NO Toxic goals in 2023 !

Make new year resolutions you enjoy keeping.

With the new year approaching, there is no better time to talk to you about goals.

We all know this right? New year’s resolutions simply don’t work. Yet we keep doing this to ourselves, set up these shiny goals, fail to follow through, beat ourselves up, repeat. Research has shown that around one-quarter of people give up their resolutions after just one week. While fewer than one in ten will maintain their goal past the end of the year.

Why is that? And most importantly how do we stick to our goals for the year?

This article is about helping you make effective, enjoyable and…well, life changing goals for yourselves.

Don’t Keep your eyes on the prize!

One explanation for our failed commitments lies in our inability to delay gratification. It’s about sacrificing immediate reward for the sake of a better one in the future.

The marshmallow test is a study that was conducted by Walter Mischel of Stanford University in 1972. In the experiment, four-year-old participants are left alone in a room, each with their own scrumptious marshmallow temptingly placed on a plate in front of them. Before leaving the room, the facilitator offers them an agonizing choice: “You can eat one marshmallow as soon as I leave, and that’s all you get. Or you can wait until I come back in 10 minutes to eat it, and I will give you another one.” The study showed that the children who waited until the adult came back in the room were the ones who managed to distract themselves from the goal. They did so using different techniques such as playing with their toes, sitting on their hands, looking elsewhere etc…

What’s fascinating about this experiment is that the results of Mischel’s study were the exact opposite of what he originally predicted. The study aimed to prove that having the reward in sight would incentivize the participants to delay gratification. But instead, the rewards themselves served to increase the children’s frustration. Which, ultimately, prevented their ability to delay gratification, even at the risk of losing the second treat.

So what does this mean?

It means that focusing on something other than your goals enhances your ability to delay gratification.

In fact, other studies have also shown that fantasising about our complete goals has a demotivating effect. This is due, in part to the fact that the reminding of our goals accentuates our sense of longing to be better. They’re a constant reminder of what we are not quite yet, which can be disempowering, demotivating, and counterproductive. If you think about it, your daydreams about the perfect size, job, or relationship are more likely to leave you with a feeling of “not… enough” than a feeling of motivation.

Hazel Gale in her book, The Mind Monster Solution, calls these goals “mirages”.

“They are the glimmering illusions that our success-thirsty minds like to thrust out ahead of us to keep us staggering forward. They promise to solve the “not…enough” problem, but they actually enforce it”.

We can also refer to them as Toxic Goals.

Toxic goals

The three main characteristics of Toxic goals are:

  • They stem from negative feelings: guilt, shame, self-loathing…(I want to lose weight because I’m unattractive)
  • They are powered by external motivations: money, accolades, other people’s opinions…(I want to change career to make more money, to acquire social status)
  • Achieving them only enhances the feeling of “lack of” or deficit that led us to pursue them in the first place. This means that the pursuit is endless and leaves us forever unfulfilled

The pursuit of toxic goals is what we call the hamster wheel effect. Because no matter how many of these goals we achieve, we will keep on running to the next one. However, none of these achievements will give us satisfaction. When stuck in the hamster wheel we are not feeling as if we are evolving, growing, and moving forward.

Focusing on our progress and evolution in the now rather than a hypothetical image of success means increasing our chance for delayed gratification. Since enjoying the satisfaction of our ongoing evolution is less likely to lead to frustration and demotivation.

By doing so we are turning our toxic goals into Healthy Goals.

Turn toxic goals into healthy goals

The three main characteristics of Healthy Goals are

  • They are not driven by a feeling of lack but a positive drive for more (I want to lose weight because I want to enjoy a healthier body)
  • They are powered by a desire to improve and develop for the sake of our own well-being. (I want to change career to take on a new challenge/ learn a new skill)
  • Their presence in our awareness is not sparking feelings of shame or guilt but is inspiring

Focusing on healthy goals instead of toxic goals means we can enjoy the journey instead of focusing on the destination.

So let’s say you want to lose weight. Noticing and relishing the day-to-day improvements in your health, your stamina, your overall well-being is more likely to get you to where you need to go than focusing on a shiny vision of yourself wearing a size eight dress.

How do you set up Healthy Goals?

It’s about formulating them in a way that focuses on your personal improvement and growth instead of external factors and negative feelings.

According to a “YouGov” survey, here are some of the top 10 most common New Year’s resolutions for 2022 in the UK. Here is how you could turn them into Healthy Goals:


Toxic goal: losing weight/improving diet to look a certain way

Healthy goal: losing weight/improving diet to feel healthier and more active

Toxic goal: pursuing a career ambition to earn more money

Healthy goal: pursuing a career ambition to take on a new challenge

Toxic goal: learning a new skill/hobby to get promoted/post about it on IG

Healthy goal: learning a new skill/hobby to develop my skill set/challenge myself

Toxic goal: alcohol abstinence to fit in with peers (dry Jan)

Healthy: alcohol abstinence to improve mental health

The common trait of healthy goals is that they are all enjoyable in the present. They grow and evolve as we do.

Of course, there is nothing fundamentally wrong about having a shimmering vision of ourselves in our future. Having ambitious goals can be helpful and motivating as long as we do not get lost in the “if only” rabbit hole of negative introspection.

Visualising our improvement and evolution rather than fixating on a version of ourselves that has already improved means that every day we’re on the right track is a mini victory in itself. This means enjoying the benefits of our commitments right now and then.

So for 2023 I invite you to turn your Toxic Goals into Healthy Goals. And to enjoy the benefits of your personal growth and development every single day of the year.

Start your journey towards the life you want

Sorry this appointment type isn't available, please check back later

Caoimhe Creed
Caoimhe Creed

left Charlotte a 5 star review

Caoimhe Creed
January 21, 2023

Charlotte has such a calming presence and is so knowledgable, I quickly felt comfortable and completely relaxed with her. She explained the psychology behind everything so clearly, which meant that I not only came away from our session knowing a lot more about myself but also the human brain! She also followed up with helpful, tailored advice. I would highly recommend everyone have a session with her.

Félicie Escoffier
August 22, 2022

After an episode a few weeks ago where I lost my son at the park, I had unexpected reactions when I was with him. Basically, I was freaking out the same thing would happen again and had as well some flashback of the event. I decided to get in touch with Charlotte, to help me to get rid of this trauma. In one session, she used her magic and reprogrammed my memories of the event. I was a little bit scared to have to talk and relive the event but I have to say it was quite enjoyable. She helped me get rid of the fear linked to this traumatic event and she even helped me create positive memories about it. I was blown away how powerful her technique was. At the end of the session, I was feeling lighter, relieved and even happy! It gave me the chance to enjoy my time with my kids as nothing ever happened. Mind blowing. I couldn’t recommend her enough.

September 29, 2022

Finding Charlotte on my path was a blessing, i am so grateful that i met her in a difficult time of my life. Nowadays if you don’t have connection, you can find hundreds of therapists on internet but finding the good one / the perfect match is priceless. She is very good, she knows what she does, she found quickly the red buttons and took my hand all along the sessions to make them turned green.

Steph Piercey
March 3, 2023

I can’t speak highly enough of my experience working with Charlotte. She was empathetic, patient and understanding the entire time. I was a little skeptical of hypnotherapy at first but had a breakthrough moment with her and now really see the benefits! I would recommend her to any one seeking out support

Calli Bushell
August 31, 2022

Whenever I am struggling, Charlotte is always there to provide me with the tools I need to help me overcome these challenges or thoughts. She has made my sport enjoyable again and helped me make some tough decisions which I would still be putting off now!

Jennifer Syme
December 14, 2022

I won a session with Charlotte and it was the best prize I could have had. The session was calm and gentle. I felt like she was leading me by the hand to the places I needed to explore. Then a recording to listen to in bed, which helped me sleep. I will definitely book further sessions.

chanah debson
May 15, 2024

I’ve had the privilege of working with Charlotte and I can't recommend her highly enough. Her empathy, insight, and professionalism created a safe and supportive space for me to explore and grow. Her guidance has been invaluable in my journey towards healing and self-discovery. If you're looking for someone who truly cares and can help you navigate life's challenges, both personally and professionally then look no further Charlotte is an excellent choice. I am truly grateful for how she has helped me make changes and be the best version of myself. Thank you Charlotte!!

Nehal Shukla
February 21, 2024

Have been working with Charlotte from the past few months now. It started of as a journey towards self esteem and confidence. The sessions and exercises given by her really helped me find myself again. The improvement was not only in mental state but also physically, I have a glow i cant seem to get rid off. Her calming presence make the process so much easier. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for support.

Rudi Michael
April 29, 2024

Words can’t describe how great full I am for Charlotte.. She got me through the most turmoil stage in my life, it amazed me how after speaking to somebody who knows nothing about you can really know you inside out in such a short space of time. The world needs more people like her in it.. she’s amazing ✔️

Anikó Lukáč
January 12, 2024

I was really struggling to find a good therapist, but I was lucky enough to find her. I worked with Charlotte a several months ago. She not just helped me with my anxiety , but she also showed me amazing techniques to apply. I've never felt this confident in my entire life before as now, thanks to her programme. If you are looking for someone, who's gonna be beside you in your hardest times, don't look further, she's the best!

Dimitrios Danousis
January 6, 2024

I worked with Charlotte on a journey of self-exploration and personal growth. Her gentle guidance allowed me to delve into the depths of my thoughts and emotions, uncovering aspects of myself that needed attention. Charlotte's expertise in self-improvement has been truly empowering. I highly recommend her to anyone seeking a path of self-discovery and positive change.

Antonia Fleming
December 9, 2022

I had never tried anything like this before and didnt have any expectations but Charlotte put me at ease before i had even met her. I got so much out of our session and felt so relaxed after. The aftercare is also excellent and gave me further help to continue the process and she has checked in with me to see how i have been doing. I cannot recommend her enough! Thank you Charlotte!

Jill Gray
May 17, 2023

I can't thank Charlotte enough for the incredibly positive impact 6 weeks of sessions have had, it has been game changing. I had specific phobias and issues I was looking to deal with, but the tools and methods Charlotte used and has equipped me with have been far further reaching than the things I was looking for help with. When our original trajectory was interupted, Charlotte was compassionate and flexible, pivotting to address the new challenge. I'm able to handle so many things in a better way now, looking at them from a different perspective or understanding that I have the tools to manage. I cannot recommend working with her highly enough!

fredrica Carlqvist
January 16, 2023

I feel lighter after talking to Charlotte. What I have noticed after my work with her is that don’t feel the same stress talking into a camera or to an audience anymore. I warmly recommend Charlotte to everyone that feel some kind of stress over something.

Charlotte was very professional throughout our sessions and made me feel totally at ease in both my environment and in myself emotionally. We spoke about things I would never have expected to in ways I was totally unfamiliar with, but the combination of uncertainty and Charly’s professionalism led to a switch in my head concerning something I have had insecurities about for a life time. I haven’t since thought about the sessions in depth, but their results will stay with me forever. Once again so happy to have been able to work with her and am endlessly thankful for the difference she made. I wish her all the best of luck in this exciting journey!