Catching up on posts from the holidays?



So – it’s that time of the year again!  The time for New Year’s Resolutions (NYR).

January 1 

I know that some people hate NYR, but hear me out.   Setting goals (we can call it “goals” instead of resolutions if you want!) is absolutely imperative if you want to move forward in life and achieve your goals.


Repeat after me:  Goals are not achieved by accident.  Goals must be thoughtfully identified and planned for in order to be reached.


The most popular type of NYR are, without a doubt, diet-, fitness-, and weight-related goals.  These resolutions have become a bit of a joke over time – like how the gym is packed from January to February, at which point all the Resolutioners give up and things thin out.   But it is 100% possible to set and actually achieve diet-, fitness-, and weight-related goals – you just have to go about it in a very specific manner.


How do I know?  Well, I used to suck at NYR.  I would set goals every year; however, by February, I would be one of the people totally blowing it.  However, about five years ago, I figured out how to make NYR actually work, and ever since, I’ve used January 1 as a way to identify life goals and put myself on track to achieve my big dreams, both personal and professional. In fact, I achieved every single goal I set in 2009.


(Side note:  Most of these tips can be applied not only to diet-, fitness-, and weight-related goals, but also to other goals, like saving money or improving your relationships!)


Here are my Do’s and Don’t’s for achieving those NYR:


DON’T:  GO IN WITHOUT A PLAN.  The #1 reason people fail at NYR?  They approach NYR without a plan.  When I set any goal, I literally write out my plan for success.  On a sheet of paper, write your goal at the top.  Underneath the goal, write out each step necessary for success.  If you’re trying to reach a goal you’ve never achieved before, do research by browsing the Internet or talking to friends who have achieved the goal.  For example, if you want to run a marathon, check out training plans to get a realistic idea of how much work is required.  Put your plan somewhere you’ll see it regularly, like a cork board above your desk.


DO:  BE SPECIFIC. “Lose weight” or “Get healthy” are way too vague (more details about the losing weight goal are below).  What does this mean to YOU?  When creating a NYR, try to be as specific as possible with both your overall goal and the steps required for success.


DON’T:  BASE YOUR SUCCESS ON THE SCALE.  For some reason, many healthy living bloggers shy away from talking about weight issues.  Let’s break the taboo for a little bit: the truth is that we all experience weight fluctuations, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, as long as you 1) actually have weight to lose/aren’t triggered into old or new  eating disorder patterns by losing weight; 2) don’t let it consume your life or jeopardize your health; and 3) go about weight loss in a healthy manner.  However, I would recommend not basing success on the number on the scale for several reasons.  One, I find scale use can become obsessive.  Two, your weight changes daily as part of a natural cycle (eat, poop, sweat, drink).  Three, weight doesn’t tell you how healthy you are – it just tells you how much you weigh!  You might change your exercise and eating habits, lose a pant size, and look awesome – and the scale might not budge due to muscle gain.  Personally, I would like to tone up in 2011 and lose some weight that I gained in the last six months, but I’m basing my success on the fit of a pair of too-tight wool pants – not the scale.


DON’T:  SET A NYR DUE TO A KNEE-JERK EMOTIONAL REACTION.  This is what typically happens during the holidays:  we eat, drink, and make merry for a month and a half, and then we wake up on January 1 with a raging hangover and decide that this. is. the. year!  The problem with this type of knee-jerk reaction to NYR is that our goals are usually unrealistic and restrictive because we set them in a poor mindset.  Wait a few days and create a thoughtful, realistic, and HEALTHY goal instead.


DON’T: MAKE MAJOR LIFE CHANGES SUDDENLY.  Likewise, I always failed at NYR when I decided to completely revamp my life in one day.  If you need to clean up your eating and establish exercise habits, tackle these NYR one at a time (start with whatever one you feel most emotionally ready for).  Give yourself a month with the first goal before moving onto the second one.  Sudden lifestyle shifts are a surefire way to ensure your NYR will be an epic fail.  Slow and steady wins the race!


DO:  ESTABLISH SMALLER GOALS AND MILESTONE REWARDS.  I am the type of person who writes “shower” and “eat” on her To Do list just so I can cross stuff off.  If you’re the same way, establish smaller goals so you can feel satisfied on the way to reaching your larger NYR.  If you’re gunning for that marathon, sign up for a 10K and Half Marathon, too.  Also, create fun rewards like buying new workout clothes or getting a massage as you reach your mini goals.


DO:  ESTABLISH A HEALTHY WAY TO MEASURE PROGRESS.  Again – the scale is not the way to go.  The number game sucks.  If you want to reach a diet-, fitness-, or weight-related NYR, find a healthy, balanced way to measure progress, such as 1) achieving a certain number of workouts/week; 2) completing a hard yoga class; or 3) trying a new vegetable each month.


DON’T:  SET YOURSELF UP TO FAIL.  Don’t set unrealistic goals, like promising you’re going to work out 5 times a week if you work 70 hours and currently work out zero days a week.  Aim for three days instead and you’re bound to be successful.  Adopting a perfectionist attitude about your life changes is also dangerous.


DO:  SET YOURSELF UP TO ACHIEVE.  Build flexibility into your goals.  I know I need to cut back on sweets and alcohol, but is it realistic to say I’m never going to eat dessert or drink again?  Um… no.  So I’m building desserts and dranks into my plan for success.  Also – don’t just talk about it – do it.  If you want to join a gym, go sign up.  If you want to run a race, you better register for it.  RIGHT NOW.  


DO:  ANTICIPATE OBSTACLES.  Just like it’s important to be flexible, it’s also important to anticipate obstacles to your success.  If you want to eat better but know you usually end up ordering in lunch at work, you better make a commitment to go grocery shopping and prep meals for the week each Sunday!  If you want to work out regularly but are easily bored, map out a different workout theme for each month.  Basically, study your previous behaviors and determine why you’ve failed in the past.  You might not have been specific enough, you might have demanded perfectionism, or you might have entered into your NYR without a plan.  Learn from your mistakes!  Similarly, if you fall off the wagon, just get back on it the next meal or the next day. 


DO:  TELL EVERYONE ABOUT YOUR NYR.  Make it public!  Tell your friends and family (or start a blog and tell everyone on the Internet).  Not only can other people hold you accountable (“So, how’s marathon training?”) but you might find a buddy who can act as your support system, whether that means swapping healthy recipes or working out together.


So… I bet you’re wondering about my goals for 2011! 🙂 I tend to break them up into personal, professional, and fitness goals.


Personal Goals:


  • Save enough money to buy a home without needing PMI.
  • Prepare body, relationship, and bank account for eventual pregnancy.
  • Learn to speak Chinese with the Husband (so excited about this).
  • Keep in better touch with my old friends by calling them more often.


Professional Goals:


  • Write the Operation Beautiful 2 book, which is due February 15.
  • Write the Healthy Tipping Point book, which is due in September.
  • Keep freelance writing at least once a month.
  • Help the Husband grow his acupuncture practice.


Fitness/Health Goals:


  • Get back into ideal racing shape and run a 1:55 Half Marathon in March.
  • Race a sprint or Olympic triathlon in the summer.
  • Do yoga at least three times a week.
  • Use my indoor bike trainer when watching TV instead of just sitting on my butt (at least twice a week). 
  • Drink more water and regularly take my supplements.


Have you set your NYR?  What is your goal and your plan for success?  (Pssst – want to win a free life coaching session from Jenn?  Simply leave a comment on this post.  She’ll pick three winners on Friday!)



  • Evan Thomas January 3, 2011, 12:32 pm

    Great tips! I agree that the scale isn’t the best measure for goals for most people, although for some I do think it’s appropriate. I like the idea of going public to make yourself feel more responsible. And of rewards, because who doesn’t like a reward? 🙂

    I set my goals in terms of “trying” or doing something “less” or “more”. When I get into the 100% mindset, I just set myself up for failure.

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow January 3, 2011, 12:33 pm

    Awesome, awesome, awesome post girl! I love the do’s and don’ts. Each is so important to remember as we set ourselves up for what could be a brilliant and successful experience or overwhelming and not so successful experience.

    The one thing I always say about goals/resolutions is that you need to give them LIFE! Dream it, visualize it, describe in detail…goals should spark that inner excitement in you that makes you want to jump up and do. Give your mind the chance to dream all that could be in a minute, a day or a year.

  • Whitney January 3, 2011, 12:35 pm

    I am a habitual NYR maker and breaker. I also have had issues with disordered eating. I have found that my black and white thinking really have stopped me from succeeding in any capacity. As soon as I break one of the resolutions it’s all downhill.

    I really appreciate your list and your advice. I think all of your tips are spot on. I really agree with your “dont talk about it- DO IT”. Too often I find myself thinking about things to excess and planning instead of just waking up and going running.

    Here’s to you and your goals! Go get em girl.

  • Marci January 3, 2011, 12:36 pm

    I really like your tips, especially about having tangible goals that go with “lose weight” or “get healthy.”
    I just wrote about why not to diet:

    And good luck with your personal/professional resolutions! I always like how you’re so honest about putting personal things out there.

  • Sean January 3, 2011, 12:36 pm

    I took two semesters of Chinese during College and enjoyed it. Unfortunately I lost most of my knowledge since I never used it afterwards, and everyone I met/tried to talk to didn’t speak the Mandarin dialect anyway. Argh!

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing January 3, 2011, 12:37 pm

    Those are great tips. I think being specific is so important. It doesn’t mean crap to say “be healthy” unless you make concrete, observable goals to go along with it. I firmly believe you also need a tracking method to go along with your goals. Numbers, charts, whatever you need!

  • Madeleine @ Stepping to the Bright Side January 3, 2011, 12:37 pm

    Great post! And perfect for today, I might add. I’m also the person that adds “eat” and “shower” to her to do list- it’s just so satisfying to check that baby OFF. I was hesitant to post my list of NYR on the blog, but I think you’re right about sharing- it will indeed hold me accountable, and I work best under pressure. Good thing we’ve got 362 days left 🙂 Happy anniversary!

  • Chrissy (The New Me) January 3, 2011, 12:37 pm

    You make goals exactly the same way I do! This year, I decided to call my New Year’s Resolution a 2011 Plan of Attack. It just sounded more bad ass, and I’m all about being bad ass this year.

    Good luck on your goals, and here’s to a great year!

    • Caitlin January 3, 2011, 12:38 pm

      hahah that does sound bad ass.

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) January 3, 2011, 12:40 pm

    I don’t have a NYR, but I have a goal to be able to bench press my body weight for one rep again before I turn 31 (late August). Time to hit the weights HARD!

  • Shanna, like Banana January 3, 2011, 12:41 pm

    You’ve nailed it Caitlin! I think it is so important to have SMART goals although that’s not easy either. I set 10 things I want to do in 2011, but am not going to try to do them all at once. A few of mine are:
    Reach out via phone more to friends and family
    Try new workouts, like the Barre method
    Relax weekday eating and reign in weekend eating

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers January 3, 2011, 12:41 pm

    i love how you have goals for every part of your life. it’s so easy for people to just say “i wanna lose weight” but it’s so important to address your emotional needs and self improvement desires!

  • healthy amy January 3, 2011, 12:41 pm

    I love this post – i have got a feeling i will be refering back to this one everytime i feel myself slipping from my new year goals xxx

  • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) January 3, 2011, 12:45 pm

    There’s a HTP book coming??? I didn’t know this! Is this new news, or am I just naive?
    Great post! And love the last picture of you! 😛
    I’m sure you’ll achieve all these goals too! 😀

    • Caitlin January 3, 2011, 1:02 pm

      I like to throw in that secret 🙂 It hasn’t been formally announced yet but yes, it will be my third book.

      • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) January 3, 2011, 1:03 pm

        AHH THAT’S SO EXCITING!!! 😀 Can’t wait!!!

        • Maura January 3, 2011, 3:19 pm

          CONGRATS! That’s so exciting!!

  • Cyndi @ Weightless Life January 3, 2011, 12:45 pm

    These are awesome tips! My biggest goals this year are to save money, and run a marathon. I think it’s doable.

  • Natalia@TheHealthScript January 3, 2011, 12:50 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I will definitely use this as a reference. I hope I can complete all my goals like you did last year 🙂

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations January 3, 2011, 12:58 pm

    These are excellent tips… any time we set goals, whether it’s in January or August, it’s important to set realistic goals and have a plan for achieving them. It also helps to state WHY you want to have this goal and HOW achieving it will benefit your life.

  • Laine January 3, 2011, 12:58 pm

    Mine: keep on Weight Watchers program until at least October.
    Climb at least 6 mountains this year.
    Make and stick to a budget.
    Do my situps and hand weights every night.
    Computer off at 8pm.

  • Kelly January 3, 2011, 12:59 pm

    Great tips Caitlin! Good luck with you NYR this year!

  • Britt @ Runnerbelle January 3, 2011, 1:00 pm

    I still need to sit down and figure out my goals. So there is my first goal I guess! I need to look at the calendar and determine what my realistic goals are based on what will be on my plate the coming year between a full time job and being a partner in a new small business.

    Best wishes to you on yoru goals for the coming year!!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) January 3, 2011, 1:03 pm

    I am not a resolution person, but I do have goals this year. I announced today that I am working on a cookbook. I feel like I need to do something for me and I hope to help others by doing this. I could not agree more with being specific. I think the vague resolutions completely set you up for failure. I also think that you should take a fun approach to them. If they seem like work, then you won’t want to do them! We have decided, as a family, to eat seasonally. The whole family has gotten in to looking up what we can buy to eat and it has created some excitement about what is to come in the way of food and health around here. Thanks for the tips Caitlin! As always, I love your approach!

  • Amy January 3, 2011, 1:03 pm

    I love the idea for the NYR! I am going to implement your plan so that I have a plan! Goals, not resolutions!!

  • Bronwyn Coyne January 3, 2011, 1:04 pm

    Excellent post. I always think I’m a pro at making goals. But to be honest I can get a little vague about them sometimes. this year I want to be really specific and not set crazy outlandish goals for myself.
    And thanks for bringing up the “weight issue”. I gained some weight last year. And I feel incredibly guilty about consciously thinking of losing it. But I know I’m becoming uncomfortable with the fit of my clothes so I know I want to get rid of it just to be able to fit into my pants. 😉

  • Sarah for Real January 3, 2011, 1:04 pm

    “If you want to run a race, you better register for it. RIGHT NOW.”

    OK!!! Bloomsday (12k) registration email reminder is in my Inbox waiting for me!

    • Sarah for Real January 3, 2011, 1:18 pm

      Annnd I just submitted my registration! Sweet.

      • Evan Thomas January 3, 2011, 2:12 pm

        Awesome! Congrats!

      • Erin January 3, 2011, 10:04 pm

        Annd I just signed up for my first 5K…*gulp*

  • Lisa January 3, 2011, 1:09 pm

    I skip the resolutions, instead I make monthly goals that I can achieve. The big goal I have for 2011 is to do the Portland Century in August.

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence January 3, 2011, 1:11 pm

    Awesome post! love the tips. I want to get in better shape for my brother’s wedding, and am trying my best to avoid the scale!

  • Karen January 3, 2011, 1:11 pm

    You made some great suggestions for sticking to your resolutions. I am hoping this is the year I can stick to mine! One of my resolutions/goals is to read at least 6 books…first up is Operation Beautiful!

    • Caitlin January 3, 2011, 1:16 pm

      thank you so much!

  • Lauren January 3, 2011, 1:12 pm

    Question: what if you can’t GET pregnant? Your wording (eventual pregnancy, for example) and other posts make it seem like you automatically assume that the second you start trying you will indeed become pregnant. I hope it is that simple for all women trying to get pregnant but unfortunately it isn’t.

    • Caitlin January 3, 2011, 1:17 pm

      I see no reason to be negative about the process when I have no indication that I will have any issues getting pregnant. Being negative about it doesn’t seem like it will help the situation, regardless of how easy or hard it is to get pregnant.

      I’m sorry if you’re having trouble conceiving… I wish you the best of luck in 2011!

      • Ramona January 3, 2011, 1:29 pm

        Thanks for posting your goals, Caitlin! It’s helpful for me to see how other people structure their goals.

        Will you post more information about how you are preparing your body for pregnancy? I assume you’ll cover it in blog posts, but I think it would be helpful for other women to get ideas for how to do that in a healthy way.

        Thanks again!

        • Caitlin January 3, 2011, 1:31 pm

          Sure Ramona! Right now I’m just focusing on drinking less (this is hard for me), eating more vegetables, and I’m going to start taking prenatal vitamins soon probably. I’m also trying to cut back on exercise (i.e. no marathon training most likely) and do more ab strength training.

    • Lauren January 3, 2011, 2:46 pm

      I don’t think it’s negative to be realistic. Possibly a smarter choice would be to say preparing to TRY for pregnancy, not preparing for an EVENTUAL pregnancy. (I feel this way about women who say ‘When I get married/have kids/get a job/lose weight/etc.” when in all actuality none of these things are guaranteed to us and the smarter choice of words is “if I…”

      I’m not trying to discourage you and I think it’s very smart to prepare your body with all of the things you’ve listed above. I’m not nor have I ever struggled with infertility but I do sympathize with women who do. Being positive is wonderful but being realistic is too. Realism isn’t always a negative thing.

      • Caitlin January 3, 2011, 2:49 pm

        That’s true – realistic isn’t being negative. 🙂

        • Whitney January 3, 2011, 3:57 pm

          I agree to a point.

          But when you start saying IF I lose weight, IF I graduate from college, IF I eat vegetables every day, etc I believe you are setting yourself up to fail. Saying concretely I WILL do something kind of puts the fire under you, don’t you think? Also I don’t think saying you WILL do something means it’s unrealistic. Realism isn’t always negative, but many people don’t succeed without dreaming a little & positive thinking.

      • JenRD January 3, 2011, 4:41 pm

        As somebody who has gone through a year-and-a-half of infertility, I respectfully disagree with you Lauren. I strongly believe that it is more important to know in your mind and heart that something you truly desire will happen (even if it is not exactly when you want it to happen). I agree with what Whitney wrote. There have been studies of people with serious illnesses–those who think positive and actually make plans for WHEN (not IF) they get better, are more likely to recover. The mind is a powerful thing. If you want something, you have to almost behave as if you have it already (this idea is explained more in the book, “The Secret”). By taking the steps Caitlin mentioned to prepare for pregnancy, and being kind and courageous enough to share such personal information with all of us, she is sending a positive message into the universe! Lets also send a positive message back to her that she never has to deal with infertility.

        • Theodora January 3, 2011, 5:56 pm

          I think the ab strength thing is an interesting one and something people don’t always talk about. One of my friends just gave birth, and her doctor told her that her super-strong abs kept her baby bump from getting huge and made every aspect of her pregnancy easier.

        • Lauren January 4, 2011, 8:01 pm

          JenRD-I agree and disagree. I think positive thinking is wonderful. I agree that Caitlin is very brave for having such discussions on her blog.

          However, I totally disagree with the mind game hoax that is ‘The Secret’. I can’t say WHEN I win the lottery and make it happen in my head. I don’t buy that for one second.

          I agree with Whitney that the if/when thing depends on the circumstance. Things that you can control-graduating from college, losing weight, exercising, sure, say WHEN if that is going to make it easier for you to achieve your goals. Marriage, pregnancy, etc. are things that are generally (in my opinion) out of my control. But that is because I believe that my life is not dictated by my choices and my mindset but controlled by a loving and perfect God. I can say when/if it doesn’t matter, God’s will for my life is what is going to happen.

          My point is not to discourage positive thinking and encourage pessimism. I guess this is where I tend towards a different path then this ‘healthy living’ blog community. The idea that I can control my destiny with my thoughts does not fit in to my life and belief system.

  • Katherine: Unemployed January 3, 2011, 1:15 pm

    such great tips! thanks for them. I don’t really do new-year goals; I feel like I should start and stop goals etc any time of the year and would rather change my lifestyle than do short stents of change

  • Jane January 3, 2011, 1:15 pm

    Glad to see I’m not the only one who writes “shower” on their to-do list just to cross it off 🙂 I tried to make my goals more measurable this year, and I blogged about them so that the world could see! Hopefully it helps:)

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 3, 2011, 1:16 pm

    These are such great and interesting goals Caitlin! And WOW congrats on achieving every single one last year!! I posted mine on my inspiration board today – – and I’m so excited to get on them all! One is upping my yoga participation, and I also really want to focus on strengthening the relationships I have with people in my life. Thanks for your inspiration!

  • Dez @ Dezolutions January 3, 2011, 1:17 pm

    If it wasn’t for NYR I wouldn’t have a blog! AKA, Dezolutions 🙂

    Mini-goals are SO important! I’ve decided to coach my mom with her weight-loss and health goals, I’m so flattered she asked for my help! It only took a couple times to learn, you can’t change your entire life in a day, because it becomes exhausting and too much out of the comfort zone, and it just works against you.

    My 2011 Dezolutions are in, and I’m so excited to get started! Good luck girl!!

  • Sara January 3, 2011, 1:19 pm

    I hate making NYR. I definitely give up trying within a few weeks! But this year I’d like to focus on making small healthy decisions, one at a time — i.e. drink water instead of diet coke, try a new vegetable, work out 3x a week (even if it’s just going for a long walk when the weather’s nice). Also, I’d like to cook more! I like trying new recipes and I need to expand my repertoire of tried-and-true meals to make.

  • Amanda January 3, 2011, 1:19 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I think they are great ideas. I need to work on my goals for the year. I’m going to follow your lead and plan for my success!

  • Tara January 3, 2011, 1:20 pm

    I skipped the NYR and instead this year I went ahead and made a list of things to do in 2011, more specifically, 52 things in 2011…one new adventure for each week of the year. Now, that’s not to say I’m doing one of these things each week and many can be accomplished at the same time. Some of my favorites are take an art class, submit a recipe to some sort of contest, go to the Oregon coast with my husband, etc. Looking forward to looking back on the list this time next year to see how I did on checking the things off. Happy New Year!

  • Erin @ Big Girl Feats January 3, 2011, 1:21 pm

    These are awesome tips! I used to be the too vague girl – “lose weight!” – and now I’m sooo much better at being specific (partly because of my blog) but also because I fully believe I can achieve the things I set out to achieve! I made 11 goals for the year and plan on achieving all of them! Thanks for always having relevant and helpful info on HTP, Caitlin 🙂

  • megan @ whatmegansmaking January 3, 2011, 1:21 pm

    Great tips. I set some resolutions on my blog last night. I only posted the food ones, but I think they’re attainable, yet challenging. and easy to measure, which is nice.

  • Kristin January 3, 2011, 1:24 pm

    I think much of the times, people have big goals but no action plan. Like, run a marathon this year, but don’t have the proper running gear, never bother to research training plans, etc.

    I have a lot of goals this year in all aspects of my life. Fitness-wise: run two marathons (I did my first last year), a sprint tri, and an adventure race (my sister’s boyfriend has been recruiting me for this). I’ve already started training for that. Home-wise: get more organized (have already started a list of how to accomplish that). Etc. etc. etc.

  • Amy January 3, 2011, 1:25 pm

    Awesome post! And very helpful as the “reality” of what we want to accomplish and how we can do it settles in. I am taking your advise on one of them and started a blog so that will help keep me accountable! (I hope!) thanks for this post! only the 3rd day in and already a favorite post from your blog:)

  • Amber K January 3, 2011, 1:27 pm

    Nope, I just plain don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I just can’t stand making life declarations at the same time as everyone else. It’s like the stubborn Taurus in me can’t give in! lol

    I do make goals throughout the year though because there are things I want to accomplish in life. I loved your tips though and shared a link to them on Facebook. 🙂

  • Whitney January 3, 2011, 1:29 pm

    Can I just tell you thank you about the statement you made regarding healthy living bloggers not discussing weight? I understand that is not the focus of the blogs, but I find it hard to believe that all the women bloggers do not somewhat think about weight! Most women are concerned with weight and I think it is healthy to talk about it, but not obssess about it.

    Congrats on the third book! 🙂

  • Elizabeth @ The Sweet Life January 3, 2011, 1:29 pm

    Wow–you have an ambitious set of goals/resolutions! I love how you broke down the process into dos and don’t. Keep us posted on learning Chinese–did you know that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, studies it one hour every day? It is an incredibly difficult language to learn so I’m curious to learn how it goes for you.

    • Caitlin January 3, 2011, 1:33 pm

      That is so cool. I love the Facebook dude.

  • Kacy January 3, 2011, 1:33 pm

    These are great tips! I agree that goals are so necessary. It wasn’t until I challenged myself to find happiness via a NYR that I actually did it. Sometimes you just have to get off your ass and make shit happen.

  • Liz January 3, 2011, 1:37 pm

    Really great post! I hate how people make unrealistic resolutions and set themselves up for failure, when I find resolutions/goals to be very helpful for my motivation.

  • Ashley January 3, 2011, 1:41 pm

    Great tips!!

  • KatieTX January 3, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Last year I wrote down 10 things I wanted to accomplish in 2010 and did 9/10. The one I didn’t achieve was out of my control. This coming year will be far too crazy for me to accomplish any new fitness goals. Just staying in shape and not getting too grossly skinny (as many women do) for my wedding is my only fitness goal. I LOVE your personal goals 🙂 I want to attempt to make babies when I am your age in a couple years. I am so excited for you!

  • Tanya @ Vegan Faith January 3, 2011, 1:44 pm

    Lake Norman Triathlon is a popular race in August up here. It is a lake swim and very exciting. It seems like everyone is either in the race or watching the race around here. During my run this morning a couple friends and I were batting around triathlons to try this summer. LKN tri has a “beginner” race on Sunday. You should check it out.

  • jenny in new york January 3, 2011, 1:45 pm

    i have some new years goals for 2011, financial, personal and fitness related as well. One of my major ones is cooking a bigger variety of foods! Right now i’m eating the same foods over and over again because its easy.

  • Carly January 3, 2011, 1:46 pm

    Thanks for your post, I really like your ideas and your tips are helpful! I need to be better about setting goals period, you have given me some inspiration for goal setting, although I can tell you one that I am already working on: hydrating! I just don’t drink that much at all, so I am really trying to incorporate water into my life!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 3, 2011, 1:47 pm

    I love this post. I usually don’t set “resolutions” but I love goals. I firmly believe that the one of the only ways of achieving what you want to do is to write it down and set up a plan!

  • Michelle January 3, 2011, 1:48 pm

    This is totally inspiring as i’m refining my 2011 goals. One of my biggest is to complete my first 1/2 marathon, continue loving to run and treating my body the best I can to keep in shape for it.

  • Lisa January 3, 2011, 1:49 pm

    Awesome advice! Having a plan and being specific are so vital and really spoke to me. Best of luck with the books and all of your goals!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) January 3, 2011, 1:52 pm

    This is an amazing post Caitlin! I’m going to pass it along to everyone I know! 🙂 I’ve set a lot of fitness goals (like completing my first half- marathon on Saturday at Disney, run a few more halfs, run a Marathon, strength train) but I’ve also set educational goals (get through this semester- I’m taking 23 credits!, research graduate schools, take the GRE), and personal goals (end fat talk, work on my self esteem, etc).

    I do have one question about telling everyone about our NYR. When I told everyone back in October that I was going to train and run a half- marathon at the beginning of 2011, I faced a LOT of criticism. Not only from my parents (who eventually came around once they saw how hard I’ve worked) but from friends too. My friends CONTINUE TO doubt me, but I KNOW that I will be finishing my race on Saturday. Even though I would like to say that they criticism and doubt doesn’t bother me, it does. I know that when I tell my friends that I want to run a marathon they are going to doubt me again. How should I reply back? Or should I not say anything and just let my actions speak louder than words? 😉

    • Caitlin January 3, 2011, 1:59 pm

      INTERESTING. Why do you think your friends doubt you? Do they just lead a non-active lifestyle?

      • Katy (The Singing Runner) January 3, 2011, 2:09 pm

        Essentially. They eat fast food at least 5x’s a week, never go to the gym (but always say they need to), and drink in excess every Friday and Saturday night.

        Maybe it’s not doubt? Maybe it’s more or less I’m doing something that they are too lazy to do? I don’t mean for that to sound harsh, but it’s the only thing I can think of.

        • Caitlin January 3, 2011, 2:14 pm

          Yea… sometimes people find it threatening. If you want to tell them (I mean, they are your friends), just shrug and say “yo, I have my hobbies and you have yours” if they tease you.

        • Katy (The Singing Runner) January 3, 2011, 4:39 pm

          Haha!!! Too true! Thank you Caitlin! 🙂

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances January 3, 2011, 1:55 pm

    I didn’t get a chance to read this morning’s post until now — happy anniversary to you and the husband! 🙂 I really like how you explained the do’s and don’ts for goal-setting, and I totally agree with your emphasis on being specific. I think we’ve all been guilty of making really vague resolutions… I know I have! I’m looking forward to learning more about the HTP book as well as your quest to become a mother… SO exciting!

  • Emilie January 3, 2011, 1:58 pm

    Great post and so many great tips! I’m trying to keep my goals specific and realistic this year and I’m actually really excited about working on them. I’m planning on doing an update post on my blog every month, just to keep things on track. I think accountability goes a long way!

  • JenRD January 3, 2011, 1:58 pm

    Congrats on HTP book deal!!!

  • Kaitlin January 3, 2011, 2:01 pm

    AWESOME post Caitlin! One of my goals is to run my first marathon and alongside that is to drink less beer! I love beer but waking up after just two drinks makes running so much more difficult! We can do it!

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun January 3, 2011, 2:01 pm

    Fantastic tips! I’m big on being realistic and having smaller goals to help reach the bigger ones. It takes action and focus to achieve things.

  • Maddie (Healthy Maddie) January 3, 2011, 2:04 pm

    Great tips! I will definitely be using these when I make my new year goals.

  • Haley January 3, 2011, 2:06 pm

    Mine are very similar to yours – prepare for eventual (key word) pregnancy, continue on the path of health and wellness, create and write!

    One of my biggest health intentions of this year: Rather than running a half marathon, my goal this year is to listen to and honor my body (if it says don’t run, I won’t).

    Also, my motto for the year:

    It’s going to be a GREAT one!!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman January 3, 2011, 2:08 pm

    I’m one of the NYR haters. 🙂 My major goals are things I think of daily so I feel like I don’t need to set them on paper to make them real.

  • Natalie January 3, 2011, 2:11 pm

    How do you like your indoor trainer?? I really want to get one but am worried that I won’t use it/like it!

    • Caitlin January 3, 2011, 2:14 pm


      • Natalie January 3, 2011, 2:20 pm

        Any recommendations for specific brands or features?

        • Caitlin January 3, 2011, 2:25 pm

          I have the Bell Motivator. I’m going to write about it more tonight!

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith January 3, 2011, 2:16 pm


  • Ellen @FirednFabulous January 3, 2011, 2:20 pm

    Well, I’ve been saying for FOREVER that I want to sign up for my first race…and I DID! It’s this Saturday. It’s 5 miles, and although I’m not in my BEST running shape, I know I can do it. I just needed to rip that Band-Aid off!

    • Caitlin January 3, 2011, 2:25 pm

      Yay Ellen! I am so proud of you!

    • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith January 3, 2011, 7:12 pm

      Yay! Congratulations. I ran my first race last year (it was a half) and half the battle (no pun intended) was just signing up. Good luck!

  • Sarah B. January 3, 2011, 2:38 pm

    I have been reading your blog for almost two years and I think that this is the first time I have ever commented. First of all, I love your blog! This is the first time that I have made NYR. I want to incorporate yoga into my workout routine and I am already registered in a yoga class (it begins next week). I have decided that I want to run at least one 5km race, I have looked online and there are some races in my city that are starting in May. I have also started to floss my teeth and wear my retainer at night. I am supposed to wear my retainer every night, and I went a whole month not wearing it :(.

  • salah@myhealthiestlifestyle January 3, 2011, 2:38 pm

    Those are all great goals!!!!!!

  • Brittany January 3, 2011, 2:38 pm

    Great post Caitlin. I love all of your tips!

  • Nicole January 3, 2011, 2:40 pm

    This is an awesome post. I never set NYR bc I’m always afraid of failing, so I just set little goals throughout the year. i’ve done well with food, fitness and healthy goals but my monetary goals go down the toilet every year. I need help figuring out how to save money (for a house as well) and still be able to spend time with my family (who I have to spend money on traveling to see) and other things like learning to let things go (i need patience) … I don’t even know where to begin on building a budget that includes trips to NY for sisters and AZ for mom and grandma, and Boston for college friends.
    One of my biggest frustrations is bc we’re trying to save for a house, we (my boyfriend and I) never go out. Ever. It’s very rare and it makes me feel like an old lady. That’s why the money thing scares me–i’m too young to be spending my weekends at home!! but I’m too old to be irresponsible with my money and not being able to save is irresponsible on my part. UGH

    Thanks again and Happy new year!!!

    • Whitney January 3, 2011, 3:34 pm

      I am with you. I am 25, and living with my boyfriend. We rent (but its expensive) and our salaries aren’t anything amazing. We struggle with going out, and too often eat out. I really want to stick to a budget, it’s just so HARD!

  • Ashley January 3, 2011, 2:42 pm

    These are great tips. Everyone talked about their NYR but no one really said how they came up with them or tips to accomplish them.

  • Lauren January 3, 2011, 2:52 pm

    This was my favorite NYR post because the tips are so useful! I love your ideas of writing out plans for them, and I’m probably going to do that with the goals I set. Have fun learning Chinese!

  • Heather January 3, 2011, 3:06 pm

    I set a bunch of goals for the year last week (I don’t like the word resolution, so I go with goals!).

    Great tips though. I was just thinking about my goal to stop eating out for lunch so much. I’ve pinpointed the problem – most of the time I eat at my desk, so when I get the urge to go out for lunch it’s mainly because I want to get away from my desk for a bit. So, I’m going to keep packing my lunch, but when I get that urge to get away from my desk I’m going to walk around the area for a bit with my I-Pod. I live in a warm climate, so I can go outside anytime. Hopefully this will work!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg January 3, 2011, 3:09 pm

    I like goals AND resolutions! I see nothing wrong with them! Great tips for reaching goals!

  • Jacqueline January 3, 2011, 3:19 pm

    Hey! I totally love your tips. I actually started a blog last night for that exact reason:) I am hoping if I write it then I will actually do it. My goal for the year is to become more knowledgeable of what I am putting in my body and thus becoming healthier:)

  • Maura January 3, 2011, 3:21 pm

    HTP Book?!?!?! I’m SO amped for that announcement 🙂

  • Natalia - a side of simple January 3, 2011, 3:22 pm

    Wow, this is the only set of goals that I’ve seen that just resonate with a realistic positive attitude towards being healthy (besides the fun ones… like “eat more chocolate” or “go on a road trip with your bff”). Thanks for always inspiring, Caitlin!

  • Baking 'n' Books January 3, 2011, 3:31 pm

    Wait – did I miss something? 2 BOOKS?! I knew you were doing an OB Tweens, but what is the HTP one?? About your blog? Exciting!

    And your right – sitting back and waiting or moping about what you don’t have doesn’t get you anywhere. It’s alright to accept your circumstances – and live them – but in order to make any changes or gains, you have to accept them WHILE working on getting further. Such is life.

  • Maggie January 3, 2011, 3:36 pm

    I love your advice. And a Healthy Tipping Point Book?!?! Exciting, I can’t wait to hear more about that!

    Good luck with all your goals. My big one is moving my workouts to the morning, I was the 5th person at the gym at 5:30am this morning, woooo!!!

  • Jen January 3, 2011, 3:47 pm

    I am not sure if I’m making NYR’s this year. I had a total plan of attack for 2010, everything was detailed, in writing, down to the days and weeks of the month. Then 2010 bit me in the ass. Hard. I am trying to make a plan for 2011, just hoping it doesn’t end the same way 2010 did!!!


  • Amanda January 3, 2011, 3:59 pm

    One of my goals is to bring Operation Beautiful to Michigan. 🙂 I agree goals should be in bite-sized pieces. It helps with staying motivated and it helps with flexibility.

  • Bobbie January 3, 2011, 3:59 pm

    Saving enough to buy a house without PMI is a smart move!
    You have inspired me to sit down and map out some goals for myself this year. I’ve never really been one to make resolutions but I like the idea of having a plan going into the new year.

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 3, 2011, 4:19 pm

    Wow what a great post, Caitlin!
    Everything from your tips, not setting yourself up for failure, smaller goals, telling others, etc..all awesome!

    To sharing what your own plans and goals are for the year. Chinese, growing your hubs’ biz, saving enough to not need PMI..that would be 20% usually.. At your age, and in this economy, that’s a rockin’ goal and I hope you get there! I am rooting for you 🙂

  • Liza January 3, 2011, 4:40 pm

    This was a great post Caitlin and inspired me to actually write down some of my resolutions. You have really inspired me a great deal this year and I am looking forward to putting some of your advice in action!

  • Chetney (Czesia's Adventures) January 3, 2011, 4:44 pm

    I think I really needed to read this post today! I’d love some life coaching too, how awesome is that?

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) January 3, 2011, 4:54 pm

    Congrats on reaching all your goals! I really love your blog because of posts like this. Thanks!

  • Katrina January 3, 2011, 5:07 pm

    Train for and run my third annual half marathon (in April and I’m well on my way). Really start listening to my body and avoid tumbling from injury to injury! Write more, journalling is good for the soul.
    Take care,

  • Rachael January 3, 2011, 5:40 pm

    Going into the winter, I had set about creating a five year plan for myself, breaking goals down into years and months. However, most of my immediate plans for the coming year, fitness and otherwise, have changed in the past week – I just found out I’m well into my first trimester, and so I’m setting about creating a whole new vision!

  • Danielle January 3, 2011, 5:55 pm

    So not to beat a dead horse with saving for a house – seriously if you can wait long enough to not have PMI DO IT! It’s so worth it in the long run!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss January 3, 2011, 5:58 pm

    Great tips! I’ve never really set goald before this year. Or..I’d set them, but never write them down so they’d pretty much get lost. Hopefully I’ll be able to pull through with them this time, though!

  • Maria (realfitmama) January 3, 2011, 6:21 pm

    I love that you break your goals up into categories because I did the same thing!! Mine were Personal, Family and Fitness. The ones that seem to be making me the most nervous are the ones that I should be TOTALLY fine with. 1) one day a week completely gadget free (television, laptop, cellphone) and television free dinners (my girls aren’t going to like this!) monday – friday. I’m signing up to do a totally different kind of race here in STL. It’s called Master the Met and it’s a race up 42 flights of stairs to raise money for the American Lung Association. I also am hoping to read 11 books this year! I really think 2011 is going to be a GREAT year!! 🙂

  • Heidi - apples under my bed January 3, 2011, 6:50 pm

    Great post! I completely agree with you. Thanks for the “do’s” and “don’ts” guide, great work! 🙂
    Heidi xo

  • Lee January 3, 2011, 6:55 pm

    I love this. It’s so true.

    We wanted to buy a house with enough down to not pay PMI too but it didn’t work out. It actually isn’t that much more a month. I mean, I know it ends up being more in the long run, but we don’t actually feel it in our wallets every month.

    • Susan January 4, 2011, 5:51 pm

      Yeah, same here. For us to accomplish that, I would have had to move in with the BF, save every penny of my pay and he would have had to pay for everything for 2 years. And by that point (if we hadn’t killed each other first), we may have been priced out of the area where we really wanted to live and ultimately ended up buying. For us, the PMI was a small price to pay for getting our dream home.

      I think it’s great that you’re trying eliminate PMI. We’re hoping to be able to elimate it when the market recovers. Would you pay PMI if your dream house became available and you didn’t have the 20% saved?

      • Caitlin January 4, 2011, 5:53 pm

        Probably 🙂

  • Ravenous Rowie January 3, 2011, 6:57 pm

    This was so helpful! I do have some vague ideas of what I want to accomplish this year, but now I know I need to think about it more carefully, and come up with specifics to keep me on track! Also, being realistic this year could help a lot! Can’t wait to get started!

  • Anna (Always a Benanna) January 3, 2011, 7:06 pm

    I LOVE the idea of writing down each goal, a plan for achieving that goal, and how you will measure success on a sheet of paper. I often break down my daily work to-do list into segments, I don’t know why I didn’t think to do this for my personal life as well!

    I think I’m going to follow your lead and hang the pieces of paper on the back of my closet door. That way I have a great reminder of how far I’ve come and what exactly needs to be done to achieve my goals.

  • DefineDiana January 3, 2011, 7:10 pm

    I am actually a very close friend of your childhood friend Katie E. We met once in middle/high school when you came to visit her. I feel like I have heard so many stories about Katie N. over the years (I see you no longer go by that).

    I just wanted to say that your blog is so fantastic. I have just started reading it and you definitely have a new reader.

    Also your post about goals inspired me to finally make some of my own. I’m always afraid that if I set any I will fail. But now they are written down and out in the universe, all thanks to you.


  • Jamie @ Food in Real Life January 3, 2011, 7:32 pm

    Great tips Caitlin! I love how organized and well written your posts are. My NYR is to declutter and get rid of things I don’t need anymore. Including those “too big clothes”

  • Zo January 3, 2011, 7:55 pm

    I wish you well meeting your goals. This hits home with me. In the past I’ve listed goals like 1) drink more water, 2) exercise more 3) figure out life. I’ve never even managed the more water one! I think it’s just important to remember that you get a chance to do something differently every day. The new page on the calendar is helpful, but arbitrary.

    • Caitlin January 4, 2011, 9:20 am

      yup! each meal is a chance to make healthier choices

  • Danielle @ FoodBoogie January 3, 2011, 8:00 pm

    I love your process of making goals! Thanks for all the tips, this is really helpful 🙂

  • Jenn January 3, 2011, 8:00 pm

    I really like the idea of breaking up goals into personal, professional, and fitness. This year I will write my goals down and track my progress regularly. Usually I set a vague resolution and forget about it by January 3.
    Thanks for the tips!

  • Lili* January 3, 2011, 8:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing your NYR’s Caitlin. I love this: “Keep in better touch with my old friends by calling them more often.” – I find it crazy that due to our busy lives we end up not making that much time to catch up w/ all our friends…

    And wow, a HTP book? Im buying it! 😀
    I don’t usually set NYR…but still thinking about putting some goals on paper.

  • Katie January 3, 2011, 8:12 pm

    I received your book as a gift for Christmas and it is truly inspiring! Thank you for starting such a needed movement.

  • Rach January 3, 2011, 8:26 pm

    It made me smile to see that you wrote “Learn to speak Chinese with the Husband (so excited about this)” because of a running joke in college with my then boyfriend (now husband).

    When I started college, I was fresh off the boat from China (okay, it was an airplane, but you know what I mean). I started dating this boy (who’s now my husband!) and since he was sweet and thoughtful, he decided that he should learn to speak some Chinese. So he got some books on learning Mandarin and I would tutor him and it was great.

    Well, one day I lost track of time in the student center while we were working on his Chinese and suddenly realized I was going to be late to class if I didn’t book it. So I grabbed my books and dashed off to class. I made it just after the bell rang and my professor made a comment like, “So glad you could join us, Rach” (he was just teasing – he was a dear friend of mine). I responded, “Oh, I’m so sorry! I was just teaching my boyfriend Chinese and lost track of time.” Before my professor could respond, one of my friends from class piped up, “Um, I saw you guys in the student center and you were definitely doing more than just teaching him a language…” to which the whole class laughed hysterically. This was a major’s class my freshman year so it was all my closest friends… AND the people I would be in classes with for the next four years. Sure enough, the joke never died. “Teaching Chinese” became the catch phrase for “making out” as far as those 60 students were concerned. It has been over 6 years since then and I even still hear about it occasionally.

    So, you can see now why I find it humorous that you are so excited to “learn Chinese” with your husband. 😉

    Sorry that was such a long story and comment, but I just thought I would share. Hopefully it brought a smile.

    Good luck with all your goals this year! 🙂

    • Caitlin January 4, 2011, 9:22 am

      hahah i will teach him a LOT of chinese.

  • Emily January 3, 2011, 8:40 pm

    I heard someone make a great point the other day- that success never happens on accident. thanks for discussing the importance of goals and being intentional!

  • Paul T January 3, 2011, 8:58 pm

    I’m with you on the ride the bike trainer either while watching TV or instead of watching TV. Plus, drink a little more water and less of those adult beverages.

  • Jessica January 3, 2011, 9:02 pm

    I’ve got quite a few goals for this year but one specific goal is to run 2 half-marathons. This was a goal of mine last year that I didn’t make a reality so I’m extra motivated to make it happen!

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In January 3, 2011, 9:27 pm

    Great post. And thanks for actually talking about the weight issue — you make a very good point!

  • Ashley January 3, 2011, 9:28 pm

    I love the Do’s & Dont’s! I always try to set reasonable and realistic goals & to measure “success” in a variety of ways (not just relying on scales, etc.)

  • Caitlin January 3, 2011, 9:45 pm

    Love these! Also love the beer headband. Cheers!

  • Shannon January 3, 2011, 9:56 pm

    Thanks for this post! Very helpful for me, as I am someone who has a long history with failed NYRs.

  • Sarah (Sarah Learns) January 3, 2011, 10:12 pm

    thanks for all of the great tips in this post! i’m going to print this out and keep it with my list of 2011 goals. i think it’ll help keep me on track!

  • Wendy January 3, 2011, 10:24 pm

    Great post!! I seem to be making progress towards a goal of eating less sugar, which I believe will help with some other (minor) health issues I’ve been having. Weight loss is a side goal, and I’ve already lost 3 lbs. Go me! My only other goal is to survive the rest of my first year teaching. I will probably set some other fitness-related goals for myself as summer vacation gets closer.

    P.S. In preparing your body for eventual pregnancy, don’t forget to do your kegels! Super important! 😉

    • Caitlin January 4, 2011, 9:23 am

      Doing them right now!

  • kate January 3, 2011, 10:36 pm

    I think the accountability that comes with making goals public is essential for success for a lot of people – I know it helps me! Good luck on your goals for 2011.

  • Mary Beth January 3, 2011, 10:38 pm

    THANKS for this post! Just what I needed. I had a GREAT day workout-wise, but then felt like a complete failure because I didn’t stick to my unrealistically strict eating plan for the day. Your post made me reevaluate my goals and how to break them down into simpler, smaller, realistic goals that I can actually meet. Perfect!

  • kirsty_girl @ Cooking in Japan January 3, 2011, 10:57 pm

    I have never set NYRs simply because I don’t like the resolution – I feel that it shouldn’t be used for what people normally use it for. I made a to do list for 2011. It has a variety of healthy lifestyle practices, some running and other exercise tasks.

  • Shelley January 3, 2011, 11:26 pm

    This is such a great post, it’s come just in time for me, as I’ve been thinking about my goals this year.

    I NEVER make goals this detailed, I’m guilty of the vague “must lose weight” and “must save more money” goals. And I wonder why I never fulfill them!

    I am going to embrace the no scale rule this year. After reading this post I just keep thinking about how discouraged I get after getting on the scales. Even if I lost weight, I can still get discouraged if I’m actually feeling great and feeling like I’m looking better than what the scales tell me!

    I’ll have to raid my wardrobe for clothes I got into in the past and they can be my goal markers 🙂

    Happy new year!

  • carlee January 4, 2011, 12:13 am

    I love personal goal number 2!
    Love them all but especially that one!
    You ROCK Caitlin!

  • Cat January 4, 2011, 2:47 am

    Super great tips, shared it on my company’s Facebook page today 🙂 Working on my own NYRs currently! Nothing earth-shattering, but it feels good to write it all down! How loud would you say your Bell trainer is? I’ve heard that is a big issue with them.

    • Caitlin January 4, 2011, 9:23 am

      It’s as loud as a vacuum cleaner.

  • Foxy January 4, 2011, 3:50 am

    Great tips! Thank you! 🙂

  • Julia @ Brides Up North January 4, 2011, 7:16 am


    I knew about the Operation Beautiful one…

    LOL My personal goals are EXACTLY the same as yours, except for learning Chinese, not doing that one!

    My professional goal is to continue to grow my bridal inspiration blog whilst striving in my new legal role.

    Julia xxx

  • Leanne @ For Health's Sake January 4, 2011, 8:50 am

    Fantastic tips! It’s so refreshing reading a new tip that I’ve never heard… or reading one thats descriptive!

    I’m really excited that my goals are attainable (still a bit scary tho!) and I’m looking forward to reaching all of them this year. One of the biggest things I’ve learned from your blog is to not set myself up for failure (i’ve seen you write that in a couple posts!).

    Have a great day!

  • Katie January 4, 2011, 10:18 am

    I had a ton of new years resolutions/goals (thats a new way to think about it!) but I became very overwhelmed. They were all about how I wanted to be better and how I wanted to make myself better and my life better. So I changed it, right before I went to bed New Years Eve (yeah I went to bed at like 8 🙂 )

    My new NYR: Make my life a life worth living. Now every time I go to do something like spend to much money, not eat right, exercise too much/not enough, not call my friends, not spend time with my family I ask myself “is this a life I want to live?”

  • Stacey January 4, 2011, 10:31 am

    Have you mentioned The Healthy Tipping Point book before? I didn’t realise you were writing a book based on your blog – good luck!

    • Caitlin January 4, 2011, 12:59 pm

      I slip it in every now and then 🙂 But I haven’t done a formal announcement.

  • Carpensm @ A Life Without Ice Cream January 4, 2011, 11:00 am

    Great tips!

    I’m going to run my 2nd ever 5k and beat my PR this year!

    Also, can’t wait for an HTP book!

    Happy New year!

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy January 4, 2011, 11:42 am

    I started my goals prior to 2011. I’m taking it a day at a time. I find reading blogs and finding new recipes has helped make cooking at home exciting. Our work got rid of its cafe last year so that helped make me bring my lunch every day. I’m making fitness more of a priority and counting how many fruits and vegetables I eat per day and making good food choices (most days) instead of worrying over calories. For instance, we had pizza for dinner last night, but I had a Green Monster and cucumbers before the pizza.

  • LauraJayne January 4, 2011, 12:08 pm

    I’m not a big resolution person (this year I am focusing on gradual life changes – ending my own “fat talk” and starting a regular hot yoga practice) because I feel like people approach them with the wrong attitude – but your attitude and approach seems “just right!” The goals I set and refer to are my “bucket list” life goals and I need to do a better job of referring back to those, and updating myself on my progress (or lack thereof!).

    • Caitlin January 4, 2011, 12:59 pm

      Ending Fat Talk is just a great goal!!

  • Martha Lilian January 4, 2011, 8:16 pm

    These are absolutely the best tips I have ever seen. I have realized that I need to break down each of my resolutions into smaller goals – and take small bites instead of shoving a whole resolution casserole down my throat.

    Goal #1: Organize my goals to make them more manageable!

  • Carina January 5, 2011, 4:48 pm

    Be careful tying your running goal to a specific race. You might end up with disaster beyond your control (Chicago 07 type weather for example).

  • Shayla January 7, 2011, 6:43 pm

    I want to get my body prepared for pregnancy as well since we’ll be trying for a baby in the summer. I saw in the earlier comment section that you’re trying to drink less (hard for me too!) and starting prenatal vitamins. I’d like to start that too – do you or your Dr. Husband 😉 have a brand in mind or one you can recommend? Thanks!

    • Caitlin January 7, 2011, 6:45 pm

      Hi Shayla!

      You can shoot him an email at and he’ll recommend something for you! 😉

  • Shayla January 7, 2011, 7:32 pm

    Awesome I’ll do that, thanks Caitlin!

  • Erin December 2, 2011, 10:58 am

    Caitlin, I LOVE this article you wrote. You perfectly outlined how to make and stick to your NYR. I personally make Birthday resolutions instead but this is so helpful! Thank you!

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