Nourishing new year goals

Nicola Jane Hobbs - Jan.03.23

We've reached out to Reflex Ambassador Nicola Jane Hobbs, Eating and Exercise Psychologist who specialises in psychoeducation for fitness pros, to find out how she sets her herself up for the new year and she had this to say...


New year doesn’t mean you have to create a whole new you.
But it’s a beautiful time to make changes that will truly nourish you.

The thing we often find the most difficult about behaviour change – whether it’s going to the gym more often and eating more fruits and vegetables each day or starting a yoga and meditation practice – is setting goals that will inspire us.

The most popular method of setting goals is via SMART goals: Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
But this isn’t always very effective because:
a) it’s too focussed on outcomes,
b) it doesn’t allow us to form emotional connections with our goals, 
c) it doesn’t allow any reflection or re-evaluation of our goals if something isn’t working.

Therefore, I prefer to set SMARTER goals when it comes to setting healthy, meaningful goals.

  • S = Specific. In as much detail as possible, what do you want to achieve or what actions do you want to take?
  • M = Meaningful. Why does this goal matter to you and how does it align with your values?
  • A = Ambitious. How much will this goal challenge you whilst honouring your resources?
  • R = Rewarding. What rewards will pursuing and achieving this goal or cultivating this habit bring?
  • T = Time-bound. When do you want to achieve this goal by or when will you take the actions that will move you towards it?
  • E = Enhancing. How will this goal enhance and enrich your life and the lives of others?
  • R = Reflective. How will you know if you need to adjust your goal in light of what is and isn’t working and any changes in your life circumstances?

Outcome and behavioural goals We can use SMARTER goals for both outcome goals (what we want to achieve) and behavioural goals (the actions we need to take to help us achieve it).

For example, an outcome goal could be.


  • S = Specific. I’d like to be able to do 10 pull ups.
  • M = Meaningful. This matters to me because one of my values is strength and I’d like to embody it physically and psychologically.
  • A = Ambitious. I can currently do two pulls ups so this will challenge me.
  • R = Rewarding. It’ll feel rewarding to see my progress in the gym and to feel physically stronger.
  • T = Time-bound. I’d like to achieve this in 12 weeks.
  • E = Enhancing. It’ll enhance my life by improving my gratitude for my body and empowering me to set other goals.
  • R = Reflective. I’ll reflect each week with my coach to see how many pull ups I’m doing and change my training if needed.


To help achieve this goal, a behavioural goal could be.
  • S = Specific. I’m going to go to the gym three times a week and will incorporate pull up training in each session.
  • M = Meaningful. This matters to me because I know I need to train regularly and the momentum will keep me motivated.
  • A = Ambitious. I’m currently going to the gym twice a week so this will be challenging but realistic.
  • R = Rewarding. I love training my upper body.
  • T = Time-bound. I’d like to go to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays before work.
  • E = Enhancing. By going to the gym before work, I’ll feel more energised throughout the day.
  • R = Reflective. Each Sunday, I’ll reflect on my diary for the following week and schedule in my training.


Happy new year goal setting!