Goal setting

21 for 2021: Resolutions and goals

Resolutions aren’t for everyone. Some personalities find it easier to make their resolutions as they go through the year. However, I’m a sucker for the convenience and regularity of reevaluating goals annually. New Years Resolutions are perfect for people like me. And with that, I’ll present my 21 “Resolutions” for 2021.

21 resolutions for 2021

1. Start my garden

With my new home, I’m looking forward to growing my first vegetables in my very own vegetable garden this summer. Get me those fresh tomatoes.

2. Earn an impressive before and after picture

I saw a video of myself from February and couldn’t believe how different I look now. My weight loss and running has been stagnant with the stress of moving and the holidays, but I am determined to keep forging forward to earn a great before and after picture by next year.

3. Run a 10k

I’ve run the 5k many times. So now it’s time for the next step. The winter weather and a couple of weird ankle injuries slowed down my progress. But I have my treadmill and am ready to pick it back up.

4. Travel internationally

COVID canceled my plans to visit Japan. A specific tour of Turkey has been on my bucket list for a decade. My boyfriend had a trip to Spain and Morocco planned that I was quite jealous of. A quick trip to London wouldn’t be out of the question. I miss travel, and I’m getting back to it.

5. Visit friends

Lara and I talked about a trip to Austin or to the Bourbon Trail. It’ll be overdue for my annual trip with Jess. Kaitlyn and I have considered meeting in South Carolina for our annual SimsTreat… So many friend visitations need to happen to make up for 2020.

6. Max out my Polish duolingo

It’s definitely time for everyone to joke about how long this has been on my resolution list. But, I made great progress. My Duo streak is over 250, thanks to no weeks of travel to distract me or mess up my time zones. I’m close to having finished level three of every skill. The real issue will be how to take my Polish to the next level after that. I suspect vocabulary flashcards and roping my Polish speaking friends into Skype dates will be involved.

7. Make a financial plan

2020 involved quite a few financial shake-ups. From canceled trips and concerts, to the inability to grab brunch with friends, I found myself with more money at the end of the month. When everything was closing, I gratefully held onto my brand new job. I ended up setting the goal to stash away enough on top of my savings to buy a house. I reached this goal quickly, but now I’m struggling to get concrete with my next financial plan. I think this one will involve a trip to the financial planner to help me get more set on autopilot with my savings for the future.

8. DIY home repair projects

I’m afraid to quantify this with a number. I’ve had a few home repair projects already. There’s a slight line between repair and beautification. My list of small fixes around the house grows regularly. But I don’t have the skills to keep up. The only way to gain those skills is to do it. I think adding some tile above my shower and recaulking my shower window are two priorities that I can do myself. The other priorities, like adding an outlet to the shed and rethreading a window screen might need to get outsourced.

9. Complete another reading challenge

At the time of writing this, I didn’t tally up whether I made my 2020 reading challenge. I would guess no, though I was probably much closer than I thought. However, I liked picking books this way. Normally, I read for book club and then fit in my love of romance novels and memoirs around it. This time, I introduced a few more fictional pieces I had meant to read but never got around to. I found I enjoyed them very very much.

10. Embrace gratitude

Last year, my goal was 52 thank you notes. I have to finish some tomorrow, but I think I made it into the 40s. That’s incredible. How lucky can you be to have more than 40 opportunities to send thanks to your friends and family? However, I don’t think the thank you notes really fit the bill for gratitude. I think there’s a bigger opportunity to make every day gestures to show thankfulness, to be more vocal about gratitude I’m feeling for my friends, coworkers, family, etc. I’ve done a great job of recentering my thoughts and emotions on the positive and letting the negative eat itself up, but I don’t think the emphasis on positivity and gratitude is one that you can ever stop focusing on actively.

11. Volunteer more

This is anther perennial favorite. I always want to do more volunteering. I will say 2020 was definitely my most giving year. In terms of financial donations, I supported politicians, important social movements, and arts organizations. I spread my donations further and spent more than usual. However, I also managed to squeeze in some volunteer work too. I brought socially distanced Thanksgiving meals to impoverished elderly individuals, signed up for a regular Meals on Wheels cadence, and adopted two seniors for Christmas. I just need to up my game as soon as it’s COVID safe to have more regular volunteer interactions.

12. Reach out to friends

2020 forced us to make connections with our friends stronger. It gave us more alone time, in which we had opportunities to reach out to those we love. I reconnected with old friends, spent more time with long distance friends, and discovered the people you could count on. I want to keep that up with 2021, no matter what changes with this vaccine.

12. Complete a fitness challenge

I don’t know if this will be a plank challenge or a 30 day something or another. I just want to embark on and complete another fitness challenge.

13. Learn Tarot

This was sidelined during COVID. I did a good job getting started. I have a better understanding of layouts and thematic imagery. But I haven’t completed the journal I started for this.

14. Try 12 new dishes that I’d otherwise consider complicated

This is another one that’s hard to quantify. My boyfriend is an incredible cook, which gave me even more opportunities to learn new things this year. With a pressure cooker/air fryer in hand and clean kitchen space, I’m ready to expand my talents in 2021.

15. Step into my next role

I started making strong moves this year for my career. I just need to keep on a proactive, go-getter mode as well as continue the education I need for my career. That’s where this goal comes into play. I want to work on developing my professional speaking capabilities and deepen my education in change management.

16. Reconnect with the spirit

I still consider myself very Catholic, though I’ve only managed a couple of Masses in the last five years. I think sometimes, in the effort to be “cool” and religiously neutral, I miss out on fully experiencing my spirituality and finding and participating in the rituals that I find most soothing. I haven’t made the SMART version of this goal, but it’s something I need to determine in 2021.

17. Use the trial of YNAB

In terms of financials, I want to spend two months using You Need a Budget to recenter my budget and financial thoughts. It’s been a couple of years since I last kept my budget detailed-ly up to date. And this is to help rein in some of my more recent excessiveness.

18. Wear eyeshadow

Eyeshadow is the makeup portion I’m most likely to skip in my life. I can make my face look smooth, add some mascara, and be OK for the day. But eyeshadow is a great way to track whether I’m back to the pre-COVID makeup usage. Plus, I have so many fun eyeshadows to try!

19. Keep up my blog

I don’t know what this looks like. I failed my 52 blogs for 2020 goal abysmally. However, let’s aim for a solid 12. That’s a blog a month… or 12 blogs in December.

20. Talk to a therapist

Life can be hard. It can suck. Friends can hurt you for no reason other than they’re hurting themselves. Jobs can be lost or turn into what you didn’t expect. Relationships can end out of dumb arguments. Those you love most can turn on you, knowing the exact, best ways to destroy your spirit. Therapy is for everyone. In addition to dealing with my anxiety, I need to work on my relationship with food.

21. Get outside

It’s still COVID central here. My boyfriend sometimes asks when I last left the house. I’ve never enjoyed unplanned errands, and I’m great at staying home. But I don’t want to fall into the habit of never leaving. I suspect I’ll finally be using the company’s discount to the botanical gardens to encourage me to get out and about moreso than normal this summer.

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