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Getting Clarity and My Goals for 2021

by - Wednesday, January 06, 2021

goal setting, 2021 goals, 2021 blogging goals

Finally, 2020 is behind us and we're ready to look forward to the new year. But with January comes an expectation to move full steam ahead and be productive right out of the gate. It feels like Christmas decorations were packed away in record speed, everyone is organizing, and people are well underway on their first DIY or home improvement projects of the year.

I had grand plans to get going as soon as the calendar struck 2021. And yet, 6 days into the new year and my biggest accomplishments have been cleaning out the storage room and rearranging the laundry room... neither of which I documented for the blog.

I have managed to do a daily organizing challenge and am purging one possession a day for the month of January. Have you seen the Netflix documentary The Minimalists: Less Is Now? It has profoundly changed how I view my "stuff". I am in no way a minimalist, but I do want to get there. Getting rid of stuff brings clarity to what really matters.


If 2020 taught me anything, it's that what you thought to be true isn't always the case. That you need to dig deeper, look at things from different perspectives, sit, ponder, and consider, and be on a constant journey to clarity. In Less Is Now, minimalism is not just about clearing away the stuff; it's about moving forward with intention too.

So that's what I'm going to do. I've set goals in the past but I'm going to do that with more rigour and set processes, routines, and habits around those goals to actually make them happen. Part of that is accountability, and no better place to do that than on a public blog and share my plans with you. I'd love to hear what your goals are too. Let me know in the comments.

My Goals for 2021

Educate Myself

I've been a solopreneur since 2011 and one thing I didn't realize at the beginning was how important it was to be constantly learning. Whether it was SEO for the blog, or learning new technology to run a virtual BlogPodium conference, there was always a need to educate and improve my understanding. And now that responsibility falls on me. There's no corporate training, no industry workshops. No courses laid out on my performance plan and no checks and balances from my boss or coworkers to actually test that I know my stuff. Getting better is up to me.

This year, I have a goal to learn two things:
  • SketchUp for interior design. I launched my design services last year and have worked with many of you to create rooms that reflect the way you want to live. It has been thrilling and something I hope to continue to do more of. But the tools I'm currently using are insufficient and I need to approach this aspect of my job more seriously. I'm excited by the possibilities though of creating renderings and millwork drawings! #designnerd
  • SEO and Pinterest. I took Adventures in SEO last year and it really helped me optimize the back end of this blog. There's still more work to do and I'm eager to make this blog an even stronger content resource and passive-income generating machine.

Establish Routines

Last year, I led a 1% Shift Challenge. The idea was that you could achieve your goals through small, repeatable actions. By creating habits, your actions become second nature and before you know it, you've climbed that mountain and arrived at the top. I want to establish processes that make it easier to succeed.

  • Send out regular newsletters. I've had a modest email subscriber list for a number of years but have done a terrible job of sending out newsletters regularly. I don't plan out topics, have doubt that anyone will care to read my emails anyway, and always leave them to the last minute. That's going to change. I aim to land in your mailbox at least twice a month this year. Sign up here if you want to read along!
  • Use my planner every day. I love my Passion Planner. It's been effective in helping me dream, plan, and schedule - when I use it. When Covid hit last year, my regular routines fell apart. I felt out of control, days seemed both empty and busy. I stopped using my planner and my productivity took a nose dive. Then I realized: it's at those times when you feel you can't take one step forward on your own - when you don't know where you're headed - that you should enlist help. Lean on your To Do lists and calendars to keep you moving. Regain control by setting goals and making plans. 
  • Get dressed. Lounging in PJs all day every day may sound idyllic but I've found it has the opposite effect. I am able to focus and get in a work mindset more easily when I'm dressed in something I'm not embarrassed to answer the door in. 

My Year of Health

In 10 days, I turn 50. Just writing that makes me feel ill. 50 always seemed old to me - and sadly, with a lack of regular exercise, Covid stress eating, and the joys of aging and perimenopause, 50 feels old too. But I'm going to change that. Here's a few things I'm doing to set myself up for success:
  • Exercise regularly. We rearranged the laundry room (that's where our treadmill is) so that the treadmill is unobstructed, has a better view, and can sit out all the time. I've also incorporated my workout times into my planner. By making a time and space for exercise, I'm hoping I can commit to it more easily.
  • Meal planning using Recipe Sage. This is the best free online recipe saver/meal planner I've found. We cook mostly Keto and are currently trying intermittent fasting. Especially with all three of us home, it's become more important to plan consistent healthy meals and snacks.
  • Limit my social media use. All of the negative news cycles, election hijinks, IG comparison, divisiveness on Twitter, mindless scrolling of Reddit... it takes a toll. There is a huge opportunity cost for spending all that time on social. This year, I want to protect my mental health and also focus on things that matter to me. For every minute I'm looking at someone else's photos and stories, I could be reading a book, baking with my daughter, taking a nap, or doing work that actually translates into revenue for my business. I need to remember that. 

Create More

When you're a DIY blogger, there's an expectation you always need to be planning or doing that next renovation. After all, your readers are here for the pretty pictures and tutorials right? 

50 year old me says it's time I stop doing what I think I should be doing and do what I want to do. There's so many other ways I could provide value to you. Here's where I'll be focusing my efforts this year:
  • Home Improvement Planner. My FREE Home Renovation Budget spreadsheet is one my most popular posts on this blog. But money is just one aspect of home projects. You've got to dream, design, budget, plan, and then do. I'll be creating digital products and blog posts around that whole process. 
  • Home updates and renovations. We have a few untouched spaces in our home: our laundry room, kitchen, and ensuite bathroom. I'm not sure if any of them are in the budget this year, but I hope to find ways to make at least one of those happen. There are also two spaces that have been redone but we haven't got quite right. The first is Chloe's bedroom. Her closet is awesome but she's wanting a bigger bed and a more pre-teen "aesthetic" design (all the cool kids use that word, apparently). The second space is my home office. I've become resigned to the fact that saturated, colourful rooms just aren't my thing. My green-grey home office is very pretty, but it feels somewhat oppressive to me. I need to lighten things up, finally get some window coverings, and organize my storage closet.
  • Online shop. In 2020, I launched two online shops. These print-on-demand shops feature my designs on a variety of products. My Society6 shop is mostly focused on home decor products like my plaid outdoor mats while my Redbubble shop carries more artwork and apparel. I hope to create more products in the coming year. It's a fun way to express my creativity, develop my graphic design skills, and put my personal style out there. Chloe has created her own shop too and I'm excited to help her define her digital brand.

This is also the year of letting go of ideas that just aren't working. As a blogger, there are pressures to be doing what other bloggers in your space are doing. I've learned that video content is not my thing (you won't see me pointing at invisible bubbles on tiktok). That I won't be one to constantly push affiliate links and products I don't believe in. That I can run masterminds, communities, and podcasts serving bloggers - but it's not my passion. 

So at the dawning of this new year, I'm very thankful for the old one. We have all been forced to reassess, reprioritize, and reinvent ourselves in many ways. I am excited by the possibilities. I'm ready to be bold, take chances, learn from failures, and push my limits.

If you've read this far, thank you! I needed the brain dump to feel more accountable and make my goals for 2021 more tangible.

Now, tell me. What are YOUR goals for 2021? Can I help you in any way?

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