A Look Back: Assessing Where I Landed on My 2021 Goals

Each new year, my girl friends and I get together for a goal setting session to plan out the year. We worry less about resolutions and more about the big picture accomplishments, lifestyle shifts, and overall feelings we want to see in the year ahead. Then, I try to check in at least quarterly to assess where I stand and what I need to work on.

Just yesterday, I texted them to see when they’d want to get together for this year’s session and we realized that all four of us hit our BIG goals for the year. I wanted to find a river house. One friend wanted a baby (she’s on her way!). Another wanted to buy a new home. And the fourth was navigating dating. Here we are on December 30 and it’s check, check, check, check.

So, to get woo-woo for a second, putting it out into the world worksAs does taking the action steps to make it happen.

You can read about my goals from last year here. Now, let’s take a look at where I ended up.

Where I Landed On My 2021 Goals

My big thematic goal was to find a balance between routine and spontaneity. Off the bat, I didn’t do well here. It ended up being a busy year and I had to live by my Google Calendar to stay on track. If anything, I cancelled spontaneity. But, now that the bulk of the cottage reno and launching the Airbnb is behind us, I can try again this year!

My word of the year was FOCUS. Which I did! I grew in areas that bring me fulfillment, scaled back where necessary, and eliminated projects that weren’t serving me. There’s a more cohesive thread running through everything I have going on.

Outfit details: Sarah Flint Loafers | J. Crew Factory Top | H&M Jeans

Daily Routine

Wake up at 6:45 AM: Ha. No, this did not happen. In lieu of getting up early, I often stayed up too late. It’s funny, back in college, I always went to bed early and would get up at 5 AM to study. For some reason, it’s now easier to stay up til 1 or 2 AM working rather than getting into bed at 10 PM.

Get dressed-ish every day: Yes-ish. I’ve definitely made an effort to do my hair and makeup every day, but I should break my habit of athleisure on top (I’m not going to go crazy and stop wearing leggings).

Intentional Consumption

Supporting local: Did I have to shop Amazon this year? Absolutely, especially due to the river house. BUT I also made an effort to buy local, particularly with groceries, whenever possible. I’d consider this a success.

Surround myself with pretty, minimal, well-designed things: My goal was to get rid of the B-team items in our house and I’ve done that! So much selling and giving away, and I’m feeling good about it. Worth noting: I bought only 35 wardrobe items this year, including jewelry, headbands, underwear, bras, socks, etc, while selling or giving away over 100 items. I will never be a total capsule convert, but I’m definitely getting my closet under control.

Organize: I’ve made an effort to do this throughout the year, but it’s really picked up in the past few days. After a chaotic few months, I’m taking advantage of this slow week to go through each drawer and cabinet, making sure everything is in tip top shape.


Travel abroad: While we didn’t cross an ocean, we did spend two weeks traversing some of Mexico’s most colorful mountain cities. I couldn’t have asked for a more incredible trip.

Explore buying a vacation home: Check and check. P.S. Book it on Airbnb!

Career & Work

Get published: Well, in terms of writing, I crushed my goals seeing bylines across Apartment Therapy, MyDomaine, The Knot, HelloGiggles, StyleBlueprint, and The Everygirl. I’m still chasing the elusive print headline but there could be big news on that front soon.

Focus on clients I enjoy: I’d say I did this! I’ve said no to freelance clients this year when I felt the work wasn’t a fit or I saw glaring red flags. Oh! I also did all the copy for the first print catalog for one of my freelance marketing clients, a sustainable clothing brand. I’m so excited to see the final product!

Grow my design business: Yes and no. I came to the realization about what’s realistic here, which actually meant scaling back rather than growing. At this point, I’m not trying launch a full interior design business. This is a fun side project only. In-person design does not work with my schedule, and I found most people who want me to come in-person really need full-service, not the one-off e-design I offer. So, I scaled back. I take on one project at a time, and I let clients know when that means they may have to wait a few months. I’m much happier keeping this is a smaller creative outlet.

Two blog posts a week: As I mentioned in this post, I fell short and I’m okay with that. I came in at 84 posts rather than 104. This had to give to accommodate other projects.

Grow blog traffic by 25%: From 2019 to 2020, my blog page views were up 111% and unique visitors were up 199% from 2019. I knew I probably wouldn’t top that without significant work and a lower number of posts this year didn’t help me. That being said, I did grow unique users by 20%, sessions by 18%, and page views by 13%. Not the numbers I wanted to see, but also nothing to scoff at.

One newsletter a week: I realized one newsletter a week wasn’t realistic, so I scaled back, but I also came up with a new format that I love. Here’s a preview here and, if you like what you see, sign up!


Entertain more: I did host a few times this year! It wasn’t the return to entertaining that I’d hoped for (part of that due to our condo being in disarray for much of the year), but it was a start.

Join an organization: No further along than I was last year, whoops.


30 day yoga challenge: I did this, but also I really, really don’t like working out at home. Thankfully, I was able to start up ClassPass again this summer and then Pure Barre went back, too.

Ballet: Ugh, so the studio near me reopened for a hot second and then closed again. At this point, I’m not sure they’ll ever reopen (and I suspect there’s more at play than their pandemic excuse).

Daily walks: I’ll give myself a yes here! While I don’t always walk just to walk, I do get close to 10,000 steps most days simply from walking around the neighborhood to run errands.

Plans for Next Year

You’ll just have to check back in to find out! I am still working on my exact goals, though I do have a preview of my word for the year: savor.


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