Sticking with goals that are good for you!


Change always comes bearing gifts. ~Price Pritchett

Making a choiceOver the last few weeks, I’ve been writing about goals. See Creating a New Year’s Resolution Jackpot!, Resolutions or to do lists, and Passionate Goals. I’ve talked about developing a rich vision, thinking about specific steps you can take, measuring where you’re at with those goals, and deciding whether you’re really passionate about them or not.

But what about those goals that you know will be good for you, that have obvious health and wellness benefits, but are going to be hard to figure out how to start, when to start, or how to maintain on an ongoing basis? You know, goals like:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing weight
  • Leaving an abusive relationship
  • Exercising regularly
  • Speaking up for yourself
  • Relaxing
  • Eating well
  • Letting go of worry
  • Getting or staying organized
  • Communicating clearly and constructively
  • Feeling better about yourself

What do you do then?

I’ve recently gotten a fresh reminder of how challenging change can be. I’ve developed a number of food intolerances that have made me feel really sick. Once I discovered that certain foods were the problem, I started to cut them out of my diet—at least I’ve been trying. The problem has been that I love food. In fact, I once had someone tell me I should write a book entitled, Foods I’ve Known and Loved. Good food is a BIG part of my life. I get excited about foods I’m going to eat and coo when I get to eat them.

Now I’ve got a list of about 30 things I can’t eat. 3-0! They’re primarily healthy, delicious food—things like some red grapes, asparagus, nuts, and eggs. It’s not a matter of moderation—it’s a matter of not going anywhere near them—no way no how.

I’ve gotten a good reminder of how difficult change can be, how some goals may be really good for us but involve sacrifice, discipline, and the willingness to give up things you’ve previously really enjoyed—at least in some ways. It’s been a really good reminder of how difficult it can be to create new habits that become just that—habits.

What helps? Creating a rich vision of what you want can be really helpful. Thinking about small steps you will take to get there, and measuring your progress help. For me, discipline has also been key, and something I’ve had to re-visit several times. Talking myself through cravings, reminding myself of how sick I’ve felt, reminding myself how good I feel when I stick to my diet plan and what other things it’s enabled me to do, reminding myself those foods are no longer an option, planning for success (i.e. eating at home or select restaurants), and reminding myself to keep trying even when I slip have all helped.

What helps for you? What helps you discipline yourself to really commit to your goals? What can you do to stand up to pressure from within or from others to stick to your plan? What is going to help you deal with setbacks?

I’d be interested in hearing your comments!!

Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me. ~Author Unknown

About the author: Renee Meggs is a Registered Psychologist who works with adults and children to help them do what works, both in counselling and coaching. If you’d like to enquire about my services, please e-mail me at and/or go to my website at