This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and Dick’s Sporting Goods®. All opinions are my own.

Does anyone else thinking that New Year’s comes at the complete wrong time of the year?

Hear me out. New Year’s falls right after the holiday season, when many of us have indulged a little more than usual. It falls toward the end of breaks or time off from work or school, so we’re out of our typical routines. It’s usually freezing outside. I don’t know about you guys, but January 1st is usually the last day I’m thinking about my fitness and nutrition goals after drinking one too many glasses of rose on New Year’s Eve.

New Year's Eve 2015

To be completely honest, New Year’s Day is honestly one of my “unhealthiest” days of every year. This year, New Year’s Day involved aforementioned rose hangover, brunch with my parents and sister, stopping to get a huge muffin with Tim at a different breakfast place after eating brunch with my parents and sister (lololol), more couch time than I’ve had during the day in a loooooong time, and then going to hang out with Slesh and Will at their new house at night and ordering sushi.

Don’t judge me. Because I have zero guilt about that day, I didn’t freak the eff out, and I didn’t beat myself up about it for the next three weeks. I’m LOLing about that massive and delicious banana coconut chocolate chip muffin instead of jumping on a seven-day juice cleanse. But I was certainly not about to set out on a “New Year, New Me” rampage as I was eating crab rangoons with my bestie that night.

Every January, it always takes me a while to find my own version of normalcy again. Because of this, I don’t really like to think about my goals for the next year until I’m back to my routine. Also, over the years, I’ve become less about making New Year’s resolutions at the end of December and more focused on goal setting/revising at any time during the year, or even better, consistently each month.

However, the other day as I was doing a little browsing through some of the fitness equipment at Dick’s Sporting Goods® on my lunch break, I started thinking about my fitness journey in 2015 and where I want to take that in 2016.

Dicks Sporting Goods

I mentioned in this post a couple of weeks ago that the desire to always want to improve and look ahead can prevent us from celebrating the things we’ve already accomplished and reflecting on how far we’ve come. In the spirit of practicing what I preach, here are some of the things I’m proud of from my 2015 fitness journey:

  • My first unassisted chest to bar chin up
  • Getting more comfortable with kettlebells
  • Bodyweight trap bar deadlift
  • Making yoga a priority in my life again and practicing regularly
  • Getting my indoor cycling instructor certification

My main goals for 2016 are definitely more personal and career oriented than they are fitness, but I guess all of that overlaps for me, huh? Also, since I’ve been having a bit of trouble grounding my workouts over the last month or so, I thought that identifying some of the areas I want to improve in would help me. It did! Here’s what I came up with:

  • Multiple consecutive unassisted chest to bar chin ups now that I can do one
  • Progression with my strength training journey. I don’t have any set numbers in mind, but I would like to just keep improving on my bigger lifts: conventional deadlifts, front squats, and my bench press.
  • Become a better spin instructor! Just because I got the certification doesn’t mean I’m totally comfortable yet. I definitely need more practice in coming up with choreography and playlists.
  • Run a race that is a longer than a 5k. I’m thinking a five miler would be a good place to start!
  • Walk more throughout the day, especially at work. Sometimes I can just get stuck in a rut of chaining myself to my desk to bust out to-dos, and I never feel good at the end of the day after sitting for so long.

Subbing Spin Class

Aside from just thinking about my goals, I also took some tangible steps last week that will hopefully help me achieve them:

  • For the chin up and other strength stuff, I wrote myself a new training plan. I just needed a change. I started it last week, and I’m definitely feeling much more motivated during my workouts.
  • I started looking on ClassPass to find some new spin classes to take. I want to try a few different instructors to really learn from them and pinpoint what my own style is.
  • I started looking for potential races to run in the spring. Or maybe in the fall since I tend to run the most in the summertime. And I’m serious about looking for a buddy to do this with!
  • Finally, for the walking, I scheduled the time into my work day. I just need to not use the cold as an excuse right now! Kind of goes back to the whole bad timing of New Year’s thing: it can be hard to get to the gym to work on your fitness goals when it’s cold out, dark out, snowing, etc. at this time of year. Sometimes it just seems so much easier to stay in your warm bed or the comfort of your own house than to head outside, even if it’s only to get in your car and drive to the gym. This is why New Year’s would be so much better in June, I’m telling you!

To help with this “it’s too cold” mentality, I decided to purchase some cute winter gear on my shopping excursion last week. I bought a cute winter headband to wear when I go walking on cold days, and I bought leg warmers to wear over my crops to the gym or to spin or yoga classes around the city. Nothing worse than having that strip of calf/shin exposed and freezing because your boots aren’t high enough to reach your capri pants! A sweater for my legs? Yes, please! #thestruggleisreal

Dick's Sporting Goods purchases

I also bought fun pants to wear over leggings with my Uggs when I’m not wearing my legwarmers. Dick’s had this brand of pants with both a fleece lined option and without. The fleece ones weren’t available in my size, so I went with the ones without.

Dick's Sporting Goods

Finally, I also bought and a cute black long-sleeved shirt with rouching on the sleeves. I realized that I tend to buy so many prints and bright-colored tops that I have barely anything to match when I wear bright or patterned pants. The black long sleeve is perfect for wearing while teaching my classes or still warming up, and the inside has the wording “there are no limits.” Love.

Dick's Sporting Goods

If you feel overwhelmed with any of the fitness (or any!) goals you might have made for yourself at the beginning of the year, try taking a step back and doing one small actionable item to help re-energize you. Whether that’s buying new gear or researching a race, taking action instead of just thinking about the things you want to accomplish can really help.

Can’t wait to continue sharing my fitness journey with you guys for another year, and of course, encouraging you along the way with yours. <3

Let’s chat! What fitness accomplishments are you proud of from 2015? Did you make any fitness goals for 2016? What are they? Do you find it hard to stay motivated at this time of year, or do you enjoy the fresh start feel that comes with New Year’s? How do you break the “it’s too cold” gym excuse? 

Happy weekend, friends!