Goals and motivation

New Year's resolution mistakes

In this episode, Claire shares the common mistakes she's seen women make when setting goals and how to avoid them.

Show Notes
Program note: Hey, glad you’re enjoying the podcast! In this episode, you might hear Claire talking about Nutritional Freedom and Foundations. Since we launched the podcast in 2020, we've undergone a makeover to improve the membership experience. For more, listen to our "And we're back! All the updates!" episode.

Claire Siegel: You're listening to the Flourish podcast. I'm your host, Claire Siegel, founder of Flourish. We're on a mission to help women get healthy for good. Join me each week for a new episode that'll help you sustain healthy habits and nourish your body so you can Flourish in life.

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We are in the process of adding transcripts to our entire back catalogue. New episode transcripts are typically available within 24 hours of the episode release.

Claire Siegel: You're listening to the Nutritional Freedom podcast. I'm your host, Claire Siegel, registered dietitian, founder of Nutritional Freedom, and total stationary nerd who's sharing episodes each week to help you ditch diets and get healthy for good.

We'll dive into what really works when it comes to creating sustainable nutrition and health habits, ways to improve your body image, and how all of this helps you live a life that's in alignment with your values. Because that's what really matters, right?

Let's dive in.

Claire Siegel: Hi, y'all welcome back to the Nutritional Freedom podcast. Ah, what a time we are in that weird time vortex between Christmas and New Years where things are just weird.

I like don't know if I should be sending emails right now. I don't know if people are working, but, you know, I'm trying to get some things done. I've been doing a lot of, um, feeling. I've been doing a lot of feeling lately. I've been feeling so excited about this new year. Um, I'm really, really looking forward to it.

My word for the year 2021 is focus, and I feel so clear on what I want to accomplish and what I am so ready to just receive in the next year, in 2021. But I've also been spending a lot of time thinking and reflecting on everything that I learned and everything that I grew through in 2020.

I mean, I was looking through my old full focus planners, I read through my journal, which is always... I mean, I don't know about y'all, I always find it a little bit cringe-worthy. But it was also so useful, you know? I kind of gave myself the chance to relearn everything that I learned last year, and I mean, when I say I learned a lot... oftentimes the very hard way... that was true.

So I got to kind of relearn all those lessons and, you know, just think about how I want to take everything I learned about being a leader, about building a team, about running a business and supporting our members. I got to take all of that and, you know, bring it with me into 2021, or I am bringing it with me into 2021. Um, and so I'm really excited about that.

And in fact, tonight in the Nutritional Freedom membership, I'm actually guiding our members through their annual goal setting workshop, which I cannot wait.

Um, we have this awesome workbook that we sent to everyone, and so the kind of first, the first third of it is really just about reflecting on 2020. I think it's so important that even though this year was challenging, like we've got to spend time reflecting on it because it's historic, you know? Hopefully once in a lifetime. And so I think there's... it was just such a unique time that it would be a shame to just kind of shut the door on it and not like learn from it, I guess.

So anyway, the first third of the workbook is really just about reflecting. And then we've got what I kind of think of as like goal warmup pages. I like to do a lot of thinking and feeling before I actually set my goals for the year, because I do really encourage constraint when it comes to setting your goals for your year and for each quarter, because if you set out to do everything, then you're likely to do nothing.

Or at least that's certainly been my experience. Um, so we do these like kind of goal warmup exercises to get your wheels turning before then the final stage of the workbook is actually setting your goals and thinking about your systems for your goals. So, I am, as I said, leading our members through that workshop tonight. And I just, oh, I get so like buzzy and excited, um, every year and then every quarter when we do our goal-setting workshops.

So that's just, what's been going on with me lately. Um, and that's what we're here talking about today. I want to talk with you about some New Year's resolution mistakes and, and goal setting mistakes that I see people making all the time.

Um, and this is obviously an area that I'm really passionate about because I think goal setting is such a great opportunity to, to grow, to kind of push yourself forward, to hold yourself to a high standard, to, you know, live a value-aligned life, such an opportunity for all of those amazing things.

But it's also a way that you can set yourself up to fail or, you know, set some grand goal that then you forget about or don't achieve or end up just recycling year after year. And that can make you feel like crap about yourself. So, yeah, I don't want you to do that. I want you to recognize that goal setting is an opportunity for you to grow in the ways that are important to you and to actually have a plan to do so and that... you can do that. You know, you can do that for so many different areas and aspects of your life. And, and you can do that on January 1st. You can do it on December 29th. You can do it on April 3rd. You can do it whenever you'd like.

So we're talking about New Year's resolution mistakes because it is that time of year, but you know, if you're listening to this episode on September 7th, um, and you want to set some goals today, that's that's okay too. And these mistakes are still mistakes to avoid. I want to help you avoid them.

But anyway, we are approaching New Years. So let's, let's talk a little bit about New Year's resolutions, because I was so curious. Like I am totally of two minds when it comes to New Year's resolutions.

I don't know if you can tell, but I'm like really buzzing off of the impending new year energy. Um, um, I'm ready for it, even though my conscious mind knows, like, not that much, not really anything is going to change when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st. But still I'm feeling the energy, so I'm going to, I'm going to take it. But anyway, so that's like kind of one way that I feel about it.

And then I also feel like New Year's resolutions are just like total like bollocks, you know? Like I said, not that... nothing changes um, when, when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st. You know, you're still the same person. You still have the same human errors and all that. But it's such good energy and such good feeling, so what do we do?

Um, so I was really curious how y'all were feeling about New Year's resolutions, and, um, so I polled, I polled my Instagram followers the other week, and I asked, like, what do you think about New Year's resolutions? And the two options were "love a fresh start" and then the other option was "they never work."

And, I mean, it was kind of no surprise to see that 49% of you said that you love a fresh start and 51% of you said they never work. And you know what, I think everyone here is correct. Like, that is exactly how I feel. I, like I said, I love the energy. I love the way I feel right now. I'm feeling so excited, so focused.

And I also know that New Year's resolutions don't work. You know, they say that 80% or more of New Year's resolutions fail... that most resolutions don't live past February. And so clearly when it comes to New Year's resolutions and when it comes to goal setting, we're doing something wrong.

So I want to walk you through on today's episode. I want to walk you through three incredibly common resolution setting or goal setting mistakes that I want to make sure you avoid.

So let's start from the top. Number one, confusing your values and goals. I think most people I talk with don't exactly understand what a value is and how it's different from a goal, right? And that is why they get kind of conflated and mixed up all the time.

So let's say, for example, you set out in 2021 with the goal of "getting healthier." The problem here is that... that is not a goal. Health is a value, right? You can't just do health four times and then you're healthy forever. I mean, if that were the case, you probably wouldn't be listening to my podcast. Um, health is a value. It is something that you are consistently in pursuit of, right?

So other values could be... family, connection, growth is, is one, it's a personal core value of mine. It's also one of, so many of our Nutritional Freedom members, and then you will have concrete, clear goals that are in support of that value.

Right? So again, let's say that your value is health. Well, then what are some clear, tangible, achievable goals that you can set out, that you can lay out for yourself over the next one month or three months—those are typically the increments I like to think in—that are in support of that value of health? Okay?

You want to be very clear on what your core values are. And then when you go to set goals, make sure that every goal you set is in alignment with at least one of your core values and that it's not in direct conflict with any of your core values. Right? So let me, let me give you an example here. We're going to stick with the theme of health.

You have this value of health, and then let's say that you also have a value of connection. Okay? That those are two of your core values: health and connection. And let's say you set a goal to meal prep every meal, every week.

You're like, "This is perfect. This is so perfect. If I'm meal prepping all my meals, then I'm going to eat super healthy. And that totally supports my core value of health. Claire, thank you. This is amazing. I love your podcast."

Well, that is so kind. I really appreciate the kind words, but let's like take a time out for a quick sec, because what about connection?

If you're meal prepping all your meals... where's the happy hour? Where's the going out on date night? Where's the family dinners? Where's the, you know, travel and, and, and getting to enjoy, you know, international cuisine? Where's the time breaking bread with others that is such a crucial part of connection?

So while, you know, preparing every meal may be supportive of your physical health... although I would question how sustainable it is, but okay. Let's, let's say it's supportive of your physical health. What about that connection piece? What about that core value you have of connection? And I would tell you if you were a member... I would tell you you're, you're onto something here, but I think you're missing one of your core values.

I think you're actually not only missing it. I think this goal that you've set for yourself is in direct opposition to your core value of connection. So why don't we try to come up with something around meal prep that satisfies both. And, and by the way, that's totally possible, and it's also likely to be far more sustainable... if for no other reason than it's actually aligned with your core values, right?

Okay. So that is New Year's resolution mistake number one is confusing your values and your goals.

Number two. Number two is setting achievement goals without a clear strategy for accomplishing them. So you may have an achievement goal around buying a house next year or running a half marathon, or, you know, getting into a new relationship.

But how? What are the clear steps that you're going to take? Whether that's daily, weekly monthly, quarterly, yearly. What are the steps that you're going to take to actually accomplish the achievement goals that you've set out to do?

Because the way I see it is that when you have an achievement goal... that feels so good. Like it feels so good to journal the big achievement goal that you have. I have them written everywhere. I, as I look ahead of me, I've got my vision board in front of me on my desktop computer. It's on my phone. It's on this little bulletin board right behind my monitor. I've got like sticky notes of affirmations on my mirrors.

I've got them everywhere and I love it and it feels so good. But for every achievement that I expect to happen in the next year or in the future, I've also got a very clear system for action. What am I going to do regularly? What are my milestones? What are my checkpoints? And how am I holding myself accountable?

Whether it's working with a coach or working with my therapist or, you know, collaborating with, with Jon, my husband. Is it, you know, check-ins with my team? Is it in my calendar? What is my strategy here? Again, we have so much great material on this in the Nutritional Freedom membership. I cannot wait to talk about this tonight with our members, but regardless if you're not a member work on your strategy.

It is so great to have these big dreams and achievements that you desire to have those clear, right? To be very clear on what you want to achieve. But unless you've got the clear strategy in place, then chances are, you're just kind of like wishing for it. Right?

Number three is not having a system for checking in, evaluating progress, and being held accountable. Okay?

So I touched on this a little bit in number two, but I just, it bears reiterating, right? Again, especially if you've got these big goals, these big annual goals that, that may take a year or more to accomplish. Like what are the checkpoints? Again, what are the milestones along the way? What is your check-in system? Do you set these annual goals and then not think about them or not look at them again until New Year's Eve next year?

Right? What we do in, in the Freedom membership is we set kind of big annual goals at the beginning of the year, and then every 90 days we pull those out and we pull out a quarterly goal setting workbook, and we pull out the specific goals that we're going to be focusing on for the next 90 days... because that's really, I mean, that's like what the human brain can handle. And in some cases, if 90 days is, is too far out, then I'll encourage our members to just think 30 days ahead because everyone's lives are, are set up differently, of course.

But again, what are those systems for checking in for kind of accomplishing one goal and moving on to the next, for evaluating your progress along the way.

And then most importantly, For being held accountable. This is so important. I think people, I just see accountability is something people really struggle with. And there have certainly been times when I've really struggled with accountability and I used to feel really bad about it. I used to feel really bad and ashamed when I would make these promises to myself, whether it was about healthy eating or meal prep or journaling or meditating or exercising.

I would feel really bad when I would, you know, lay out these great plans on Sunday or at the beginning of the year, and then not do them. I'd find myself breaking my promises to myself. But I realized that I needed to find a better way of holding myself accountable, right?. So I've worked with coaches, I've worked with trainers, and I've developed... through those relationships I've developed a stronger sense of internal accountability. Okay?

And there are times when I still need to go back and rely on those tools and there's no shame in that whatsoever. It is so normal to, you know, to, to be able to more easily leverage external accountability, meaning meeting kind of the standards of others than it is to meet your own. Right?

That's, that's so common. And again, it's nothing to feel ashamed about. And it's nothing that you need to kind of just like tough it out through. Listen, if you recognize that, if you recognize when I'm held accountable to someone or something outside of me, then I actually show up... hey, make that work for you here and now when it comes to your New Year's resolutions and your goals leverage some external accountability.

That's why in the membership, we have weekly accountability check-ins with, with our coaches. Okay? So our members, every Sunday, they get a weekly report emailed to them and we ask them specific questions about... How did this go? How did that go? What was, you know, what are you celebrating this week? What are your challenges? What do you want to focus on next week? And then our coaches review those forms every week and check in with you. And that's, that's on top of the private coaching calls that, that we offer because accountability is so incredibly important and it's so powerful. Okay?

Whew. Number three, like I said, not having a system for checking in for evaluating progress or for being held accountable.

And again, there is no shame in needing or wanting external accountability. Frankly, it is smart. It is smart. If you recognize, "Hey, I've always struggled with staying accountable to myself, but this area of my life is really important to me." guess what? Get some external accountability in that area. All right?

Whew, listen, if you're hearing this and you're like, "Wow, she is really pumped." Yes, that's true. Let me just like, take a quick breath. Cause I just, I love, I love, I love setting goals and I love doing it right.

It can be such, as I said before, it can be such a huge opportunity for growth. But there's also this risk that goal-setting turns into this like just shame stew, and I don't want you to live in shame stew.

I want you to be in the fun energy of goal setting, where you set your clear goals, you have your systems in place, you know how you're being held accountable and you're actually taking steps forward.

And then you can accomplish a goal and move on to the next one! It's so fun. It is so fun.

Okay. Let's get to number four. Y'all, I didn't outline this podcast as thoroughly as other episodes and maybe you can feel it and I'm actually like, so curious, what do you like better? Do you like the more freeform podcasts or do you like it when I stick to the script and just get it out there?

Cause I can do either way. I'm happy to. I just felt, and I'm so energized over this topic. I just thought we could, you know, freewheel a little bit.

You know, I've got a rough outline, but I'm freestyling just a bit and I'm having a lot of fun, but I would like to know if you're having fun. And I won't take it personally. So just DM me on Instagram and let me know what you think.

Okay. We've got to get to number four. Claire, stay on task. All right. Number four New Year's resolution mistake is giving up after several failed attempts and then not setting goals at all.

So, as I said before, I polled on Instagram and 51% of you said that New Year's resolutions never work. And like I said before, the research shows that 80% of New Year's resolutions fail. But like a hundred percent of New Year's resolutions are set completely wrong. Right? Like we don't have the systems like I've been talking about. So let's just get it straight here, right? The the problem isn't with goals themselves.

The problem is in like the quality of your goals or the quality of your New Year's resolutions of the quality of the systems and strategies and, and accountability points that you have for your resolutions.

So there's nothing wrong with resolutions inherently, there's nothing wrong with goals inherently, and there's nothing wrong with you inherently.

But if year after year the goals or resolutions that you've set aren't happening, then let's take a pause and look at the system and the strategy that you have in place. And let's work on that rather than just throwing the baby out with the bath water and saying that goals don't work at all, because we know that's not true.

So for the last 20 minutes or so, I've been emphatically telling you what not to do. Right? I said: Don't confuse your values and goals. Don't set achievement goals without a clear strategy for accomplishing them. Don't go without a system for checking in for evaluating progress for being held accountable. And most of all, don't give up.

If you've never achieved goals that you said, or you've never actually accomplished your New Year's resolution. Don't give up. But what do you supposed to do instead? Okay, so I'm so excited to share this with you. Starting this week, I am hosting a new masterclass called, "New year, new habits."

I'm talking goal-setting, habit formation, and sustained behavior change, not BS diets. You already know that, right? So again, it's called "New year, new habits." We've got three or four slots. Three or four slots for this masterclass that you can attend. It's live. It's free. I'm going to have the link in the show notes below where you can sign up for a session. The first one is on Sunday.

We want you to start this year with such clear intentions, with intentions of sustainability, of taking care of yourself in a way that fully aligns with your values. And so with that in mind, we created the "New year, new habits" masterclass, and I cannot wait. I mean, if you thought I was excited to record this podcast, just wait until I'm onscreen with my cute PowerPoint deck.

It's my favorite deck I've ever designed. Just saying we're going to have some really fun bonuses that were, are going to support your goals. Hint, hint, hint. I can't, I can't share too much. I'll get in trouble. But I'm so excited. So again, the link is in the show notes below.

You can click the link, check it out. We've got a free workbook for you. When you sign up for the masterclass, you're going to bring it with you. We're going to do it together. It's interactive. You're going to walk out of that session, feeling very clear. Okay? New year, new habits, masterclass. Link is in the show notes below. Sign up for the session that works best for you, and I cannot wait to see you there. I can't wait to see you in 2021.

Happy new year. Thank you so much for all the love this year on the podcast. Oh my gosh. I should have planned a speech. I'm going to end it here. Thank you so much. I'm so grateful for you. Thank you for rating, reviewing, sharing the podcast. If you sent me a message and told me that it's helped you, please just know that absolutely made my day and made the time and effort that goes into producing this show—and I know all the team members support I have producing the show—it makes it so worth it. So if the podcast has meant anything to you, please let us know. It's seriously so affirming.

Anyway, have a wonderful new year. I will see you in 2021. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We'll see you soon. Bye.

Claire Siegel:

Thank you so much for joining me for today's episode of the Flourish podcast. If you enjoyed it, please take a second to leave us a five-star review or better yet, share it with a friend. And if you're ready to start your own journey to get healthy for good with accountability from expert coaches and the support of an incredible community, head to the show notes to get started on your Flourish journey.

I'll see you in the next episode.

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Claire Siegel
Co-founder, CEO
Claire Siegel is the founder and CEO of Flourish. Claire has made it her life’s mission to help women create a sustainable approach to their physical and mental well-being.

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