Set achievable goals for 2018... start now! 

JANUARY sees us bombarded with a million messages - how to lose weight, get a new job, lose a man, get a man, get rich, get happy – it’s confusing to say the least! Emma Connolly asked a local fitness expert, life coach and nutritional therapists for their most achievable tips on how to be the best you for 2018.
Set achievable goals for 2018... start now! 
Lesley Giltinan, Vipr & Tone Cork.
Sinead Millard, Cork based Business and Life Coach
Sinead Millard, Cork based Business and Life Coach


Sinead Millard, Cork based Business and Life Coach

JANUARY isn’t always the best time to introduce change. But, if you’ve decided to wait until now, it’s important to highlight that the wait is over and it’s time for action.

So says Cork-based Business and Life Coach Sinead Milliard, whose message is: “No more excuses, you have all you need to make an impact. Change requires action and there is never a perfect time for you to take action. There is never a perfect time to launch that project, to change a habit / embrace a new habit, whatever it may be.

“As a coach, I hear about New Year’s resolutions and I ask, ‘Why have you waited until January to make this change?’ or in other words ‘What’s stopped you?’

“The key to successful change is taking action NOW, not tomorrow, not next week and not January.

“Excuses are the killer of change. ‘It’s not the right time’. ‘I will start when I have more experience, money, time and training’.”

However, as Sinead points out, the only solution to any of these excuses is action.

“Action motivates. Lack of motivation is not a condition, it’s a state of being that can be broken by the tiniest form of action.You have everything you need to make change, to make an impact.”

She points out that only 8% of people achieve their resolutions. This leaves a whopping 92% who fall off the wagon at some point between January 1 and December 31.

Here are her top tips to beat the stats:

1. Ditch the term “New Year’s Resolution” (I think it’s doomed!).

2. Instead, create a vision of who you want to be and how you want your life to look. The term “create” is important here, it requires energy, it is not passive.

3. Turn that vision into a project and get clear on what action is required.

4. Make the action small enough for you to remain focused and committed to your vision. For example, if you want to write a book — commit to writing just one page a day.

5. Act like your vision has already come true, that you already feel the way you want to feel.

6. Be clear on the “WHY”. Emotionally connect with what it is you want to create. Ask yourself “How will I feel if I don’t achieve this?”

7. Invest in anyone or anything that can help you achieve this vision.

8. Connect more with your vision and disconnect more from your materialistic world (iphone, TV, laptop, etc)

9. Ditch pessimistic conversations — optimists open us up to see more opportunities. It’s not that you can’t, it is that you haven’t, just yet!

See and follow Sinead on social media

Lesley Giltinan, Vipr & Tone Cork
Lesley Giltinan, Vipr & Tone Cork


Lesley Giltinan, Vipr & Tone Cork, National Qualification in Exercise Health Studies and Personal Training

EVERYONE can build daily exercise into their routine — no excuses allowed — it’s about getting started at a level and a pace that is realistic and achievable, says Lesley Giltinan of Cork’s Vipr & Tone, a favourite with people of all ages.

Exercise, clean eating, moderation and consistency are the elements you need to keep in mind, says Lesley, who teaches her classes at Cork Con.

But she says: “There simply is no point in taking on a plan that will see you exhausted and irritable and anxious at the end of week one. That’s a recipe for disaster.

“Set a real goal — depending on your fitness level. I would recommend a short amount of time but on a daily basis, rather than extended time on say just two days in the week.”

Getting started can be something as straightforward as a fast 20 minute daily walk.

“Increase your pace to the maximum you can do for five minutes and reduce back to a good stride for five minutes and alternate this way for the duration.

“As you increase fitness, make that ‘fast’ period longer and the ‘slow” time shorter. Set a goal to have your 20 minute fast walk become a 20 minutes jog and eventually a 20 minute run.”

But you’re not finished there.

“When you come back from your walk/run try tagging on a Tabata (a four minute workout where you work your body at its maximum pace for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest x eight rounds with some type of resistance), you could invest in a set of dumbbells or even use filled water bottles to start with and look at squats, press, lunges and press ups, planks, squat jumps, jumping lunges.

“All these exercises are demonstrated very well on Instagram or YouTube, and if possible do this in front of a mirror so you can watch your form and see that you are doing the exercise correctly. Good form is very important to avoid injury and to get best results.”

Lesley says a class environment is best to learn good form but if you are training at home, you should look in a mirror to see what you are doing.

She advises downloading a Tabata song from your phone and setting out your exercises, mixing up your squats, lunges, press up and maybe a plank position.

“For the start, tag on a single Tabata at the end of your 20 minutes walk but set a goal to increase to twice round on Tabata (eight minutes) and as you increase fitness maybe three times (12 minutes). All of this can be done in well under an hour! It’s just 30 minutes to start out with. So even if you hate exercising, at least this is for a short period of time, it is effective and you will see results, you may even begin to enjoy it.”

Food obviously plays an important role.

“Combined with your exercise plan, it’s super-important to keep your diet as clean as possible.

“Getting the balance right between your exercise and what you eat is so rewarding. The key words are portion size. I believe in strong and healthy, never skinny. It’s not about looking like someone else, or being a size 0, it’s about being the best you can and feeling and looking great and loving yourself!

“It’s often hard to stay motivated and that’s where training together can be a massive help.

“I truly believe that exercising or training in groups pays huge dividends. Doing something that’s difficult and a challenge, and having the encouragement from one another will result in improved fitness levels but will also improve our mental health, emotional health and reduce stress levels.

“Life is busy and often hard but making time for keeping fit and eating food that will be of nutritional benefit to our bodies will help us climb the challenges!”

See and follow her on social media.

Linn Thorstensson, Nutritional Therapist
Linn Thorstensson, Nutritional Therapist


Linn Thorstensson Dip NT mNTOI, is a registered Nutritional Therapist with a special interest and clinical focus on mindful eating and healing the relationship we have between food, eating and our bodies FOR 2018 let go of dieting and shift your focus towards self-care. 

Trust that your body will do the rest, if you take care of it in the best way possible.

That’s the message from Linn Thorstensson, a Fermoy based Nutritional Therapist, towards achieving the best you for 2018 “Anyone who has ever tried changing their diet and lifestyle knows that this can be an arduous endeavor. When you think about harnessing this desire to change, I would encourage you to ask yourself why you want to change? What is it in your current lifestyle that is not working for you? Then go deeper and ask yourself what is the desire behind your why?

Take weight loss as an example as the reason you want to change what you are currently eating and increasing the level of activity you are currently doing.

Ask yourself what it is you are hoping to achieve by losing weight? More energy? Better digestion? Feeling stronger? Or just a different body size?

Before you rush to jump on the January dieting bandwagon, I am inviting you to pause, and remind yourself of the fact that any type of diet have been shown to have any long-lasting effect for more than about 5% of the people who embark on them. In fact one of predictors of going on a diet is weight gain and regain.” Here are her top five tips for embarking on a successful, nourishing self-care plan:

1. Learn to become in tune with your body’s signals of hunger and fullness.

We have an innate system guiding us to know when we need to eat, and when our bodies have had enough foods. However this is a delicate system, and for anyone who has spent a long time dieting it can take time to tune into these sensations again. But once you do, you can say goodbye to the “feast – famine / deprivation – binge cycle” which most of us who have ever dieted are all too familiar with.

2. Eat a rainbow variety of colourful foods, i.e. fresh fruits and vegetables.

There is no arguing with the science backing up the importance of consuming plenty of fruit and vegetables. Focusing on colour makes it fun and easy to increase your intake and variety. Both important factors to support our overall health and wellbeing.

3. Eat for how you want to feel.

With dieting the focus is always on eating to achieve a change in appearance. This desire can take on all kinds of extremes, most which are not healthy behaviours at all. When we eat from a place of self-care, we can evaluate our choices from a place of curiosity and kindness? Before, during and after your meal / snack ask yourself “How will this food feel in my body? How did this food feel in my body?” 4. Don’t forget about the satisfaction factor!

Food and eating can all too often get tarnished with words like “guilt” and “sin”. Or it is reduced to the simple act of fuelling. We should never feel guilty or ashamed of the vital act of feeding ourselves, nor do I believe food and eating should be bland and boring. Eat foods that you enjoy, that are nourishing to your specific body and needs, have fun trying new things and embrace the pleasure of eating. You will find that when you are having a satisfactory eating experience, it rarely leaves you wanting for more.

5. Remember eating isn’t about perfection.

It is so easy to get caught up in the latest diet fashion fad. Though many of them do hold some grain of truth, if we are trying to follow someone else’s plan, it is all too easy to forget to listen to our own body’s unique needs, which are always changing.

By not boxing yourself into any labels, you have the freedom to explore, being creative and flexible, rather than being fixed on the illusion of perfection. Being rigid and strict, often backfires and there is no room for growth if we get stuck in a place of shame. Instead have fun exploring what works for YOU!

This year, make the resolution of taking care of YOU, because you are worthy and worth it!

*See and follow Linn on social media.

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