Losing Goal Mojo Already? 


It’s the middle of January and you might still be on the motivation high of new intentions and goals. But, if you’ve already felt that little twinge of resistance and low motivation creep up, or know it’s coming, you’ll want to read the rest of this blog.

And, you’ll want to know losing motivation is normal, but that doesn’t mean your doomed to drop your goal.

Over the past decade plus of being in the health and wellness industry I’ve worked with thousands of people and heard all about their health aspirations, frustrations and challenges.

I’ve seen people rush to change their life 180 degrees to only crash and burn a short while later.

I’ve seen how nearly everyone struggles with consistency of practice.

I’ve heard people tell me they want to get healthier, stronger, clearer, meditate more, do more yoga, eat better, sleep better, just feel better…but they just don’t know where to begin.

I’ve heard a lot of people tell me about their self esteem issues and how trying to make positive change in their life ends up making them feel not good enough and even worse about themselves.

The truth is, I myself have struggled with all of these issues.

I’ve also seen and experienced breakthroughs. 

I’ve seen people totally transform their health and happiness, make leaps and bounds of progress along the path of living a happier more liberated and energised life and find lasting, lifestyle change through the yoga path.

I know I’ve also found this, and when I look back over 5, 10, 15 years I really see how much the practice and wisdom of yoga has changed my life.

I know one thing, the healthier I am the happier I am — and I know that we all feel this way.

So, why when this is so obvious, do we struggle starting and sticking to the habits that make us feel healthy and happy?

There are a lot of answers to this question, and lots of debate, so maybe the better question is: What works? What makes us stick to the goals and habits we want? What are the people having breakthroughs doing?

While studying for my yoga health coaching certification we learned a lot about the latest research on habit science, a field dedicated to answering just these questions, and I gained some really valuable insights into why some parts of the yoga path work so well. Two of which I want to share with you to stay on track with your intentions for the year.

Identity Based Goals v Results Based Goals 

The habit science research shows that when we start with identity based goals we’re much much more likely to stick to them. Where as if we set just results based goals we’re highly likely to drop them after a while.

Here’s what James Clear, a habit science blogger says about it and why the two have very different impacts on us:

“What we do now is a mirror image of the type of person we believe we are (either consciously or subconsciously). Our current behaviours are simply a reflection of our current identity. So, the first step in building lasting habits is focusing on creating a new positive identity.”

Sankalpa is a traditional part of yoga practice that helps us create identity based goals by making positive affirmation like, “I am vibrant, clear and grounded.” The practice is to repeat this daily.

The more you chew on this identity, the more you not only believe it, but also act based on it. You start to live up to that identity effortlessly simply because it feels right, and this guides you toward achieving your heartfelt desires and goals.


1. Know that you already are who you need to be to fulfil your life’s purpose.

You are good enough! Yoga philosophy recognises that we each have a shinning light of divine power and wisdom within us, called our purusa, and most of our yoga practices simply work to get rid of anything covering that light. Yoga is the process of purification and getting rid of the gunk (mental, physical, emotional or lifestyle) that dims the light (one reason we detox).

Unlike typical resolutions that are based around a need to change ourselves, a sankalpa reinforces the best of who we already are – our true nature.

2. Ask, “how do I want to feel?” Listen to your heart-felt desires.

“We have the procedures of achievement upside down. We go after the stuff we want to have and accomplish outside of ourselves, and we hope and pray that we’ll feel great when we get there. It’s backwards. And it’s burning us out. 

What if, first, we got clear on how we actually want to feel in our life, and then we set our intentions?” Danielle Laporte, Desire Map

Let your vision of yourself and the world be big, and think about who and how you want to be in that vision. How does it makes you feel? Begin to list qualities of that vision and observe how your heart space feels as you list them. Some will deeply resonate with you, write them down.

3. Create a positive “I am” statement using a few of the words that most resonate from above. 

Looking at the qualities from above as well as some of the intentions you’ve already set, can you find an underlying desire that unifies them all?  Now make that an ‘I am’ statement in the present tense. For example, “I am happy, healthy and peaceful.” Don’t worry too much about the wording, this statement will likely change over time, but find a simple clear statement to start with that feels good when you say it.

I am…

This statement will anchor you in your true light and guide you through specific goal setting as well as moment to moment decisions — and keep you feeling how you want to feel!

PRACTICE: Repeat this statement before and/or after yoga/mediation. Paste it on sticky notes around your house. Repeat it to yourself when you feel down/anxious/overwhelmed etc.

Tips From the Habit Experts & Common Mistakes to Avoid 

  • Set a schedule for your goals rather than a deadline. “There is one common mistake we make when it comes to setting goals. The problem is this: we set a deadline, but not a schedule.The problem with this strategy is that if we don’t achieve the arbitrary timeline that we set in the beginning, then we feel like a failure…even if we are better off than we were at the start. The end result, sadly, is that we often give up if we don’t reach our goal by the initial deadline.” -James Clear
  • Make it so easy you can’t say no. Often we make our goals so big that when we set out to act on them they feel so daunting we give up. If we start with small steps that we can’t say no to then we actually act on our intentions and move in the direction we desire. Over time we’ll reach that big goal without getting overwhelmed. Small, continuous change = success & sustainability!

Yoga has taught me that all things are a practice, and it’s through coming back again and again to the practice that we find real change in our body, mind, health, relationships and life.

Adjust your goals to make sure they come from your heart, your core values, and then make a step by step plan that is so easy you can’t say no.

I use these principles in all of my programs, from the New Years Yoga Detox, 30 Day Evolution and 10 Week Transformation, and the results are powerful!

“You’re audacious life goals are fabulous. We’re proud of you for having them. Bit it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that’s really frightening you — the shift in daily habits that would mean a reinvention of how you see yourself.” Seth Godin




Why Eating Chocolate is Part of My Health Regime

images-2This blog isn’t going to be what you think. I’m not going to tell you about the antioxidant benefits of raw cacao or how you can connect with the divine from the stimulating effects of the oh so awe-some South American plant.

No. I could have replaced the word chocolate with wine or cheese or ice-cream or any of our favourite foods that we know too much of actually makes our body unhappy, yet we really enjoy eating them anyway.

Ok, so what’s the give? And how in the world can this be part of a “health” regime?

Learning then Doing

Over the past year I’ve been working with a lot of people to develop healthy yogi lifestyle habits. This is really a two part process — education and then implementation.

The first step towards health is simply to learn about these healthy lifestyle habits like eating a plant based diet, getting good sleep, meditating, breathing better, moving our bodies and learning how to stay pure in our thoughts and actions.

The second step (or many steps really), is figuring out how to actually make this knowledge a consistent part of our life.  In other words, how do we actually stick to all of these wonderful practices that keep us healthy and happy and vibrant?

The Guilt of Imperfection Stops Us

One thing I see over and over again is such an enthusiasm from students to change habits and a deep desire for better health that it leads many of them to strict obsession with every little thing they do, and then often when they don’t follow the “health rules” perfectly they beat themselves up and feel guilty. Sound familiar? I know I’ve done this many a time!

Not only is this guilt actually detrimental to our health, but habit science research shows that a majority of the time it causes people to give up on their attempts to improve and change their habits.

On the other hand, the research shows that people who make slow, gradual changes with some room for leeway actually stick to their health regimes. In the end, even if they didn’t go hard core from the start, these people get healthier and happier and actually stay that way because the guilt of not being perfect doesn’t crush their motivation (or depress them).

The 80/20 rule

On our Bali yoga detox retreats and in the yoga lifestyle programs that I teach, I simply encourage everyone to commit to making what ever change they’re focusing on 5 out of 7 days of week. And that has a massive impact on our lives!

What I want to point out is that the other two days of the week — when we eat chocolate or drink a glass of wine or stay up late — aren’t a mistake to feel guilty about. Rather, they are a conscious decisions that are part of creating a SUSTAINABLE health regime.

Knowing that we’re likely to give up completely if we don’t allow for this kind of leeway, means consciously allowing for those two days but committing to the others, is a REAL commitment to a healthy lifestyle — not just a fad diet or detox. And when we make lifestyle change things start to get really good in our body, mind and life.

So, I enjoy my chocolate 2 out of 7 days, in other words on occasion. Even on the retreats we live by this rule, providing the special occasion raw desert on the last night.  And we really enjoy it! We savour it and experience it and in that way it also become so so much better than if we eat it every day.

The key is remaining conscious about our actions. When I catch myself feeling like I need chocolate every day, or smashing a bar of chocolate without even really tasting it — that’s when I know there’s a problem that I need to work with.

We’re not using this as an excuse. We’re committing to our 5 out of 7 days, and being conscious about the other two. When those two days start too become 3 or 4 we need to reassess in totally honesty with ourselves.


One other thing I’ve noticed, and many people have also shared with me, is that when I’m completely restricting myself (i.e. I can never have chocolate or sugar ever again), and when I do finally crack and go for some (which is pretty much inevitable) then I don’t eat it consciously with deep appreciation. The restrictive mentality actually triggers my unhealthy eating habits.

This was a huge insight for me. One big thing we work with in my programs are our triggers. When I realised that hard core restriction actually trigger my bad habits, I started taking the 80/20 rules or 5 out of 7 nights idea very seriously.

Take time right now to think about how you need to make leeway in your life so that your intentions for health and growth — whether about food, meditation, exercise or self care — are truly sustainable. Do you really want that health? And if so, you have to commit to sustainability, and let go of quick fix, extreme fads.

Share with the community some of your ideas about how to make a health regime sustainable. 

What Healed Me, Sustainability and Community


I fell in love with yoga over a decade ago when I was 18 years old, new to Uni, struggling with an autoimmune disorder, anxiety, bouts of depression and the stress of working and going to school full time.

All I knew was that when I did yoga I felt better. My symptoms decreased, I slept better, ate better, my body hurt less and as a result I felt happier and less worried.

At the time I thought I couldn’t get too much of a good thing, so I went crazy on yoga, doing two hour practices every morning, trying to follow all the yoga lifestyle rules and obsessing on what I ate or did.

But I’d always hit a wall. It would be too extreme. I’d isolate myself from my friends, feel like I couldn’t keep it up, get overwhelmed, and then rebel against it and quit for a while.

That is until all my symptoms started to show up again, and then I’d throw myself at it again and swear I was going to run away to live in an ashram.

I had found yoga, but the truth is, I hadn’t yet found what would heal me. 

One day in one of my rebellious “I can’t live like a yogi” phases I saw my yoga teacher. I was meek and apologised for not coming to class every morning and mumbled some excuses.

I thought for sure he would scold me for not being dedicated, but instead he told me to be easier on myself. That if I really wanted to make yoga part of my life, I didn’t have to go to the extremes. He told me to do less, but more consistently.

Sustainable Lifestyles  

It hit me hard (in the best possible way) and I suddenly started to shift my idea of what living a yoga lifestyle meant. I started thinking about it more in terms of sustainability. I even had one of those Homer Simpson “duh” moments, I was studying environmental sustainability at Uni after all.

The lesson comes that when we make small changes we stick to them, and when we stick to things for the long haul, that’s when our life really starts to change. It might not happen over night, but it happens in a big way that lasts. And that is what’s healed me.

This is why I’m so passionate about the yoga lifestyle programs I teach, because I know that what people really need to change their lives is a formate and plan to make these habits practical and sustainable.

Both the 30 Day Yoga Evolution and the 10 Week Transformation Programs do just that. We workshop and plan how to live a yoga lifestyle in the modern world, not in a cave and that genuinely works for us as individuals. After all, our practice is supposed to help us live a happy life, not become another burden.


I’ve also learned that when we go it alone, making changes to our life is so much harder.

Sangha is the Sanskrit word for “community of like minded people” and is an essential part of yoga.   When we surround ourselves with like minded people we feel supported and empowered in living the way we want to live.

And in our modern culture we really need this because living a more relaxed, healthy, peaceful and harmonious life goes against what the media giants are bombarding us with on a daily basis. We need to come together and use our collective strength to move against that cultural current.

One thing I’ve heard from the people who participated in the 30 Day Yoga Evolution was how inspired they were by each other. How simply the act of sharing, exploring and diving deep into discussion with like minded people is transformational.

I also see this exact same magic happen on the Bali Yoga retreats I teach, and honestly I think it is one of the most powerful aspects of the experience. In fact, this is exactly what I want to facilitate — transformation through the gathering of like minded people all supporting each other along a journey of ever more conscious living.

Let’s have the conversations that inspire us, in class, online, in a group or over a coconut in Bali.