closed 2021 diary with pen ontop

Written by Natasha Zervaas N.P.

It is the beginning of a brand new year, and for most of us, it is a time to reflect upon the previous year. As well as set some new resolutions or goals moving forward.

How many of you set lofty goals year after year, only to break them just a few days later?  I know I’ve been guilty of this in the past!  This is most often caused by our unconscious self-limiting beliefs which then sabotage our actions!

An example of this might be, you set a goal to lose 20kgs in 4 weeks.  This is an unrealistic goal to begin with, but motivation is high in the beginning and you manage to stick 100% to your diet for perhaps 48 hours.  But then feelings of deprivation, low self-worth because of these feelings, food cravings. Physical and emotional hunger set in, and before you know it, you have devoured the entire contents of your pantry, fridge and freezer! Sound familiar? 

Why does it always seem to end in disaster even when you set the best of intentions? Is it merely because you have no willpower? Well I’m here to tell you NO – it’s not your conscious mind’s fault. You have to uncover your core self-limiting belief which in this case may be something along the lines of. “I’m not worthy” or “I’m not loveable” or “I don’t deserve to be fit and healthy”.

The reason is different for everyone, but feelings of unworthiness are more common than you might think.  Even people you look up to and admire because you think they have all their ‘stuff’ together can be struggling with insecurities and self-esteem issues also.

If you want to set goals for 2021 and beyond that are achievable, they not only have to be realistic but you need to do a bit of inner work first. To uncover what unconscious drivers are motivating your behaviours in order to have a good chance of success.

So how do you do this?

Journaling your thoughts and feelings that come up for you around your main goal are a good start.  Find out your true ‘why’ for setting this goal, then hold this in your mind when creating your own personalised affirmation.  Example – “I want to lose 20kgs because I want to be fit and healthy enough to play with my grandchildren” therein lies your ‘why’. So your affirmation could be “I am so grateful and thankful that I am a fit and healthy grandparent.”

The very first step is to acknowledge where you are right now in this present moment.  It is great to have a goal but you must accept and embrace the person that you are right. Now standing at the beginning of your journey - and take that first step – imperfect action.

According to a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology. It can take on average 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. Ie a habit, so start small with something very simple and ‘doable’.  An example of a small habit change could be something like waking up 20 minutes earlier than normal. Listening to a ten minute guided meditation, then writing your ‘to do’ list for the day. 

The next step is to break your goal down into much smaller ones – and celebrate each win along the way.  Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but small daily habits that get you to your big goal will. Especially if you’ve celebrated your small wins to keep you motivated and focused on your ultimate goal.

Don’t forget to keep your ultimate goal front of mind by visualising yourself having already achieved this.  Daily affirmations are a really great way of staying strong with your intentions so printing out your personalised affirmation onto a coloured piece of paper and placing this somewhere. Where you will see it multiple times a day is a good way of keeping this top of mind.

In summary, setting achievable goals, taking imperfect action daily and celebrating your smaller wins along the way to maintain motivation will ultimately ensure your success.

Setting Achievable Goals Setting Achievable Goals


  • Posted February 4, 2021 12:29 pm
    by Natasha Zervaas

    Wonderful to hear you are going to implement the tips that I shared in the article – thank you and well done!

  • Posted February 3, 2021 8:15 am
    by Carolyn

    Thank you for sharing your tips. I will definitely be taking these on board.

    • Posted February 3, 2021 6:03 pm
      by Kevin Kapusi Starow

      I have found them helpful and interesting as well.

    • Posted February 4, 2021 12:29 pm
      by Natasha Zervaas

      Wonderful to hear you are going to implement the tips that I shared in the article – thank you and well done!

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