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The year of change


Putting together an action plan is key to achieving goals

Colleen Kneafsey

THIS sounds daunting, doesn’t it? How many times have we committed to ourselves that this is my year? I will get that dream job; I will lose that stone in weight; I will join the gym or I will take up an outdoor activity. How often does that dream become a reality?
If you are like most people, it’s likely to happen several times in the year, and that dream more than likely does not come to fruition. Which in turn leaves you frustrated that once again time has passed and you have neglected your own self-care and needs again. So, when we reflect on our reasons, we often take our bias, filters, wounds, beliefs, stories, and feelings about the world and paint them into our reality. For example - I can’t commit to this challenge; I am not good enough; I always fail; I have tried a weight loss programme before, but I gained all the weight back again….
As a coach I come across this every day, when I meet my clients for the first time. At first it is scary for them to identify the real reasons for not putting themselves first and turning their dreams and goals into a reality.
We ask: “Is it finally time to commit to yourself and start feeling healthy, happy, free and fulfilled, instead of fantasising about your dream life?”
You’ve often heard the airline safety spiel: “Please place the oxygen mask on yourself first before attending to others.” What use are you to the person beside you if you’re unconscious? This is a great analogy when we reflect on our own self-care: once you work on you first, everyone else will benefit around you.
I advise clients to take the time to give an honest assessment of their health and wellness to date. (Scary I know!) Then I evaluate their level of satisfaction with the various areas that make their life. It is a great opportunity for clients to do a ‘life audit’.
We so often get caught up in the ‘Go Go Go’ mentality we don’t slow down and take a closer look at things. Slowing down gives our clients room to develop a holistic approach in how to rewrite their goals, desires and put them into action. They need to both feel it and do something about it to make it happen.

Action Plan – putting pen to paper
So firstly, ask yourself are the stories you tell yourself effective for what you want in your life? For example, is your lack of motivation the reason you do not get up and go for a walk and attend a fitness class? Are your poor food choices because you’re hungry or just bored? Is there a deeper reason behind why you’re not motivated or making poor nutrition choices? Are the stories you tell yourself ineffective and holding you back from living a happy, healthy and fulfilling life? Are these thoughts/choices helping you or hurting you? How would your life be better if you made different choices? Conversely, if you were to choose not to step up and work towards to your desires/goals, how would your life look then?
Asking yourself all of these questions will get to the core, honest reasons why you’re not achieving your goals. But most importantly it creates a path to action. Put a plan in place and allow the amazing journey towards realising your goals begin.

Colleen Kneafsey is a director, co-founder and coach at Republic of Fitness in Westport ( and a qualified nurse. She can be contacted at

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