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How to make and keep your New Year goals

Some hints and tips to sticking to your New Year's goals.

Goals for the New Year can be the bain of your existence and, let’s be real, there’s no point setting them if they’re terrifying and unattainable. Never fear, we’ve brought in the big guns to help you get sorted for 2018.

Local Gold Coast pharmacist Holly Louise, better known by her alias #thefitpharmacist, who has provided us with some hints and tips to sticking to your New Year’s goals.

The perfect time to make resolutions for the year ahead. But are they the same ones you have made every year?

What has held you back from achieving your health and fitness goals in the past?

In society today, everyone wants results without putting in the time and effort required to achieve them. Rather than setting aside time to gather information, gain knowledge, and construct a reasonable plan for accomplishing their “goals”, people are often looking for quick fixes. So when they don’t reach their goals in the first few weeks, they lose interest and quit.

The importance and value of goal setting is often overlooked and the biggest mistake most people make is setting unrealistic or unspecific goals. “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get fit” are the most common ones I come across with my clients. The difference between setting these goals and actually achieving them is in the details. The most effective way to set a goal AND achieve it is to follow the SMART approach:


  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • What are your specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal?
  • Who will be involved?
  • Where will you do it?

Your goal must be specific rather than general in order to be effective. Setting large, vague goals will not motivate you to achieve them.


  • How will you measure your progress?
  • How will you know when you have reached your goal?

Measuring progress towards the achievement of the goal is essential. If a goal is not measurable it is not possible to know whether you are making progress towards completion. Measuring progress helps you stay on track, reach your target dates and continue putting in the effort required to reach the ultimate goal. Remember, what can be measured, can’t be managed.


  • How will achieve your goal?
  • What are you prepared to do?

It must be possible for you to achieve your goal. Setting unachievable, unattainable goals is pointless. You will be doomed from the outset. You yourself need to be capable of implementing your goal.


  • Is your goal realistic?
  • Is it too difficult to achieve?

Your goal must be relevant to the resources and constraints available to you. Your goal should be challenging, but not so big or complex that you will lose the motivation to achieve it.


  • What is the timeframe?
  • Is it achievable?

A goal must have a deadline. This will provide you with the necessary focus and sense of urgency to make it happen.

Take some time now to think about what benefits you would gain from goal setting and finally being able to achieve your New Year’s goals. It is a good idea to set a few action-oriented SMART goals and revisit them often. Not only will this give you a game plan, but it will keep motivation levels high as you start reaching them. The sum of achieving many small short term goals all add up to big changes in the long term!

Time to make this year your best year yet!

By Holly Louise #thefitpharmacist

Paddle board yoga

Is there anything more peaceful than floating along Tallebudgera Creek on a sunny, windless morning with a paddle board under your feet?

How about anchoring close to the shore for a relaxing yoga class while the tide gently rocks beneath you.

Now you can do both in the one glorious, zen-inducing morning thanks to local yokl, a Gold Coast company passionate about connecting travellers to locals and uniting them with the heart of our city.

Stand up paddle boarding can be somewhat of an art unto itself and while some balance is required, at least if you fall off, you’ll be splashing into the crystal clear waters of Talle Creek for a refreshing dip. It’s win win.

After cruising up the creek, instructor Sarnia has you dock the boards close(ish) to the shore to begin the yoga portion of the experience.

The practice starts off gently with meditative breathing and stretching and moves into stronger poses tailored to your strength and balance abilities.

After around an hour of asanas, including a few minutes to test out your skills with something a little trickier, it’s time for a closing meditation laying on the board, eyes closed with the sounds of birds, waves and laughing children floating by.

Paddling back to the starting spot might just be one of the most relaxing experiences of your life after that.

Once you’re back on dry land, have a quick dip and join Sarnia for a healthy, delicious breakfast by the creek and be on your merry way.

Paddle board yoga is such a beautiful way to experience one of the Gold Coast’s most breathtaking natural sights and what better way than on the water with a relaxing workout thrown in for good measure.

HOURS: Various (we recommend a sunrise session).

LOCATION: Meet at Kevin Gate Park, Awoonga Ave, Burleigh Heads.

Words by Kirra Smith

Get fit for free* on the Gold Coast

Woman doing yoga (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)
Woman doing yoga (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)

Sure, there’s abs-olutely no shortage of ways to get fit on the GC – but what about when you don’t want to feel the burn on the ‘ole hip pocket too?

When it comes to keeping active on the cheap, of course you’ve got your beach, bush walks, stair runs & bike tracks – but what about when you’re craving something outside of the more obvious suspects? *Cue crickets*

If finding ways to get fit, flexible or sweaty on the GC has you coming up empty-handed in more ways than one, we’ve compiled some of the best free and (super) low-cost options to get that heart rate up without breaking the bank!

Oh, and we crunched the numbers – with five free options in the mix, you’ll even have enough change left over for a sneaky oat latte for your efforts #thankuslater

Yoga pants at the ready, y’all!

Zen Soul Life. Yoga & Pilates (image supplied)
Zen Soul Life. Yoga & Pilates (image supplied)

Zen Soul Life

Zen Soul Life
If you’re yet to become a devotee of the all-over body workout that is Pilates, the free and affordable weekly community sessions run by Zen Soul Life make it easy to change that. Don’t let the appearance of the low-impact movements fool you, this deceptively challenging workout will have you building strength, improving flexibility and – our personal fave – relieving back pain (a must for all the desk workers among us!).
When: Free sessions held Monday 9.30 am (during school terms) or various days and times (Paradise Point)
Where: Zen Soul Life, Pacific Pines Community Hub or Paradise Point Parklands
Cost: Free* (Pacific Pines) or $10

Move Strong – on the Mat
A hybrid program with a Pilates feel, Move Strong on the Mat is based around complementary resistance training and cardio techniques, designed and led by an accredited exercise scientist. Created to enhance your balance, coordination, cardiovascular health and muscular strength – sign us up! And from only $4 entry, this f-ab class is really not a stretch either.
When: Move Thursday 9 am and 10.30 am, Friday 9.15 am
Where: In Motion Health and Fitness, Benowa, Paradise Point & Labrador
Cost: $4–5

Group fitness (image supplied)
Group fitness (image supplied)

A&H Group Fitness
With a time slot that makes it ideal to squeeze in before work, and a fun and interactive group based environment designed for all fitness levels, the only thing standing in your way to live, laugh, lunge will be your ability to ignore the seductive allure of the snooze button. Go get your fix of strength, cardio, boxing and functional fitness movements all in one. With HOTA hosting multiple classes across the week that cost no more than a fiver; our reasons not to get our keister along for a solid sweat sesh really are diddly-squat.
When: Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 6 am

Where: HOTA, Surfers Paradise.
Cost: $5

Lights Out and Dance
We all know the mood-boosting properties of a spontaneous dance sesh, so why not take it to the next level and get fit while you tear up the d-floor? Lights Out and Dance is an immersive free-movement dance experience so fun you’ll forget you’re even exercising. Held in the evening at two convenient GC locations, what better way to ‘shake it off’ after the day that was, than having an abs-olute blast while you dance your heart out in the dark!
When: Tuesday and Thursday at 7 pm
Where: Broadbeach Cultural Precinct, Broadbeach and Runaway Bay Youth Centre, Runaway Bay
Cost: $10 – bookings required

Dancing and movement (image via UnSplash)
Dancing in the dark (image via UnSplash)

This ‘Gentle Yin’ class is geared towards beginners, so the gentle movements will leave you feeling restored, rejuvenated and pose-itively put together no matter how manic your day has been! A combination of stretching, light isometric strength training and long holds at a restorative, slower pace. Glow on, get amongst it – your mind, body, and soul will thank you.
When: Tuesday at 4.30 pm
Where: Eleventh Avenue Community Space, Palm Beach
Cost: Free

For those of you a little further north, the savvy yoga sessions such as those hosted at various locations throughout Broadbeach may be a little more convenient for you. Designed to unify the body and mind, these open air classes are based around postures, movements and breath awareness while improving flexibility and strength. I really regret starting my day with that seaside yoga sesh – said no one ever.
When: Wednesday and Saturday (2 locations) 7 am
Where: Broadbeach Cultural Precinct, Kurrawa Park and Federation Park, Broadbeach
Cost: $5

Yoga by the beach (image supplied)
Yoga by the beach (image supplied)

Deep Water Running
For a cheap and cheerful workout that’ll really make a splash, get carried away with the benefits of deep water running! This low-impact workout option is ideal for people with injuries or limitations (but also, a great way to escape the humidity!) With beginner classes geared towards introducing you to the joy of combining cardio and for a full body workout and improving mobility without any worries about strain or injury.
When: Mudgeeraba – Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (times vary) and Nerang, Thursday at 9.45 am
Where: Mudgeeraba (various locations) and Nerang Aquatic Centre
Cost: $3–$5

Tai Chi
Be moved by the healing martial art techniques that Tai Chi has to offer. A qualified instructor will guide you through a series of breathing and stretching techniques to help promote harmony, improve mobility, and increase alertness. The beach-side proximity is an added bonus that makes this class a martial-ous way to start your day.
When: Thursday 8am
Where: Kurrawa, Broadbeach
Cost: Free

Tai Chi (image supplied)
Tai Chi (image supplied)

Ready to run Forrest, run? Or perhaps you’d prefer a spot of power walking to start your weekend on the right foot (hey, if it’s good enough for Kath and Kim, it’s good enough for us). No matter your preferred pace, hit the pavement with this fun, friendly and free weekly 5k community park run event! Great for people of all fitness levels to get those steps up – walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate – it’s up to you!
When: Saturday 7 am
Where: There are stacks of Parkrun locations across the Gold Coast. Including, Tallowwood Park, Coomera, The Esplanade, Paradise Point, Hollingdale Park, Main Beach, HOTA, Surfers Paradise, Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters, Varsity Lakes, Varsity Lakes and Darcy Doyle Park, Mudgeeraba and Kirra.
Cost: Free – registration required

Community Run Clubs
If you’re looking for a little push to peel yourself outta bed and punch out a sneaky few dozen km before breakfast, a community run club is the one for you. Hedges Run Club and Unfit Run Club are just two of many groups across the Coast bringing sweaty, like-minded souls together to make early morning mems whilst moving their bods. Cardio with a side of camaraderie – sounds infinitely funner, no?
When & Where: Hedges Run Club – 5am Wednesdays (outside Rafikis), Unfit Run Club – Thursdays and Saturdays, check the insta for deets as routes change weekly
Cost: Free – registration required

Words by Kellie Leader

Running on the Gold Coast (image supplied)
Running on the Gold Coast (image supplied)

Heaven is a place on Earth

Long before healthy food became hipster, Helen’s Heavenly Bulk Foods was serving up delicious, good-for-you treats in the heart of Burleigh.

Since 1997 Helen Gibson has been a prominent figure on James Street sharing her love of healthy food including nuts and seeds, baking goods, herbs and spices, teas and powders, Acai bowls, smoothies and fresh juices.

Recently the space next door became available so Helen jumped at the chance to move the juice bar to accommodate her loyal customers who come from far and wide for her goodies.

Helen’s Heavenly Wholefoods Café serve a great range of healthy wraps, sandwiches and salads some of which are gluten free and/or organic.

They also have an unfairly delicious range of raw treats and protein powders available for purchase.

Both the store and café are constantly buzzing with bikini-clad beach goers, mums and bubs and those looking for fresh, delicious food and a passion for health you’d be cold hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

Stroll off the nearby Burleigh beach for a healthy takeaway treat or spend some time in air-conditioned comfort and watch the world pass by.

Having always been ahead of the curve in terms of providing delicious, healthy treats to Gold Coasters, Helen’s Heavenly Bulk Foods is the gift that keeps on giving.

Hours: 6.30am to 5.30pm

Address: 2/29 James St, Burleigh Heads QLD.

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

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