Don’t know where to start when it comes to chasing after your goals? You’re not alone. A lot of people struggle with where to begin when it comes to their goals which is one of the big reasons I wanted to share my own goal strategy with you. As you’re listening to this, I encourage you to take out a journal, sheet of paper or post-it and a pen so you can get the most out of this episode. 

You’ll learn what it looks like to set a tangible goal and the most important aspects you need to take time to reflect on when you set a goal. I’ll also share why you’ll want to focus on building healthy habits that correlate to your goals and how behavior change goals can aid you in reaching your bigger, long-term goals. 

What’s in this episode:

  • Why you want to get super clear on your 2022 goals
  • An example of a goal 
  • What you should reflect on when goal setting
  • How habits can improve your ability to reach goals
  • Why you should focus on behavior change goals 

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Resources Mentioned in This Episode

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Transcript for Episode 3 of Fueled for More

Hey runners, welcome to your field for more a podcast where we help new and experienced runners alike improve their nutrition and feel their bodies. I’m Starla, a dietitian, Olympic Trials marathoner and body and cultural diversity advocate. I believe in showing up for your run, for your life and for yourself at full capacity. And when you feel your body well, you set yourself up for success in your sport and beyond. Ready to run? Let’s go.

Hola runner. Welcome back to the podcast, I’m super glad you’ve made your way back to the space with me today on Fueled for More. I want to talk about goals and 2020 to you and you’re probably so over hearing about goals for the new year. Or maybe you’ve already been thinking about this and just don’t know where to start and feeling overwhelmed, confused, all that stuff, all those negative vibes around it, setting goals. So I want to encourage you to get super clear on your goals for 2022. And what I mean by getting clear is really diving into the why and the what around your goal and the what part is really important, because I’m going to take you through an exercise around what you want to be thinking about whenever you are putting your goals together and what are the feelings that maybe you want to have or that you’re trying to avoid as well in the new year.

So before we start, I really want to encourage you to take out a sheet of paper and notebook your journal, a freaking posted and open because I want you to get the most out of this episode. This is probably going to be one of the most important episodes that I share, and I’m going to share it with you right away because I don’t want you to be wasting time trying to figure out the direction that you’re going to be headed in the new year. I want you to have a focal point and things to work toward regularly. I don’t want you to be lost in this in this new year because I know the last two years have been such a whirlwind and so much to go through. And I don’t want you to be holding off on big, scary things that are going to change and transform your life. So before I start getting super sappy on this episode, I’m going to work through an example of a goal and whenever I have a new client or even a goal setting, call with a potential client. This is an area that I like to dove really deep on because it helps me also get a full picture of what somebody is really desiring and what kind of goals do they really want to achieve in the new year. And can I help them reach those goals is the next question.

So a lot of people or a lot of runners are going to have goals that I want to PR this year in the marathon or I want to be Q. I want to get my fueling range. I want to get a fueling strategy. I want to learn how to cook. I want to lose weight whatever your goals are. They may start off with very vague and unclear. So this episode is going to help you get some clarity on them. So if your goal is, let’s say, I want to PR this year in the marathon. Well, why I want you to start asking several whys and what’s because it’s going to bring up uncomfortable feelings that can actually help propel you into transformational positive change or a positive transformation. So really dove into that why? And ask several whys. So why is it important for you to PR in the marathon? Why is it that you want that so badly? Why is it this year or not next year? Why didn’t you do it last year or two years ago, four years ago? Ask yourself those questions. So if we add on to this goal, I want to PR this year in the marathon war. Maybe the why is because running marathons makes me feel happy and strong. Well, why does that make you feel like that or what? Well, feeling happy and strong, healthy do outside of running? That’s the next question. Let’s say the answer is it will help me feel more confident in my body and be a better carry partner, coworker, sister, stepson, whatever that is for your community or that person.

The next question I want you to ask is What are you feeling right now about where you are at? Are you exhausted, overwhelmed, lost, confused? Do you have feelings that we could do better, et cetera, because those are going to be other things that we’re going to come back and visit? So again, with this one example, I want to PR this year in the marathon because running marathons makes me feel happy and strong. This feeling of happy and strong will help me feel more confident in my body and be a better parent, partner, coworker. And right now, I’m feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Let’s say that is the example. And then I want you to take it a step. Further and so again, we’re going very deep, like I said, get ready, guys, and maybe that is all of these feelings of feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, lost, confused, whatever it is. Or maybe you just feel OK about where you’re at. That’s cool, too. Maybe that’s impacting how you show up. Or maybe you don’t. You don’t because you feel so sore that you can’t get off your couch after a long run. So let’s just say that is this person’s deep thing is that they want to appear in this marathon. It makes them feel so happy and strong. They just want to get back there so badly. And they feel like when they are in that zone of feeling happy and strong, it ends in matriculating over into feeling confident to where they show up 100 percent. But right now, they can’t get there because they are lying on the couch after every single long run, after every single run, and it takes so much energy from them that they can’t even get up and continue going. They can barely bend over and tie their shoes. They can barely bend over and tie their child’s shoes. Whatever is going on there, there, it’s what they’re really, really, really looking to change. And when we change that, it’s going to help them be a better parent or whatever that is for them. So get super clear on all the whys and the what.

Another example here is, let’s say a person’s goal is to have a better relationship with food, and they want to have a better relationship with food because they just don’t know what to eat anymore and they’re feeling really lost. And that is impacting their ability, ability to decide what to eat and what they want to do on a daily basis. So because they have a poor relationship to food, they have a hard time going to the grocery store by themselves. Or maybe they just don’t even know what to choose at the grocery store anymore. They are nervous about going out to eat with their friends. Maybe they have a really hard time saying yes to their running club food activities or like a run, club dinner or whatever it is that they’re going to do with their run club friends. And so it even impacts their ability to make new friends because they’re so stressed out about where everybody’s going to go eat and they just don’t know what to choose, what to eat anymore. So that can be a very clear thing that they want to change a goal, that they want to change. So get really deep on these goals.

And so after getting clear on the goal and thinking about what will it feel like and what kinds of things will you do when you reach that goal? So I want you to consider, how are you going to feel when you reach that goal? So how are you going to feel when you have a better relationship to food or when you prepare for that marathon? What kinds of things you’re going to be able to do when you get to that goal? Or what kinds of things are you hoping to learn about yourself when you get there? That’s another big question to answer. And then I don’t want to be negative at all or negative, Nancy, whatever that is. But also think about what will happen if you don’t reach your goals. What are you going to stay stuck as of right now? Or where are you at right now? And do you like being confused, overwhelmed or whatever it is? I’m sure you don’t, which is why you’re listening to this podcast episode. But if you don’t reach travel, what’s going to happen? And many times we can set a goal. We don’t reach it or we don’t do it. And we’re just like, Oh, well, whatever, it’s OK. And nothing has changed in a month, six years or or even a year, and we just kind of let it go. And many times we just kind of put the things that haven’t changed in the back of our mind because they’re just so painful, uncomfortable. But I want to push you today and really think about if you don’t change or if you don’t reach that goal, what is going to happen? And are you OK with choosing that outcome or choosing those behaviors to not achieve it or whatever it is?

The second part of this whole goal-setting exercise is that I want you to be able to set up habits or behavior change goals alongside your outcome goal. So that means write down some habits that will help you achieve the goal. So what are you thinking will help you get to that goal long-term? So if you’re trying to PR at a marathon, I hope one of your goals, if it’s not nutrition, that maybe you follow your training plan or you start mapping out your long, your long runs and your workouts or whatever it is, you know, a lot of runners do that, but think about it in. Way of where you’re at now and then doing a lead up into that big old race. We’re doing the same thing when it comes to nutrition, the exact same thing. And around your lifestyle habits, we are kind of working backward and leading up to that specific outcome or goal for you. I want you to do this because it’s important and I don’t want you to just be saying, I want to hit it because you lose weight, eat healthier or even get your period back. But the uncomfortable truth here is that those are just wishes, and I don’t want you to start 2022 with just a bunch of wishes. And I’m I’m just going to say it again. Don’t start 2022 with a bunch of wishes. You need to be writing down your habits, all the habits that you’re going to need to have in place to receive that goal and all the feelings you want to experience with that goal. And so some examples here are maybe some of these habit changes with the goals that we’re going to put a plan together.

This is like our mini skeleton of a plan or the goal that you’re going for. Maybe some things to consider would be to figure out your pre-run snack situation, stop having bathroom problems during your run. And that’s going to be a whole nother little subset of goals there to take your like two items on your runs. Learn a new recipe each month. Adding carbohydrates to dinner. Waking up to do your workout each week, things like that. Those are going to be habits that we want to maybe consider for your specific goals. So that way you can actually reach it. If not, they’re just wishes, and we’re just wishing away everything that we want. So we want to make sure that we actually have some tangible things that you can do and work on either every day, each week, every month, quarterly, whatever that is for you or in a training cycle, build up. So that way, you can actually reach that thing. And so whenever you focus on behavior change goals, it really helps you get through the times that are hard, especially when long term goals you’re out of reach because that’s when most people give up. Whenever you start something new, new motivation is always high. That also means you will probably be able to stick with habits. What motivation is high? But what happens when motivation fades? When you don’t feel like doing something? Or what about when things don’t go the way that you want, when things are really slow and progress is slow or things start to slow down for you? What are you going to do? Renner, I really just want you to make sure that you continue to be consistent and sticking to your behavior goals, setting up a routine and be patient with yourself. That’s really the key thing here. Me personally, a lot of my goals take years to actually complete and feel like quarterly or even six months. It’s always like just one step in another direction. And some of my goals have taken years. Qualifying for the Olympic Trials that took a year, and even if I count all of my collegiate training, that was years in the making me jumping into a business. They may have just seemed like I just quit out of nowhere. But that was really intentional choices on my career path, becoming a dietician that was also, you know, something I really had to set some goals around as well.

So really, think about all the other things that you’ve also done in your life and how long it took to receive those things. It’s the same thing. Just be patient with your goals here and set up a plan or else they’re just wishes, guys. Again, having accountability is also a surefire way to stay on a consistent track with your behavior goals and to know when to switch it up if you have been an adherent and patient. So reach out to myself or a dietitian if you feel like you need assistance with your health goals, even defining them and setting up habits that will get you to where you want to go. So if you’re somebody that knows that they need a coach, they need somebody to help pull them along. I want to encourage you to really seek out some help with her just the same way that maybe you have a career coach or you like to meet up somebody to a fitness class or to a running group or anything like that. That is an accountability and support group that you’re leaning on to achieve a specific goal.

So I always like to encourage and, you know, share it with a lot of my clients. I’ve also had a lot of coaches in my life. I’ve had coaches my entire life. In fact, from probably when I was in first-grade kindergarten, I was. In a cheerleading group, and I had a coach and then I had more coaches in elementary school, and several coaches were not all the same curricular extracurricular activities that I did. I had somebody helping me and coaching me for just about everything that I’ve done. And throughout my entire life. So I can’t I can’t think about a time where I achieved a goal and it was 100 percent by myself. It was always with somebody helping me and guiding me and showing me that way and putting together a plan for me. So again, guys, if you’re somebody who knows that they need assistance and help with something or even just setting up goals and even thinking about goals today, it feels really scary and overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to reach out. This is a really good opportunity to do it, and you’re not the only one. There’s a lot of people that reach out for help on a daily basis, so feel free to reach out to me, a colleague or somebody for assistance here. All right, guys. So I know I just dropped a bunch of that stuff on you in this episode, so I would definitely appreciate it if you left a rating or the field from our podcast, he shared with a friend on socials. So that way, others can find this podcast and my podcast can grow in all the good stuff that comes along with sharing. Again, sharing is caring, guys, so I hope that you guys also share your goals with me. If you have done the exercise, I would love to see a photo of it, so feel free to dump it or email it to me at And as always, I hope to see you out on the trails and also my friends till next time.

Thank you for listening to Fueled for More. Ready to jump-start your nutrition? Download my free grocery guide for endurance athletes at, and be sure to connect with me on Instagram @starla_shines. Adios amigos. See you out on the trails.