The Ultimate Guide to Setting Goals and Living Your #BestLife!

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Just like last January and the one before that, this year’s current trending topic: GOAL digging 👩🏼‍💻

#NewYearNewMe and #NewYearWhoDis hashtags are breaking the internet, gym membership sales are sky rocketing and produce isles in your grocery store are looking a little emptier; pretty typical January scene, right? But what I love most is that intense drive, determination and motivation to GET SHIT DONE and make this year THEE best year yet.

I love this time of year (minus the minus temps ❄️) because of that very reason: GSD. You have the time to reflect on the past year’s wins, challenges and hot messes and make new goals and intentions for the year ahead. Kinda feels like a clean slate; you get to take lessons learned from your past and focus on this year’s goals.

So with all this intense, burning desire to GSD - why is it that people give up on their goals 3-6 (or sooner) months in? Obvi this could be due to a number of reasons: life got in the way, timing, schedule conflicts, etc. But what it really comes down to is HOW you set your goal in the first place. Was it too broad? Too overwhelming? Too unrealistic? Too much of a change?

Let’s address these reasons with a little bit of tough love - you ready? You may have to ask yourself: when do these “reasons” become mere excuses? Really take a moment and think if you’re just making excuses to not do the thing you have to do to reach your goal. Can you tell the difference between excuses and actual, legit reasons? And then think about how you can restructure your goal so you can prevent these excuses preemptively.


…it really comes down to HOW you set your goal in the first place…

Example: your kids are sick at school and you have to reschedule your workout for another time to go pick them up - that’s a legit reason. On the other hand, the alarm goes off at 5:30am for your workout but you’re too tired to get out of bed - that’s an excuse. Sure, it’s damn HARD to get the motivation to get out of a toasty bed in the dead of winter and go workout…

But guess what: if you know yourself and you KNOW in your heart of hearts that you will not get up at 5:30am… then don’t schedule anything during that time - take the path of least resistance and commit to a time when when you know you will get it done. With that being said, if your actual goal is to become a morning person then you should try and introduce earlyAF wake-up calls into your routine slowwwwly. And this is a common theme for all goals: start off slow. Yes, the desired outcome will take longer, but you’re more likely to stick with it long-term. And that’s what we’re going for.

Sticking with the above example, it’s not a great idea to schedule something EVERY morning at 5:30am when you’re used to waking up at 7:30am for years. This type of intensity straight out the gate will more than likely ware you down - so don’t set yourself up for failure - you don’t need that! Instead try and make it a habit to get up at that time ONE or two days during the week.

Ask yourself: what are some things that I can do to ensure that I will get up at 5:30am? Go to bed at 10pm? Have my gym clothes laid out the night before? Anything you can do to make for a smoother transition will help. Then you can slowly work on getting up three or four days a week over a period of time, if that’s your goal. Does that make sense?

So now we know that HOW we set our goals has a huge impact on whether or not we see them through. I’m gonna go a step further here and go into DETAIL on how to figure out what your goals are and how to structure them so that you can get rid of excuses and actually achieve them - get ready 2019, cause we comin’ for youu!!!

PS - this applies to all goals - not just health and fitness!

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The ultimate guide to setting goals and living yo’ best life!


Setting goals is the process of establishing an outcome to serve as the focus of your actions. When you set goals, you become more motivated to follow your purpose and live your vision.

Goal setting doesn’t have to be a complex process. In fact, the simpler you can make it, the more likely you are to follow through. But there are a few things you need to do to increase your chances of achieving your goals.

Start out by asking yourself some key questions to discover your purpose and what truly excites you. Then create a vision for your next 12 months and decide what your main priorities are and turn that vision into a series of goals.

“Purpose? Vision? It’s not that deep - I’m just trynna set some goals here.😅” LOL I get that… but purpose aka what drives you to actually make goals in the first place matters!!

When you come up with your goals, decide how important it is for you to achieve them. By considering how much you want your goals to happen, compared to other priorities in your life, you’re more likely to follow through without getting distracted. What will your life look like when you’ve achieved what you set out to do? What will it look like if you didn’t achieve them?

When you can tap into why you want to achieve something, you’ll be way more motivated to actually make it happen. Your why doesn’t have to be selfless to be important. Striving for goals increases your happiness and happy people are way more inclined to spread that happiness around.

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Once you’ve brainstormed, take all that stuff and turn it into a single statement to capture your goal. Make sure it’s:

POSITIVE: positive statements are way more likely to motivate you than negative statements. Rather than saying “I want to spend less time on Facebook” say “I will spend more time with my family.”

REALISTIC: your goal should be one you can realistically achieve. For example, I want to increase my cardiovascular endurance this year, but I really hate running long-distance. So - I’ll take the path of least resistance and schedule in some high intensity sprint circuits instead because I’d much rather short, intense spurts of cardio than long-distance. This way it keeps me interested and challenged at the same time.

Think about where your comfort zone is and then make your goal one step over that line. Doesn’t have to super drastic, but you definitely want it to be some sort of challenge. Rule of thumb is to start off slow and continuously and consistently work on that thing over a period of time. Do you have a good track record with doing things cold turkey long-term? Not many of us can say yes to that. Patience young grasshopper 😉 (this is the hardest part for me as I def struggle with patience at times).

ACTIONABLE: make your goal focused on the action that will take you to complete it, using action verbs rather than to-be verbs. Instead of “I will own a house.” make it, “I will buy a house.” For every goal, there are usually little actionable steps that you have to focus on in order to see it through.

Say you want to walk 10,000 steps a day. Ok cool, that’s an awesome goal! But what does that really look like? Can you break that down into mini-goals by the hour? That’s 833 steps per hour for 12 hours, 625 per hour for 16 hours. Is that goal attainable for you? How can you ensure that you’ll stay on track so that you’re not running/dancing around the house at 11:30pm to get your steps in for the day? …I may or may not be speaking from experience here 🤣 I love my Fitbit Versa because 10 mins before every hour it notifies me how many steps I have left to reach my hourly goal. So simple to keep track of!

Divide your goals into long-term, medium-term and short-term plans. Long-term goals will take you a year or two to complete, medium goals will take about six months to a year and short-term goals can be done in little more than a month. Make sure your goal is specific, measurable and something that you are passionate about.

Use the brainstorm section in your free PDF download below that I’ve created for you to capture what you truly want to achieve and then create use the sheets to create a long, medium and short-term plan of action. I use these exact worksheets and find them super helpful! Just enter in your email and you’ll get immediate access.


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Once you download the free worksheets, decide the specific date you want to achieve your goal by and set some milestones to meet along the way. This creates a sense of urgency and accountability. The curse of “someday” will not be entering into 2019, ok? 🤗. Now, figure out what steps you need to take to make your goal a reality as outlined in your worksheet. This may be old-school, but something amazing happens when you put pen to paper and actually write down your goals.

Goals without deadlines are just dreams. Unless you’re holding yourself accountable to some kind of specific deadline - you’re less likely to start taking action. Break down your long-term goals into manageable milestones. You can even work on your goals using short bursts of action over 90 days. It’s long enough to make real progress and short enough to maintain momentum and motivation.

Follow the Four C’s:
CLARITY: Get specific about exactly what you want to achieve. Write it down and be as detailed as possible. You’ll also want to know how you’ll track your milestones and measure your success.

CHALLENGE: If your goal challenges you, you’re more likely to be motivated to make it happen. Your goal should be difficult to achieve, but not so hard that you want to give up.

COMPLEXITY: If your goal is large and complex, break it down into smaller parts so it doesn’t become overwhelming. Turn your milestones into mini-goals so you can stay focused and keep progressing.

COMMITMENT: Make sure your goal really is something you want to achieve and you’ve identified why it matters to you!


goals without deadlines are just dreams.

Take daily action towards your goals and celebrate wins along the way. Know that every goal you complete takes you closer to your vision and helps you live a life of purpose.

Making time to review your progress increases your persistence, motivation and determination to make your goals a reality. When you set your goals, decide when and how you’ll check in with them (once a week? bi-weekly) and then make that time a priority. Examine the obstacles that have come up and make adjustments along the way and also note how damn far you’ve come since Day 1.

Something you may want to consider is asking a friend to be your accountability partner. When we have people who are depending on us, we’re far less likely to bail because we don’t want to let the other person down. Public accountability is also a great tool. Write an Insta or FB post about one goal you’d like to achieve this year (or message me your goal!). You’ll feel accountable to finish what you started or do the thing you said you were gonna do.

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Now we’ve talked about what goals are and why you should set them, it’s time to get started and create your own goals. First, download the free worksheets available in this blog post. Then, start by brainstorming everything related to your goal and purpose - how you’ll feel when you succeed, what your obstacles might be, and who might be able to help you along the way. When that’s done go through the short, medium and long-term sheets and plan your best year(s) yet!

Note: If you have big-ass dreams and goals but have obstacles in the way (lack of money, time constraints, “imposter syndrome”) don’t worry about the HOW too much right now. I know that goes against what I’m saying in this post BUT… big goals and ideas should still be acknowledged even if you think they’re pipe dreams (and I’m here to tell they’re NOT pipe dreams!). It all starts with the vision that you have - so write out that big, huge, scary dream because you can achieve it if you want it bad enough and if you’ll willing to work hard for it. I 100% believe that. When you continuously envision something and write it down, you’ll start to see an exciting positive shift in mindset, which is so, so powerful.

I was listening to a podcast recently and it said this very message: if you have a big dream don’t worry about the HOW right at this very moment. Create a vision first and get it in your head that you will achieve that dream eventually. The how will come if you follow these steps mentioned above. But first - you must be clear on your vision AND believe that it’s possible .

On a personal note 2018 has been pretty tough for me. But with tough times comes lots of lessons and increased motivation to make this next year much, much better. Rather than get down on the (many) things that went wrong in 2018 - I’m gonna try and focus on what it gave me instead: resilience, patience and determination.

I use the exact same workbook that you can get for free today to plan out my goals for 2019. I usually categorize them into groups: personal, physical, career and financial. And, as I’ve mentioned above: accountability is everything to me so here’s a short list of my goals for 2019:

1/ Go to one event per month. I’m lucky that Toronto has sooo many free and affordable events/workshops that I can take advantage of. I want to focus on: food styling/photography, creative mornings events, various speaking panels on health/fitness-related topics, marketing & entrepreneurship workshops, marine conservation topics, etc. If I’m not learning, I’m not growing. PS - You can search Eventbrite for events in your city!

2/ Practice freediving one night a week (pool practice). Last May I got my AIDA 2 Star Freediving Cert and am totally in love with the sport. My other passion besides healthy living is def the ocean and marine conservation, so I want to get better at freediving disciplines and work on my breath hold.

3/ Be more environmentally conscious. I’m pretty good with this as is… but there’s always room for improvement. I love using tote bags instead of plastic bags, but sometimes I forget them 🤦🏼‍♀️ shhh don’t tell Leo Dicaprio

4/ Continue to learn Portuguese. I passed the DuoLingo course - that counts for something right? 🤣 I want to take it to the next level this year.

5/ Travel to a new country 🤞🏻I love traveling and exploring new place but want to focus on traveling with purpose this year. I want to get more involved with marine conservation and would love to go on a trip surrounding that and dive with/research sharks. Or I’d def be up for a fitness/wellness retreat.


1/ Focus on proper form. Form is everything and since I want to become stronger this year, I’ll have to focus on lifting heavier and practicing the correct recruitment patterns.

2/ Make mobility training a priority. I’ve only really started taking mobility training/warm-up/cool-down routines serious the end of last year and have already noticed a huge difference in my range of motion and flexibility already.

3/ Do at least 5 unassisted pull-ups. Pull ups are HARD!! least for me. It may not seem like a big number, but I’d love to be able to do 5 by the end of the year.

4/ Keep working out consistently. There’s no secret to getting fit. Practice a healthy lifestyle and continue to work hard on a consistent basis and have tonnes of patience - it’s a legit journey and it has to be maintained once you finally get to the point you want to be.


1/ Finish program at CSNN and become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist.

2/ Go to one business/entrepreneurial-related event (Create and Cultivate in NYC would be an effing dreammm.. ahem goal 😍)

3/ Work on nutrition programming to offer once I graduate while transitioning career paths (nbd).

4/ Work on focusing at the task at hand. Shiny object syndrome struggle is reallll for me you guys.

5/ Continue to show up for YOU on a consistent basis! 💙

As you can see, they don’t have to be huuge goals.. some of these are small in theory but may take some practice to actually implement. Overall, I have 24 main goals for 2019 but these are some I am comfortable sharing :D

Remember - it’s never too late to make a charge or start a new goal even if that involves heading down a wholeee new path. The biggest hurdle to get over is your mindset - once you believe and decide you want to achieve something - you are the only one who can make that happen. Also, try not to compare your goals to others: you do you and focus on what you want to achieve. So what are you waiting for? 2019 is already here - legggooo!

Now it’s YOUR TURN:

speaking of accountability: I WANNA KNOW - what are some of your goals?

Leave me a comment on here or DM me on Insta! Accountability is errrything - so tell me!


I respect your privacy and your information will not be shared, rented or sold.
By signing up for the free guide you'll also be receiving free newsletter content and blog post & recipe updates from Holistic Hollie.