January 1, 2019

Stressful. Big. Overwhelming. Powerful.

Ask anyone how their past year was and you’ll get a different answer.

For us at Shine HQ, like every year before it, 2018 was filled with both incredible highs and lows.

The highs: We raised a third round of funding, moved to our first office, doubled our team, saw Shine in Vanity Fair and Women’s Health, had our first staff retreat, scored an accolade from Apple as one of the best apps of 2018, and (one of us) had a healthy, beautiful baby.

The lows: We spent many, many hours squashing frustrating bugs in our app, we let go of a few vendors who weren’t the right fit for the company anymore, we dealt with the growing pains of creating a bigger team—and then there was that time our office building’s roof was literally on fire...

In our reflections on 2018, we remember that this mix of pleasure and discomfort is the beauty of the human experience. And we feel less alone, knowing our community is going through the same ups and downs.

But then, like every year, we do that thing.

As we slide into 2019, we all prepare ourselves for a fresh slate—one that we idealize as all highs, no lows.

We set a few (a hundred?) goals focused on how great we’ll be next year. We say things like “Next year’s gonna be my year—I’m gonna pay off my debt, get in shape, and finally get that side hustle going.”

We buy a calendar and pencil in our daily workouts. We aggressively reel back our spending and create a plan for how we’re going to buckle down and crush that big professional goal.

And don’t get us wrong—setting goals is awesome. Studies show the act of goal-setting can boost our self-confidence and motivation.

But unfortunately, that’s only half the story.

Goal-getting doesn’t happen in a vacuum. In our big plans to use that gym membership every day, we forget the very real chance that we might just want to stay inside one Saturday and binge Sabrina on Netflix.

Goal-getting doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

With our ambitions to start that side-hustle, we forget that if we pack all hours of the day with work, we may miss the chance to see the people that make us laugh.

In our extra-tight budgeting plans for a debt-free future, we forget that sometimes we like to treat ourselves to a new book from that local shop.

By mid-February, 80 percent of New Year's resolutions fail.

It’s often because when we envisioned ourselves hitting those goals, we only considered the highs.

We focus so much on what it’ll look like for us to crush it every day, we don’t allow ourselves to plan for the inevitable moments where we just might be off or need to regroup.

At Shine, we’ve always been curious about this phenomenon and have spent over two years working to understand how we can help our ambitious community reach their goals.

We just recently surveyed our community of 3 million members, and asked: What then? What do you do when you fall off of a goal?

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of Shine members said that the first thing they do when they don’t reach one of their goals is criticize themselves.

Why couldn’t you do better?
What’s wrong with you?
You’re not good enough.

That’s the script that plays in our heads when we don’t save up as much money as we thought we would or achieve our fitness goals by February.

The vast majority of Shine members said that the first thing they do when they don’t reach one of their goals is criticize themselves.

Somewhere along the way, we convinced ourselves that the path to success is paved with self-criticism.

The good news? It doesn’t have to be. We can absolutely improve our finances, get in shape, start that side hustle, or reach any goal we hope to—without shaming ourselves.

We just have to add one key element to the mix: self-compassion.

We tend to resist self-compassion, fearing it’ll make us lazy. But the opposite is true.

“People who are self-compassionate have courageous presence,” says Anna Rowley, Ph.D., a psychologist, millennial wellbeing expert, and Shine advisor. “They are more self-accepting, confident, less afraid of failure, and are more resilient.”

It’s time for a new approach to goal-getting, and we’re calling it Hustle With Heart.

What it means:

Hustling, but with self-kindness when things inevitably get off track.

With self-forgiveness when plans need to be changed.

With self-soothing when that inner critic fires up to try and shame you into success.

And to help you commit to it, we created a Hustle With Heart Manifesto. It’s a simple five-rule manifesto, which you can save, (digitally) sign, and share to help others approach their 2019 goals with self-compassion, too.



Shine members told us their top 2019 goal is “prioritizing self-care and their mental health”—and the Hustle With Heart Manifesto will help you do that while you tackle your other ambitions.

The other top goals for 2019: saving money, exercising and eating healthy, and advancing your career.

To help you with these, we’re excited to officially launch a new breed of Shine Challenges in our app (now available on Android!).

Shine Challenges are 7-day courses focused on real-world goals—better finances, improving your nutrition, starting a side hustle—all while being kind to yourself. We’ve tapped experts in finance, nutrition, and entrepreneurship to guide you through them.

So let’s do this.

Whether you’re gearing up for a Shine Challenge or your own personal goal, know this: You are your greatest strength through all the goal-getting highs and lows.

Let’s stop setting goals that don’t allow us to have off days.

Let’s stop beating ourselves when we don’t crush it by February.

Let’s hustle with heart.

Here’s to an ambitious and compassionate 2019,

Marah Lidey & Naomi Hirabayashi

P.s. Want to learn more about how the Shine community is approaching 2019? Check out our Hustle & Heart Report

💥 Boom—
the Shine app is now available on Android.

Tackle your 2019 goals with our new Shine Challenges.
Available on iOS & Android.