The How and Why of Goals

The How and Why of Goals image

The How and Why of Goals

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

Have you given up on New Year’s goal setting because it doesn’t realise anyway? Everybody knows that unless you plan to do a task, it just doesn’t get done. I want to encourage you to try again. Start small, practice, and remember that nothing is cast in stone - you can change it any time, you might just enjoy the experience.

The truth is we often think of goals as having to make big plans, perhaps it may make us a little nervous, what if it doesn’t happen, it will only make you feel like a failure and no body enjoys that, right?

Well here’s the thing, your goals don’t have to include solving the world’s water problems or negotiating peace between countries, although that will be really helpful. Start small, do what you know you can, and remember that success breeds success. Understanding the process a little better may just encourage you to take that first step again.

6 Points to consider when planning your goal

  1. You do not set goals, or you haven’t reached your goals, because you don’t really think that it will benefit you – there is no real value in it for you.
  2. The goal does not excite you enough. You must really want it!
  3. You shy away from commitment, and you don’t really want to tell anyone about it, they might think you are weak if you do not reach that goal.
  4. You do not believe that you deserve it.
  5. You think you may be too ambitious.
  6. You are doing it because it is something somebody else wants for you, or you are trying to do it for someone else. It is not your personal desire

4 Great Reasons to try again

  1. Goals make you feel good about yourself – they give you direction and purpose.
  2. Goals create good habits.
  3. Goals will put you in control of your own life.
  4. Goals develop you as a person and prevents boredom and mental stagnation.

Below Dr Tom Denham illustrates beautifully how we can easily stagnate when we only want to operate in our comfort zone, and how stepping out of that comfort zone can be frightening, but you will never know what you are capable of unless you take that step, overcome your fears, learn and grow. When setting your eye on a target and planning your steps, remember that it’s all about you, you are making yourself the best you can be.

  • COMFORT ZONE – where we feel safe and in control and very comfortable – why would you want to change that?
  • FEAR ZONE - Outside of our comfort zone we might feel unsure, insecure, fearful – we find excuses not to do, we are affected by other’s opinions, we lack confidence because we have never stepped foot in that zone.
  • LEARNING ZONE - Beyond the Fear Zone we get into the learning zone: Here we deal with challenges and problem, acquire new skills, we extend the comfort zone.
  • GROWTH ZONE – we set new goals Conquer objectives Live dreams, Find purpose.

Dr Tom Denham’s website:


12 Steps to your new goal

  1. Be very specific about your goals, e.g. “I want to drink 7 glasses of water every day”.

  2. Be realistic and practical.
  3. Understand where you are and where you want to be. Remember to start small.
  4. Create a vision board. Google it - you will find wonderful ideas for visions boards.
  5. Write down your goals and talk about it, the more you do that the more your subconscious starts to plan your actions around these goals. Have your goals written down where you can look at them daily.
  6. Break down the big goals into months, weeks and days – start with the end product in mind and work backwards.
  7. Remember that setting and reaching your goals requires self-discipline and motivation, don’t let that put you off, keep trying.
  8. Pretend your goals have already happened.
  9. Focus on your goals daily – it is a new habit and has to be practiced.
  10. Remember quitting is not an option.
  11. Prioritise your goals for each area of your life and master one before moving to the next.
  12. You may change your goal along the path, only if it is an improvement, not because you are quitting the goal.

Planning goals according to the Wellness Wheel

Understanding the different areas in your life that contribute to your overall “wellness” makes it easier to set goals and to guide your thoughts. You don’t have to set goals for each area at once, you may want to prioritise the areas that you feel you need to improve and start with one, e.g. your physical well being.

If you don’t have an ambitious bucket list, it is not a crime, have fun with setting goals and enjoy the journey!


"What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Need help with your health goals? We are just a click away. Jacky Hattingh, Registered Biokineticists | Nutrigenomics Practitioner, 083 650 2052. Nutritional, Lifestyle and movement therapy.


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