We Got Goals: Nikki Desai is Making Goals and Taking Names

I bet you can count on one hand the people you know who clearly state their goals at the beginning of one calendar year and can say they actually completed them by the end of the year. Nikki Desai, a Chicago native and #Sweatworking MVP is one of them.

Nikki is the kind of person who you instantly want to be friends with when you meet her. And you can, too, because we essentially make it mandatory for her to be at every #Sweatworking event – she’s one of our biggest supporters. She also works at Avant and teaches a type of dance fitness called Doonya.


What did you accomplish in 2016 that you are proud of?

I had a few different moving pieces and priorities. I didn’t really set goals, I just had these aspirations. I wanted to travel more and I did. I started my year in Thailand which was amazing, and then I went to Singapore and did a lot of travel within the country. Then I did an epic trip to Iceland, which was the most beautiful place ever. I just wanted to get out and see the world so that was a huge accomplishment for me.

The second thing was more mental endurance when it came to fitness. I love working out, it’s something I love to do, but I wanted to really push myself, so I ran my first half marathon. My cousin was running it so I was training with him and it felt like I was part of something. It was a really good experience and I felt very accomplished.

And the other thing I was super mindful about in 2016 and I’m really proud of is that I tried to make an hour for myself every day. Whether that was working out or even just like watching TV, something that was just for me and not for work and not for my boyfriend and not for my family. Purely me-time. I didn’t keep track but I think I did it almost every day. It was so great! I think that was my biggest accomplishment. I was really bad at that growing up – really being forceful about it and telling people, “No, this is my hour. I’m leaving now because I need this.” So I decided in 2016 I wanted to make myself a priority, too. I felt like I wasn’t growing, I was just spinning my wheels. This kept me grounded and committed. Saying “no” to things felt really good.

In 2017, what do you want for your year?

This year I set specific goals and I set them with my best friend on New Year’s Day. My first goal is fitness-related. I want to get stronger. I’m aiming for a specific body fat percentage to gain actual muscle and strength because I just want to feel strong. I love going to boxing classes and I love feeling really strong when I’m there.

My second goal is a social goal. This year I’m going to reach out to two people every month just to catch up. It could be a quick ten-minute phone conversation or a G-Chat or whatever. Just someone I haven’t caught up with. I have friends all over that I feel like I never talk to.

My third goal is to grow professionally and learn new skills. I just switched rolls at work so I’m learning a whole bunch of new things and I want to immerse myself in a learning environment for the year rather than doing. I feel like I’ve been “doing” for the past two years but this year is going to be focused on learning and I’m fortunate that I get to do that this year.

And my last year is, honestly, get my finances in order. I have all these different accounts and 401Ks, and I need to organize it. Put it in a spreadsheet, keep track of it, so that I just know.


Do you have goals in the back of your mind? Bring them to the surface, write them down or share them. Set yourself up for success this year by getting clear about what you want and going after it, right from the start.


About Maggie Umberger

Maggie moved to Chicago from North Carolina in 2014 with a degree in Journalism and Spanish, a 200-hour yoga certification, a group fitness cert and a passion to teach and to sweat. It wasn't until she found aSweatLife that she really started to feel at home. Here, she's incorporated her passion for health and wellness into her career as she helps to build the network of Ambassadors, trainers and fitness enthusiasts that exist within the aSweatLife ecosystem. You can also find her coaching at CrossTown Fitness and teaching yoga classes at Bare Feet Power Yoga, Yoga Six and exhale.