feel? 

The difference between someone who gives into the urges and habits that aren’t serving them and someone who doesn't, is that the person who gives in keeps entertaining the same thoughts, finding the same excuses and making the same justifications for why they can’t change. The person who doesn’t is fully sold on what it is they desire about making a change.

Focusing on your goal is like programming your gps - you’re deciding where you want to go. You need to do this every time you are tempted to go off course.  The journey to your goal is a practice of course correcting, continuously turning the wheel back in the direction you want to go. As the driver, your job is to recreate the desire for the direction you want to go, this may mean stopping or pulling over to reprogram the gps away from the temptation ( the chocolate, the junk food, the wine) and towards the thing you want most versus what you want in the moment. 

We’re all told to set goals in order to achieve our dreams and be happier. But many of us feel lost after we set those goals, wondering why they aren’t happening, no matter how often we try to achieve them. If you find yourself in this position right now, you’re not alone. We’ve been taught goal setting all wrong! 

If you want to achieve your health & happiness goals, start with these critical shifts to goal setting: 

  • Get clear on your why.

  • Make a commitment to yourself.

  • Make room in your schedule.

  • Choose one small habit you can stick to.

  • Plan for setbacks, knowing life isn’t perfect.

  • Focus more on what you're gaining.

And if you are ready to make this the year you actually improve your health, reduce your overwhelm, and increase your energy, book a discovery call to explore how working with me 1:1 can help you overcome the things that have been holding you back and become the healthiest and happiest version of yourself. 


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