I was listening to Jeremy Vine’s show on Radio 2 a few of days ago, on the way to the station. They were talking about how terrible offices had become – ‘so many people bring in cakes nowadays, offices are turning into glorified patisseries, contributing to the country’s obesity problem and causing us all to be unhealthy!’

Lots of people phoned in to agree and tell stories. Many touched upon how you felt obliged to eat the cake so as not to offend the person who brought it in!

Others said it was a choice:

“you don’t have to eat it. If everyone stopped eating, people would stop bringing in cake!”

Although I’m very much in the latter camp, i.e. that it is a choice – some people do need enormous willpower, because many people enjoy cake, and it can indeed brighten up the day.
I know for me there have been times in my life when I’ve had tremendous willpower and self-control, and other times in my life when it has been seriously difficult. When you do lack self-control with eating, drinking or anything, you can’t imagine how to get it back, let alone ever having had it in the first place.

At such times, I find it helps greatly to focus on how you would like things to be, what you want to look like, or be or do instead. Write down your thoughts, including ‘by when’, with realistic steps along the way – and add in a little celebration for the completion of each step.

I’m sure everyone has heard of SMART goals:

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound

– this is great way of ensuring your steps really can be achieved, and you don’t lose hope. It’s best to write your goal down, as if the goal has already been achieved, to set that possibility in place.

And if you can make them SMARTIE goals – Interesting and Exciting as well, so much the better!

When you focus your mind on something tangible, it makes everything so much easier. Here’s a little example for you. If say, I had been eating a lot of cake and I really wanted to drop a dress size, I might write my SMARTIE goal like this – in the present tense:


  • S: It’s June 2017 and we’re on our way to Barcelona for our holidays. I’m feeling stunning because I am a whole dress size smaller than in January.
  • M: Yep, it’s definitely measurable by the clothes I’m taking with me, and what the scales are telling me
  • A: I have defined a plan, and know exactly what I’m going to eat each week to help me to lose the needed weight
  • R: Realistic? Definitely! People have shed pounds before, it’s not rocket science – eat less, move more. Also at the end of each week, I’m reviewing how I’ve done and celebrating by doing a ‘high five’ with my husband.
  • T: It’s 1 June 2017, we have arrived at our hotel and are celebrating my trimmer figure with a glass of champagne!
  • I: Interestingly this is a plan for life, and I’m loving the difference it makes.
  • E: It’s wonderful feeling so lovely in my clothes, and hearing the beautiful comments from people – it makes my heart sing!


I feel lighter just writing this – how amazing! You could do the same. Just writing this makes you want to reach for carrot, not cake!

Good luck with your goals, which can happen any time you like, not just at New Year – when they seem to get a bit cumbersome and annoying.

Goals are challenging and keep you alive and focused, interested and interesting.

Your goal could be to relax and enjoy yourself more. Do have fun whatever you are doing. I would love to hear how you get on.

Ali x


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