Health & wellbeing

The secrets of sticking to your goals (you can do it!)

Take the right approach to help you reach your targets this year, says psychologist and life coach Honey Langcaster-James

Set new goals when you’re feeling positive. This way, your goals will be achievable – not based on self-reproach. Try setting goals when you’re happy and relaxed on Sundays, so you can make a fresh start on Monday.

Make your intentions public. Tell your family and friends what your goals are and how you intend to get there. Not only can they support you, it will make it much harder to bail out! 

Visualise success. Make a healthy vision board for each goal you have (or just your main one) to get used to the thought of it becoming a reality and help you focus. Use photos, inspirational quotes, pages from magazines… Anything that inspires you!

See setbacks as stepping stones. If you hit a drawback, identify your mistake and say: ‘I’ve learned from this and now I’m moving on.’ Try to see any hiccups as a detour, but not an obstacle.

Remember that you’re master of your own fate. If you keep trying and don’t give up, then you’ll achieve your goal eventually. Almost any goal, barring physical impossibility, is do-able once you realise that.

If in doubt, act. If you start to deviate even slightly from the path to your goal, immediately take one small step in the right direction and you’ll soon be back on course.

Self-talk yourself up. If you catch yourself thinking negatively, replace it with a positive affirmation such as: ‘I can do it, I am doing it, and soon I will have done it!’