New Year’s Goals: 5 Ways I’m Jumpstarting the New Year

New Year's Goals: 5 Ways I'm Jumpstarting the New Year

I hope you enjoyed the holidays with your family and friends and had some time to reset. I took a full two weeks off from posting here on Cobalt Chronicles, and it was SO nice! Even when I go on vacations or when I schedule posts ahead of time, I still actively promote the blog posts in real time. So it was nice to not have to worry about any of that over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

I took last Thursday and Friday as time to wrap up 2019, finalize all of my income and expense sheets, pay my quarterly taxes, and plan out content and goals for this coming year. I don’t know if it’s because we’re kicking off a new decade, but for some reason I feel really great about the new year, like the possibilities are endless! I’m jazzed and excited to connect even more with you in 2020!

With all of the reflecting, I had time to think about what I want to do over the next few weeks to really get a jumpstart on the new year. So today I’m sharing 5 things I’m doing to jumpstart 2020! I hope these 5 items will encourage you in some way to have a positive outlook as we the new year. I’m really excited for what’s to come this year, and I hope you are too!

I shared a similar post last year. It was fun to look back on, and writing those 5 items down really helped me stick to my goals, especially during the first few months of the new year. Last year, my year started out a bit crazy. Michael and I got married in January in The Bahamas, honeymooned in Kauai, I had a work trip to Arizona in February and we found out we were moving to Houston, we moved half way across the country to Houston, Texas on March 1st!

Thankfully, I think the first few months of 2020 will be a bit calmer. So without further ado, here are my new year’s goals – 5 things I’m doing to jumpstart the new year!

Dry January & Clean Eating

Dry January

These two items were on my list last year, and I did a pretty good job with sticking to them. Michael and I have done some version of Dry January for the past 3 years. Last year we kind of messed up our routine with planning our wedding and subsequently our anniversary in January.

With that said, we’re doing a modified Dry January this year. We actually started on December 30th and we’re planning on staying dry up until January 18th, when we’re heading back to The Bahamas for our anniversary. We’ll be at the beach the 18th-20th. So we’ll roll Dry January through February 1st to make up for the lost January days.

Dry January is always a nice reset for me after the holidays where I tend to drink way more than I usually do – there seems to be a different get together every night! It’s also a great month to abstain as it’s generally not too packed with social events.

Clean Eating

On the same note, I’m committed to eating super clean through January and February, especially leading up to our beach trip. Michael and I both did a 24 hour fast after an early dinner on New Year’s Day to kick off the clean eating. I have a friend that motivated me to do it – she does a 24 hour fast once a month. It actually wasn’t too bad, and I felt great the day after – it was a nice reset! (We stopped eating on January 1st around 7PM, after dinner, and didn’t eat again until the next night for dinner.)

For me, eating clean means less sugar, less carbs (bread, plantain chips, Trader Joe’s snacks in general – my weakness!), and more protein. My pitfall is snacking for lunch instead of eating a full, protein filled meal. I’m really trying to incorporate more protein into my at-home lunches. Follow along with me on Instagram Stories – I’ll be sharing what I’m eating throughout the day!

Sticking to My Workout Routine

As it always tends to happen, I got a bit lax with my workout routine towards the end of the year. I’m back to SoulCycle three times a week, weights at the gym four times a week, and yoga at YogaWorks once a week. I feel my best when I’m working out consistently. There’s also a REALLY nice gym at the Baha Mar (where we got married and where we’re heading later this month) so I’m excited to even get workouts in while on vacay!

Clean Beauty + Clean Cleaning Products

Clean Beauty

If you read last year’s new year, new goals post, I shared I had a goal to switch out all of my beauty products from ones I’d been using (for years) to cleaner, non-toxic products. Before I dove into the world of clean beauty, I was unaware of the lack of regulations on the personal care industry. Since joining the Beautycounter team as a consultant in November 2018, I’ve learned so much and my eyes have been opened to learning to pay attention to the ingredients in anything and everything I put on and in my body.

Did you know that the US law that regulates what companies can and cannot include in personal care products hasn’t been updated in over 80 year?! Meanwhile, thousands of new ingredients have been introduced into the marketplace promising longer lashes, smoother skin and shinier hair. Companies are able to include ingredients that haven’t even been tested for potentially harmful affects on humans and ingredients that are currently banned in Europe! From this article, “Across a span of cosmetics, including makeup, toothpaste and shampoo, to items ranging from household cleaners to fruit juice to cheese, hundreds of potentially harmful ingredients banned in the EU are legally allowed in the US.” That’s frightening.

I’ve almost successfully switched out all of my makeup, skincare, and body care products to clean products (Michael’s too!).

Clean Cleaning Products

This year, I’m making an effort to switch out even more products in my home to safer, non-toxic products. I got a head start and ordered the Branch Basics starter kit for house cleaning products (you can use my link for $10 off your purchase!). So far, so good! I use the surface cleaner, the laundry detergent, and the laundry boost. The surface cleaner even removed a FULL glass of red wine from my white rug that Michael spilled this holiday season!

I challenge you to start paying attention the the ingredients in the products that you’re putting on your skin (and your families). If you’re not sure where to start, try switching out a few products that you use everyday to begin. I use moisturizer, lip balm, and under eye cream every single day. So those items were some of the first ones that I swapped. I love Beautycounter’s Countertime Antioxident Soft Cream for everyday use (I apply it all over my face every morning) and the Coutnertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream for nighttime, this Peppermint Lip Conditioner (the best lip balm!), and this Eye Rescue Cream (I apply it around my eyes in the morning and nighttime). I also listed all of my clean beauty favorites in this post!

If you’re interested in a quick and dirty list of ingredients you should stray away from when cleaning out your skincare and makeup products, check out Beautycounter’s Never List and check out Branch Basic‘s “Soap Box” at the bottom of their home page – lots of great clean living info!

Less Single Use Plastic

In 2019 I made a concerted effort to avoid single use plastics. I purchased these coffee mugs for Michael and I for travel and our weekend coffee shop runs. And I’m usually really good about brining my S’well water bottle with me everywhere, even when I travel. I was especially encouraged by Julia from Lemon Stripes end of the year no plastic water bottle challenge. I successfully avoided purchasing any water bottles from November 1st through the end of the year. It takes a little bit of forethought, but so long as I always had my Swell with me, I was easily able to refill my bottle even when traveling.

I also purchased these Stasher bags for our home as to avoid using anymore disposable ziplock bags. I’m also pretty good about remembering to bring my own bags to the grocery store.

Another way I’ve eliminated single use plastics from our home is by purchasing glass spray bottles for cleaning supplies (I make my own cleaning products using Branch Basics cleaning products) and refillable glass hand soap dispensers.

In 2020, I want to make a more conscious effort towards eliminating even more single use plastics from my life and our home. Once I started paying attention, I found that it’s not that hard to carry along my water bottle, bring my own coffee mug, and slowly replace any single use plastics in our home.

I challenge you to adopt one of these practices this week and commit to it for at least the month of January. I guarantee that once you realize how doable it is, you’ll stick with it. Win for you, win for our environment!

Social Media Cleanse

This kind of happened on a whim, but I’m amazed at what a weight it lifted! I saw a friend of mine post about unfollowing accounts on Instagram that don’t spark joy or bring value or inspiration or general positive vibes into her life. I jumped on the train and did the same! Over the course of a few days, I unfollowed nearly 1000 accounts! Most of the accounts I unfollowed, I couldn’t even tell you why I was following in the first place. I also took advantage of the “mute” option – you can mute accounts that you don’t necessarily want to unfollow but you don’t want to see their content. Sorry not sorry, I only want to see people who bring light into my life on a daily basis. No time for negativity in 2020!

With the mass unfollowing, there are now posts in my feed that I actually WANT to see and read! And the same goes for my Stories. I love watching Instagram Stories, and now I get to see the people I’m actually invested in seeing and getting to know!

How are you kicking off the new year?! Share what you’re doing to jumpstart 2020 below!


  1. Melissa wrote:

    Great post. Learned a ton. Lost my appetite with a football loss so I am going to eat freely today and start a New Year tomorrow. I’ll be reading product labels today. That’s some scary info.

    Posted 1.6.20
    • Ashlee wrote:

      Thanks Melissa! – Totally understand re that loss. UGH.
      And yes, the more you know! I didn’t know half the stuff I know now compared to the beginning of last year – I now pay attention to everything that goes on and in my body. And now I’m focusing on indirect items like house cleaning products, food storage containers etc. Once you get on a roll, it’s pretty addicting!

      Posted 1.6.20

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