21 Goals for 2021 and My Strategy for Actually Achieving Those Goals

It’s top of mind for everyone at the beginning of a new year. With so much possibility before you, you can’t help but ask, “what do I want this year to look like?” “Next New Year’s Eve, when I look back on the year, what do I want to see? Who do I want to be?”

And it’s tempting to set a huge list of lofty goals to completely transform yourself and become the Pinterest-perfect person you’ve always wanted to be.

But, from my experience, that only results in an enormous amount of pressure put on you and your mind. The goals are too big and too life-changing and become out of reach at best, and mentally abusive at worst.

I’ve made goals before that were too lofty and I actually have held myself accountable and referred to the list throughout the year and tried my hardest to achieve all of them. But because they were too lofty, I maybe achieved one, and by referring back to the list, I was only beating myself up more. The long list of goals wasn’t aspirational, it only provided fuel for my brain to beat me up.

So at the beginning of 2021, I decided to strategize differently. I still believe having goals is important and it’s a healthy exercise to take responsibility of your life and growth. But let’s make sure the aspiration doesn’t overshadow mental health. This is an exercise to grow and improve yourself, not to dismantle and hate yourself.

I began with my lofty Pinterest-perfect list of goals, but instead of stopping there, I applied them to a calendar.

For example, I have a goal of finishing four books this year. (This may seem small, but I am not naturally inclined to read so this is a stretch goal for me.) So, four books in 12 months means I have to finish one book every three months. So on my calendar, I wrote “finish book one” in March. In addition, I have a set goal for my savings which I divided by twelve and wrote under each month.

For the goals that don’t have a particular number associated with them, such as oil training my hair or starting to do yoga in the mornings, I assigned them to a month so I can focus on them then. So instead of staring at 20-30 goals all at once and feeling overwhelmed that I need to be making progress on every single one, I am only looking at a small group of goals per month that I can focus on. This focus and attention will then build habits and each month these habits will build on top of each other. By the end of the year, I will have hopefully made more progress on my goals rather than more self-negativity in my mind.

So my 21 goals for a healthier and happier New Year are below and below that is my calendar for how I plan to achieve them while protecting my mental health!


1. X amount of dollars in savings/emergency account. ✔️

2. Pay off two student loans

3. XXX credit score

4. Set up recurring donations to my favorite causes. ✔️

5. No unnecessary spending in January

6. Manage subscriptions/keep track of budget

7. Set up 401k

8. Get promoted to the next title at work.

9. Update portfolio and fully populate my LinkedIn

10. Continue therapy.

11. Continue running and run a 5K.

12. Continue one second per day video

13. Learn to quilt.

14. Volunteer on a regular basis.

15. Read four books.

16. Wake up earlier, do yoga and meditate daily.

17. Nightly reading and journaling.

18. Weekly blog post! (Stay tuned!!)

19. Oil train my hair/focus on hair care

20. Reset my passwords

21. Lunchtime walks

Bonus goal: start taking vitamins more consistently


January

  • start running 3x week
  • eating healthy & 3 meals per day
  • no unnecessary spending
  • reset my passwords
  • $x to my savings

February

  • morning yoga, meditation + journaling 
  • nightly 30min reading + no tv 
  • weekly blog post
  • $X to my savings 

March 

  • run 5k 
  • finish book one 
  • $X to my savings 

April 

  • oil train my hair 
  • daily vitamin regime 
  • lunchtime walks 
  • $X to my savings

May 

  • get up + shower/get ready each morning (Quarantine probs!)
  • finish one book
  • $X to my savings

June 

  • pay off one student loan
  • manage subscriptions and start to track a budget 
  • finish book two 
  • $X to my savings

July 

  • learn to quilt
  • beginning volunteering 
  • $X to my savings

August 

  • update portfolio and fully populate my LinkedIn 
  • $X to my savings

September 

  • finish book three 
  • $X to my savings

October 

  • promotion cycle at work 
  • $X to my savings

November 

  • $X to my savings

December 

  • finish book four 
  • pay off second student loan 
  • $X to my savings

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