“They set me up for failure” or "why bother" are sentences I often hear when I talk to people about new years resolutions. That perspective is understandable, but in defense of goals, I’d like to change it.

I work as a success coach and trainer so this means is that I basically study goals, frequently set goals, talk a lot about goals and help people achieve their goals. With the New Year already in full swing I’ve noticed how people get stuck between their new years resolutions (read: goals, dreams, desires, ambitions) and feeling pressurised to over-achieve in the year ahead.

Goal setting can be very healthy. The way I see it, new years resolutions are an opportunity to gain fresh standpoint of your purpose (and if you don’t know what your purpose is then I'm sure it'll bring you closer to it). Living as near to your purpose as possible means you'll be happier and contribute to a better world, right?

The New Year also offers you the chance to review where you stand in relation to reaching your full potential. By reaching your full potential I mean living a delicious, sexy, juicy, crazy, awe-inspiring life that you’re proud of! And who doesn’t want that?!

As the unforgettable David Bowie said:

As you get older, the questions come down to about two or three. How long? And what do I do with the time I've got left?

What many don’t realise is that it’s not the goals that set you up for failure but the motivation behind your goals that do. That’s why I'm not one of those people who’s going to agree that goals set you up for failure, but what I do want is to help you set meaningful goals. Aka goals with soul.

So, how can we create goals with soul?

Think about these six questions to get clear about your motivation (even take a moment to put pen to paper if you like):

  1. What area of your life truly requires improvement in order for you to reach your full potential?
  2. What relevant changes do you need to make to that area of your life?
  3. Imagine you’ve achieved this goal, how does it make you feel?
  4. How can you start taking baby steps towards success?
  5. How will it affect other people and other areas of your life?

And lastly,

  1. Why do you want to improve this area of your life?

By taking a closer look at your motivation for setting goals you'll notice that success and measurable results are achievable, even more so, if they're motivated by the right kinda intentions. Now you should have a little more clarity about your soulful goals and the direction your year is going to take.

Here is my secret to sustaining new years resolutions: when you're not as successful as you envisioned, forgive yourself. In other words, measure your goals based on effort, not outcome.

No I'd love to hear from you! Tell me about your 2018 goals with soul and what works for you (and what doesn't) in the comments below!

Happy New Year, family! May 2018 be your best year yet!

Much happiness,


P.S.: Join me for my upcoming 2018 goal-setting workshop "Goals with Soul" in Cape Town! There's an in-person event as well as an online workshop for those beyond the city. Click here to find out more :)

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Hey you! As an eternal optimist and old soul, I love writing about all things body – mind – spirit. Grab a cup of Joe, put on your comfy clothes and rock that messy bun, so that you can read, relax and enjoy the ride! Read more...