Ep #150: A New Way to Achieve Your Goals in 2023 with Carrie Marshall

Ep #150: A New Way to Achieve Your Goals in 2023 with Carrie Marshall

Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown | A New Way to Achieve Your Goals in 2023 with Carrie Marshall

I’m so excited to bring you today’s episode. I have my bestie Carrie Marshall here. She is an expert goal coach, and at this time of year, we all need a little expertise in this area. We’re all thinking about things ending and new beginnings, and as humans, we have this idea in our minds that starting over feels good, whether that’s a new day, week, month, or year.

Carrie is a master goal coach who helps her clients live the lives they’ve always dreamed of. She has created a system for herself and her clients that helps them go after their goals while acknowledging that things are definitely going to go wrong on the journey. So, she’s sharing her tips for making a contingency plan, so you can get back up every time you fall.

Tune in this week to discover a new way to go after your goals in 2023. Carrie Marshall is sharing why the secret to making consistent progress toward your goal is having a plan in place for when you fail, so you don’t have to quit every time you hit a setback, and she’s discussing how to implement her amazing goal strategy in your own life.


What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why Carrie became a goal coach and how she helps her clients.
  • Some of the reasons we see January and a New Year as the time to start pursuing big goals.
  • How Carrie sees so many people planning in a way that doesn’t account for things going seriously wrong.
  • Why our mindset wavers most when we don’t have contingency plans for when we fail.
  • What changes when you celebrate every small win you have along the way on your weight-loss journey.
  • The beliefs Carrie helps her clients cultivate that help them achieve their goals.
  • Why your goals need to be deeply connected to your desires.
  • How to implement Carrie’s process for goal-setting and tracking in a new way for the coming year.


Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

  • Learn more about my Love First weight loss program and get on the waitlist!
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  • Follow me on Instagram!
  • Carrie Marshall: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Podcast
  • The High 5 Habit by Mel Robbins

Full Episode Transcript:

This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 150.

Welcome to Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown. If you’re a successful woman who is ready to stop struggling with your weight, you’re in the right place. You’ll learn everything you need to know to lose weight for the last time in bitesize pieces. Here’s your host, Master Certified Coach Natalie Brown.

Hey, everybody. I am so excited for this episode today. I have my bestie, Carrie Marshall here. She is an expert goal coach. And this time of year that is what we’re all kind of needing, some expertise in this area. So we’re going to have a conversation about goals and all the things and I’m so excited to share it with you. So it is that time of year where we all start thinking about the ending of things and the beginning of things.

And this is something I kind of want to discuss with you but I want you to kind of tell your story a little bit first but just the idea that we have in our mind as humans that starting over feels so good. And so when we get to not only to the beginning of a new day but also a new month and a new year this just feels like and this is the pinnacle of goal setting is new year’s.

Carrie: It really is, absolutely.

Natalie: So I want to talk about that, I want your opinion on that but first just give us an introduction as to who you are and specifically why this is sort of the area that you chose to focus in on in terms of helping your clients with goals.

Carrie: Yeah. So like Natalie said, I am Carrie Marshall. I am a master goal coach. And I really get to help people go after those goals that they’ve always wanted to achieve but maybe they’ve tried several times and maybe not hit it. Or they just haven’t really made the time in their lives to do it and so I love to say that I help people live the lives that they’ve always wanted to and dreamed of.

And the reason that I started goal coaching was I found I found that it was a really great way of creating a space for people to come and actually talk about the problems that they were facing in a really safe place. Most of the time we all are struggling with things but it’s hard to want to get help with the things that we’re struggling in. Most of the time we want help with the things that we’re trying to accomplish. And so that’s why I started goal coaching is because I actually started as a coach for men specifically.

And I found that men were struggling but they weren’t willing to get help for struggling. But what they were willing to do was they were willing to get help on their goals. And so we start there with the goals. And then what I’ve actually created for myself and my clients is a system of how to go after your goals as you fail and how to actually come back and pick up on the goal after big failures or big things that have happened in your life.

And so that’s why my clients have one of the best success rates of anybody with coaching, with goals is because we really do focus on the system and not how things are necessarily going wrong and all the terrible things. I mean we talk about that but then I have the system of how to use it after that happens. And so just like you said though, it’s the pinnacle of the year is ending, a new year is starting and we start to think about possibilities for the year. We start to map out what the year looks like.

And so that’s why a lot of people set goals in January is they have these weight loss goals, or money goals, or vacation goals that they want to hit, it’s because they’re forecasting into the future. And so they want to start to get ready for it in January when we kind of come to this 2023 start of a new year.

Natalie: Yeah. I mean I think it’s fun to start over. I think my theory on it is because that’s the only time we really give ourselves a break, to not focus on the past and how we’ve messed up, and failed, and not reached our goals. But like you said, on the possibility of what could come, what we could create. It’s like the idea of a blank slate means that we are forgiving ourselves for all of the missteps from the past and we’re looking forward. That’s why I think it’s so fun on January 1st and 2nd and 3rd, up to the 15th.

It’s really, really fun to think about possibilities which is what gets us started. But I think what you’re saying is what we have to figure out is how to keep going. You have your clients who are failing, and falling down, and not getting there. And you have figured out a way to help them keep it going, that middle part which is so important.

Carrie: Yeah. And that’s what we really want to focus on is the first thing that we want to do is, everyone spends so much time at this time of the year thinking about the goals itself. And what they do is they map out the most ideal situation of what this is going to look like.

So if we’re talking about weight loss, we’re talking about, we’re cleaning out the pantry right now and we’re going on Pinterest and finding all of the amazing recipes and getting all of our food delivered to us, all of our groceries and things so that we can all set out for January 1. But then like you mentioned what we are not doing is we are not planning for something that I call the disaster relief plan which is what happens when it’s terrible. What happens when we don’t have the things that we need.

What happens when, and we never spend time doing that. But we need to spend time actually looking at when it’s a really bad day how do I show up on that day?

Natalie: I think that is a huge gap in I would say the goals industry. Because I mean obviously I’m working with my clients to reach a goal, that is the whole thing. Is we have this idea of a number on the scale and how we want to feel and what healthy is and all the things that they have planned. And so I’ve read all the texts, tried all the things, given lots of advice but what’s missing is that piece. And actually I read The High 5 Habit by Mel Robbins recently. And one of the things I loved in there was she talked about visualization like everyone does, super important.

We have to have a concept of where we’re headed and what we want. But she said, after that, after you’ve fleshed out the vision of you at this weight or you with this amount of money or this debt paid off or whatever, then you want to go back and think about all the contingencies that are going to come up and how you’re going to show up for those too. Part of your visualization also needs to be like you said, catastrophe. That is not just if that happens to you, it’s when it does and then how do we handle that, right?

Carrie: That’s exactly it. And that’s where we have so much of the mind drama that starts. That’s when our mindset starts to kind of waiver a little bit is in these contingency plans. So I mean let’s think about for instance I just am working on getting off of caffeine. And so when I was thinking about this, I was like, “This is going to be great. I won’t be drinking my calories and drinking all the water and all the things.”

But then I had to really sit down and be like, “Okay, so remember two days in when that really bad headache hits.” And what about a weekend when we are just exhausted but we still have kids staying out until all hours of the night and we’re trying to stay up. And so trying to think through those things because I promise you, day two hit and that headache hit and I was like, “Oh my gosh, here it is.”

Natalie: Yeah, terrible idea, this whole goal thing is terrible.

Carrie: It’s a terrible thing, yeah. And we’re like the terrible idea, we should just go and get some caffeine. But that was when I had to remind myself that I had the disaster relief plan. I had that contingency plan in place where I was like, “We planned for this. I knew it was going to happen. This is where we’re going to drink a lot more water. This is where we are going to take an ibuprofen.” And so I had to kind of work through that, same thing when the week happened.

And then I was exhausted, I was like, “This is where we’re going to nap during the day for a little bit.” But it was seeing that when I knew those were going to be benchmarks of times that I’d tried before and failed. And that’s the next thing that I want to kind of mention to everybody that’s listening. You know right now when you’re going to fail on this plan. Don’t act like you don’t know. All of us know when we’re in a diet or a weight loss plan, we know where our signs are that we are going to fail.

I know going out with girlfriends, I know going to my parents’ house, I know these certain times when I’m like, and it’s so easy for me to say, “It’s fine, I’ll do it this one time.” But then I feel terrible the next day. So let’s stop lying to ourselves that we have no idea when this is going to happen and let’s plan for it.

Natalie: I love that because I think it’s really fun to think about when it will be easy. And there are times where it does feel easy. I know for my clients it’s like the weekdays when they have structure and routine and they know, you basically know what your day’s going to look like and where you’ll be for most people. It’s almost a no brainer, it’s like they’re not challenged at all during that’s time so that’s the easy, there’s going to be times when it feels easy.

So I think that’s maybe something to kind of ask and think about. The when will this be easy or feel easy, that’s going to be pretty simple to come up with, you’re going to be able to imagine that. But then to also ask, “When will this be hard?” And I think you’re right, most of us know in that instance, weekends. Weekends and vacations when there isn’t routine, and there isn’t the norm, and there isn’t the structure that you think is kind of creating the easy for you. That’s when it’s going to be hard.

And so then we want to decide ahead of time at least somewhat how we want to show up there.

Carrie: Well, and then remembering, how do I want to show up? But most of that is how am I going to think. And so when we are in that space it’s like how do I want to think about this. And it goes for two different things. It goes for before it happens but let’s even take it to after, let’s say that you’re on vacation and you have eaten all the things. Well, we have to actually see that that is the number one spot that people are going to quit. Most people think that the failure is what caused the quitting and that is not true.

It is the thoughts about the failure that caused the quitting. And so that’s why we need to really be clear about what happens after I fail, what happens when I did have a bad day or a bad weekend? What happens then when I’ve just gone off my plan, that I actually planned for? That is when we want to have our actual plan in place because that’s the failure that’s happened but it doesn’t mean that we quit.

Natalie: Yes, I love that. And that’s something I think is really important to think about in any process of change is before, so you’re going to make plans, you have kind of a structure for yourself, maybe you’re meal planning and you’re going to the grocery store and buying food. You have stuff that you do before your moment of execution. And then you have the choice in the moment of execution of what you’re going to do. I mean you have choices all along the way but then you also have after the fact.

And I would say whether it goes as planned or not, that after moment is important because one of the things, and you tell me kind of your theory on this. But one of the things I think that we neglect that I think is really important as part of this is acknowledging and celebrating when we do stick to the plan, when we do accomplish part of the goal, when we take a step forward. I think it’s super easy to just discount that as something small or whatever, or meaningless but it’s really meaningful and that high 5 to ourself is really, really important.

So even if it’s after being willing to look at what went wrong and what can I do differently, but also after being willing to say what went right. I think a lot of my clients don’t give themselves credit for the 50% that did work. It’s always like well, the part that didn’t is all that matters. So I think that that’s something too. What do you think about that, about celebration etc.?

Carrie: My clients know that I am huge about celebration. And celebrating the small, the big, all of it because it really is what helps us to move to the next thing. And so I have clients that are working on lots of different goals and one of the biggest ones is business. And so when we talk about wins, I always talk about, “Well, how did you show up today? And then what was the win today?” And so for your clients to be able to say, “Well, did I drink my water today?” That’s a win.

We’re not always using the exact same thing because if you’re always looking to the scale, for instance, to look for your wins, you’re going to be disappointed a lot. And so that’s why we want to actually celebrate the wins along the way. And that includes really talking amazingly about yourself. I actually get made fun of a lot from my sister about how I talk to myself because she’ll laugh about like, “Did you just say thank you, good job for drinking water?” And I’m like, “Yeah, of course I did, that was amazing.”

And I’ll just say, “I’m so good at showing up for myself.” But we joke about it, but really it’s a process. It’s not something that I started doing until I was an adult. And that’s another thing that I think because as adult women we kind of have that thing of not thinking about ourselves but we also think about ourselves a lot. But how are we thinking about ourselves? Are we really having great things to say? Are we celebrating small? Because I promise you, just saying to yourself, “Way to go girl, you just drink your water. You’re amazing.”

It really changes the dynamic in your head and so that’s why those smaller wins, even celebrating your water, packing lunch for the day, eating the lunch for the day that you planned, those things really do matter because that’s what helps you show up the next day and be like, “I’ve got this, I can absolutely drink that water again.”

Natalie: Yeah. Well, I think giving yourself credit for the one or two things that you do. If we looked at a big chart of your accomplishments in terms of this goal. So we have where you started and you getting there, to this place that you want to be in. There’s going to be a million tick marks along the way but only if we stop to acknowledge them. There is a million lunches that you packed that you ate on the road to – I mean a million’s a big number, but a lot of things on the way to this goal. And you’re right, looking at the scale is one metric but there’s so many others.

If someone’s working on a business goal, looking at their bank account every day is not going to make a difference. Or the revenues number that they want at the end of the year. That’s going to feel really, really far away day-to-day. So you mentioned saying what did you do today, what are some other ways to kind of break it down and look at what are some of the smaller pieces or smaller metrics that you have your clients look at for that acknowledgement and celebration?

Carrie: Yeah. So we really want to be able to look at things a little bit differently. So what I like to do is we always have to do checklists that we’re doing throughout the day. So it might be something like what you’re eating or drinking, taking your kids to school. I mean it’s just a really, it’s the to-do list. But what I like to do is then I like to take it to the next level with my clients and ask them about, “How would that look with your best self, doing it?” And so it’s not just about doing the things.

It’s about the energy that you’re putting behind it. And so what I like to do with my clients is we start with the base level, which is the to-do list, but then we want to actually elevate it and think, what would my best self, how would my best self be checking this off? And so it’s not just the check off of the lunch for instance. I did have a client that was working on weight loss and she said, “I do my salad but it’s kind of not pretty, it’s not great, I’m not excited about it.” And I said, “Well, what would your best self, do?”

And she goes, “My best self would probably create these amazing, gorgeous salads that are Instagram worthy.” And so that’s what she elevated to was Instagram worthy two times a week and then it was three times a week. Well, all of a sudden by the end of her goal she feels like not only is she creating her space where she’s eating her lunches but now she’s excited about the food, she’s excited about the produce. She’s loving the actual process of it, that’s the difference.

And so what I want you to do is I want you to really look at the to-do lists, start there, just start so that you’re doing it. And then elevate it. What is the best self, how are they actually able to check that to-do list off, what would that look like?

Natalie: Yes, I love that. And I think that’s not, you know, I mean I think that can become a perfectionist fantasy a lot of the time, my best self never plans in a cookie. But maybe your best self just eats a bite at a time of that cookie and really enjoys it and listens to her body to see when she’s done and then she puts it away for later. Our best self doesn’t mean perfect or someone else’s version of ideal, it’s you. And I think kind of going back to what you were saying. It’s the way we think about it, the way we perceive that failure, I mean that has everything to do with our relationship with ourself.

So this whole conversation is really predicated on that this work that we’re doing is work on our relationships with ourselves. And so I imagine when I’m thinking, what would my best self, do? It’s not like, you know, the vision that I’m putting out into the world that everyone else would think is best. But my most loving, my most aligned, my most authentic to me self. What would she do? And I think the example of the beautiful salad. For so many of us we’re like, “I mean that’s wasted on me, I’m just going to eat it. Why would I do that?”

If I was having company over, certainly, I would make a beautiful Instagram worthy salad but for me it’s all going to the same place, I’ll just mix it all together. So I think that’s just a tiny little message to yourself to say, “You matter.” You matter as much as that guest you would invite over and make this beautiful salad for. You deserve this. So it’s those little sort of deposits in the bank of your relationship with yourself that will then inform and contribute to how you perceive your failures as well, don’t you think?

Carrie: Well, and that’s really where we have to start any type of goal that we’re going to. Every single goal we think we’re going to become this newer better version of ourselves. And that that’s when we become worthy. And that’s honestly why we work on goals and we work on failing our way towards the goal because throughout that process we’re learning to love, authentically love ourselves for who we are.

Because I promise you, helping thousands of people reach different goals, I mean pro athletes, businesspeople, CEOs, all of these different people, the one thing that I can tell you is that they are the exact same person in here, in their soul, that they were when they started and when they finished. It doesn’t matter the amount of money, it doesn’t matter the accomplishment, the weight loss, none of that matters. If we don’t love ourselves for who we are authentically then no amount of anything is going to get you to a place of love.

And so that’s why when we talk about goals we really want to start from, what do I really truly believe about myself? And if there is that gap of yeah, I really do think I’m going to be more worthy when I lose the weight. That’s where we want to coach which is why it’s so powerful coaching with you, because we’re not just talking about weight loss from here to there. We’re talking about loving yourself and that’s the base, that’s the foundation that you always start your coaching with, that I love, that I love to be able to see is that’s where we’re starting from.

Natalie: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that probably feels like the bigger mountain than the goal for a lot of people because for a lot of them, I mean a lot of people that set goals and set out to accomplish goals are really convinced of the idea that once they get there then they’ll have that thing to kind of put on their shelf of trophies of how valuable I am. And so I think that can feel easier almost. It’s easier to check the boxes of a goal in some ways than it is to say, “I’m going to value myself all the way to this goal.”

So let’s maybe talk about that and you mentioned kind of how you regard yourself and talk to yourself when you’re celebrating. And I love your sister’s response to that was almost kind of like a little uncomfortable. I think most people’s response to that would be like I laughed because it’s so out of the norm for most of us. We’re usually not being our biggest cheerleaders which makes me really, really sad. But did it always feel that way to you? Was there a time when you started being like, “Good job on your water”, and you were like, “Oh my gosh, this feels weird?”

Carrie: Absolutely. Yeah, it’s not something that I was born with, definitely not. I grew up with a really loving family but pretty negative self-talk. I was always probably the heaviest in my family. And you look back at pictures and I’m like, “Girl, you were just fine. It was just fine how you were.” So I always thought that there was something wrong with me. I always thought, I would look at my mom and be like, “I don’t think that me as a kid is supposed to be bigger than my mom. I can’t fit into her clothes.”

And so I grew up always having this negative self-talk. There was something that I wasn’t doing that I was missing, that everybody else knew but I didn’t. And so I would see the lens of the world through that, of always seeing that I was missing something. And so I had a lot of negative self-talk, a lot of things like you’re missing it, you don’t get it. Everybody else gets it. Maybe you just need to do this more, maybe you need to hit the gym during lunch at school.

So I was like everyone else was going out to lunch and I’d go and hit the gym. And so I realized through that process of growing up that way in about, I think it was about college, right when I got married that I had this negative self-talk and that it was all up in my mind. Nobody else was saying those things about me or maybe if they did I just didn’t know it. But it really was my own voice in my head that was saying those things. And I just thought, wow, that’s a really hard environment to be in. And so I started to kind of shift that and like you said, at first it felt really weird.

It didn’t feel, it’s like having somebody say a compliment to you that you really don’t believe. When somebody says something like, “Oh my gosh, I love that outfit.” But you were kind of questioning it in the beginning. You don’t all of a sudden love the outfit. You’re like, “Thanks.” And then it just kind of rolls off and you’re still like, “It kind of feels weird.” But that’s how when we start to do these things of showing up for ourselves and having our own back, complimenting ourselves, it’s going to feel a little bit clunky at first.

But I promise that when you continue to do it and you continue to be authentic with it, that’s when it starts to really set in. And so I had to find things that I really did love about myself, that I could look and say, “I really have gorgeous eyes.” And I believed that, I was like, “I do.”

Natalie: It’s true. It’s true, just wait till you see her, everyone.

Carrie: And so when I said that to myself it really felt authentic and true. And so that’s, for anyone that is struggling with this, that’s what I want to offer you is find one thing, that’s it. Find one thing and then the next day or a week from now then go onto that and say, “I do have gorgeous eyes and.” And I would kind of be like, “I have really amazing calves.” And it sounds crazy but when we could just start to find those things. And then it would be things that I was doing.

It wasn’t just body things, it was drinking the water or doing the thing. And I’d show up and be like, “You did that. That was hard but you did it. Well done.” That was when the authentic self, but it changed the conversation in my head.

Natalie: Yes. And I think one thing you said was, “That’s not a great environment to be in.” I mean how often do we think of our inner conversation as the environment that we’re living in? How often have you left a job or left a social situation, or a friendship, or even a movie or I don’t know? I’ve been in environments where I’m like, “I don’t like this. I’m not comfortable here. I don’t want to spend, invest time here. I’m out.” And I don’t put up with it for whatever reason.

It used to be, I remember back in the day when you could smoke inside, cigarette smoke really bothers me. So if I went into a restaurant where that was something that was happening I would be like, “I want to go somewhere else.” So how often are we evaluating the environment in our head and what it’s like, if we would remove our children from this environment. We’d be like, “You should probably not be friends with that person anymore based on the words that they say.”

I mean I think it’s something to consider for ourselves. And I also think the idea that you start where you are because for a lot of people, for a lot of my clients and a lot of people that listen, there’s zero things that they can find that they even like about themselves. So if that’s true, if you can’t look at yourself or think about yourself and think of anything you even like, it’s okay to start maybe outside of you. Maybe there is an accomplishment. Maybe there’s something that you have done that you can be proud of, that you did.

Wherever you have to start, if you can’t go inside and find something, you can start outside and move your way in. And I think you gave some examples of physical things. Sometimes I have my clients find things like that. If you try to love your thighs it’s going to be a lot harder than loving your eyes just because your eyes are giving you the gift of sight. You get to see all these beautiful things in the world. Half of the memories you have are sight based memories.

I mean that’s something that we can all kind of appreciate. I think the same thing about my heart, that my heart beats all day long every day, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and for my entire life without resting. Even when I’m resting my heart is not resting and I can love that. I can appreciate that about my body. So I think whether it’s something like that, that’s kind of neutral like eyes, or hair, or nail polish color, it’s maybe an accomplishment outside of you.

Or even sometimes I have my clients think about how they show up for others because they’re not, definitely not showing up for themselves the way they want to. But they have people in their lives that they love, or they have employees, or clients, or patients, and they can think I really love who I am in that environment. I love how I show up. I love this characteristic of mine, this quality of mine. So I mean mine whatever you can in your life to begin this shift in the conversation. And it has to be conscious and it’s going to be awkward. We’ll just guarantee that.

Carrie: Absolutely, yes, we can guarantee that.

Natalie: It’s getting easier obviously because it’s so natural for you now to be like, “Way to go, awesome job.” And out loud enough that sisters and people hear you and make fun of you for it.

Carrie: Yeah. And then we all laugh about it and it’s amazing and it’s so fun. But it is, it’s being that example because I think that that’s the other thing that we need to do is once we learn the skill we need to be an example for other people. And so I have three daughters of my own, all girls at my house. And so I really think what do I want my daughters to be. And my mom was never negative about body image or anything about that. But then I look back and I said, “But where was the positive affirmations and things?”

And I think that that, we just didn’t do that. That just wasn’t a thing when we were growing up. But I really do want it to be a thing with my daughters. And I want it to be a thing in our home where they’re not just seeing me compliment them or what they’re doing or their accomplishments. But they also see how I can be a self-affirming of what I’m doing, what I’m accomplishing and who I am in my own life because they need to learn that skill for themselves.

Natalie: Yeah, I love that. Because I think you’re right. The absence of criticism doesn’t necessarily send the message of positivity or self-assurance. Or I mean it’s not necessarily a bad thing, I mean it’s much better than lots of negative criticism. But yeah, how often do we, we may be really good at not saying anything bad about our bodies in front of our kids because I think a lot of us are sensitive to that growing up with moms, and grandmas, and dads that we did.

But how often are we expressing, like I just did about my heart, or about my muscles? How often am I expressing an appreciation, or a gratitude, or whatever I want to be an example of versus just sort of making sure there’s the absence of, so that doesn’t go? I think that’s such a great point. I love that. Okay, so tell me, I went through this period of time where I was kind of resistant to setting a goal. I had had some goal PTSD I called it. Where I was like, “I have been pushing toward goals and pushing, and pushing, and pushing. And I’m done doing that, I’ve done with that goal’s life.”

So I think there’s a lot of people in that boat, especially when it comes to weight loss where we have tried and we have not succeeded, or we have stopped. You mentioned the idea that the failure is not in the quitting. And I think to me I always say, “I only fail if I quit.” Because I can not meet expectations but that doesn’t have to be a failure meaning the end of the road unless I decide that it is. But I know a lot of people have been burned by that, all the shame, all the things we make it mean and so they’re like, “Why even set a goal?”

So you’re an advocate for this, obviously you think goals are important in terms of our self-development, why? So why goals?

Carrie: I think that goals are really important because of the metrics that we get from the goal. We’re either moving forward or backward, that’s really how this life works. And so when we talk about goals, the reason I love to set goals isn’t so that everyone accomplishes everything. But what I like to be able to see is that when we can actually set something and then watch the data come in, the metrics come in of what’s happening, it’s fascinating to see that you can either move forward with something or you can move backwards.

Very, very rarely are we stagnant. And that’s what I see with goals. So for instance, going back to the caffeine thing. I have now been able to log that I would have drank from the time that I stopped to now, about 1500 ounces of caffeine. So that’s a metric. That’s all that it is. Now, could I say, “I’ve lost all this weight and gained all this energy?” Not really but when we can see that there’s metrics involved, what we want to do is look to the life that we want to live and that’s the most important part is we all have desires.

Every single person has desires in their life and everyone’s desires are different. And so if we can start to see that weight loss isn’t about fitting in a certain jean size, it’s not about a number on a scale. What it really is, is it about your desires for your lifestyle. And so I know for instance for me, one of the hardest things was when I was at my heaviest weight, and I went to go and bend down and tie my shoes and it was really uncomfortable. And I was a little bit winded afterwards honestly.

And I was like, “This is not the lifestyle I want.” It had nothing to do with the size, or the scale, or anything but it had a lot to do with my lifestyle. And so when I kind of looked to the future I thought, okay, my kids are little but they’re going to get older and they’re going to want to do things. And they’re going to want me to be there. So if we are, and we love to hike and do things like that as a family. And I thought, this lifestyle right now does not fit into the desires that I have for my future. And that’s why goals are so important.

It’s not that you push and push and burn yourself out but what we want to do is really think about lifestyle and what you’re wanting and then start to create goals around that so that we always have our desires aligned with the goal. That’s where a lot of people get off track is they set a goal, a weight loss goal but it has nothing to do with desire and it has everything to do with a dress size. And I’m like, “So you wear a dress for one night, then what happens?”

Well, you probably gain the weight back. I see this happen a lot with clients. “Oh, my daughter’s getting married.” We lose the weight for the day and then we gain it all back and then we beat ourselves up about it. But really, honestly, you hit your goal. You did exactly what you wanted to, you fit into a dress size for a night. You didn’t think about the future of that goal. So that’s why I’m such an advocate for goals.

It’s not that you’re necessarily pushing and hitting it hard all the way but it’s really looking at your desires for your life and creating something around that where we can start to say, “Am I moving towards that desire that I really want to have for my life?”

Natalie: I love that because I think that that’s, it’s like it’s rooting the goal. Because I think the dress, super fun. But I think when we get to those types of goals that just have kind of like one measurement and no substance in terms of what it means for our life and why it matters. Then we also are so disappointed because it doesn’t create what we want it to create for us. I don’t think the goal ever does that job. But as you work toward becoming the person who all along the way you’re increasing your confidence and showing yourself over and over that you love you and all of that.

So you do feel different at the end of it. So in terms of helping people, if people are thinking about wanting to set a goal for next year, give us best practices. It sounds like even if you want to have a number, you want to kind of flesh out. Outside of just the number, what does the number mean? What is it going to mean for your life, for this, like you said, the specifics, how is bending over and tying my shoes going to feel when I reach this goal? That’s the kind of detail I assume that we want to put in, the meaning that we want to connect to.

Carrie: Yeah. So when you go to set a goal we really want to do a couple of things. Number one is just set the goal and then ask yourself why, why that goal. And so then you’re going to do a thought download where you get out the piece of paper, write it all down, why do you want this? And then what we want to do is flip the paper over and at the top I just want you to write, but really why do you want this?

Because what happens is the first time that we write down why it comes out with all of the beautiful things, because I’m going to be healthier, because I’m going to be active and all of this. But then you’re going to flip it over and now remember, here’s the best part about this paper is that you can totally throw it away. And that’s what I want to give all of you permission to do because when we know that it’s not going to stay permanent somewhere we actually get a little bit more honest.

Natalie: It’s so true.

Carrie: And so flip the paper over and say, “Okay, but really, why do I want this goal?” And then you’re going to say something like, “I have always felt this way. I really want to push myself, I want to do this.” You’re going to get into a little bit more deeper level of connection with your why. So once we’ve done that what you want to go and do then is you want to do a couple of things. Number one is set the goal that is measurable.

I don’t care what the measurements are that you want to do, it can be a time, it can be numbers, whatever you want but it needs to be something that we can actually track. Tracking’s very important for goals. And then the next thing that you want to do is now we want to break it down to what are you going to do this month, this week and today? And so usually your daily thing is going to be pretty similar. It’s going to be pretty similar. Now, this is not new information. Every single person that has ever had to do a goal has done this.

But here’s what we’re going to do a little bit differently that nobody else does. I like to do something called checkpoints with my clients which is where you’re going to set specific times in the goal that you can freak out, go right into it, really investigate what’s actually happening. But you have to take action until a checkpoint. So when you go and you’re saying, “I want to lose 10 pounds.” Okay, well, we’re going to set a checkpoint for the end of the month.

Well, what we’re going to do is your brain at weekend is going to be like, “This isn’t working.”

Natalie: Yes. Totally, yeah.

Carrie: And your job is to be like, “It’s fine, we have a checkpoint coming up.” Our job is to take action until the checkpoint, that’s it. Your job is not to freak out. Your job is not to judge. Your job when you get on the scale or whatever is to say, “We can do everything. We can have this freakout at the checkpoint.” Your job until then is to do the work. Now, this is important for mind drama because your mind is going to want to freak out and try and find all the evidence of why it’s not working or why you need to tweak it.

But that’s why those checkpoints are so important, so set a checkpoint whenever you want to. Set it for the end of the week. Set it for the end of the month. It’s not really when it is but it’s that you’re allowing space for yourself to be like, “Nothing’s gone wrong, our job is to take the action until the checkpoint.” But at the checkpoint you say, “What is the data telling me? What needs to be adjusted and adapted? And what do I need to implement differently?” And then set your next checkpoint.

Natalie: I love that. So then you can, really, I mean it’s an opportunity to evaluate but also have collected some data because I think that’s part of the problem is when it gets hard, something comes up. And we want to just stop and start over. We lose all the data. Then we have big gaps in the recording. And so yeah, to be able to say. And I like that it sounds like and correct me if I’m wrong but whatever the timeline is that you set because you don’t have to set a goal for the whole year of 2023. It can just be for the month of January or the first week.

So up to you to decide that but then along the way what are those kind of non-negotiables I’m going to go to this point and then I’m going to make some decisions about what I want to do differently from there. I love that because I think it also kind of takes the pressure off. I don’t even have to look at this yet. I’m just going to do what I set out to do, go about this process, however I’ve decided to do it. And I have this point in time where I’m going to reevaluate and make changes if necessary.

It’s not like I have made the decision at the beginning of January to do things exactly this way and now I’m screwed because it’s not working. I’m never going to get to the end of the year and so I might as well quit. No, all I have to do is get to Friday or to January 31st and then I get to make some decisions. Yeah, I love that.

Carrie: Exactly. And so I had a client, this is actually a really good time to mention this. But I had a client that was doing weight loss. She came and she had an exact date of when she wanted to weigh a certain amount. Well, we were about two weeks away and she came and she was like, “It’s not working, I just want to go to this very aggressive diet plan that I’ve done before that helps me lose weight really fast.” And then I said, “Well, what happens after that?” And she’s like, “I double my weight.” She’s like, “That’s how this aggressive plan works. You cut calories a ton and then you’re starving yourself.”

And I was just like, “Okay, are we at a checkpoint?” And she said, “No.” And I said, “So why are we changing the plan?” And she’s like, “Because it’s not working and it’s this.” And I said, “What if your job was just to make sure that you were hitting your actionable plans perfectly? That’s what I want you to focus on. When we get to the checkpoint at the end of the week, totally, we can totally look at adjusting that and everything.”

Well, then we got to the end of the week, she went and weighed herself and she messaged me on Instagram and was like, “Funny thing, I doubled down on my actions, meaning I just focused on the actions. I got really clear about those actions, I did them perfectly.” And she’s like, “I’ve lost three pounds.”

Natalie: Amazing.

Carrie: Amazing. But that’s why those checkpoints are so important because if we would have just allowed that space to change the plan like you mentioned, our brain wants to change and make it easier instead of just saying, “What if I actually believed that what I was doing was making a difference? My job is just to do the things until I get to the checkpoint.”

Natalie: I love that so much because I also think, I mean I say this to my clients on a weekly basis, the idea that if you just keep doing it, eventually things are going to start happening. But a couple things came to my mind is first of all, that if we are just focused on getting to that checkpoint, we’re like, “All I have to do is get to Friday. And all I have to do in order to get to Friday is just do the things I already told myself I was going to do.”

The fuel, the feeling fuel that you’re using to go about the taking of that action throughout that week is going to be altogether different than if you’re micromanaging every little bit of it and telling yourself it’s not working. If you’re telling yourself it’s not working, you’re going to feel discouraged. And when you feel discouraged you’re going to do different things than if you would if you were like, “This is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.” If you felt calm, and peaceful, and confident that all you had to do was get to Friday and then you were going to figure some stuff out.

So I love that we’re sort of controlling or creating the feeling fuel that we want to use. But I also think, worst case scenario, you get to the end of the week and the scale hasn’t changed or you haven’t got any new clients or whatever your goal is. You get to the end of the week and you haven’t gotten closer to your goal but what you have done is created a week more’s worth of evidence that you can keep your commitments to yourself.

That you can do what you say you’re going to do, that you have your own back, that you believe that you matter enough to carry out this plan that you created with love for yourself. So I mean either way, your client had the experience which I think is more common than not to be like, “Well, if I just keep doing the things I’m doing, the scale changes, interesting.”

You have that experience which is fun but you also have the experience of just doing it and creating that evidence, the bigger pile of evidence that you can, bigger than the pile that you can’t, or won’t or whatever. So I love that for so many reasons.

Carrie: Well, and you did, you really found the secret reward is what I call it which is showing up for yourself is what really matters. Because when we can really learn that skill of showing up until Friday and doing the things that we said we were going to, then the next week we do the same thing over again. But what we’re doing is gaining self-confidence that we can trust ourself. And what also happens is when you set these checkpoints and really don’t freak out until then and use the data that you have.

Then you start to tell yourself that you’re pretty smart. You can adjust and adapt and implement. And so then you’re like, “Maybe I need more grains. Maybe I need this.” But you become the expert of your own life instead of looking outside of yourself. And you might need to go and take some education and get some education but it then comes back to you of figuring it out.

But it really is the self-confidence that you did what you said you were going to do and that that is something that we can celebrate at every single checkpoint is that you did what you said you were going to do and that’s what’s so key.

Natalie: Absolutely. Because I think that just informs the momentum going forward. The more we tell ourselves we can’t, we’re not doing it right etc., the more, it’s like we’re piling weights on our ankles. So we’re still taking the actions but it feels so much harder. And for most of my clients the end result is pounds down, yes. But most of them want to feel comfortable in their skin and confident. That’s a word that comes up over and over, and free. And I think if we’re not burdened throughout the process of goals of our ineptitude or our failures.

And instead what we’re seeing is that we can make a decision ahead of time with love, that we can stick to that decision. And then we can evaluate with lots of compassion, and wisdom, and all of those things and make changes that make sense, that are rational, that don’t ever have us quitting. So yeah, I mean it’s such a beautiful thing. Fabulous. Okay, everybody, so here’s what I think. You have this amazing kind of framework for you to set tryouts in setting your goals this year.

However you have done new year’s resolutions in the past, this year what we’re going to try is what do I want? And we’re going to connect it to our desires, flip that page over and ask yourself, why do I really want it? And then make sure you meet yourself where you are and set up those checkpoints so that all you have to do is execute what you’ve planned until the checkpoint where you then evaluate and I mean I feel like 100% success rate if you just do those things, yes?

Carrie: A 100%, I mean really. And then remember that successes are going to happen and failures are going to happen as well. And so I want you to then make sure that you have the plan for when the failures happen. So when it’s a bad day, a bad weekend, now what are you going to do so that you can get back on that track, set the next set point and take your actions until then.

Natalie: Absolutely. And whether you anticipate perfectly the pitfalls or not you know this is just one of those times where I’m going to come up with a contingency plan and keep going. And that’s what we’re going to do, yeah?

Carrie: Absolutely.

Natalie: Okay, fabulous, thanks so much, Carrie.

Carrie: My pleasure, so much fun to be here and you got this, 2023 is going to be a year that you can really set some really fun goals for yourself, whatever those goals are and then remember that it’s all about just taking those actions and looking at the checkpoints.

Natalie: Love it. Thanks so much.


Alright everybody, I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Carrie, I just love her so much. Hopefully this gives you an idea of how to kind of get going and then keep going with some of those new year’s goals that you have on your mind. I will see you soon.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown. If you want to learn more about how to lose weight for the last time, come on over to itbeginswithathought.com. We’ll see you here next week.

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Meet Natalie

I spent over 2 decades battling my weight and hating my body, before I found a solution that worked FOR GOOD. I lost 50 pounds by changing not just what I eat, but WHY. Now I help other women like me get to the root of the issue and find their own realistic, permanent weight loss success. Change is possible and you can do it. I can help you.

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