Ten 2021 Goals For Personal Growth
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Happy New Years Day! What better way to celebrate the new year than to set some 2021 goals? I’m always a big fan of goals as a means to achieve personal growth any given year.
2020 turned out to be a bit of a bust since a lot of goals and resolutions ended up impossible due to the crapload of terrible things that happened last year.
However, that’s not to say we should give up and assume 2021 will be the same. I’m sure the early part of it will still suck but we can hope it gets a bit better soon after that.
After all, even in a crappy year like 2020, the personal goals I set last year still yielded positive results for me. I walked more, I read more and I volunteered more. I didn’t do a bunch of the goals I set and failed most but the idea that you should succeed in all your goals is a silly one. Personally, I like setting a variety of goals and hoping that at least a few stick or help drive incremental improvement.
Sure, you’ll fail like 90% of most goals, but even if one gets through and becomes a normal part of your life then it’s a huge success in my mind.
As always, you should look at these 2021 goals or resolutions as an opportunity to change yourself for the better. As such, they shouldn’t be impossible, unreasonable or unattainable but an extension of things you might already be doing but want to do better or want to be doing in the near future.
Hopefully, this list gives you some ideas that you can use in your own life to help you become a better person. These 2021 goals are meant to drive personal development. I track financial goals as well but I’ll do those in a separate post to keep things simple.
2021 Goals and New Year’s Resolutions
As with all things in life, I like my goals to be practical and quantifiable. I see a lot of goal lists online that are like be more grateful, be more present or smile more. What does that even mean? How do I know if I’m being more grateful than last year?
I also don’t like goals that you can fail three days into the year because it’s easy to give up if that’s the case. Go to the gym every day doesn’t work but go to the gym an average of 4 times a month can work all year round as you can almost always catch up.
In setting these goals, I tried to be reasonable but also as specific as possible to guide myself forward in reaching something next year that I might not have reached this year or the year before. No one knows what 2021 will bring so I also tried to make this goals something I can do even if lockdowns continue well into the year. It’s likely I won’t be traveling much this year and going to the gym often is a question mark as well in certain states for now so these goals are meant to account for stuff like that.
Goal One – Row 3,000m a Month(or 36,000 in 2021)
About two years ago, we bought a nice rowing machine and it’s been quite an unused piece of equipment since then.
We bought it with the intention of using it often and getting in shape but we’ve probably used it 30 times in two years between the two of us since we got it. Last year, I set a goal to row 5000m in one sitting and that was completely asinine given my fitness level so I’m taking it down a notch this year and giving myself a month and multiple rows to do a smaller distance.
Most of my rows are in the 500m-1000m range(yes, I’m out of shape) so this means I really only have to row 3-6x a month and that seems reasonable to me given last year’s usage of the machine. I think I rowed about 10x all year last year so it’s certainly going to mean I have to row more but a goal is meant to motivate me to do more.
This is relatively simple and allows me to catch up if I fall behind in any month.
Since not everyone has a rowing machine(and buying one this year has been impossible), this goal isn’t for everyone. However, I’m sure a lot of you have some sort of work out machine being used as a drying rack in your basement. Dust that bad boy off and set some small goal to get you started on a nice workout regimen and get you in better shape.
Even if you don’t have a machine or are just starting to get in shape, something like a 30 day plank challenge for beginners can be a good way to start a workout routine of some sort.
This goal is also easy to track as most machines these days have a tracking app or you can always bust out an excel spreadsheet to keep track of your progress.
Goal Two – Walk 500 Steps More Than Last Year
One of my goals last year was to double my steps. Again, quite asinine although it did lead to quite a bit of a boost in my walking than the prior year as you can see below so it was an overall success. It’s not quite double but a pretty solid boost.
This year, I want to keep that going and setting a goal to improve by 500 steps is quite reasonable and attainable in my mind. We’re in a new home now and in a much better spot to walk so I’m excited to see if I can beat this number by more.
I think walking is one of the healthiest things you can do and it’s very simple and doable even in this climate. This is one goal that can be set by almost everyone and should have great benefits for most. Since most of my us have cell phones, it’s quite easy to track whenever we’re walking and compare against what we did last year.
Goal Three – Spend 10 Minutes With Yourself Each Week
This one is simple and one I often fail to do.
Close the door, turn off the lights, put away the electronics and just spend time with yourself.
It’s impossible to tell you what to do in those ten minutes but for me it means something simple like stretching or just closing my eyes and breathing deeply. It means using my chronic pain lessons and doing some exercises that help me with my pain issues.
This can be whatever you want it to be but it’s designed to show you the benefits of being present with yourself in any fashion you choose.
It doesn’t mean taking out your phone and playing games by yourself for ten minutes.
It means putting away everything except your own body and working with that at least ten minutes a week. It’s not a lot to ask and I think most people will find that they’ll want to do this more often.
I know that whenever I do this daily, I get a lot of benefits out of it but it’s so easy to fall out of it and just spend all day watching TV or doing chores. It’s important to take time for yourself, close your eyes and relax sometimes. Your mind can use the break.
Set a reminder on your phone for a ten minute break once a week and see how you like it.
Goal Four – Journal At Least 20 Times This Year
This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while but never got around to it.
My recent time with the 5 minute journal showed me the benefits of positive thinking and I want to take that to the next step with journaling.
Journaling is simple, you open a notebook or word document and just write down what’s on your mind that day.
You can write about anything you want, there’s no limits. Write about what makes you happy, what annoys you, what you’re keeping inside, what makes you angry or whatever else you want. It’s not supposed to be fiction but some internal thoughts.
Let it all out. I’ve read so much about the negative effects keeping things boiled up can have on your physical and mental state and I want to see if journaling and letting that out can help improve how I feel.
I think a lot of people keep a daily journal but again a daily practice is something you can fail five days into January so I’m setting something that can be done no matter when I start. I think 20 times is a reasonable amount but you can go higher or lower depending on what you like.
This one is easy to track too whether you’re using a notebook or a word document. Just date them or number them and you’re all set.
Goal Five – Try New Hobby or Develop a New Skill
This one isn’t very specific but it’s one I always like having in my goals because it motivates me to try new things.
Again, it says try, it says nothing about sticking with it.
We just got a house a few weeks ago so I’m sure I’ll be picking up a few skills here and there. Whether it be gardening or becoming a handy man, I’ve got a lot of options to give a go this year.
On the hobby front, I’ve been thinking of starting a podcast with a friend of mine and maybe starting a YouTube channel as well. I certainly have a decent amount of time on my hands especially in winter since we can’t really go anywhere so hopefully this year will be one where I can try a variety of things.
Goal Six – Volunteer Six Times
This goal was a big success for me last year and I want to expand upon it this year by doubling the amount of volunteering I do.
This might not be for everyone because a lot of volunteer opportunities aren’t available during a pandemic but it’s still quite possible to find a few things to do.
Personally, we volunteer at a bunny rescue and while I haven’t done it as often as my wife, I plan to do it more in 2021. This is one of the 2021 goals I think I can beat.
Goal Seven – Read Thirty Books in 2021
I read 28 books last year against a goal of 25.
It’s time to bump it up this year and increase my pace a little bit.
I might also get into the audio book realm since my wife has convinced me that audio books while doing home chores are a pretty sweet deal.
It’s great that our library gets a ton of audio books so we never have to spend money on those. Can’t beat free audio books.
Goal Eight – Go Full Time Keto
One thing 2020 caused me to do is fall off the keto train in a big way.
It was pizza time and sugar time and carbs in general all the time and while that tastes good, it is not a good thing for my health.
Personally, I don’t use keto for weight loss but for a variety of other benefits and those benefits became very clear in 2020 as my health and pain went to crap.
In fact, I just had two MRIs to rule out some issues and have a few appointments next year to figure out the next steps but getting back on Keto has already helped with the pain in a big way so perhaps that’s the answer.
I don’t know what your diet goals are but for me it’s feeling good and the ketogenic diet helps me do that.
One of my main 2021 goals is to stick on the diet for the full year and see if the benefits are sustainable. I’ve mostly been on keto for the past few years but it’s quite easy to fall off the train and I want to make sure 2021 isn’t the same as any other year because I feel so much better when I stick on the diet.
This one is pretty specific to me but I’m sure you can have some dietary or health goal you can slot in here for yourself.
Goal Nine – Treat Myself Two Times
TREAT YO’SELF 2021!
2020 was a pretty garbage year and I think a lot of us deserve some pampering in 2021.
This is a financial blog run by a frugal person by nature but sometimes it’s nice to spend some money and get yourself something nice. Plus, given the state of our economy, spending money is something that’s needed to get more money in the system.
I’m not saying spend money you don’t have but if you’re in a good financial spot then maybe take some money you would have otherwise saved and get something nice for yourself. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it should be something that you’ll use often but wouldn’t normally get.
Goal Ten – Write 40 Blog Posts in 2021
This is a goal I have every year and one I rarely reach but I really wanted to get more invested in this blog for 2021.
I enjoy writing and doing it on this blog is the simplest way to do that.
40 blog posts is slower than a once a week pace which is doable and likely too low for an active blog but I don’t want to rush out content for the sake of numbers.
This one is simple to track although it doesn’t transfer to most other people.
However, for others, if you have any hobby you like to do, just do X of that hobby and you’re good to go.
Tracking 2021 Goals
Now we’ve set 2021 goals but it’s important to track them too.
Luckily, for a lot of these, the tracking is done when you do them. Whether you journal or walk or work out, there’s potentially an automated way to track this stuff. Goodreads for example will track the books you’ve read against a goal system they have set up. There might be a few things where manual tracking is required but hopefully you can automate most of it.
However, since these goals are purposefully simple, the tracking isn’t going to be too hard even if not automated.
After all, I can probably remember if I volunteered 6 times or if I’ve treated myself 2 times. That’s the beauty of good goals, they should be easy to manage, remember and most of all possible to achieve.
That’s why I like them and hopefully you will too. Now these won’t all apply to you but almost all of them can be modified to something you like to do. If you don’t blog then I’m sure you do something else you can do a few times. If you don’t row then maybe you can use your indoor bike or treadmill.
If these goals don’t work for you then I guess you can just smile more, be more grateful and be more present.
Hopefully 2020 wasn’t a disaster for you like if it was for many but even avoiding disaster doesn’t mean this year was great for anyone. Hopefully 2021 is a bit better for all and we can get back on track to live our lives normally.
Here’s to a better 2021 for everyone and some success on these new 2021 goals!