2020 was a difficult year for many of us. Reflecting on it there are a few things that 2020 taught us. Be thankful for the time you have with your loved ones. Use the technological resources we have access to. We can FaceTime with our loved ones, call them, text them, or Instant message them…. You get the point. So if you have found yourself disconnected, perhaps one of your 2021 goals would be to reconnect through one of these methods with the people you are closest with.
Some children and adults for that matter were more affected by the isolation than others. My children (16,21) prefer the distance learning over in person instruction. My son has done better academically than he has done in person through the local public school system. Even once restrictions are lifted will likely continue to go through the online public school. His self esteem as it relates to his education has been boosted. Even though it is more work for me as his learning coach, it is well worth that effort (most of the time).
My daughter has been doing online schooling through one of the UW schools for the last couple of years. This semester she will be on the Deans List (proud mama moment). The resiliency of my children is so impressive to me. I hope that will continue with them throughout their adulthood. With that reflection I turn my attention towards reaching the 2021 goals that I am setting for myself. More importantly I hope to help inspire others to push for their goals as well.
Setting 2021 Goals
Every year I sit down and detail out what goals I have for each part of my life. Knowing my health could take a turn at any moment meant that I would try to have a destination. Setting a roadmap to reach the goals has to allow movement for some pivoting and winding roads to reach that point. There was no way to see how we would be affected on so many levels this past year, which reminds us to be flexible in our journey. With renewed effort we approach 2021 with a can-do mindset.
This year I have decided to share with my readers my personal 2021 goals. Feeling it would be the most helpful to you, by sharing my journey and my destination. This way if you find you are connecting on some of the same goals, we can try to reach them together. And know that you are not alone.
The moto this year for me is to be about making intentional and habitual changes slowly (one to two each month), that will help to change my life for the better overall. Especially in the areas of health, financial, organizational, spiritual, and relationships.
#1 Health and Relationship 2021 Goals
In 2019 I had lost 60 pounds and was proud of that accomplishment. How I achieved that was through jump starting through a weight loss challenge on HealthyWage, and eating a super low carb bordering ketogenic diet. In January 2020 I vowed to continue my healthy journey, but that was before the pandemic.
Once our area became affected by the pandemic, we limited our grocery trips to once a month, and I would do the drive through service for my prescriptions once per week. Since I take an immunosuppressant and a chemotherapy drug, I am high risk. To limit potential exposure, we purchased highly processed foods, including a lot of canned vegetables, pastas, and rice to limit the need to run to the store. This did not fit well with my newfound ketogenic diet that I had adapted my lifestyle to over the course of the previous year. Fast forward 9 months, and I have gained almost half of that weight back. I am so ashamed that I allowed myself to do this to myself after working so hard to do right by my body.
So, this year I am combining a few goals, the first of many 2021 goals: I am going to track my steps, and slowly increase them, so that I am between 7-10K per day. This will not be overnight, and this along with gentle stretching will be my form of exercise. In addition to my autoimmune disease (Lupus +), I also struggle with my lungs and have a heart condition (diastolic dysfunction). This just means I must be careful and intentional about my activity and how quickly I adjust.
Growing, Preserving, and Preparing Real Food
I have also tried to grow my own vegetables and herbs in the past, and where we are located, we have not had that much luck the past few years. My goal is to try again, and if it does not work for me this year, I will reach out to some of the local farmers to see if I can line up regular pick up or delivery of fresh produce during the growing season.
Just as importantly as the gardening I plan to learn how to preserve, and the best methods to do so for the diet I intend to keep while maintaining the quality vitamin and mineral content. While these are all goals relating to my health, I find they are also important life skills to develop, so I intend on learning them right along with my kids. Since they are young adults themselves, these are useful skills to develop now before they leave the nest, and it will give us some bonding time. I will also be including them in the meal prep also.
I have a couple of ketogenic cookbooks, as well as Magnolia Table which has many recipes that can be modified slightly to fit within the low carb living, so I will be doing weekly meal plans, and help teach my kids to appreciate the art of cooking a good healthy meal. My hopes are that it will feed not only their stomachs, but their souls as well.
Goal #2 Financial
Thankfully we were less affected than many families financially in 2020. We learned to budget our spending when our children were little. Although there is always some type of emergency spending, like a medical bill, vehicle repair bill, or a cell phone because you accidently ran it through the washing machine. Compared to many families, we have weathered that part of this storm relatively well thus far. I continue to work outside of the home on a very part time basis, but I have been trying to increase my income through passive means.
For any of those curious, I am currently at about $100 profit per month through passive means (blogging and affiliate marketing). Keep in mind though that the work I do now, will pay off in the future as well. I also started making some small investments over the last year. Hoping that biotech, blockchains, and crypto currencies will boom in the coming years, and getting in on the ground level.
Renewed focus on the blog
My financial 2021 goals will be to expand on what I am already doing. Spending 15-30 minutes every day to devote specifically to expanding my social media presence. The purpose of starting this blog 3 years ago, was that I genuinely wanted to help inspire people to live their absolute best lives. That being said, I am an introvert. I do not like being on camera or hearing my recorded voice, and yet I wanted to reach as many people as I could to help them with whatever their battle is.
There was a variety of tips, inspiration, motivation, and recipes that I wanted to share with you when I first started this blog. I sometimes wonder if niching down would reach more people, but I am unsure of what I would niche down to. So, one of the key things I am considering for 2022 is queuing in on what my readers want to see more of, and what is just taking up time and space. So, I will be looking for comments, and engagements closely this year, to help me reach my decision for 2022.
Small Investments with Big Impact
I will also continue to invest our spare change utilizing the 3 following sites: Coinbase (for crypto currencies), and Robinhood or Stash (some stocks are available on one and not the other, so I have an account on both platforms). On these sites you do not have to purchase whole shares of stocks, if you want to invest $10 each month, you can just do that. When it comes to investing one of the key points is to start early. If you are on the fence, start small. It is one way to achieve financial independence as you get older.
I also believe in contributing to good causes. It does not have to be monetary donations, although during the pandemic most organizations prefer that. During a less troubling environment, you can donate time or other resources. It does not have to be a lot, but it will make you feel good inside, and you will reap its rewards exponentially. My personal goal regarding contributions, is to continue the small things I am doing now, as well as combining the goal of simplification (more on that later in this post).
Goal #3 Spirituality
The third set of 2021 goals is my spirituality. I am Catholic, I wish I could say that I go to church every Sunday, unfortunately I am not a weekly attendee. However, I do see myself as a good Christian. I devote time to prayer more than once per week, usually when I am either driving to work or laying in bed reflecting on the day, and especially if I am looking for something important (then I am usually asking St. Anthony for a little help as well).
My goal in this area is quite simple; continue to do right by others, try to bring joy and inspiration to more people than I did the year prior, and take more time to meditate and pray. I try to do better each year over the last. I think if everyone tried to do that, then the world would almost immediately become a better place.
Goal #4 Organization
The 4th and final set of 2021 goals is to simplify, declutter, and organize. I spend a lot of time organizing. Makes sense, doesn’t it? To clarify, for me to accomplish anything in a day beyond simply living takes energy and time, and some days I lack one, and others I lack both.
Each morning I try to give myself a general blueprint of what my day is going to look like. Where I have trouble is when I run out of steam. So sometimes the socks do not get folded, or I forget to approve my son’s assignments for the day or miss checking my email. I have learned to forgive myself for some disorganization, but I strive for progress in this area.
With a focus in food preservation, one area of particular importance will be on my kitchen organization. The other area is on my bedroom. I have a craft space in my bedroom (literally my side of the room. It is about 40-50 square feet between my bed and the wall. I like to try to make gifts for Christmas and special occasions and crafting periodically is therapeutic. I think it would bring me more joy and accomplishment if I spend some time improving on that space.
Simplify and Declutter
Lastly as it pertains to organization is to simplify and declutter. Simply put, I have too much stuff. I am setting a goal to discard 2 garbage bags each month of clothes or other things that no longer spark joy or provide regular use. Most will be donated to someone who can better appreciate the goods. After all, one mans trash is another man’s treasure. Even damaged goods like shirts with holes can be used by individuals who craft with fabric (quilters etc.). Craft supplies can be expensive, so they may appreciate those items, and then they serve another purpose.
That covers my goals for this year. This post will help me to be held accountable. I plan to create posts that support these goals, as well as the usual content. Please share your goals in the comments or feel free to reach out, and we can help each other reach our destinations together.
I will update you as to the progress and the journey in time. Meanwhile in previous years I have shared some tips on goal setting and achievement (they have helped me immensely over the years). You can find them here, followed by links to some resources I have invested in for this year to help achieve those 2021 goals.