How to Achieve Your Goals in 2020

Life Coach Zoë B shares her top techniques to set New Year’s resolutions that actually stick.

How many times have you set yourself a New Years Resolution only to find yourself forgetting all about it by February? This is a really common issue and I’ll explain why.

Most New Years resolutions fail due to a lack of planning. People just don’t see the need to dedicate a decent block of time to really plan out their goals. They think they can just pick a goal and get right to it, when the reality is, there’s a proven method that needs to be applied when you set any kind of goal. Each year, I see people make the same tired old mistakes when it comes to setting their New Years resolutions. Today, I’ll show you five small steps that you can take to make 2020 the year when your goals turn into reality.

Step #1: Clarity

The first step is to take some time to get really clear about what you want for your New Years Resolutions. Think about what things are really important to you. What issues have held you back year after year and what bad habits are you ready to drop in 2020? It’s important that this process isn’t rushed. We need to take some time to get clear about what we want to focus on for the new year. Start by making a list of your top 5 goals now.

Step #2: Is it your goal?

It’s really common for people to set a goal because they feel that they should do it. This is the fastest route to failure. Check in and see if the goals you wrote down are really your goals, or whether they are in fact someone else’s. Often, well-meaning family members can encourage us to make goals that are important to them – not us. If deep down inside you don’t want the goal, you can forget it. Cross out any goals on your list that are not really your own.

Step #3: Motivate the goal

Ask yourself this question: “Why do I want to achieve this? What will I gain?”

If you can’t answer this question immediately with four or five reasons why you want to reach this goal, then it’s unlikely you’ll ever reach it. Spend some time getting really clear about why you want this. Write down a list of reasons, as this will really energise the goal for you. Then, three months down the track when you’re losing motivation, you can refer to this list to remind yourself of why you need to keep going.

Step #4: Assess what you might lose

Ask yourself this: “What have I got to lose by achieving this goal?”

The number one reason why people fail at their New Years resolutions is that what they are set to gain does not outweigh what they will lose in the process. I’ll put this another way: if what you want comes at a price – be it physical, emotional, financial or mental – then this might block you from your own success. The mind works with simple equations. So, if you have a goal to lose 5 kg, then the mind will assess what it will cost you to reach this goal and if it feels like it’s not worth it, you can say goodbye to reaching the goal. Here are a few examples of what losing 5kgs could cost you:

  • Money to purchase health foods
  • Time to exercise
  • Sacrifice sleep to get up early to exercise
  • Sacrifice the comfort that your favourite food gives you
  • Sacrifice the fun from eating out

As you can see, there’s quite a lot to lose by reaching this goal. So, it’s important at this point to ensure you’re OK with losing all of these things because until you make peace with this, you won’t reach the goal. One way of making peace is to put in place alternative methods of achieving what you will lose. For example, to ensure you don’t miss out on fun, you could organise a healthy event with friends and family in advance. To ensure you don’t lose out on sleep, you could go to bed an hour earlier.

Step #5: Use your imagination

Research has shown that visualisation techniques literally change the structure of the brain according to what you want to achieve. So, if you put aside time to think about losing weight, then you are much more likely to do it in real life. What’s more, the brain is often more motivated by pictures rather than numbers or words. It can be really helpful to spend a few minutes each day to visualise a scenario where you have already achieved your goal. For example I find that the clients I work with get really motivated by imagining themselves fitting into their skinny jeans, or their favourite cocktail dress. This image is much more motivating that just ‘losing 5 kgs’ because it has more meaning attached to it.

Zoë B runs a Life Coaching practice in Double Bay, Sydney. Zoë also helps 10,000 people each month to live more happy, balanced and successful lives through her blog: Simple Life Strategies. For more information about Zoë B and the Simple Life Strategies blog visit

A Day on The Plate of The Beauty Chef

Have you ever wondered what Carla Oates, the founder of The Beauty Chef, eats in a day? We chat with her and discover her philosophy to food. 

When it comes to beauty Carla Oates believes the inside counts and says her own philosophy is pretty much to eat well – though not too much – and base her diet mostly around plants. “I sometimes struggle with the ‘not too much’ as I’m a real foodie,” she admits.

“I eat lots of whole foods, not processed food, and make sure that my plate is balanced.” A nutrient-balanced diet is very important to Oates, and she explains that to her that includes – protein (sustainably sourced fish, grass-fed meat, and soaked nuts in moderation); good fats (avocado, olive oil, sardines, wild salmon and chia seeds); and “lots and lots of plants.”

Her advice is always having more plants on your plate than meat. “Plant-based foods are rich in polyphenol compounds that not only protect your skin from free radical damage, but are essential for good gut health as well as being a good source of fibre. Fibre is what our gut microbes feed on to produce short-chain fatty acids – which are vital for brain, metabolic and immune health.” Healthy complex carbs, such as buckwheat and sweet potato, also make their way onto Oates plate.

Breakfast: “I usually start my day with Glow Inner Beauty Essential and Collagen Inner Beauty Boost in a big glass of water. I always say that Glow is like your inner beauty moisturiser, while our Boosts are like an inner beauty serum – I love the taste together and there’s nothing like multi-tasking to tick them off at the same time! While sipping, I’ll prepare breakfast for the family – it’s always healthy and nutrient balanced, like poached eggs with spinach, tomatoes and avocado or some sort of porridge. At the moment, with the cooler weather, my go-to breakfast is the Herbed and Spiced Turmeric Eggs from my new book, The Beauty Chef Gut Guide.”

Lunch: “If I don’t have any meetings, I’ll make myself a healthy lunch – usually salads and vegetables with some variety of protein. Most days that means salmon, only wild-caught.”

Dinner: “An ideal dinner would look like organic, free-range protein (making up 25 per cent of my plate); with colourful salads or vegetables (making up 60 per cent of the plate) drizzled with organic olive oil and lemon juice; and healthy, low-GI carbs (making up 15 per cent of my plate). A real family favourite at the moment is my Spiced Middle Eastern Lamb Koftas from The Beauty Chef Gut Guide. Middle Eastern cuisine is one of my favourites – I really enjoy cooking with an array of aromatic herbs and spices. This recipe uses cumin and coriander, which contain compounds that aid in digestion; and mint, which acts as an anti-inflammatory. “Using grass-fed lamb is really important as well, as it contains anti-inflammatory fats – whereas grain-fed meats contain inflammatory fats. I pair the koftas with my Broccoli & Asparagus Tabouleh – they work so well together!”