The One Thing You Have to Do Before Setting Goals For the New Year



I am that person who loves to get a new planner for the beginning of the year. I can spend hours looking at every kind of day timer, trying to find the exact one to fit my needs.

The blank pages represent so much promise and possibility for the coming year. I spend an afternoon with my new planner, my online schedule, post-it notes, paper, highlighters and pens, writing out my goals and plans for the coming months.

The new year always feels that way to me – like an empty day timer. The number of days and hours are set, but you can fill them with whatever you would like!

This time of year, people talk a lot about dream boards, goal setting and “New Year Resolutions”. I think this is hugely important and started incorporating it into my yearly routine about eight years ago. I actually keep a notebook on my desk that includes goals for the year, pictures that represent certain feelings or things I want to accomplish and inspirational quotes and sayings. I review it throughout the year as a reminder of where my focus should be, and what my priorities are. Then, when the New Year approaches, I’ll go through it and make changes as needed for where I am in my life now.

(If you want to hear my top tips for making and reaching your goals, check out the videos I’m posting on my Facebook page this week!)

I know many people go through a similar process, and I think there is so much power in goal setting and setting intentions for our lives.

There is one extra step I go through that I don’t hear many people discuss, and that I think is actually the most important part of the process.

That is offering gratitude for the previous year and honoring what’s occurred to get us to this point.


At the end of every year, before I create any goals or ideas for the next year, I write down the “highlights” of the previous year.

I keep a journal on my desk, and I write down a list of the major memories or events or accomplishments of the previous year. It only takes me five minutes and has been such a gift for me.

Sometimes I can get through an entire year and look back and say “What just happened? Didn’t I want to travel more and work less? Didn’t I want to run that half marathon and become a better cook? Is the year seriously already over?”

Well, maybe I didn’t run a half marathon. Or run at all. But I did sell my two amazing Pilates studios and physical therapy clinics to a great new owner! So I wrote that down.

Maybe we didn’t get the second baby we were hoping for, but we had an amazing year as a family of three and took trips we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. We watched our daughter play with her cousins and spent 20 amazing days in our favorite place with our favorite people (I’m looking at you, Hawaii!)

Maybe I didn’t finally master that handstand, but I did get a deeper learning of the Pilates Method Alliance and grow my relationships with so many wonderful people in the Pilates community.

Maybe I didn’t master meal planning every week, but I did enjoy countless dance parties with my daughter and husband while waiting for leftovers to heat up.

I’ll write every single one of those down.

If you take just a few moments, I promise you will be so thankful you took a chance to recognize what happened and record it.

If you are like me, the previous year might just seem like a blur and, while you know it was wonderful, you aren’t sure what just happened.

Or maybe there were some really hard times that take front and center in your heart and mind right now.

Sit down in the quiet for a few minutes and reflect. Look through your phone at all the wonderful pictures and smiling faces. Check your Facebook account or text messages or travel logs for the year.

Honor another year of your life and be gracious with yourself if maybe you didn’t accomplish one of your goals.

I still have never done a pull-up, but it’s no big deal. I’ll try again next year.

In the meantime, I’ll give thanks to 2016 for providing me laughter, new friends, strengthened old friendships, community, an amazing daughter and husband, a home we love, some good champagne and precious time with family.

I’ll also be particularly grateful for this amazing space and you for being here.

Cheers to you and your loved ones, and Happy New Year!

Remember that my 30 Day “Pilates Plus” Bootcamp starts January 2! You’ll receive 30 days worth of daily workouts, a 10 day clean eating guide and a private Facebook group where you can connect with me and other people who are completing the challenge with you! There is no better way to start 2017 and get on the right path towards reaching your health and fitness goals. Click here to claim your spot!





Aloha from Hawaii!

Happy Thanksgiving and Instagram Holiday Contest!

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