Review, reflect and move forward | 5 lessons from 2012

My very favourite thing about January 1st? The need for new stationery! (Are you a stationery geek too?)


january goals


A new calendar to keep my family’s activities organized. A new journal for me to write my thoughts and dreams in. My first Fitbook to plan and record my workouts and nutrition.

But before I move forward, I’m taking the advice of my blogger friend Kareen (of iameatingright) and making time to review and reflect on my accomplishments and near accomplishments of the past year.

While these reflections are personal, I do believe that many of you will have had similar experiences and will relate to one or more of them.

1. Make a fitness plan and stick to it. When I look back at the workouts and programs I engaged in throughout the year, I’m struck by how often I changed plans midstream. From whole body metabolic training to body part splits to incorporating yoga and running, I tried to do a lot of different things; none of which I stuck with for long enough to really reap the benefits. I like to think of this as ‘shiny new thing’ syndrome.

I did, however, get to the gym and engage in some sort of exercise 5 days out of 7 almost every week in 2012!

2. Find ways to work around injuries. Way back in July, I strained my intercostal muscles. The recovery and rehabilitation process was long and drawn out. There were a lot of movements that I couldn’t perform pain-free. Although I continued to teach and hop on the Cybex ARC trainer daily, I let my weight training slide. Rather than figure out what I COULD do, I worried a lot about what I COULDN’T. As a consequence, I lost considerable ground in the weight room. And because I didn’t adjust my nutrition to take into account all of those calories I was no longer burning daily, I saw the scale go up (and stay there!).

This experience has made me much more sensitive to my clients’ injuries and has led me to getting more creative with their workouts, so as to keep moving them towards their fitness goals.

3. Acknowledge and accept that the hormonal effects of aging may require you to change the way you exercise and eat.Β I am 45 1/2. Peri-menopause is part of my daily experience. Mood swings. Food cravings. Hot flashes. All caused by changes in my hormonal profile. Like it or not, my body responds to food differently than it used to. I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted without repercussion. Not so now. Same with exercise. In the past, cardio and light weights were enough to keep me lean and strong. Now I find that my body needs heavy weights to maintain muscle mass and keep the belly fat at bay.

Earlier this month I PR’d on three exercises in the same workout; squats, dumbbell bench press and bent over row. I’m excited to keep up the strength training momentum in 2013!

4. Place your own fitness needs before those of others. I spend 15-20 hours per week teaching group fitness classes and training clients. As I look back at my 2012 calendar, I see many, many days when I cut my own workout short or delayed it to a low energy time of day to accommodate a client’s last minute schedule change or to sub a class for a colleague. I put on everybody else’s oxygen masks first.

I will remember and avoid this tendency as I plan my own January workouts.

5. Don’t be afraid of trying something new. Over the past year and a half I stepped outside of my fitness comfort zone more often than ever before! I took a Burlesque class! I tried CrossFit and Trampoline fitness! I made yoga a regular part of my fitness routine!

What shall I try in 2013?

Whether you’re making resolutions or not, I encourage you to watch Kareen’s video and take a few minutes to think back on your OWN 2012. Celebrate your successes, identify areas where you could have done better and make a plan for tackling those aspects of your life in 2013.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and fit 2013! xo Tamara

What was your biggest health and fitness accomplishment in 2012?

How will you improve even more in 2013?



  1. Im obsessed, errr, focusing on looking FORWARD.
    in all areas of life from fitness to family.
    Miz recently posted…STOP REREADING!My Profile

    • 2013 is going to rock; can’t wait to see you in June! xo (P.S. you’re bound to be warm by then πŸ˜‰ )

  2. LOVe this & amazing post Tamara!!! So much to do & so much learned!! Being 10 years older than you, I have learned many of the things that last year caught you up & you were smart enough to learn from! πŸ™‚ I have learned to work thru injuries for years now but that may be due to my OCD about exercise! πŸ˜‰ On perimenopause – well, too many posts to count on my bitc*ing about that! Lots of learning I did on that one & yes, I hate to say, it will go on for years & the adaption will too. I am still at it in menopause so… YIKES! πŸ˜‰

    I got the fitness plan down & yup, I don’t rarely miss BUT I don’t teach! πŸ™‚ I am so glad to hear you will put yourself first!

    Try new things.. not sure what that will be yet but it may be more in my non fitness life since I am looking for work…. we shall see. In fitness, I am always attempting to push myself somehow but not like the things you do. Maybe this is the year for yoga! πŸ™‚

    Happy New Year Tamara!!! So so glad we “met”!!!!
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted…Gratitude Monday & The New YearMy Profile

    • I am about 8 years behind you Jody! Maybe I should just head over to your blog archives and read, read, read! Thanks so much for your friendship and support in 2012. Hoping to meet in real life in 2013! Happy New Year my friend! xo

  3. My biggest accomplishment was sticking with an online personal trainer/training program. I look forward to another year with her. I also learned that 6 days a week of workouts was a bit much for me and I will work hard for 5 days and do active rest the remaining two days.

    Oh and I love office stuff, got tons of journals for the year, a few calendars and more. Now all I need to do is remodel the home office ha ha

    Happy New Year!
    Angie @ Losing It and Loving It recently posted…13 in 2013My Profile

    • That’s a great accomplishment Angie! From a trainer’s perspective, it’s quite rare for a client to really commit to personal training for the long haul. It can be expensive and seem time consuming.

      I’m all about the rest days too. I’m starting a new program next week that has me lifting heavy only 3 days per week. My challenge will be to stay the course and not get drawn into adding new things!

      Have a wonderful and safe new year!

  4. So many accomplishments in 2012 I it’s hard to pick one favorite! That’s a nice problem to have πŸ™‚

    I LOVE buying new calendars πŸ™‚

    My improvement for 2013 will be endurance. I’m going to focus on running further than ever before!
    Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness recently posted…Living Life with Intention || Goals for 2013My Profile

    • Yes, you did have a pretty amazing year Jill!
      What’s your plan for increasing endurance? Will you run fewer days? Or mix shorter runs up with longer runs?
      I’m curious, because I have a client who’d like to increase her endurance and isn’t thrilled with my suggestion that she run fewer days per week to get there…

      Happy New Year! And I’m so looking forward to us working together in 2013!

  5. My fitness goal for 2013 is to hopefully stay injury free!!! When I get to return to running I will try to be content with just being able to run and not feel the need to make every run a hard run!

    • Such an important goal Kim! Injuries suck and there’s no worse way to interrupt your training!

      Have a happy new year!

  6. Focusing and being mindful…living in the present πŸ™‚

    Happy New Year Tamara!
    Kierston recently posted…Little Things Monday #3: New Year’s EditionMy Profile

    • Great goal Kierston! I tend to rush ahead, thinking about what I need to do next, where I need to be tomorrow. Life really is much more enjoyable ‘in the moment’.

      Have a fun and family-filled New Year my friend! So happy to have ‘met’ you this year!

  7. Great post! Your struggles & take-aways make you so appealing as a trainer – you are walking the walk of a 40-something-year-old woman – no one knows what it’s like like someone who’s been there. My greatest fitness accomplishment this year was reaching a new personal best in weight & fitness – this after my double mastectomy last fall. I’m stronger and leaner than ever, despite a LONG and painful recovery. For 2013, my goal is to strike a balance between my love for HARD training and my tendency toward injury . . . wanna see more results, but don’t want to spend time on the sidelines! Happy new year, Tamara! All good things to you in 2013. So glad we’ve connected.
    Sarah @ Semi-Sweet recently posted…A Loss (and Leftover Turkey Soup with Lemon, Barley & Kale)My Profile

    • Aw, thanks so much Sarah. Sometimes I worry that my approach doesn’t appeal to the ‘younger’ crowd (more, faster, heavier, harder, take no prisoners!), but I’m happiest when working with women who are at a similar place in their life to me.

      You’ve had an amazing year! And I bet 2013 is going to be even better.
      Have a great new year’s eve and day and we’ll talk soon! xo

  8. Thanks so much for the link love πŸ™‚ I especially resonate with putting other people first. I’ve been actively working on changing that mindset for a couple of months and it will continue into the new year.

    My focus in 2012 was nutrition and I lost 40 lbs because of that effort. In 2013, I want to improve my fitness level. I’m excited to get back to being active consistently.

    Happy New Year!!
    Kareen recently posted…Free Video Series – 12 Days to Abundant & Vibrant Health in 2013My Profile

    • Kareen, thanks so much for letting me showcase your video! I’m a day or two behind (family before social media over the holidays…) on the series, but have loved the ones I’ve watched!

      You’re very inspirational; both because of your accomplishments and you’re calm and soothing way of speaking to me through the computer screen!

      Have a wonderful new year and all the best with your 2013 fitness goals!

  9. Shiny new thing syndrome… now how did you know I suffer badly? Hahaa I want to do it ALL and I have been suffering all my life from this ailment. I am not fickle, I just am running out of time!

    Yup, stationery geek/nerd here too.

    Happy New Year, Tamara!
    Elle recently posted…So Long 2012…My Profile

    • I’m committing to one new program for the entire month of January. No adding extra workouts or extra exercises. We’ve got lots of time left Elle! 50 is the new 30!

      Have a safe and happy new year! (Go crack open that calendar!)

  10. This is such a great post Tamara and so many great lessons that do apply to many of us. I too think that it’s super important to look back and reflect on the year. It’s kind of driving me crazy that I haven’t had the time or headspace to do it yet and I feel the looming deadline of NYE bearing down on me which is silly I know. But I’m really looking forward to doing it. For me, recovering from injury has definitely been my biggest accomplishment this year. I’m excited to move forward into 2013 but also need to continue to listen to my body.

    BTW – I think that I might have pulled my intercostal muscle too! Yikes!

    Happy New Year!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Intentions for the New YearMy Profile

    • Thanks for your comments Christine. There’s nothing quite so psychologically debilitating to a fitness nut as injury. One of the things I’d like to focus on this year is learning to better train clients with injuries. Finding more creative ways of moving them forward while giving their injuries time to heal.

      Don’t stress about January 1st; it’s just a date on a calendar (a new calendar!). You can review, reflect and grow any time you want!

  11. I am so horribly guilty of #4. My main fitness goal for 2013 is to bring back my yoga practice and to build strength/muscle. I teach nearly all cardio classes these days so my strength and muscle mass has taken a serious beating.

    Happy New Year!
    Suzi recently posted…2012 in ReviewMy Profile

    • Yoga and strength training are great complimentary activities! I have lapsed a bit with my yoga practice this fall and my body is telling me it’s time to go back…

      Have a wonderful New Year’s Day!

  12. I think #2 will get more relevant with each passing year given that the youngest baby boomers turn 50 in 2 years from today. Excellent points, well organized and commented on.
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted…3 Exercises You Never Have to Do Again after 2012My Profile

    • Happy New Year, Kymberly! (And you stats tell me that I will miss being a boomer by just 2.5 years…)

  13. Great post – I especially LOVE item #4 … I do this all. the. time. with work and the classes (although not fitness-specific, they are active) I teach … and that has led me to fall prey to not having the time and energy to figure out a solution to the problem you outline in item #2!

    I think item #1 is a little human-nature-y, though: for me, any fitness ‘routine’ really can’t be a routine that doesn’t change things up *alot*, becasue I get bored fast and then things start to s-l-i-d-e … maybe finding ways to creatively address this issue could be my resolution!

    Cheers, and Happy New Year!

    • Thanks so much for your thoughtful response Lynne! I do agree that #1 will vary from person to person, but if we change programs too quickly, we’re unlikely to see the results we want (unless your goals are to just keep moving and working towards better functional fitness each and every day; great goals those are!)

      Have a wonderful New Year’s Day!

  14. not until we acknowledge and accept can we move forward, yes? Well done friend. Strength within!
    lindsay recently posted…Past Year to New YearMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for your continued friendship and support Lindsay! Definitely happy to have ‘met’ you this past year!

  15. Putting others’ needs first is the curse of the modern woman, I think. I was paralysed by injury early this year too, but am back to running and also getting back to the weight room. I hope to be more consistent with that this year, as it took a back seat to my new love of running and swimming over the pst couple of years. (Definitely the “shiny new things” syndrome!
    TriGirl recently posted…Here’s Lookin’ at You, 2012: a year in reviewMy Profile

    • I agree. We all need to support and encourage each other to be a bit more ‘selfish’!

      Great idea to incorporate more weight training in your workouts. Won’t do anything but help you with swimming, running and cycling!

      Happy New year!

  16. Petrina Cole says:

    Where did you get your fit book and what do like about the fit book over other fitness journals?

    • Petrina, I found my Fitbook at my local Chapters store. I believe they sell them online too. This will be the first time I’ve tried Fitboot. It came highly recommended to me by several friends. Perhaps I’ll do a review once I’ve been using it for awhile!