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Episode 35: New Year, New Me!


New Year, New Me!

New year, new me. If you’re familiar with this phrase, chances are you’ve already heard someone say it, or you’ve actually uttered these words yourself. There’s just something about the New Year that makes you want to have a fresh start and become a better version of yourself. But if you’re anyone like me, you also know the struggle of trying to set goals and getting all fired up on January 1st, but then come January 15th, you find yourself losing steam and not seeing results. So, you give up and quit on your goals altogether. Should this really be the case year after year? Is there a way you could actually achieve the goals you set every year?

Join me and my three special guests as we talk about how goal-setting the right way can set yourself up for success. I’m very pleased to welcome Dr. Jennifer Jane Roelands, Dr. Trina Dorrah, and Dr. Soniya Hirachan.

Dr. Roelands is an OB-GYN by training and the founder of Well Woman MD. She helps women suffering from hormonal imbalance live symptom-free by making sustainable changes in their nutrition and lifestyle.

Dr. Dorrah is a physician and a life coach. She helps divorced women move past the pain of divorce and infidelity so that they can get over their ex and get on with their lives.

Dr. Hirachan is a life coach and a certified weight loss coach and works exclusively with immigrants and people of color. She is a forensic psychiatrist by training and recently launched a podcast, Of Hope and Perseverance, which is all about bringing immigrant stories to light and elevating them.

Goal Setting Cheat Sheet

Key Takeaways:

  • Why setting the right goals the right way is so critical to success
  • The pitfalls of setting lofty weight loss goals or health goals
  • The SMART framework to goal-setting
  • How to manage emotional states when it comes to goal setting
  • How to help people struggling with achieving their goals
  • How to ensure that people follow through on their goals
  • How to deal with information overload and ‘analysis-paralysis’
  • When is a goal unrealistic and what to do to realize that?

On the Importance of Setting Goals:

“We always sort of have an idea about what would be our perfect size and our perfect weight and our goal for where we want to be and it’s hard to achieve these things unless you set out a framework for yourself that will let you achieve those particular goals and certainly try to move towards what you think you can obtain during that time.” – Dr. Jennifer Roelands

“It is so important to do this intentionally and to have the right kind of mindset when you create any kind of goal… It’s very important to look at where do you see yourself this year, and how do you break down that goal into meaningful bite-sized goals?” – Dr. Soniya Hirachan

“We just think that something is magically going to change between December 31st and January 1st… Part of that is such a vague goal, but if you don’t really set an actual goal with tangible steps and really think it out, your chances of achieving it are not going to be that high.” – Dr. Trina Dorrah

On Why We Need to Set Goals in Managing Obesity:

“It’s important to have a process in place for how to get there… Having a process where you break things down into small steps is very helpful.” – Dr. Trina Dorrah

“Ask yourself, what do you want out of this? What are you looking for? Because ultimately if you find something like that, the weight loss will happen.” – Dr. Jennifer Roelands

“Find out your starting point and endpoint with which to measure your goals. If your goal seems insurmountable, break it down into bite-sized goals, put that on paper.” – Dr. Soniya Hirachan

A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. See how these ladies use SMART goals when coaching women on their weight loss journey:

“It has to be something that’s tangible and measurable so that you can track your progress every day or every week or every month.” – Dr. Soniya Hirachan

“The measurable piece is really really key.”  – Dr. Trina Dorrah

“Have some grace for yourself when things don’t go as planned. If you’re a provider, tell your patient, “It’s okay, we can find a new timeline, we can set this new goal together and we’ll move on from there.” – Dr. Jennifer Roelands

How to Manage Emotional States When It Comes to Goal Setting:

“When you don’t hit the goal, do not make it mean something terrible about yourself.” – Dr. Trina Dorrah

“Mindset is definitely critical… Understand the mindset to figure out what is it that’s blocking their ability to achieve that goal.” – Dr. Jennifer Roelands

“Whenever you think about goal setting, you need to come at it from a place of love, and not from a place of self-hatred.” – Dr. Soniya Hirachan

How to Help Someone Struggling If They Set Unrealistic Goals or Go Through Information Overload:

Dr. Jennifer Roelands: Ask the client or patient, what do you think the solution is. Make her feel like she is involved in the planning so that she can hold herself personally accountable.

Dr. Soniya Hirachan: Dig further into why that person thinks her goal is unrealistic. What would happen if they were to achieve their goal and what would happen if they couldn’t?

Dr. Trina Dorrah: Let them know that the feelings they want to achieve when they reach their goals are available to them even now. Work on how they can experience these feelings now, so we don’t think that we have to lose weight to be able to experience the feelings that we want to feel.

How to Follow Through on Your Weight Loss Goals All Year Round:

Dr. Trina Dorrah: Envision your future self, have a good idea of where you want to be, what that would look like, what would be better in your life if you achieved a certain goal. See where you are now and compare these 2 different versions of yourself. What would happen if you didn’t make any changes to where you are now?

Dr. Soniya Hirachan: Think about why you set your goal in the first place and remember the feeling of why you wanted that. You want to feel empowered and excited when you visualize your future self so that those feelings stick with you. Learn how to prioritize your goal and prioritize yourself every day.

Dr. Jennifer Roelands: Prioritize yourself. Find an accountability partner.

Final Tips to Have A Healthier Life and Achieve a Healthier Weight:

Dr. Trina Dorrah:

  1. Envision your future self, where you are now, and where you want to be.
  2. Make a to-do list of everything that you need to learn, everything that you need to do to achieve that goal.
  3. Think about what kind of obstacles may come up and figure out strategies on how to address those obstacles whenever they do come up
  4. Schedule time for yourself. Put your plans on your calendar so that they actually get done.

Dr. Soniya Hirachan:

  1. Ditch the idea that setting and achieving goals is hard. It can be as easy as setting just five minutes in your day to do meditation, to just running up and down the stairs, or whatever it is, it can be very very minuscule. It doesn’t have to be a herculean task.
  2. Just prioritize you. Call that time out for yourself.
  3. Have compassion for yourself while on this journey, you need to have your own back.

Dr. Jennifer Roelands:

  1. Understand that it’s okay to change your goals.
  2. Always celebrate the wins.


Dr. Avishkar Sabharwal:

“You have to have goals that are sustainable throughout the year. It’s overly critical to set goals regardless of the month you’re in, regardless of whether it’s New Year or not.”

“When (people) set goals around New Year, they’re basically focused on weight, but I think if they start focusing their goals more on other aspects, making it more specific, getting 5-7 vegetables into the diet, cutting the calories by ‘x’ amount, or getting ‘x’ minutes of exercise a day into their regime because weight loss is very, very variable for each person.”

“It’s important to find what’s the underlying motivation for any goal you’re trying to achieve, you have to know why you’re wanting to do that.”

“Patients and doctors are equal partners in the patients’ wellbeing and health, empowering patients with this information and this knowledge and the fact that they can make these choices actually works in their benefit because now, they’re also accountable and they feel responsible for their health.”

“Digging deeper and reaching the root cause of this WHY, why you’re trying to achieve, and once you’re able to get that answer, that’s when you really know what you want to achieve, because from there you’re able to set a more realistic goal.”

“You have that big picture goal, and then you have these smaller subgoals that you set, and it’s so important to have those subgoals because these are smaller achievable goals and these are your small wins that will get into your eventual big win… if you set smaller interim goals for yourself which are easier to achieve, then it doesn’t seem that big of a deal for you to achieve those goals.” 


Goal Setting Cheat Sheet

Dr. Jennifer Roelands’ website (Well Woman MD):

Dr. Trina Dorrah’s website:

Dr. Soniya Hirachan’s Instagram:

Of Hope and Perseverance Podcast

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