My professional year in review for 2022

Hi, friend! It’s time for a professional year in review for 2022!

Every year, I like to look back and see how my year went, both personally and professionally. Not only to assess whether I met my goals or not, but also to reflect and think about what I learned and what I want to take with me into the next year (or what I want to leave behind).

I look forward to writing this type of post each year, because I get a lot out of it. And I hope you find it helpful too. Also, I initially wrote this post to include both the professional and personal sides, but it got too long, so I separated them out, and today we’re just covering the professional side. More juice to come in the personal one, of course.

Computer work by A Lady Goes West

By the way, I took last weekend totally off of work for Christmas, so I’m getting this post up mid-week, and it’ll be up for the rest of the week, before the personal one next week. We had a super-nice Christmas though, and I’ll share more about that soon. But back to the professional year in review for 2022 …

I’ve already shared the 25 most popular blog posts of 2022 here, so check out that list. On it, you’ll see that a lot of group fitness reviews and lifestyle posts made my top 25 list, with only a few of the posts actually written this year. This showed me that the more evergreen professional reviews I write are so valuable for this blog, so I’ll work on doing more of those next year. But I also know how much you like the daily life stuff, so that won’t go away either.

I’ve also already shared the top 10 reader favorite items that I’ve shared that you’ve bought, and this list was quite diverse spanning from home to fitness to fashion. I love that you trust me to recommend things in your life, and everything I share I truly use. When I share what I like and you buy it, it supports me, so I’ll continue being proactive about letting you know what I use and love, and I appreciate you trusting my recommendations. 

But what about the rest? Today, we’re going to do a review of my 2022 professional goals and how I did on them, and we’re going to look back at some professional highs and lows. Get ready for a big one …

My professional year in review for 2022

My professional year in review for 2022 on A Lady Goes West

Here we go …

My professional goals for 2022

I set a goal to renew my National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) personal trainer certificate as well as my Precision Nutrition level 1 coaching certificate in 2022. I renewed both of those, and I feel good about that, because it was a lot of work, and this keeps me current with both certifications for another two years, before I have to do them again. These certifications help me not only as a fitness professional, but also as a wellness writer. I met this goal.

Whats in a group fitness instructors bag by A Lady Goes West

I set a goal to continue learning and investing in my education, and I attended IDEA World and Fitness Convention in July in Las Vegas in 2022. This is the biggest fitness conference in the world, and it was the first one held in three years after COVID. At this conference, I got a lot of continuing education credits, and I learned some really great things to keep improving and evolving in the fitness world. This event always fills me up, and it’s worth all the effort to attend. Hopefully, I’ll go next year too, and hopefully more of my girlfriends can attend, because a group of us were supposed to go in 2022, but only two of us made it. I met this goal. (Related post: “What I learned at IDEA World Convention 2022 in Las Vegas“)

What I learned at IDEA World 2022 by A Lady Goes West

I set a goal to expand my offerings at Life Time and add a certification in 2022. In 2022, I got certified in an additional program at Life Time, En Barre an on-the-barre class), and I subbed/taught it one time. I’m currently certified in four programs at Life Time (Shred, LifeBarre, Barbell Strength and now En Barre), and I’m actively teaching three of these programs on a weekly basis. When the year started, I had three classes a week, and now I have five, which I think is a great number for me. While I love the En Barre format, I’d be hesitant to take on a regular class in it, which would mean I’d be preparing four different programs each week. That would likely take me over my time limit/mental capacity, but we shall see what 2023 holds for me. I’m happy to say that I definitely increased my class attendance this year, and I think I’ve done an excellent job as a Life Time team member. I met this goal. (Related post: “Review of the LifeBarre workout class at Life Time“)

Ashley teaching LifeBarre with weights by A Lady Goes West

I set a goal to reduce my group fitness class preparation time by 15 percent in 2022. This was a big one. And to be honest, I don’t know if I’ve really met it at all. Preparing for my five group fitness classes a week continues to be my biggest investment of time, even though, this part of my work does not make up the majority of my income. This is a constant struggle, because I absolutely love to create my workouts, find the perfect music and make it special — and I refuse to compromise the quality by being a little more haphazard and casual with my preparations. But this is a very big undertaking to keep up with, and I truly wish I could do it faster. I did start to use a little bit of stuff from my personal archives this year, and that was cool and saved some time — I hope to do more of that in the future here and there. Teaching classes is a true passion for me, so I can justify the expenditure usually, but still, it’s a process and it’s a big commitment. Overall, I would say this goal was not quite met, and it’s a work in progress. (Related post: “How to create a playlist for a workout class + a barre class playlist“)

Make a playlist for a workout class by A Lady Goes West

I set a goal to add a friend as a consultant on my Beautycounter team and to grow my overall Beautycounter business in 2022. I love that I already have friends on my Beautycounter team and was hoping to add another friend in 2022, because that makes it so much more fun. But, to be honest, I let this Beautycounter goal slide a little bit this year. I had trouble keeping up with all of my various responsibilities, and this one definitely fell behind, as I focused more on my classes and blog. I still used Beautycounter products and served my current clients and team, but I didn’t grow here at all. I’d love to expand this part of my business, because Beautycounter is such an awesome brand doing good things, but I have to be realistic with my time limitations as a mom of a preschooler. So we’ll see that reflected next year in my goals for 2023. I definitely didn’t meet this goal.

Beautycounter mask of 2022 by A Lady Goes West

I set a goal to survey my blog readership, do a redesign and grow my readership by 10 percent in 2022. I did some of this! I surveyed my readership in early January, and I did implement some of the suggestions. I also did a big blog redesign, which I’m truly happy with. The blog design “grew up” a little, if you will, and we left behind the bright yellows for a more pastel yellow and a more updated homepage and functionality. I love the new look and feel. Because of the redesign, my blog Google search-engine rankings took a bit of a hit (as well as regular daily readership), so I hope that rebounds in 2023, because my overall blog traffic didn’t grow this year, unfortunately. I’m always trying to improve how and what I write, and I hope I make some big strides in 2023 on that. And thank you for being here and reading. I partially met this goal. (Related post: “Blog-reader survey results and the why behind what’s on the blog“)

Blog topic requests from survey by A Lady Goes West

And that’s how I did on my professional goals for 2022!

Overall thoughts on my professional year in review for 2022

As you can see from above, I met some of my professional goals for the year, and I fell short on a couple too. And the areas where I fell short let me know where I need to make some improvements and/or changes. (Also, edited to add: I taught 252 classes in 2022 and published 102 blog posts. Wow!)

It’s hard being a group fitness instructor and content creator, who is also a mom of a five-year-old only in part-time school. I can’t do everything, and nobody can (and I’m sure you can relate to that in your own life). And I’m realizing now that I need to pull back on some things, in order to move forward with other things. But I certainly don’t have the answer today on what exactly that looks like for me.

Professional review by A Lady Goes West

To be totally honest, in 2022, I didn’t make as much money as I did in 2020 or 2021 either, and that didn’t feel great. But I did keep working hard on everything I do. I think the problem has always been that I do too much and need to pare down my responsibilities a little in order to have the mental capacity/focus to move the needle more on less things. You know what I mean?

And because this question always comes up, let me give you an idea of where my income comes from. Here are the sources, in no particular order: 

  • Affiliate partnerships on the blog
  • Ads on the blog
  • Sponsored blog posts and sponsored Instagram posts
  • Beautycounter consultant sales
  • Amazon and Rewardstyle affiliate links
  • Reels bonuses on Facebook/Instagram (this is new this year and is only a small amount)
  • Teaching group fitness classes at Life Time
  • Freelance writing

And that’s it!

But back to why I need to focus more. Here’s an example: In 2020, when gyms were closed and I was home all the time (and so many of you were too), I really leaned into the blog, and it showed in my blog traffic and in my income. But as the world opened back up, and my attention shifted more to group fitness out of the home again, the blog has been left behind just a little, and it’s shown, as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed writing, and I’ve put a lot of effort into my posts, and I’ve continued to work with great brands, like Les Mills, NOW, G2G Bar, Organifi, Amazon, of course, Beautycounter, and more. However, I haven’t spent quite as much time as I’d like to creating new content for the blog. And I want that to change.

Blog work by A Lady Goes West

I definitely let social media fall to the wayside this year too, only posting to my Instagram feed maybe once or twice a week. This was another area I had to let go of a little due to the time I have available. I did make some great reels from various trips and activities, and I’m happy with those. But overall, I didn’t focus on social media really at all. I go back and forth mentally on whether this area is worth it to me or not. It’s such a time suck, and it can be so disappointing. But, it can also be a great way to connect.

NOW supplements by A Lady Goes West

Also in 2022, I decided to dabble in some additional freelance writing work for a few months this year that proved to be a little too much for me — I was frustrated and pushed to the brink on several occasions. And while I could see taking on more freelance work in the future, it needs to be right, and it needs to be manageable. I’ve never sought out this type of work before (it’s always just come to me), so if I do pursue this avenue, I’ll need to make an effort. But once again, whether it’s worth it for the time it takes will be the real question.

As of today, overall, I feel pretty fulfilled with writing my blog and teaching my group fitness classes. I love to share, to motivate and to help people, and I feel like I’m definitely doing that in my own small way in the world, even if my audience and reach is small compared to others. Yet, there’s always more I want to do, and I always want to be improving.

But I also need to be realistic about what makes the most sense for me to focus on moving forward. And I think I’m due for some shifting around of things. I hope to have more clarity on that in the coming months. I know for sure that I love to work for myself and have a non-traditional career, but with it comes big questions at times — without anyone truly guiding me or assigning me projects/tasks.

Ashley at IDEA World 2022 by A Lady Goes West

I do have to mention though that I feel extremely lucky and grateful to even be in the position of working in a field that lets me be creative both with the written word and in the group fitness studio. Never in a million years did I expect to be doing this back when I was in college or even in my early career, and I don’t take it for granted at all. It’s a responsibility, and I want to do it right.

The filter I will use moving forward to see if something is a fit for me — (based on the work I did with my life coach in 2020) — is that everything I do must fall under my personal mission statement: 

“To connect with others through movement and words and inspire positive change toward a healthy lifestyle with no extremes.”

Sounds so easy, right? 🙂 

Overall, I’m mostly happy with my professional year for 2022, even if it wasn’t as focused as it could be. Maybe I didn’t make a million dollars or break the internet with any viral posts, but I tried to be real, I tried to be open, and I tried to lift people up — here on the blog, over on social media, and in person in the group fitness studio, as well.

Four things that make life easier by A Lady Goes West

Thanks for hanging in there with me as I juggle things and try to figure out what’s next. More to come when I share my goals for 2023 with you soon!

And that concludes my professional year in review for 2022. Again, thank you so much for being a reader of A Lady Goes West. Have a wonderful rest of the week and start to 2023. I’ll see you back here in a few days with my personal year in review for 2022!

Other posts you may like …

Questions of the day for you

What’s something you accomplished this year that you’re proud of?

What’s something you learned this year that will help you next year?



  1. Hi Ashley! Congrats on another year here on the blog. Always been such a big fan! I totally understand the struggles though of trying to grow and feeling spread too thin and just balancing everything. Onward and upward to 2023! (and happy belated bday as well)

    1. Thank you, Diane! I know you understand that very well, and I hope you have a good plan for how you stay focused on the right things, when there are so many things you could be working on, right? Here’s to a really great 2023 for us both! 🙂

  2. I love your blog and your friendly, conversational voice. This was fun to read. There is plenty of time to grow bigger-if you want that. Accepting the limits on your time now (like you have) is one of the hardest things for us ambitious women to do. But as the mom of two school age kids, I can tell you that your life will open up a lot in just one more year! I’d say you met your goals for the year on the important ones! And don’t underestimate how much work it’s been to set your family up in the new community and recover from your losses. You’ve done great! Xo

    1. Hi Sarah! Thank you for this kind comment, and you are so right — once Brady is in regular school, I’ll have much more time, and I do see that on the horizon in the future. And you’re also right, that a lot of “non-work” work has taken place in my life the last couple of years with our move and more, so I do need to account for that. I appreciate you reading and saying hello! I hope you have a great start to 2023! 🙂

  3. I think this kind of review is so helpful – you’ve inspired me to do my own informal review and see what I can do better next year, and what worked well this year that I’d like to continue! Thank you for continuing to blog, I look forward to sitting down with a coffee to read your posts ♡

    1. Thank you, Shelby! It’s amazing how much we can get from actually writing down/typing out what we’ve done and learned! Thank you for reading, and I hope you find your review helpful too, friend! 🙂 xoxo

  4. What’s something you accomplished this year that you’re proud of? I didn’t really accomplish anything new, but i’m happy w/ that! i have a great job, and got a raise in October and i work remote, i’m good!
    I dont think i’m the type to work around social media (i’m a bookkeeper) so i just use social media for ‘fun’ but glad its worked for you and to have that balance of teaching classes is awesome! i used to teach spin at the local Y and loved creating playlists and teaching, so i feel ya!

    What’s something you learned this year that will help you next year? that i need to say ‘no’ more! and not feel guility!

    I love your blog ashley, thanks for keeping it real and i wish you and your family a very happy and HEALTHY new year!!!!!!

    1. Hi lady! Congrats on getting a raise this year, and that’s amazing you work remotely. I’m with you on learning to say NO, so we can work on that together, friend. Have a WONDERFUL start to 2023, and THANK YOU! 🙂

  5. Hi Ashley! Congrats on another year here on the blog i love your blog post. Always been such a big fan! I totally understand the struggles though of trying to grow and feeling spread too thin and just balancing everything. Onward and upward to 2023!

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