Maintain integrity to smash your goal


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Having a clear, compelling goal mobilises your focus toward actionable behaviour. It aligns your focus and promotes self-mastery.

But what happens when you publicly declare a goal in a goal-setting workshop led by you? And you, ironically, don’t achieve it?

This is the exact precarious position I found myself in earlier this year.

So, let’s consider:

  • The power of goal setting
  • Why it’s vital to follow through and maintain personal integrity
  • Lessons learnt when establishing new habits

The power of goal setting

So, I was leading a holistic goal-setting workshop for local businesses. And used an example of my health and fitness for my next personal area of focus. I explained I hadn’t set a good example to my children with some unhealthy eating habits. And while I promoted prioritising self-care to my clients, I wasn’t doing it for myself. Yet we all know self-care is needed to achieve a holistic balance and to reduce overwhelm.

Sharing the SMART goal so publicly held me accountable and empowered me to take steps towards achieving the goal. This is because people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals.

Goal-setting increases self-confidence and helps increase productivity.

It monitors and measures your growth and momentum, by allowing you to maintain focus on each step or task leading to the end goal. Setting a goal should excite and motivate you.

But, when I realised I hadn’t followed through with my goal, months after this workshop, I felt disempowered and disingenuous. Far from who I am and what I stand for.

I felt like a fraud.

The old maxim ‘practice what you preach’ springs to mind.

It was vital to snap into action. You see, I was out of integrity with myself.

The single most important quality you can ever develop that will enhance every part of your life, is the value of integrity.

Integrity is the core quality of a successful and happy life. It’s SO easy to make promises, but often very hard to keep them. Every time you keep a promise, you’ve made an act of integrity.

This in turn strengthens your character and reputation. And you’ll begin to attract the best people and situations into your life.

TOP TIP:  Decide on one BIG goal at a time. You’ll also find the more specific the goal, the easier it is to achieve it. Grab a copy of the goal setting worksheet from my speech here.

Why cheaters don’t prosper – it’s vital to have integrity

Have you ever noticed that when trying a new habit in your life, you can be completely derailed with just one misstep?

Once the alcohol has been consumed, or the tub of ice-cream eaten, it’s hard to convince yourself to go back to the restriction you placed upon yourself. After all, it’s always ‘easier’ and more comfortable to go back to old ways.

The reason for this is when you ‘cheat’, your plan loses its integrity and consistency. Leaving your goal to deflate like a blown, untied balloon. Likewise, if you don’t ever start your set goal, you also fall out of integrity with yourself. It’s so easy to do! More than 80% of small business owners don’t keep track of business goals. Without tracking, it’s so easy to lose sight of your target.

Regaining personal integrity – Case Study

I’m going to use myself as the case study, but essentially the concept applies to everything and everyone. As soon as I re-set my intention to follow through with the original goal, things fell into place to assist me in achieving it. The Laws of Attraction tends to work this way.

Choosing to take action

A friend asked me to go walking with her once a week. Instead of making 1000 excuses, I said ‘yes’.
I started using the Fitbit I was gifted for Christmas.

A food journal was re-instated, to gauge where my starting point was and where I was tripping myself up. By becoming aware of my eating habits, an informed decision could be made to create some new habits.

The cherry on the cake – I stumbled across a local gym promoting their 6-week fitness challenge. Against my natural instincts, I entered their competition. They called me to come in for a biometric scan and chat about the gym. At this stage, I had no intention to join, and if it wasn’t for my goal I would have declined.

Whilst I’ve been to several gyms throughout my life, none of them had what I was looking for. You see, I seek out balance, kindness, and genuineness in all areas of my life.

Finding support aligned with personal values

So, I rocked up to this boutique gym. The first thing that I noticed was happy faces, people greeting me, introducing themselves, and directing me to the person I was meeting. One of the co-founders, Mitchell Phillips, asked me a bunch of questions, including:

  • What did I want to achieve? Why hasn’t it worked previously?
  • What has worked and what do I like?
  • What is most important to me in my life?

WOW! He cared about how this would integrate into my world. Mind blowing!

Reluctantly, I stepped on a massive biometric scale, which assessed fat/muscle ratio (amongst other things). There was a non-judgemental kindness when I was delivered the news of my weight stats (which wasn’t pretty, I might add!). And not once did he push for a sale. It wasn’t a one-size-fits-all, but specifically catered to me.

He talked about:

  • Mindset
  • Balance
  • Emotional eating
  • Family
  • Whole foods
  • Water intakE
  • Measuring to track and hold to account
  • Restorative practices – and more

These things didn’t make me want to run for the hills. It was holistic! So in a complete surprise to myself, I signed up. Taking the next step forward. Mitch then let me know I had won an additional P/T session for the 6 week period! Winning!


By the end of the 6-week challenge,  Several bad habits had been replaced, simply by creating new, more positive practices. I’m mindful this is just the beginning of my health journey. According to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 2 months to fully integrate a new habit.

Whilst I didn’t win the group challenge, I won my own personal challenge of achieving my goal before the year ended with my personal integrity intact. Losing 6kg, feeling healthier, and feeling more comfortable was a big bonus! And I have Real Fitness Training to thank for that.

I’m in no way affiliated with this gym but want to share this amazing business, so other locals on a similar journey to me, may feel nurtured and encouraged.

I asked Vicky Van De Luecht, co-founder at Real Fitness Training, to share the ethos behind their business with us:

“Real Fitness Training offers a new ideology when it comes health and fitness. Our belief is one of long-term, sustainable results, built on a foundation of education around movement and nutrition, empathy and coaching.

Our service is highly personalised, tailored to each individual client and provides a fitness experience like no other. Offering high quality personal training, structured semi private strength training, nutrition coaching around habits, yoga and meditation classes and monthly educational workshops, our boutique studio truly encompasses the concept of health, wellbeing and community.

The days of having to join a gym where you may feel uncomfortable and intimidated are over. We provide the most personalised and friendly service, a very unique fitness experience within our beautiful boutique studio. Attention to detail, meticulous service and a truly rewarding fitness experience is what we pride ourselves on.”

3.   Lessons learnt in the process of establishing new habits

We all have times in our lives where we intentionally want to change our behaviour for the better. This could be getting in the habit of eating healthier.  It could be work-related or perhaps spiritual.

Here are some lessons learnt during my process of establishing new healthy habits.

Don’t go it alone

When you start to think about it, there’s an inverse relationship between habits and willpower. When you first want to build a new habit, it takes a lot of will power to get it done, day in, day out.

You’re much more likely to remain focused, positive, and stick with it when you have an accountability group or person, (as I did in this challenge). I felt supported and could provide support to others on the same journey.

Avoid a path to success that’s too strict

Allow yourself that night out with a few drinks, or the dinner out with chips on the side. But don’t fall off the horse. Or guilt yourself and say it’s all over now! Get back on that horse and maintain integrity. Integrate it into your routine, check your mindset regularly, and track yourself until it becomes a habit.

Celebrate the small successes along the way

Stop and smell the roses. Acknowledge your accomplishments along the journey. If you lifted 50 kg for the first time, felt excited to go to a workout, or ticked off a task towards your end goal, celebrate it. Even if it’s only for a moment!

Acknowledge you’re stepping towards improvement.

Surround yourself with people who will support you

It’s so easy to listen to the naysayers! So please surround yourself with positive and goal-driven people who support you and your journey. Aristotle nailed it more than 2000 years ago when he said,

We are what we repeatedly do.

By practising these skills, expect to improve your rate of finishing strong.

Do you want to work on a new healthy habit or business goal? But you’re far too busy to take it on? Versatile VA is here to support you!

We support businesses, just like yours, with a versatile range of services to choose from. This includes business administration, goal setting, systems training, social media and blog writing. We’re here to help!

Versatile VA will be waving pom-poms madly in the air, cheering you on towards achieving your goal. Ready to chat? Book in a Free discovery call today, we can’t wait to speak with you.

Kick some goals!  Support Leads to Success, 



About the author – Deborah Ricketts

Hello, I’m so glad you dropped in to read my blog articles. I’m Deborah Ricketts, founder of Versatile VA, a virtual assistant (VA) business, launched in July 2018.

My team and I are passionate about supporting small service based health and wellness businesses within Australia, who are experiencing the juggle to stay on top of it all! We want you to know, you don’t have to go it alone.