I love dreaming and planning for the future—and I think that’s one thing that made 2020 such a mental challenge for me. During a pandemic, the future, even just days or weeks away, is very uncertain. In fairness, life was always that uncertain, but my experience over the last year just brought that to light in an entirely new way.
If you’re a long-time reader (thank you so much!), you know that each year I write a blogpost sharing my goals for the year—you can see my past goals here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017.
This year, however, is different. While I am optimistic about where the year could go, I am not setting any goals for 2021. Instead, I am going to focus on taking things day-by-day. There is still so much uncertainty, and if you’re anything like me, some days, you’re ready to go-go-go, and other days, you just need to sit and do nothing. As such, it feels unfair to myself to add any extra pressure during a time that provides more than enough pressure on its own. I’m still going to keep moving forward when I can. I’m going to focus on making the best of each day. And I am going to focus on celebrating the little things. There will be other years for the big things.
Since I did set goals for 2020, I wanted to recap how I did on them—but I am giving myself a ton of grace because I didn’t know that 2020 would become ~2020~ when I wrote these goals last January. Ah, simpler times!
Here’s a recap of how I did on my 2020 goals:
- Be more intentional about travel: LOL, be careful what you put out into the universe! At the beginning of the year, I had a couple of work trips, but then travel was put on hold by my company and a lot of my personal trips were cancelled—France + Italy, Charlottesville, Las Vegas. Oh the trips that would have been! Despite the pandemic, I did do some traveling in 2020, but I spaced everything out and avoided the back-to-back travel that really wore me down in 2019. Whenever the pandemic is behind us, I hope to get to travel for work again and continue personal travel, but I would love to continue to space my travel out so I don’t stop enjoying it and start to resent it.
- Find a better way to manage day-to-day stress: HA! Some of my day-to-day stressors were removed—things like my daily commute, running from the 8th floor to the 28th floor for back-to-back meetings, the over-scheduled life I used to live. But in many ways, I faced more stress this year than I did in 2019 as a result of the pandemic. While I was extremely lucky to have a job, a roof over my head, and food on my table every day, I think regardless of your lot in life, 2020 was heavy and insecure. I am proud I made it through last year, but I think I could still improve how I manage stress and find outlets for myself that are healthy and effective.
- Save at least $5K more in my emergency savings: I did this! BUT, I dipped into this account to pay for the down payment on my lease, so I am trying to build this fund back up to what it was. One thing I will say about 2020 is that I didn’t save as much money as I would have liked—you would think with having less places to go, I naturally would have saved. But I leaned into retail therapy hard some months, I moved, I leased a car, and I tried really, really hard to support local restaurants by ordering takeout frequently.
- Visit at least one new state and return to Maine: Maine had to wait (maybe this year? fingers crossed!), but I did get to a new state: Arkansas! 33 of 50 down.
Here’s to the road ahead—may it be bright. x
Hoping you can make it back to my home state in 2021 or sometime soon! 🙂 I’m with you on goals for this year… I’m setting a couple very small resolutions (like learning to French braid my hair- ha!), but anything big seems too uncertain.
I would LOVE to make it back to Maine and will definitely come to you for advice. And I love your approach this year – I wish I could French Braid!
I’m currently leaning towards not making any goals for myself this year. Instead, i’ve been jotting down a list of intentions and feelings for 2021. Not sure where that would take me but I know it’s there in the event I need something to occupy myself with.
I love that idea — here’s to a great year! x