2019 Goals

I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this year. The stress of Q4 had tainted my view and outlook a little too much. After spending a week at home and then almost completely checking out this past weekend, I feel like a new person. I’m definitely ready for a fresh start. And I know while there isn’t that big of a difference between December 31st and January 1st… it still does feel like a chance to reset, regroup, and reenergize.

So helllllllo 2019. I’m ready for you!

Every year I set goals instead of resolutions. I also set an intention/focus for the year too, which I talked about yesterday. But the goals are a little more granular. Very frankly, I think I was okay, not great, on my goals from last year and I’m okay with it. It was a weird year for me and at times I was more in survival mode of just putting one foot in front of the other. Before we jump into this year’s goals, I wanted to just recap how I did with last year’s goals:

FITNESS: I didn’t do much running because I was struggling with my foot injury (which, while it’s not 100% resolved, I’m able to better manage it now) and I’m disappointed I never got to that dance class. However, I definitely did a great job of pushing myself in the gym, first with my old class in Connecticut, then with a personal trainer in Hoboken, and finally finishing 16 weeks of the BBG program. I’m really, really proud of myself in this department. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a better person when I’m working out and I’ve proven to myself that I’m so much stronger than I ever considered myself to be.

PERSONAL: While I struggled with writing consistently (on and off and on and off throughout the year), I did put some words onto the page. Better than nothing I guess! I did do a great job with my 1 Second Everyday app– just finished my year and can’t wait to watch it all together!! And I know I did a terrible job with “I think.” I still say it all the time. 🤦🏻‍♀️

BUSINESS: I started off strong with Youtube and then hit a wall when I struggled with anxiety around comments. Still struggling, although it’s gotten slightly better now that I have someone else moderating comments for me. This was probably the biggest hurdle I faced all year and it affected me in a big way that I’m really not proud of.

Okay, so here is what I’m thinking for this year’s goals. I actually have a head start on all of these so I’m feeling pretty confident about it! Especially since my intention for the year is to focus on my daily habits, a lot of these fall under that category.

LANGUAGE // I wasn’t planning on this, but after my last trip to Paris, I’m feeling extra inspired to learn French. Why? I have literally NO idea, but I felt the calling and I listened to it. After spending time with my friend Daphne and her husband, I was extra inclined to at least try. We kept going out to dinner and they are able to have full and complete and wonderful conversations in English and I had about two words in my French vocabulary.

I downloaded DuoLingo and I’m seriously obsessed with it. I’ve been doing it every day as my first task of the morning. I didn’t love my Spanish classes in high school/college (probably because they were required classes), but I’m totally loving learning a language for FUN. I’m picking it up faster than I expected myself to. Maybe I should have tried Spanish because I have a pretty solid base of vocabulary/phrases/conjugations under my belt already, but I have to say, it’s nice to have a completely fresh start with zero school-related pressure.

CONTINUE WORKING OUT // Kind of lame to include this when it’s something I’ve already been doing for years now. I want to basically keep pushing myself every time I work out. I have never regretted a workout, even if I hate it during and dread it before. I’m going to keep doing Kayla Itsine’s program– I downloaded the app to use for the year so I’m hoping that continues to inspire me.

And I also just want to keep having fun with it. I did a lot of workouts by myself this past year, but every time I did it with a friend, I felt even better. I have a few classes I already want to try with friends (Pelaton, barre3, yoga, Orange Theory).

COOKING // This is something I’m really feeling pumped about too. I am a cautious cook and live with a great cook so I got in the habit of taking a back seat for dinners. But I made it a goal this fall to cook our Monday dinners and I already feel great about it. I’ve been working my way through Barefoot Contessa’s recipes and having good luck with it. It’s a fun, small challenge. And it’s never as hard as I think it will be!

GOING GREEN // Another thing that I got a head start on. I have been slowly but surely making lifestyle changes to better myself and better the environment. I really want to cut back on unnecessary waste. I’m not perfect, but I’ve been making small changes to my everyday life and I’m already noticing a difference. Last year I started using natural deodorant (my current ride-or-die is Megababe), I switched from tampons to a menstrual cup and I freaking LOVE IT, and stopped using plastic straws.

For this year, I’m focusing on three specific things while also considering new ways to go even greener. I am committing to not using to-go coffee cups (a really bad habit I have) and instead switched to travel mugs. I’m also going to cut back on my paper towel usage in the kitchen when I can. And not using plastic bags– I’ve been pretty good about this, remembering a tote 90% of the time, but I could be even better.

READ 52 BOOKS // I haven’t set a specific reading goal in a while and it’s not a coincidence that my reading has been a little slow. I can definitely do a book a week if I’m committing to incorporating reading into my everyday life. It doesn’t matter what I’m reading, I just need to read. Part of this is going to be to give myself permission to “quit” a book I just can’t get into. I usually trudge through a bad book for months instead of just saying, “you know what, this book isn’t for me” and moving onto one that does interest me.

MORE IPHONE // One more business related goal. I want to continue to get over my fear of posting iPhone pictures on Instagram. I definitely got better at it last year and I want to just continue on that trend. I like them better, you guys like them better, and it’s ALL GOOD.

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Hailey P.

Hey Carly! Happy New Year! I’m going to Paris this summer for my birthday and after reading your posts you wrote in Paris, it just got me more excited! I use Duolingo for French too and it’s amazing, isn’t it? Good luck with the goals!


Such great goals! You did such a good job of covering so many bases– personal hobbies, business, health, social/environmental, concrete skills. I’m not one for new year’s resolutions… but you’ve inspired me so I may just give it a whirl this year. Looking forward to following along 🙂

Alyssa | Between Fox and Hare

Rebecca Heron

Love your goals! And your change in attitude regarding reading books – I know that my own reading soared when I gave myself permission to not finish a book! When I was training as a teacher I came across the Rights of a Reader ( I think that if we were all taught this in school, we would read so much more!

Have a great 2019!


Hey Carly,
These are fantastic and inspiring goals. I also have a learning Spanish goal and 2 things I found so helpful to share: a podcast called Coffee Break French (sounds lame but the pacing is fantastic and it gives you practical knowledge and the benefit of learning a language aurally) and I’ve been watching children’s shows like The Magic School Bus in the language to practice my listening. OK had to share because they are fantastic and you are fantastic. Thanks!


It is funny to see you post about paper towel usage. I grew up never using a paper towel. My mom decided if she was going to be putting diapers into a landfill she would not be using paper products in the kitchen. I love my collection of cloth napkins – and I’m a cloth napkin snob! I have a huge stash of kitchen towels. I still use paper towels for grease but I think it is great you are making that change.


Lovely post, Carly! 🙂 If you’re interested, check out amazon’s choice for bamboo paper towels! (link is wonky in comment box but I’m sure a quick search will bring it up). I switched to these over 6 months ago and it’s been the easiest eco-friendly switch I’ve ever made. They feel like luxury paper towels and you throw them in the washer after use. I use them as cleaning rags when they’ve gotten ratty and I’ve only used 2 rolls in 6+ months. Can you tell I love them? 😉 have a great day!


Such awesome goals!! I love your reading goal. I don’t think I could commit to a goal of 52 books (but you go girl!!), I think I could simply tell myself to study for 20 minutes less, and read!! Also LOVE how you are working through Ina Garten’s recipes!! She is my favorite chef ever!!!
Happy new year!!

xoxo Libby

Alexa Marsh

I loved reading your goals Carly! I really hope to read this more too and so I also set a specific number to help encourage me to achieve my goal. Also, that is so awesome that you want to learn French! I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish and hope to finally start getting serious about learning it this year. Good luck with your goals!


Love these goals, Carly! So many of these are similar to my own goals/intentions this year. Good luck and I hope 2019 is a wonderful year 🙂

Laura Cushnie

Hey, Carly! Two questions for you in terms of your earth-friendly lifestyle changes: what do you use for dog waste and how to you carry straws in your purse without them getting gross?


If you want to cut down on your paper towel usage, I’d recommend getting a few Swedish dish towels from Amazon… They’re a hybrid between a dish cloth and a paper towel and their a total game changer!


I highly recommend the podcast Coffee Break French! They are 10-15 minutes and focus on one topic per episode. Perfect for when you are riding the train, walking around, etc.!


I definitely think I need to work on cooking more this year. You should check out the Bon Appetit youtube channel, my boyfriend and I love watching their videos. There’s a video with Ina Garten and it’s funny to see the chefs at Bon Appetit fangirling over her!! Also working on reading more books this year. I actually read 2 books this break and am still trying to keep the ball rolling, ha.


Check out reusable produce bags on Amazon! They are a game-changer for grocery shopping. Plus I love storing my produce in them so much more than the plastic bags.

Bella Ramos

Great goals Carly! Wow, 52 books, that’s major. I know for me, I set my goal at 25 books and that’s a big jump from last year haha. I also want to learn French. I took it for 3 years in highschool since I’m already a Spanish speaker and the language is very similar to Spanish because of the Latin root. Good luck with all your goals! I wish you the best for 2019!!


Love that you set intentions! I feel like this is so much more realistic and attainable. I think this year I am also going to try to be more “green”- I’ve already started with new bottles and reusable sandwich bags/wrappings. I also want to try to eat healthier more consistently (not just eat healthy one day, then eat an entire bag of chips the next)!



Love that you set intentions! I feel like this is so much more realistic and attainable. I think this year I am also going to try to be more “green”- I’ve already started with new bottles and reusable sandwich bags/wrappings. I also want to try to eat healthier more consistently (not just eat healthy one day, then eat an entire bag of chips the next).



I would 10/10 recommend Adobe Lightroom CC for iPhone. It’s made me way more confident in the pictures that I’m posting on Insta!


These are excellent goals! I actually have a few similar ones for 2019, particularly learning French. It was my goal last year to use Duolingo, but that was one of the goals that faltered a bit. However, this year I’m being particularly diligent about it since I’m traveling to France in June! Best of luck on your goals, and I hope you have a fabulous year ahead of you 🙂


Thank you sooo much for telling us about DuoLingo. I’m Italian-American and have joined my city’s Italian Society. I took Italian in college, but joining the society has reinvigorated my want to learn the language again. I’ve been thinking about classes, but will try this app out first. Happy New Year!


Carly, I love all these goals! Congrats on crushing it with your fitness goals and good luck with your goals in 2019! I’m heading to France this summer for the women’s world cup so I’m obsessively working on my French on DuoLingo too! It’s such a different experience than when I majored in German in college, so while I’m having fun I’m also driving myself nuts trying to formally understand all the grammar. (MUST. KNOW. EVERYTHING. PERFECTLY! Ack!) And I love that you’re working on being even more environmentally friendly this year – good luck with all your great goals!

Betsy storey

Duolingo is so fun! We have plans to visit my BIL and SIL in Montreal this year so my husband and J are doing French on duolingo also—love it!


love your goals, carly! i set a goal to read 20 books in 2018 and while i was 5 short, 15 books is 15 more than i read in 2017 😉

as for duolingo — i decided to go with brushing up/re-learning my spanish! it’s amazing what i’ve retained nearly 10 years from hs!

good luck!!


Inspiring goals. I only use Ina Gartens’s recipes. Currently enjoying her minestrone soup recipe as I type this.


Orangetheory and Barre3 are two of my favorite group classes! If there’s any Les Mills BODYPUMP classes near you, give one a shot!!! Thanks for keeping us updated with your fitness goals- they were a great reminder when I was trying to develop better health habits a couple years back.


Bonjour Carly,
Je te souhaite plein de belles choses pour cette nouvelle année.
Je te souhaite également d’atteindre ton objectif dans l’apprentissage du français. J’utilise moi même tes articles et des vidéos Instagram pour perfectionner mon anglais 😉.
Elsa (de France 🇫🇷)


Hey carly ,

I just wanted to say that you can count on your French readers to help you and give you tips !
Bon courage !!


I love your list, Carly! We just spent 6 days in Paris for New Years and learning French again is on my list, too! I love Coffee Break French, if you’re looking for a podcast to help. There’s a bunch of seasons and so much content and I love it! I hope you share your 52 book journey with us. I’m setting the bar low at 12 books this year but something is better than nothing!

Erica Klein

I am definitely stealing this! I love the idea of goals instead of resolutions. In my mind it seems more attainable/ motivating. Great post!


It was great learning how you did on last year’s goals and reading your goals or the upcoming year. You’re totally inspiring me to try Kayla Itsines’ app, and I’d love to hear how you like some of those classes you try with friends. 🙂


Elizabeth Smith

Hey Carly! You have been an inspiration to me for so long and it is also super inspiring to read your current posts about anxiety. I have suffered from anxiety and perfectionism my entire life and it’s been really hard for me to have people take me seriously. In all sincerity, I think you’re a pillar for strong millennial women and you definitely deserve more credit than you have received. You’re super brave, and you definitely make a very positive impact on the world. So grateful for you!


Wow, congrats on achieving your fitness goals. That’s the first time I’ve heard that. I’m in dire need of improving in this department. That’s unfortunate that YouTube comments have given you anxiety. Have you tried their filter tool? Or even just disabling comments until you get back into a groove?

A Girl, A Style

Happy New Year!

Oh boy, I really hear you about the nearly quitting thing – I’ve nearly done it once a year for the past few years (first when I was just so busy working in politics that I couldn’t find enough time to spare, and then plagued by self doubt when I finally went freelance last year) and really need to get over it. But selfishly I’m so glad you didn’t because you + your blog are one of my all-time favourites.

And absolutely love your list! I was annoyed at myself for not reading as much as I would have liked last year, so I’m taking inspiration from you and setting myself a goal of one a fortnight (but hopefully that will be closer to one a week).

I hope 2019 is wonderful for you!

Briony xox


Regarding the going green part, how do you not use plastic bags for say cleaning after your dogs? I say this because we are algo trying to use less plastic but doggy poop bags are still a necessity… we are using the ones marked as biodegradable, but if you have any other tips that you could share that’d be great!

Jaime DeBiasse

I am new to the blog but a friend recommended it and I’m really enjoying it! I saw your post from August 2018 linked from this post, about the mean comments/ bullying and I am astonished someone would take the time to write such awful (and patently untrue) things. I’m not one to leave comments one way or another but felt compelled to write to you and say how strong you are to keep going in spite of that and to applaud you. That person needs help and our sympathy. I know that doesn’t make dealing with it easier but I’m sure 99.9% of people who visit your blog completely disagree with that nonsense!