New season, new week, new month, Monday. These are common triggers that have us wanting to get back on track. Maybe summer found you traveling and now you can’t remember the last time you ate a healthy meal or got those workouts done consistently. Or maybe Covid stress has piled on and you’re feeling like enough is enough! It’s also common right now as kids head back to school or off to college to feel inspired to put some focus back on you.

Whatever the reason, there are a few things I always recommend spending some time on before you get started so that you can reach those goals and keep your results. Because it’s no fun to repeat the cycle of starting and stopping over and over again.

Here are the steps I walk my clients through when we first start working together and they can work for you too.

  1. Get clarity on the goal/s you’re working towards. Real nitty gritty details matter here.
  2. Figure out what steps you’ll need to take to reach your goal/s.
  3. Plan how you can remove as many obstacles as possible so that you keep showing up.
  4. Think about what challenges will come up and plan for them.
  5. Decide how you’ll track your efforts and progress.

Let’s look at each of these steps a bit more.

  1. Get clarity. If you aren’t clear about what you’re working towards how do you know whether or not you’re making progress? Take the time to write down your goals with nitty gritty details about what success looks like when you achieve it. Writing it down also signals to your brain that you’re serious not just wishing for your results.
  2. Now you know what you want but if you want to go beyond winging it, it’s time to write down the steps necessary to get there. Quick note, don’t get hung up with trying to find the perfect plan to execute. It’s easy to get lost here and procrastinate getting started.
  3. Make it as easy as possible to show up and get the things done, especially when you’re first getting started. We’re pretty hard wired for the easier path so work with that and make it as easy as you can to take the steps to reach your goals. Otherwise you’ll find yourself white knuckling it for awhile but will quit before you reach your goal.
  4. Next, think about what obstacles are likely to pop up on your journey. It would be really great if they would just disappear when you start putting in the work but that’s not how life works. Instead do what’s commonly called, ‘If/then planning.’ Consider what knocked you off track in the past and figure out how you’ll deal with that if it comes up again.
  5. Last but not least, find a way to track your efforts. There are apps for that and good only pen and paper also works. Tracking your efforts helps keep you accountable and more mindful. Plus, it’s super helpful to show you the progress you’re making. It’s also helpful data for if things get off track. You can always go back to your tracker to see what was working and what changed.

Whatever reason you’re feeling ready for a reset taking these steps can set you up for success. Just imagine in a few months where you can be if you start showing up for yourself now!


  • Colleen Cleary

    HHC, Founder of The Cleary Method

    Colleen Cleary is a certified holistic health coach, healthy habits expert, and independent rep with Zyia Activewear working in Portland, Oregon. She founded The Cleary Method to give her clients tools and strategies around mindset, healthy habits & nutrition so they can ditch dieting and get results that stick. In her off time she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, Jim, 3 kids Jonathan, Sophie and Maddie, friends and BRFs in the local running group she manages. She also loves running and racing, trying new recipes, camping, traveling, chai tea and dark chocolate. Learn more about Colleen and her coaching practice at