5 things to keep in mind for New Year’s resolutions (+ my own goals)

Hey hey! How are you? Hope you’re having a great year so far. 😉 We’re slowly getting back into the routine over here and enjoying the last few days of the girls’ vacation.

It’s officially *that* time of year. The time to be flooded with an Instagram feed of fitness goals, meal prep, and PR dreams. I look forward to seeing positive changes to health, whatever that looks like, but as a personal trainer, I also hear a lot of unrealistic goals/expectations. Part of my job is to help clients focus on attainable goals that make them excited. When you set yourself up to do too much too quickly, it’s a quick recipe for burnout.

ready to workout

Some of the things I like to think about when I’m setting my own goals, or talking with clients about their own: 

1. Do you want to do it forever? 

If the answer is “no,” then RUUUUUUUUUUN. 


Here’s the deal: our body gets used to the types of demands and requirements we place on it. It’s quick to adapt in order to shift its resources to solving other problems or obstacles that appear. (“Ok, since I run the same 3-mile path every day, I’m switching into cruise control to focus on boosting our immune system to fight off the cold your 2-year-old brought home.”) It gets used to the same energy burn, the same energy intake, and begins to *expect* that.

For example, if your body is used to consuming 1500 calories a day (which is pretty low btw) and you suddenly jump to 2500 on a regular basis, your body will be like wtf and probably gain weight. If you routinely run 5 miles a day, and suddenly stop, you will likely gain weight (on top of losing the cardio endurance you’ve built). If you strength train heavily and stop, you will probably experience muscle loss. 

Don’t start to do something that you don’t want to do for the long haul. 

This is important because when we set goals, we can often take ourselves away from “real life” as we work towards them. Like if we give up sugar, or alcohol, and accomplish our goals, then we expect to have sugar and alcohol again eventually. Why not find a way to work those into our plan as we achieve our goals? 

Rose and prosecco cocktail

Give yourself something to work towards, but don’t steer too far away from real life and the things you enjoy. Focus on adding, instead of subtracting. Instead of thinking about what you’re going to “take away,” see what you can add. (For example: “I’m not eating meat ever again” is much scarier than thinking “I’m going to load up my plate with fresh veggies, grains and legumes.”)

2. Is it propelling you towards your long-term goals?

One of the most helpful questions you can ask yourself as you set new years’ resolutions is WHY?

Why do you want to set a crazy budget and save a lot of money? Because we can pay for our kids’ college education without loans.

Why do you want to create a healthier lifestyle? To potentially live longer and spend more time with those we love.

Why do you want to look hot in your bikini? Uhhh… because? (Nothing wrong with fitness for vanity, but keep digging to find out the reasons why you’re going after certain things. I find it gives them so much more power and sticking potential!)

3. How will you feel when you accomplish it?

Envision the look on your face, how you’ll feel and how you’ll celebrate. Keep this in mind when things get challenging, or you start to hit a slump.

4. Is it worth the time/energy commitment?

There’s often a bit of a time requirement when you head into the gym with new goals or start to change up your eating/diet strategy. Sometimes the effort isn’t worth the time. 

For example, if you work a full-time job, have kids, and really want to track your macros or eat a specific diet, it might not be worth your time to meal prep a ton of different meals for the week. It might make sense for you to use a meal delivery service or outsource for help.

Meal prep

If you’re already struggling to get in gym time, it makes zero sense to start a plan that takes an hour and a half of workouts each day. Find a plan that suits your lifestyle. (Winter Shape Up is on the way, too! January 15.)

Determine if it’s worth your time/energy commitment, and tweak/adjust as necessary. 

5. Does it make you feel excited?

Goals should make us feel the tiniest bit afraid but mostly excited. If it feels overwhelming or completely daunting, it may be too much. Chop it into smaller blocks to assess if you can chip away at it in pieces.

My personal goals for 2018:

My main goals are usually split into three categories: professional, personal and health.

Fave sweater


Start posting videos regularly again. I used to post a video almost once a week! I’ve gotten away from that with childcare and medical concerns, and I miss sharing video workouts. It’s one of my top goals for the new year. 

Work on creating more dynamic content. This means a mix of different types of content and focuses: video, text, photos, Instagram mini-blogging, IG stories, all the good stuff.

Email my newsletter peeps with more fun goodies and freebies. I haven’t sent out a ton of newsletters this year because I don’t want to waste your time. I email if I have something awesome to share, so the goal is to create freebies and goodies more often to share with my newsletter friends.

Product launch. The wheels have been turning in my brain on this for a while so 2018 will be the year I make it happen. I’ll definitely share more details when I have them. 

Update the PBB site more regularly. The only thing that’s been daunting to me is that I have like 20382 spam bot comments I need to clean up. 


Travel more. We’re planning a tropical vacay for next summer, and I’m also getting excited for a girls’ trip to NYC. (I think Hamilton needs to happen again!) I’ve realized that travel is more exciting and meaningful than *things* so I’ve been working on saving money to spend on travel and adventures instead of buying random ish. 

Save. We’re working on being smarter and more strategic with funds because we’d love to buy another house in Tucson for when we eventually move back. I’ve been lurking Zillow like crazy. 

Focus more on just “being” with the girls when they’re home and awake. It’s hard juggling household tasks and work, but on the days I can tackle most of that while they’re at school or sleeping, I feel so much more present. Lately, it’s been a bit of a scramble, and I’ve had to have a few more conference calls on mute 90% of the time than is ideal. 

The girls at WA


Take more time for things that make me chill. When the Pilot surprised me with the spa-like bath a couple of weeks ago, it reminded me how important it is just to chill and how much we all need the simple act of relaxing. I’m always looking for something to do, which honestly isn’t my best trait. I have a tendency to burn myself out and have found that little acts of relaxation along the way make a huge difference. So, I’ll be taking more time for reading (my very fave), yoga and occasional baths with a glass of wine. There’s always something to do, so might as well add in a couple of rechargers along the way.


Drink more water, get more sleep, and focus on being consistent. Because I love fitness so much, it’s easy for me to get in a workout if I have the time (even when motivation is a little low). My goal is to continue to be consistent with fitness, drink more water and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep. (<— I could sleep for 9 hours a night, but night owl work habits and kiddos don’t agree with this. You do what you can.)

So, tell me friends: what do you have in mind for 2018? What are your professional, personal and health goals??



Photos: Lindsay Colson

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  1. Brianne on January 2, 2018 at 7:28 am

    1) drink more water during weekends (I’m pretty good during the week when I’m at work but forget on the weekends).
    2) read more. I love it but I’m a TV junkie so replacing some of my tv time with reading.
    3) run every day (even if it’s just a mile or less). My goal last year was to run a 10K and then I ended up in a boot for 6 weeks with a stress fracture. With the pain in my foot before (during) and several weeks after I was out of running for several months. Resetting this goal for this year.

    • Fitnessista on January 2, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      i do the same thing over the weekends!
      love your goals <3 hope that this year is injury-free for you. injuries are the worst!

  2. Mayacook on January 2, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Great goals…I’d say: travel (though I know it’ll be difficult), keep finding / saving time for runs and workouts (at home) and spend time alone with each of my 3 kids + husband…

  3. Cassie on January 2, 2018 at 7:55 am

    These are great ideas! I want to be present and stop worrying about the future so much. We are in a wait and see place, which is not my strong suit. I also want to start reading for at least an hour straight before bed. The also act of doing something for longer than 5 to 15 minutes is so calming but takes practice after chasing a toddler all day.

  4. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on January 2, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Focus. That’s my big word for the year. It’s so easy to get distracted and not finish projects or reach goals because I get sucked into social media or other things that are distracting. So this year is all about focus.

    • Fitnessista on January 2, 2018 at 10:02 pm

      love this so much. i’m trying to get rid of distractions, too <3

  5. Sara Giboney on January 2, 2018 at 9:09 am

    I love the tip – don’t do something you don’t want to do for the long haul! I used to jump into the new year with high expectations for myself to give up this and give up that. It never lasted because it was too rigid. I love having a more flexible and balanced attitude toward healthy eating!

    • Fitnessista on January 2, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      amen to that <3

  6. Blair on January 2, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Love the questions about goals, definitely good ideas when thinking up things to accomplish! I am list maker, I like to check things off. However my goal this year is to simplify and declutter, declutter stuff as well as mentally. We want to travel and do more and “have less things”. We have already started some this past fall so I am so looking forward to moving forward wit it into the new year! I also am now desperate to get back in shape 3 babies in 5 years have put a dent on my stamina, and I just want to feel like me again and keep up with these crazy kids of mine 😉

    • Fitnessista on January 2, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      i totally feel ya on that. i can’t imagine with 3 kids so young! you are a rockstar

  7. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-Ups on January 2, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Great goals and advice. I think considering if you want to do something long-term is so important.

  8. LJ on January 2, 2018 at 9:52 am

    YAY for the more videos goal, I am looking forward to them!

    I am not very big on New Year. I usually set year goals on my birthday, planning how I will spend the next year trying to make sure I am healthy and happy on my next birthday. But let’s pretend it is my birthday: I plan to do more of what I’d love to do but am intimidated of. (Examples include but are not limited to traveling to exotic places, learning to play a music instrument and finding a new job.) I also plan to give myself more guilt free me time. Instead of frantically sorting a todo list while getting a massage why not, you know, just relax? (This I have been doing since my last birthday and it has made a world of difference in how I feel but I still do need to be reminded of it.) And a recurring resolution to top it off: consistency in my working out. I can’t remember when this wasn’t an issue.

    • Fitnessista on January 2, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      love this idea <3 thank you for posting this!

  9. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby on January 2, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Love this advice! Definitely words I wish I would have heard when I started into health and fitness!

    • Fitnessista on January 2, 2018 at 10:00 pm


  10. Jessica on January 2, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Professional- transition into being a working mom. My maternity leave is up in a few months, and my only goal is to make it back to the office and find a routine that works for my family.

    Personal- simplify as much as possible. Unload the clutter, and make our home a less congested space.

    Fitness- a 10k pr! My favorite 10k is in May, and it will be a great motivator for getting back into a regular running routine.

    I love having a few focused goals as opposed to strict resolutions- for me, the pressure of resolutions sets me up for failure.

    • Fitnessista on January 2, 2018 at 10:00 pm

      sending you lots of good wishes as you go after these. awesome goals <3

  11. Sarah F on January 2, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I love New Years Resolutions- it just feels like a good time to set goals. I’m like you where I try and mix them between personal, professional and health. Some of mine are:
    1) Travel to Japan (a place I’ve wanted to see for YEARS)
    2) Buy a house with my partner
    3) Pass my designation exams
    4) Work out 100 times this year (I liked the round figure of this goal…it may be more but this is my baseline)

    • Fitnessista on January 2, 2018 at 10:00 pm

      these are all incredible goals!!

  12. Jess on January 2, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Love the advice and I am looking forward to the exercise videos! I love making lists and the enjoy checking each task off once completed. However, I find list making has me constantly in chore mode and not making time for myself or for my husband. So for this year I’ve decided to make a habit tracker to help me stick to my goals, which are generally improving my physical and metal health through mindfulness. A habit tracker satisfies my love of physically marking off an accomplishment while focusing on my goals only. Hopefully this will limit the number of “to do” lists I live by and keeps me on track. Pinterest is full of ideas for habit trackers and bullet journals!

  13. Vince on January 2, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I admit that I’ve never really made New Years’ resolutions. The process always felt a little silly to me, as if this one time of the year is so much more powerful than the rest. I much prefer making small changes and ones that are consistent.

    I completely agree with you about the unrealistic goals. Most of the resolutions I hear people talk about are big and the odds of achieving them are never all that high.

  14. Liz on January 2, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    This is such a weird new year for me since I am about 4 weeks out from having my second baby. So while I want to “clean up my eating” and get more organized and set in place all the New Years fresh starts I normally do, I kind of feel like its pointless since everything is going to change very soon and all those things will likely go out the window until I can figure out what the new normal is. Very excited for your goals! Best of luck!

    • Fitnessista on January 2, 2018 at 9:57 pm

      ahhh that is so exciting! you’re right- you’re in the limbo phase right now. so pumped for you <3

  15. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona on January 2, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    I love your third point. Thinking about what it’ll be like once I’ve accomplished my goal has really helped with motivation when I’m lacking it.

    I divided my goals up for 2018 the same way you did – personal, professional, and fitness. I found it easier to figure out what was most important for me to do in 2018 by grouping things into those three categories.

    • Fitnessista on January 2, 2018 at 9:57 pm

      i think it keeps things from getting too overwhelming! <3
      sending you lots of love as you go after those goals

  16. Jessica on January 2, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Really into this sentence from your post: “Instead of thinking about what you’re going to “take away,” see what you can add”. I was going to give up sugar for January, but instead I will say my goal is to reach for a hot cup of herbal tea after dinner and NOT a sugary snack! Also, drinking more water is good goal that I’ll add to my list.
    Thanks for the tips- all the best in 2018 🙂

  17. Juliana on January 3, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    I’m doing dry January this year and really it’s my only goal. I love me some wine, but some major things happened last year that I still need to feel the feels for and have been avoiding (thanks to our friend wine). I’m trying to create some space to do that, and then figure out what the heck else I want from 2018. Those unfelt big feeling really hold you back sometimes, ya know?

  18. Stephanie W on January 3, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    My goal is to get into a fitness routine. I often just go to the gym with no thought about what I want to do or should be doing. Which makes it easier to talk myself out of going at all. So at least for the first few weeks of this year I am going to do back/biceps on Monday, cardio class on Tuesday, off on Wednesday, triceps/chest/shoulder on Thursday, pilates class Friday, legs on Saturday, and off Sunday. I know it is specific but I feel like if I make it extremely specific like this it is something I can follow. I’m a planner and not having a plan has definitely hindered me in the past workout wise. I don’t think this is something I will do all year because I’ll need to change it up some to keep things interesting but going to the gym on those specific days and switching up what I do every month or so is something I am committing to do. I regularly use your workouts so thank you for those!! I haven’t decided if I am going to do the specific winter shape up plan but will incorporate those workouts into the one above.

  19. Sara S on January 3, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    ***my two main focuses for 2018
    lead with love
    ask for help

  20. Leah on January 5, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    I’d love to do be able to do a long distance hike this year. My goal is to be consistent with my workouts. I realized reading this that I am on and off again! Small workouts on the regular ahead.

  21. Erika S. on January 7, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Happy New Year Gina!! My first week in 2018 has been crazy. I don’t do resolutions and like to create a few goals instead. This year I decided to do monthly 30 day challenges. It was fun putting it together and even got my friends to make theirs too. For January, I’m going to focus on creating a better nighttime routine. I have periods of insomnia so this will help me. Having one thing to focus on in a month will prob be better for me…of course I’m adding in fitness but not for my goal…just because I want to get back on the wagon and it feels good.

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