Like a lot of people, I tend to spend the end of the year reflecting on my life – both where it’s currently at and where I’d like it to go. After a painful 2020, I spent time reflecting on my successes, failures, and disappointments on my blog, as well as through journalling. In today’s post, I’m sharing my 2021 goals according to my theme for the year: Learning to Thrive Where I’m Planted.
What do I mean by “Learning to thrive where I’m planted”?
This might sound a little strange – and maybe it is – but I’ve always felt a strong connection to cacti and other succulents. Beyond their natural beauty, cacti have always embodied patience, perseverance, and strength. Not only can cacti survive in harsh climates with hot suns and chilling nights, but some cacti can actually live for two years without water.
Despite the odds being stacked against them, they persevere because of their natural protectants and thick skin. But I’ve always been particularly struck by the patience that cacti exemplify in their willingness to wait for rain. And even though it may take some time, they’re absolutely beautiful once they bloom.
Like cacti, I am someone who willingly identifies herself as being a little prickly. Overcoming personal hardships and loss taught me to develop a thick skin. God’s plan and hand in my life continually teaches me patience, and I know when given the opportunity I will flourish.
Learning to thrive where I’m planted means that I will push past my circumstances. More importantly, it means that I won’t let the crippling effects of anxiety or depression rule my life. Like a cactus waiting for rain, I’ll persevere and continue to grow with the hope (and belief) that better days are ahead.
With the above said, what are my 2021 goals?
Health & Wellness Goals
1. Maintain My Makeup & Skincare Routine
When I stop doing my skincare routine and wearing makeup, it is telltale sign that I am not doing well emotionally. Beyond being a creative outlet, I feel more like myself when I maintain my skincare routine and wear makeup. In fact, I look and feel much healthier. However, I let 2020 take away these simple joys from me. Therefore, I intend to reclaim these parts of myself in 2021.
Also, as part of this promise to myself, I want to paint my nails every week. Painting my nails often requires me to focus on the present. Plus, this activity gets me away from the computer screen for a while.
2. Move My Body Daily
In 2021, I am committing to moving my body daily whether this means going for a walk, participating in an online yoga class or taking on a fitness challenge. When I move my body I feel less anxious and more motivated to take on the day.
3. Prioritize Sleep
Let’s just say that I don’t have the healthiest sleep pattern. Sometimes my sleep schedule is borderline nocturnal and other times it is literally non-existent. In 2020, I want to prioritize getting to bed by 11:00 PM and waking up at 7:00 AM. When I prioritize sleep, I am more focused and feel happier.
Personal & Professional Development Goals
1. Daily Reading & Reflection
I don’t know about you, but I feel like my attention span drastically decreased in 2020. In fact, I felt like I couldn’t keep my phone down. However, I never used to feel this scatterbrained. Outside of sleeping, the time I take to read or journal are usually my longest stretches of screen-free time. However, I did very little reading, journalling (and sleeping) this past year.
Therefore, I’m committing to spending at least one hour every day to reading and writing. More specifically, I am committing to reading 12 books, not including the Bible or my devotional.
2. Continue Learning
Continuous learning is a vital part of life. Although I’ve finished grad school, my education doesn’t just stop. In fact, it is essential to keep up with the latest marketing trends in order to do well in my field. Therefore, I want to complete at least one professional certification each month in 2021 and start taking more free courses online.
3. Budget & Save
Prior to attending grad school, I kept a super strict monthly budget that allowed me to pay my bills and save money with ease. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I lived by that mantra to pay myself first. However, when my world closed up and my income changed at the start of 2019, I turned to online shopping as a means of coping with stress and anxiety. I developed borderline additive shopping tendencies.
In 2021, I intend to return to my previous status as a big saver. To help myself, I am starting the year off with a 3-month beauty No Buy and then intend to follow a to-be-determined Low Buy for the rest of the year.
1. Consistent Posting
Prior to my hiatus over the summer of 2020, I maintained a consistent editorial calendar. More specifically, I posted 3 days a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. However, there were many weeks where I’d post a surprise post on Sundays.
In 2021, I want to return to posting 3x a week. However, I recognize that it takes time to build up a backlog of posts to schedule ahead of time. Therefore, I’m giving myself until March to get back to a cadence of 3 posts per week. Until then, it will be at least 2 posts a week.
In addition to consistent posting on my blog, I’d like to post more consistently on Instagram and Twitter. During the worst of 2020, I got off Twitter to preserve my mental health, but I’ve missed how interactive the platform is. Sadly, since my Twitter hiatus my engagement hasn’t been the same.
Although I posted on Instagram more consistently in 2020, there were still 2-3 week periods where I failed to post new content. Life and loss just got in the way. In 2021, I want to commit to posting at least 4 days a week AND I want to start posting more video content.
2. Monetize my Blog
In 2020, my intention was to monetize this blog. While I finally started to incorporate affiliate links in my posts, I never took the leap to run ads. I’d like to change this in 2021.
3. Give the Blog a Face Lift
Do I have the itch to switch my template again?
Yes – BUT I’m going to hold off on making the switch until I fix other aspects of the site. This includes:
Creating a logo & uploading it to my site
Adjusting my ‘About Me’ and Terms-of-Service pages
Giving the front page a face lift
Adding an affiliate disclaimer page, as well as page for my discount codes
Revamping older posts
Final Thoughts on Learning to Thrive Where I’m Planted
In living out 2021’s theme of learning to thrive where I’m planted I chose to set far less rigid goals than I normally set each year. Although I am a proponent of setting specific goals that are actionable and measurable, 2021 is a year that I want to focus on growing as a person, a Christian, a professional, and a content creator.
As I learned in 2020, life is full of unexpected twists and turns so I want to give myself room to grow with my goals. However, I intend to provide quarterly updates on how I’m progressing towards each specific goal because this will help me to look back on all that I accomplish throughout the year.