• narellehunter

Are you having trouble setting new 2020 goals?

Try this new approach Narelle Hunter is focusing on in 2020.


I don’t know about you, but I am having trouble choosing New Year’s resolutions this year. We, in Regional Australia, are having a tough summer this year. The drought is unrelenting. Our farm is dusty, smoky and super-hot, as is most of the state. My motivation is low, although we have had a beautiful Christmas with family & friends.


2019 was also a very challenging year for our family. My husband had a heart attack in July and he spent many months recovering. I dropped most of my personal goals to care for him. An experience like this certainly puts everything in perspective. My health had to remain a priority so I stayed well enough both physically and mentally to support my family’s needs.

We had a lot to celebrate this Christmas as my husband’s health returned. I also turned 50 years old (young!) in December. So here I am, a few days before New Year’s, on the search for a new approach to goal setting, something more meaningful and purposeful perhaps. No extra pressure, that’s for sure.


I go to where most people search these days, ‘Mr Google’ and type in, “Having trouble setting goals.” Fortunately, I find James Clear who offers some very sensible advice. James explained, “I began to realize that my results had very little to do with the goals I set and nearly everything to do with the systems I followed.” James goes on to show how the best way to ‘achieve’ is to make measurable progress in daily performance. He recommends establishing personal systems that are challenging enough while feeling achievable. This sparks the motivation we need to show up and “Spend time on what is important to you.”

I write up a chart in my 2020 diary with 5 columns and decide what I will track each day throughout January. I want to make sure I stay focused on what matters most, so one column says, GRATITUDE, the next KINDNESS, then I need a NUTRITION column, a YOGA & EXERCISE column and finally a MINDFULNESS section. There are no big statements, unrealistic expectations or goals creating pressure or guilt. I’ll be happy with a few ticks on each column each day. It becomes clear why James mentions the quote by Bill Walsh regarding the only way to ‘win’ is to get better each day and then “The Score takes care of itself.”

What I realise is our PA2health4-week challenge does exactly what James recommends. We encourage small changes in a range of healthcare areas, with the intention to establish new habits over time. I’ll be signing up to our next challenge Feb 3rd because although I have mastered my mindfulness practice (almost), I love the daily support from Judy (Nourish), Ginny (Move) and Alice (Think).


As extra inspiration I ask Judy Davie, our Food Coach, how she remains motivated when it comes to healthy choices “When it comes to managing my health, I try to "do my best". My best depends on lots of things including how I feel, where I am and what we are all doing. Some days I don't have time to exercise or eat 5 serves of vegetables but I do what I can. It's how I coach people to think when we're working on their diet as it helps to prevent an all or nothing approach. That's the problem with dieting: People think they have to be on a diet and when they break it they give up altogether. I hear people describing themselves as "being good or bad". It's so black and white and sets people up to feel disappointed in themselves. Trying to be the best you can be on any given day is kinder. Some days that best may not be very good at all compared or other days but if it’s the best you can do it's ultimately a good result and encourages people to keep going.”


What great advice thankyou Judy. Let’s have a ‘kinder’ focus as we approach our New Year’s Resolutions this year.


By Narelle Hunter

Rural Mindfulness Coach

Pa2health Cofounder.

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Empowering Regional Australians to take charge of their health

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