Guts and Goals UK 
1pm – 2pm UK time

The Guts and Goals Programme for Doctoral students helps you on a daily basis, to clarify, commit to and implement your goals.

It works like this: For six days every week you get a brand new training from Chartered Psychologist, Dr Natalie Lancer. She walks you through prompts, strategies and psychological principles of motivation and perseverance to rev you up to implement your goals and help you remove any internal obstacles for why you shouldn’t follow through on them. The trainings are about four minutes long. Short, sharp and to the point.

How do you implement your goals? We meet every Monday and Friday for 12 weeks in a small group on Zoom, to set our goals for the week, announce our goals for the next week, look back to the past week to celebrate our success and to reflect on the prompts in the videos.

In our WhatsApp group we communicate daily on our progress and cheer each other on. We hold each other accountable to our goals – making it easy for you to show up and make steady progress.

Please click here to pay

If you have any questions about this programme please email [email protected]

January/February/March/April/May 2024 Dates

29th January
2nd February
5th February
9th February
12th February
16th February
19th February
23rd February
26th February
1st March
4th March
8th March
11th March
15th March
15th April
19th April
22nd April
26th April
29th April
3rd May
(no session on 6th May due to Bank holiday)
10th May
13th May
17th May

January/February/March 2025 Dates
All 1-2pm

13th January
17th January
20th January
24th January
27th January
31st January
3rd February
7th February
10th February
14th February

Week’s break

24th February
28th February
3rd March
7th March
10th March
14th March
17th March
21st March
24th March
28th March

Early bird price: £525 

Please click here to pay

Guts and Goals Feedback

“The last two blocks of Guts and Goals have put me on the path to success. I was a little scared to write before, not believing in myself and with no real writing routine. Natalie’s Guts and Goals programme has made it possible for me to write 1st and 2nd drafts of three thesis chapters. Her schedule, videos, coaching, tips and tricks, as well as the supportive group who meet twice a week online (and in-between on WhatsApp) has really inspired me to keep this new flow going. Thanks so much!”

Polly Bence
Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Bristol, and
University of Exeter, South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership

“Guts and Goals has been an unbelievable asset for my PhD journey. Natalie has created a real sense of community and support in addition to helping me break down tasks into manageable goals that I can actually meet and also reflect on my writing process. I recommend it to everyone!”

Lizy Blake
School of Politics and International Relations,
Queen Mary University of London

“When I first approached Natalie my goal was to complete a thesis, but I didn’t really know how. I was in a state of paralysis. Natalie’s approach helped me learn how to restructure my day and how to align my actions with my ultimate goal. I’ve really gained a lot from Guts and Goals: the programme created a positive environment for me to work on my goals, I relearned how to be accountable, and more importantly, that I always have the power to begin and begin again.”

PhD student
University College London

“The Guts and Goals programme helped me to plan long-term, something I’ve always had a problem doing. I feel much more confident now about the remainder of my PhD, and I know I’ll enjoy the process more because that’s been my experience since engaging with the programme. I’ve now got direction, and I’ve got the guidance and accountability of the programme to keep moving in that direction. Thank you, Natalie!”

Ann McIntyre

My first contact with Natalie was when my university offered doctoral students the opportunity to participate in her three-month Smart Self-Care and Personal Growth Programme. As a mature student, I thought I was great at multi-tasking. My spouse’s job meant that we had frequent family relocations to various parts of the world. I could handle this, help the children adjust to school systems in different languages, etc. And as a part-time distant student, I believed that I had LOTS of time to work my way through my studies and that my multi-tasking skills and life experiences gave me an advantage that many of my younger colleagues might not have. I was wrong. To the point that I became completely overwhelmed and had to temporarily put my studies on hold.

Natalie’s Smart Self-Care programme re-booted my studies. It was my very first contact with a psychologist and, even more importantly, within a coaching context. It helped me understand myself, my way of studying and how to be a more effective researcher. It was such an eye-opener (I really recommend it), that I went on to do her Guts & Goals programme which has truly been a game-changer for me!

The ‘Before G&G Me’ avoided my supervisor, went down multiple research rabbit holes, stalled on data collection (due to MY insecurities and belief that I was doing everything wrong), got easily distracted by life admin and had perfected the ‘productive procrastinator’ label. The ‘Post G&G Me’ is a completely different person! With my participation in the Guts & Goals programme, I not only found a supportive community of like-minded individuals (each one facing their own challenges at different stages of the research process) but also learnt so many tools and techniques to help me develop focus, accountability and even initiative. The accountability factor has been integral to my new and improved Researcher 2.0 mindset. The twice-a-week group meetings and Natalie-hosted study sessions, the daily WhatsApp study goal announcements/check-ins, the various logs to document what does/doesn’t work and different goals, hosting and/or attending Zoom study sessions, etc.: all of this has made me feel like I finally control my PhD! And this has led to a major boost in both my self-confidence and productivity.

Natalie sends daily motivational videos which are short and sweet, so it doesn’t feel like a burden to watch them. This feels like daily coaching as it is like she is talking to us which means we are supported outside of the group meetings. The videos get us thinking about the question/task of the day…which we may not actually have reflected on/done without this type of prompt and they help clarify/bring up matters that might have been niggling away at the back of our minds. I’ve been logging all my daily reflection worksheet answers in Google Keep. This includes my thought-out, written answers to these video questions. Now it’s really easy to scroll back through all the different days and weeks and have those visible signs of my thought process.

I know both that both my PhD research and self-awareness are works in progress. And different tools will work at different stages of this journey. But, thanks to Natalie’s Guts & Goals programme and my new support ‘tribe’, I’m actually extremely motivated and excited for the challenges ahead.
So, again (and a million times), THANK YOU!”

PhD Candidate
Durham University

“Natalie’s Guts & Goals programme has been invaluable to me. The combination of practical advice, daily reflections and accountability within a supportive group setting has been perfect. Doing a PhD is a very lonely and challenging journey, and it is important to have a well-functioning support network. I just wish I had joined Natalie’s programme much earlier during my PhD journey. I highly recommend the Guts & Goals programme for any stage of a PhD, but especially during thesis writing.”

Larissa Slaney,
PhD student, Heriot-Watt University

“Attending the Guts & Goals programme provided a supportive, motivating environment to complete my PhD thesis. The daily coaching and goal setting instilled long-term habits which ensured I made progress every day, even on my most unproductive, disengaged days. This was the just the boost I needed. I am grateful to Natalie and my new Guts & Goals friends for their encouragement and support which helped get me over the finish line.”

PhD student

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