goals for 2021

In the spirit of making SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based), I’ve opted to frame this year’s goals in a list of numbers:

30: Limit social media time (spent on Facebook and Instagram combined) to 30 minutes per day and minimize phone distractions.

How: I’ve deleted the Facebook and Instagram apps from my phone and tablet, and disabled most notifications from all apps on my phone. I’ve also changed my work e-mail settings so that they are not automatically “pushed” to my phone (and consequently, my watch). Ultimately, my goal is to feel more focused and limit low-quality screen time.

2: Try 2 new hobbies (sewing, calligraphy) to replace social media time.

How: As luck would have it, my sister got a new sewing machine for her birthday a few weeks ago, so I inherited her old one. I’ve identified a few YouTube tutorials to get me started. As for calligraphy, I just ordered a basic set of calligraphy pens and a workbook. I’m keeping this goal intentionally open-ended, as I’ve discovered in the past that overly structured goals related to creative endeavors do not work for me. I’d like to spend a little time each evening on either of these pursuits (or reading).

25: Read 25 books this year.

How: I just stocked my e-book queue with several titles, and I also ordered a few used books I can’t seem to locate at any local library. I also might be willing to venture back to the library for hard copies in the coming months. The 2-3 books per month standard feels very doable to me.

4: Finish decorating 4 spaces in our house: dining room, deck, play room, and master bedroom.

How: Decorating can feel very overwhelming for me (hence my house still has many bare walls, 5 months after moving in). So, I think taking it one room at a time will make it less stressful and more of the enjoyable, creative pursuit that it’s supposed to be.

64: Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day.

How: Yes, this was a goal for last year, but I really want this habit to stick. Hydration is important, people! I bought a new 32-ounce water bottle to keep me motivated.

30: Run 30 miles in 30 days.

How: This is another repeat from last year that I did not achieve. Once the weather warms a bit, I can see myself taking at least 2 runs per week, at 3-4 miles each…which should add up to a mile a day, if I remain consistent.

52: Journal weekly, 52 times in 2021.

How: This goal is intended to improve mental health. There are many evidence-based benefits to journaling, not the least of which is diminishing feelings of anxiety. Although many recommend journaling daily, I just don’t think I’ll be able to achieve that frequency to begin. I’ve found several lists of journal prompts to give me something to write about each time.

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