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soccer star Mackenzie Arnold

Despite our reputation as an active, healthy nation, new research shows a concerning trend among Aussies: two in three people give up on their health and lifestyle goals within a month.

With research revealing the top two most searched personal goals for Australians are improving physical health and improving mental health, our goal abandonment is putting our health at risk, hurting motivation levels and more. 

Recognising the challenge, ready meal delivery service, Youfoodz is extending Aussies a helping hand through the appointment of the brand’s first ‘Chief Goal-Keeper’ - Australian goalkeeper extraordinaire, Mackenzie Arnold. 

As a professional football player, Mackenzie brings a wealth of firsthand experience in setting, saving and keeping goals. 

“I’ve faced some major hurdles when trying to achieve my goals. Thankfully, I pushed through them and am back on track. I’ve also been fortunate enough to celebrate many achievements on and off the pitch.," she said.

“My role as Chief Goal-Keeper is to help Australians do the same. Whether you want to eat better, get your mental health in check, or run your first-ever marathon, I want to help provide my tips and tools to help them achieve their goals. 

“If there’s one piece of advice I want Australians to hear, it’s to take one game at a time and not change your entire routine and schedule just to achieve your goals. Look for efficiencies rather than cutting things from your schedule altogether."

Here, Mackenzie shares her top five tips for achieving your goals.

1. Start with smaller goals

I'm not a fan of New Year’s resolutions or massive lofty goals. Setting yourself up with huge challenges looks great on paper, but it can also be a fast track to giving up.

For me, it’s about holding myself accountable to a standard I set for myself. This was my approach for the World Cup and will be for the Paris Olympics, making sure I play my part in succeeding with the team.

Start by setting yourself smaller goals whether they’re daily, weekly, or monthly, you’ll see yourself progress, giving you that boost of motivation we all need to keep going! If you want to run a marathon, start with the first kilometre. If you want to eat better, start with one balanced meal a day.

2. Save time, save goals

A helpful way to keep your goals on track is to make them part of your routine. They say it takes about two months to make a habit, so being consistent is key to driving momentum.

But, this can be hard when life gets in the way. Personally, I try to make small changes to my day to save time and find efficiencies. This is essential when I'm travelling between training and games, where I lose a lot of time for regular mealtimes. 


One easy fix to create more time in your day is having ready-made meals waiting in the fridge, like those from Youfoodz. These are a great way to add time back into your day by saving on cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping. 

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3. Find your team

A huge part of keeping our goals is staying accountable, and the best way to do this is by finding our team.

This could be your friends, family, sisters, or even your co-workers, but when we share our goals with others, it motivates us to keep going as they cheer us on.

I’m fortunate enough to have two amazing teams with both the Matildas and the girls at West Ham. We share all our goals and challenges. It’s amazing to see how being part of a team pushes us all forward. We also set goals for the team itself, the current one being to perform as strongly as possible in Paris!

4. More challenges, less opportunities 

Without a doubt, the hardest part about keeping a goal is picking ourselves back up when we fall.

In 2020, when everyone was wearing masks, I found I was struggling to communicate and I didn’t know why. I eventually discovered it was because I heavily relied on lip-reading to compensate for issues with my hearing.

I really had to lean on people to guide me through the challenges this raised, including getting hearing aids for the first time.

The Tokyo Olympics is another perfect example. I was devastated when I didn’t make the squad. It was one of the lowest points I've had in my career, but I didn’t let uncertainty define me. 

Here I am now, training harder than ever before with Paris on the horizon. Don’t let these hurdles trip you up.

5, Remember, they’re goals, not a chore

It’s nice to think that athletes are well-oiled, disciplined machines that get up at 4:00 am every day for their 10km run. In reality, it’s hard for everyone!

After travelling overnight from London to Australia, sometimes the last thing I feel like doing is getting up the following morning for training.

That’s why it’s important to remember these are goals—not chores. We need to make sure we are passionate about these challenges and enjoy the process, not just the destination at the end.



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