Tips from a Goal Setting Expert

I am a self proclaimed goal setting expert.

Not because I think it sounds cool but because I have had years of personal experience in this category.

For those of you that know me, you know I am extremely driven and hardworking. I have this intrinsic motivation and purpose that drives me to be a better person each and every day.

This characteristic trait is one that I am pretty darn proud of. However, with all that responsibility comes the need to set goals for myself in order to challenge me on a regular basis.

Every new year, new month, new week, heck even most singular days I have a new goal I am determined to tackle.

I have a sheet of paper hanging on my fridge that outlines various aspects of my life and things I want to do more of, or new experiences I want to accomplish. I can proudly say that out of all of the goals I made for myself in 2019 I checked off 95% and accomplished more then I even dreamed of back when I was setting my goals in 2018 (like having my business be official with an LLC, or landing the cover of a fitness magazine and  being asked to write an article for the following issue!) CHEERS TO THAT!

I totally get that not everyone is as intense as I am when it comes to setting goals. However, I do think that it is important to find SOMETHING to work towards. SOMETHING that will make you proud. SOMETHING that will drive you to become a better person.

Naturally with the New Year coming up I thought it would be appropriate to share how I set my own goals so that you can utilize this same approach to tackle yours! Continue along and feel free to practice as we go! Grab a sheet of paper to do this on your own! (Actually using a pen and paper helps solidify things in your brain more then a computer.)

Photo by cottonbro on

First, write down different categories in your life that you have goals for. For example, personal, relationships/ friendships, career, physical, or anything else you would like to add.

Then under each category write out the big picture goal you would like to achieve. For example, one of mine under “career” was to finish my Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certification.

Do this for every category with every big picture goal you can think of and realistically accomplish in one year! 

Note that I said realistically can achieve in one year. This is an important step because without your goal being realistic you are essentially setting yourself up for failure.

From here you can break that goal into smaller actionable steps. 

Using the example of my FNTP certification I knew that I wanted to pass that certification and knew that it was a 9 month program. I also had a syllabus that allowed me to get crystal clear as to what I needed to do during each of the months I was in that program.

I could then break that down even further to see exactly what I needed to do each week. I knew how many hours I had to devout to reading, finishing assignments, researching and was able to accomplish my goal with flying colors!

Doing this method of breaking down your goal from one large dream into smaller, tangible action steps, allows you to turn those dreams into a reality! 

Note that each of my goals, large to small, also have a timeframe set to them. Meaning by a certain time I knew what smaller goals had to be accomplished in order to attain my large goal.

Let me take a moment here to make sure that you understand how important it is to have smaller steps that you know you can accomplish.

Having these smaller steps allow the bigger goal to not feel so overwhelming. If our goal seems to big we can overthink our way out of it or let fear hinder us from getting started.

For example, if by the end of the year you want to run a marathon but you’ve never run a day in your life, that goal may need some restructuring. While it is totally fine to have the big picture be to run a marathon you need to start somewhere that is easily accessible to you. A good place to start would be to set the goal of running around the block 3 days/ week. Then work your way up gradually to more distance, more days and eventually you can find yourself at that marathon start line!

Now back to our goal setting.

We now know everything that we have to do in order to reach our goals. However, there is still a missing piece.

There is a reason why so many goals go unaccomplished.

You can do all of the things that I said to do, but if your heart is not in it, honey you’ll be writing out these same goals for years to come!

How to stay on track:

I get that not everyone has that fierce determination and focus. However, I think that everyone has some of that inside them. You just might not know how to dig that out yet!

Here are a few steps that I personally take and recommend to my clients in order to stay on track:

Find your WHY

Why are these goals so important to you? Is it for something that truly means something to you? Or are you setting this goal because you feel like you have to?

If your goal is to lose weight, why do you want to do that? Is it just so you look good in your clothes? Or is it so you can go and experience life without having to worry about not being in shape enough to go on an adventure?

For me, my FNTP certification meant more to me then just fulfilling a financial obligation and checking a box. It meant that I would be able to genuinely help people and provide my clients sustainable solutions to better health. This is important to me because I have personally struggled with health issues that I felt at a complete loss for. I felt like no doctor ever listened and that I had to be like this for the rest of my life. Once I was in the space of Nutritional Therapy and recognized that I could help people going through the same burden, I gladly devoted my weekends to learning, stayed up late during the week even though I knew my alarm would go off a 4:30 the following morning, and opted for books over happy hours to accomplish my goal.

Ask yourself, what is your WHY? Write it down. 

Take it further. Dig deeper.

Visualize what that goal would feel like to you if you accomplished it. What would your new reality look like? What person would you be?

The more you do this visualization the better you will be at turning this into a reality.

Doing visualization repeatedly with the same specificity as you did above allows your mind to think that what you are imagining is your new reality. In turn your subconscious will seek out exactly what it is you desire. (For more on this exact topic I recommend checking out Dr. Joe Dispenza.)

I also recommend reminding yourself of these goals you have every single day. Keeping your why in the forefront of your brain will make it easier to get up in the cold at 4:45 to hit the gym at 5. It will keep you going when you travel or get distracted from the outside noise. It will keep you remembering who you want to be!

Hire someone to help you.

It is easier to stay focused and consistent when you have the obligation of someone else counting on you. This could be your personal trainer, nutrition coach, business coach, or a friend that you’ve recruited to keep you accountable.

Either way, when someone is counting on you chances are you will follow through!

You can take this even further.

Talk about your goals to everyone.

While it is more important to find your intrinsic motivators and your personal why, it is also valuable to recruit others to keep you honest and focused.

Recruiting more people on your dreams and goals can make it super scary, but also REAL.

Have you ever announced something to your family, coworkers, friends that you are going to do something and them not follow up and ask you about how that “thing” you’re working on is going?

Me either.

I’ll typically tell my clients, tell my groups of friends and announce what I’m working toward on social media. Whether its to have my own business, get a certification or run a race. I am recruiting others into my dream because I know that if I need some quick inspiration they will help me get there.

Put it into action, everyday. 

Here’s the thing, everything that I talked about doesn’t mean anything if you are not putting these visualizations and goals into honest action.

This is where a timeline is helpful. You know exactly when the ending point is for your goal so jot it on the calendar and backtrack the steps that you will have to take to get there!

If you know you want to be physically capable of running a half marathon by October of 2020 then you know you need to start getting in the habit of running regularly by June. For this particular goal I personally always like to add in extra time in case something pops up one weekend and I am unable to make my long run that week. Again, be realistic about it!

Every goal is different, but every goal requires you to get out of your comfort zone in order to accomplish it!

As I always like say, “don’t just talk about it, be about it.” 


**I want to take a moment to tell you all about my 4 week Nutrition Bootcamp that is launching January 9! I am going to set you up to learn all the necessities about nutrition so you can tackle your physical goals in the best health as possible! You will be able to learn how to have a happy gut, balance your hormones, keep your adrenals happy and so much more!!

You will receive 3 group calls, 1 one on one session and have two check ins with me with specific recommendations for your health!

THE BEST PART-  I am currently running a promotion with $50 off for you and a friend!

Email: for more information and the discount code! ❤

I would LOVE to hear your goals for 2020! Comment below!


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You can also find me @healthwithshannon on instagram! 🙂










One thought on “Tips from a Goal Setting Expert

  1. Dear Shannon,

    Personal experience is surely a life changer for self and others as well. Your own experience with medical issues certainly altered your life.

    I never knew of that time and your difficulties and I’m sorry you had to go through it. However, your ability to listen deeply and your compassion for others may have been the fruit of it all.

    In my own life I have had so many planning sessions oni Goals and Objectives . More recently they have been termed Vision Statements or Mission with measurable outcomes. Love it !

    My other thought was the number 1 step in AA. The higher power or you might say the Spirit part prevents us from becoming ego centered. Your desire to help clients is the healthy outlook,

    Could have a wonderful discussion but this is just to say … keep up your good work and

    Blessings in all you do … Happy New Year!

    Love, Nanny



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