As 2020 came to an end, I did both a look back at the year and a wrap-up of the top 10 posts of the year. But now it’s time to look forward. I know there’s a lot of talk about not setting goals after the past 12 months — and I totally get it. It’s hard to talk about what you’re going to do specifically when you have no idea what next week will even look like.
Yes, I’m Setting Goals
However, for me, I’m a planner. I need something to work towards and I enjoy sitting down to think about the bigger picture and how my actions will help me move towards it. I like having goals in place and I love forming habits (an upholder through and through!), even if I have to adjust them as time goes on. Which is why one of my thematic goals is: find a balance between routine and spontaneity. I’m not looking at these goals as something to be bound by, to rigidly adhere to, or to find disappointment in if I have to change course. I’m using goals as flexible guidelines.
Word of the Year: FOCUS
Wake up at 6:45 AM: I’m inching towards this goal. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don’t. The ideal scenario is getting up to do yoga, shower, write a blog post, and be ready to kick off my (day job) work day at 9 AM.
Get dressed-ish every day: Look, I’m not putting on jeans and shoes or anything crazy. But I do make a point to do my hair and makeup, put on an outfit that looks and feels good, and to throw on some jewelry/accessories.
Supporting local: This became a huge priority for me during the pandemic and I plan to continue it…forever? I listened to a podcast once that said women drive 80% of consumer spending. So do you want to let your consumer dollars speak for small businesses and local shops — or Amazon? I totally get the convenience of Amazon, I link to on here when I need to but, if I can ever help it, I’ll shop local. Even if it means spending an extra dollar or two (and it often doesn’t!).
Surround myself with pretty, minimal, well-designed things: The first step in this is reducing clutter, which sometimes seems like a constant battle (so thankful for Facebook Marketplace and Poshmark!). Then the goal is to only remain with items that I absolutely love (I’m sounding like a certain Marie Kondo here, ha). But, seriously, I don’t want B-team stuff in my closet or house.
Organize: This could be something that’s super contrary to the ever-effective SMART goals so I choose to break it into chunks. Whenever I have a free half-hour with literally nothing on my to-do list, I’ll pick one section of my home to organize. So far this year, that’s included a coffee and tea drawer, spice drawer, and our closet pantry. Yes, I am a super organized person as it is but I’m making my systems more effective.
Travel abroad: So far, we have two trips out of the country booked for 2021. Ideally, we’ll get one more on the calendar, perhaps for late fall. Scotland and Spain are high on my list.
Explore buying a vacation home: In light of all the close-to-home travel, we realized that, while we don’t have any desire to leave DC full-time, we might want to invest in a nearby (<2 hours) vacation home. Plus, I love the idea of creating a beautifully-designed rental experience for visitors on weekends when we’re not there.
Career & Work
Get published: This is always my #1 goal and it will be until it happens. I want to see one of my articles in print!
Focus on clients I enjoy: Okay, first let me say, I do enjoy all of my writing clients as people. But there are certain verticals that come easier for me and, in a year when I want to focus and niche down, that means perhaps saying no to work that doesn’t fit my bigger plan.
Grow my design business: I had so much fun with the unexpected launch of my e-design business at the end of this summer! I’m in a place now where I have a firm grasp on my offerings, how to find clients that will be a pleasure to work with, and how I can best help them create their dream spaces. I look forward to growing in 2021!
Two blog posts a week: Some weeks it may be more, some it may only be one, but two posts a week seems to be a cadence that is realistic for me. I posted 129 times in 2020, which is more than that but not by a huge stretch.
Grow blog traffic by 25%: I’m setting this number a bit low because I blew my stats out of the water in 2020. My page views were up 111% and unique visitors were up 199% from 2019. Not sure I can top that, so I’ll start with a reasonable goal!
One newsletter a week: I initially set out to do a biweekly newsletter but found that I really enjoyed bringing y’all links and finds that may not need a full blog post but deserved some attention (I mean…if I had swipe up, they could find a home there, ha!). So, weekly it is. You can sign up here.
Entertain more: Ha, this seems almost comical to say at this point but I do want to entertain more once life returns to normal. I used to have small groups over back in the day but it seems to have become a rarer occasion in recent years — like once every other month or so. I’d love to get back into a monthly cadence.
Join an organization: So, I used to be in Junior League and loved it…but I tapped out after so many years and a couple years in leadership (plus, the hike to Georgetown seemed impossible after work when I was living on H Street). I’ve been toying with the idea of joining DAR for a while now but need to finish the application. That’s certainly a goal for Q1.
30 day yoga challenge: Yoga with Adriene is doing a 30-day yoga challenge centered around the idea of “breath” and I’m here for it. My goal is to continue a morning yoga practice and this has been a great way to keep myself accountable in kicking it off.
Ballet: I get so much joy out of ballet classes and I cannot wait until I can register for an in-person class again. Same goes for in-person barre but that’s obviously a given!
Daily walks: I’ve been topping out around 8,000-ish steps most days and I desperately need to get this back up to 10,000. In pre-pandemic days, when I was commuting, I was around 15-20,000 a day so there’s really no excuse. Plus, I love the inspiration I get from being out and about in the neighborhood.
What Am I Not Inviting Into 2021?
Of course there are things I’m happily leaving behind in 2020! One silver lining of the past year is that it’s been easy to cut out toxic people. When socializing requires coordination and quarantine, it’s simple to cull down your group to only those that fill your cup. Additionally, all the hours at home certainly kick-started my clear-out of clutter.
Additionally, I’m leaving behind migraines in 2020 (the regimen I got on this past year has done wonders!), too much sugar, and procrastination. I’m working on how to break myself of the “procrastinating work with more work” habit and I’m sure I’ll have a post for you on that soon. So, with all those negatives kicked to the side, let’s focus on the positive in 2021 and flexible goals that give ourselves grace!