Differentiate between dreams and goals to maintain your New Year's resolutions

Gourmet Fuel nutritionist Emma Buckley on why goal-setting will futureproof your success

The New Year is a great time to reassess where you are in your life, where you anticipated you would be and to re-evaluate your goals. You know you can start again with a fresh sheet and do what’s important to you.  

Setting New Year’s resolutions is the first step in achieving your goals and is basically the same thing. Having goals or targets are an integral part of success - whether at work or education as well as your health - but in order for them to mean something there needs to be a deadline, otherwise, it’s a dream.

For example, a dream is to say you want to lose a stone, a goal is that you want to lose a stone by June and you work out a plan on how to do it with consistent effort applied.


Goals are imperative to any endeavour becoming a success. They are the map or route to success. Before you set out on a journey, you know which route will get you there the easiest. It’s the same with your own personal journeys.
You can break your goals up into time frames, long term, mid term and short term goals. For instance, your long-term goal may be to lose 2 stone by next Christmas. Then you work back, Your mid-term goal is by June you need to be half way there, so break 14 pounds into 6 months and that will give you an average of 2-3 lbs per month for your short-term goal. Then it doesn’t seem so monumentous and it becomes more realistic and achievable.

Set goals for yourself and not anyone else - find your WHY!

This is the best advice that you can heed. If you are going to be successful at completing your goal, you need to have the correct motivation to do it in the first place, for your own greater good; some people call this your ‘WHY’. What is your WHY?

Really think about your motivation to changing your current habits and lifestyle. What does it mean to you? Why is it important? What does the new you look like, sound like, act like?

Get to the core of your reasons and if they are really your truth, then you’ve hit the jackpot. Your WHY and the REAL reasons you’re doing this will keep you on track, when life (and it always does) presents some obstacles or bumps in the road to your success. If you are not doing this for your WHY and someone else’s, the resolve won’t be as strong because you’re not truly invested in it, you may find it easier to justify stopping or giving up.

Set realistic goals

After you have realised what are the most important things for you to achieve? You need to set out your plan. Set realistic goals that you know will be achievable and will fit into your life.

For instance, if you want to start exercising, think about a suitable time that you can fit it into your present lifestyle without disrupting it. 

Goals should enhance not interrupt your life! In terms of “Fat Loss” you should be aiming for 1-2 lbs (0.5-1kg) per week, this is the most sustainable and healthy approach to losing weight.

In terms of fitness, if you aim to do at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise each day (or at least 4 times per week) you will achieve a good level of fitness in months. This will work better if you have a daily consistent effort.

Positive mindset

I can’t stress enough how important this is. If you think you can… you can! It is absolutely imperative to success to believe that you will be successful.

This is why it’s important to set realistic goals so you know you’ll be able to achieve them and to break them down into short, mid and long-term.  When you start seeing results, you’ll be motivated to continue.

Stick with the plan even if you fall off the wagon.

None of us are perfect and we will all have bad days or days when we just couldn’t be bothered. This is fine as long as they’re in the minority.

If you do have a splurge or a cigarette or miss a training session in the gym, don’t be too hard on yourself and give up…there’s always tomorrow and you can start afresh. 

Always use experiences as a lesson. Find out what triggered you to lose momentum and refresh the reasons why you set your goal in the first place, that way you will be able to recognise the warning signs in time and maybe defer a relapse from happening in the future.  


Are you good at taking yourself to task and motivating yourself? Most of us need some help with this – especially at the beginning. That is why hiring a nutritionist or a trainer or finding a training buddy can make all the difference with success.

You have to be accountable to someone else – you won’t let them down, but you may fob yourself off with the usual excuses. When you commit to meeting someone, you’ll turn up. So, until you’re able to be accountable to yourself, commit to someone else.

So what next?

Spend some time with yourself today, just thinking about where you’re at and where you want to be in six months or a year. Write down your reasons, your WHY, figure out why these goals are important to you.

Visualise what this will look like at the end of the process, understand what these changes will mean to you. Get excited, get going and put your plan into action. 

If you need some help and guidance to get you going, GourmetFuel can help. We have worked with hundreds of people, helping them achieve their ultimate health goals. Emma Buckley is Director of Nutrition at GourmetFuel®, one of Ireland’s leading health and nutrition companies. GourmetFuel® offer full meal service provision, nutrition and exercise plans, taking the guesswork out of eating healthy and correctly! GourmetFuel® caters for the individual as well as for corporate groups, so if you’d like a free consultation with the nutrition team, contact them on 01 2938 792 or visit www.gourmetfuel.com. Delivery is nationwide.