Every year I look forward to sitting down and writing this post but this year certainly feels different as I write it amidst a continued growing pandemic. I typically start a short list on my Notes app in the Fall as ideas for the forthcoming year come to me and then I sit down the first week of January and really think through everything I’d like to accomplish with the clean slate that is a new year. But following the tumultuous year that was 2020, this list looks different than it usually does.
Aside from what I’ve outlined below, this year I really want to focus on doing things with INTENTION. If I had to choose one word of how I hope to define my 2021 – that’s it. 2020 had us enduring so much stress, so much news, so much information that was overwhelming. It spun me off course and allowed for a myriad of distractions. While I had a lot of work accomplishments last year, I don’t think I was as intentional or purposeful with my time as I could have been. In writing this I am hopeful it’ll ground me as we look towards the coming months of this year and allow me to remain focused on spending my time and leading my life with intention. I’m also hopeful it allow me to give myself more grace when times are tough or lonely and remind me that God has a plan and it’s unfolding as it should. As hard as that may be to deal with at times…
I have less goals and priorities for this year than usual but I feel good about those I’m working to focus on. I gave so much of myself last year that I burnt out in a big way by the close of 2020. Sometimes less really is more and given the continued uncertainty in our world – I think it is important this year to recognize that much continues to remain out of our control.
Goals & Priorities for 2021
Figure out a way to incorporate healthier eating habits.
My eating habits turned to comfort time and time again in 2020. By Q4 I started drinking a bit of green juice every day so at least I had some nutritional value going into my system but overall I feel a sense of burnout with the type of cooking I’m used to doing. This year I want to make small but impactful choices when it comes to eating healthier. I’d like to drink less, focus on my water intake again, incorporate more vegetables into my every day and continue taking impactful supplements and vitamins.
Read 50 books.
Last year I read 40 books (these were my favorites) and it felt great. The time off my phone and computer and in front of a book felt so valued as we closed out the year. This year to ensure I stay keeping reading a priority, I’ve set a goal of reading 50 books in 2021. I’ve also finally started using the Kindle I bought at the end of last year and I absolutely love it. It’s so lightweight which makes it a breeze to hold and it’s waterproof so I can use it in the bath. I still love turning the pages of traditional books but having this Kindle will make it much easier to take my reading wherever I go.
Make key site design updates.
Somewhat annoyingly, bloggers often feel they need to do big site redesigns every few years. My last one was in 2017 and I remain pretty happy with how it looks and functions but there are some improvements I’ve identified that I am working on budgeting out to see what I want to prioritize. I made a lot of small but impactful changes last year that I think led to a better user experience. I’m hopeful to also work on an exclusive piece of content for newsletter subscribers this year and also find ways to better engage this community through the new Facebook group and other ways. I’ve already started on a few site design updates that are minor this month as well which has felt like a nice refresh to start the year.
Continue practicing French.
Last year I finally got into daily French practice and achieved 250 straight days of working on my foreign language skills via the Duolingo app. It gave me more confidence and has become a favorite habit I practice every day.
Get back to meditation.
I always seem to fall off the meditation wagon when I need it most. Aka: When I am stressed and overwhelmed. I am reconsidering trying Headspace this year and want to make meditation a daily habit this year and not something I just do when I am trying to fall asleep.
Challenge myself in the kitchen.
Cooking practically every meal for myself for a year burnt me out in the kitchen. And then I moved to a smaller kitchen and it felt like more of a burden. So with the start of a new year I am hopeful to reignite my love for cooking and challenge myself in the kitchen. I’d like to learn a few classic French dishes and how to make them really well and continue to put my cookbooks to use while also sharing my meals on Stories as I did all of last year.
Pursue learning opportunities.
Last year I did a lot of teaching myself things. I finally had the time to do so. This year I’d like to continue to be a student of my career. I’ve begun a Pinterest course and a Google analytics course and I signed up for Masterclass and have been really enjoying learning all sorts of things on the platform.
I used to journal daily when I was in middle school and high school and often in college. Last year I found myself wanting to pick back up the habit so I’ve bought a journal and plan to start soon. I’m looking forward to writing when I feel called to do so – not just for five blog posts a week.
Writing this down feels vulnerable and hard. But I want it to be reflected in my priorities for 2021. I’ll leave it at that.
Continue to focus on investment pieces.
When it comes to my own shopping habits, investment pieces have been a priority for the past five years and it’s built me a wardrobe of quality pieces I love reaching for time and time again. I of course also pepper in some fast fashion or less affordable options from time to time but overall I want to continue building my wardrobe in thoughtful and timeless ways. Here’s my 2021 wish list.
Further explore New York City.
The pandemic brought more uninterrupted time in New York City than I had experienced in my nearly 10 years in the city. It opened my eyes to how much there is still to explore and reminded me how joyful it can be to be a tourist in your own city. I have never explored Queens. I have only been to Greenpoint twice. There are parks I’ve never visited and neighborhoods never explored. I’d love to tick off a few unknown-to-me spots this year if I can do so safely.
Continue making videos.
2020 was the year I got over my fear of video and set out to create lots of video content on IGTV. I hope to continue making videos and sharing with my community in this real, raw way. I’d like to further my skills in video editing as well. I taught myself some last year but there’s much more to learn.
Finish decorating my apartment.
My apartment design has stalled following the order of my custom made furniture. I’m hopeful the pieces will at long last arrive end of the month and then I can proceed in finishing decorating and finally shoot + share the space with you all.
Limit time on Instagram on select days.
Over the holidays I set my app time limit for Instagram to one minute and it freed up an average of two hours every day. Instagram is a necessary part of my work day to day but this year I’d like to re-prioritize my time and do less scrolling and more reading / being present with my own life vs. looking on others’ lives.
Go to Paris for a month.
I saved this goal for last as it may not well be safe or feasible this year. But if it does become possible, I want to achieve living in Paris for a month this year. I have a calling deep in my soul to do this and it keeps getting pushed back. But I’m praying it works out and I can spend time exploring my favorite city, building out recommendations for Paris, Perfected, visiting with my French friends and just surrounding myself with a change of scenery in which to feel inspired and reflect.
. . .
Do you have a goal or word for 2021? I’d love to hear them <3
p.s. my goals and priorities last year and my 2020 year in review.
Come explore Queens when it starts getting warmer! I live in Astoria and it is such a wonderful neighborhood with lots of great food and bars. We also have great shops, like Lockwood and Petal & Roots. Plus, Astoria Park is super cute. Highly recommend dinner at Akrotiri and grabbing some Greek desserts at Titan 🙂
Oh this is so fun! Thank you for these recs- gives me a good starting point for exploring!! You’re so kind to share with me – thanks, Athena!
This really resonates with me. Especially about being intentional this year. Some good for thought! Happy new year!
I’m so glad to hear this, Tana! Thank you for letting me know!
I have decided that this year’s overall theme will be Wellbeing. I really noticed last year (and last week!) when I didn’t concentrate on my wellbeing. I’m setting doable monthly goals for myself (this month’s is drinking more water) and researching what wellness means to me. I’m hoping this will help as I become more of a caregiver to my Mom, as well as with all the other uncertainties in my life right now. Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!
Love this, Michelle! Thank you for sharing + sending good vibes to you and your mom for this year.
i loved reading this, thanks for sharing — a good way to approach the new year while being realistic with the current challenges of covid, etc. also, that photo is absolutely stunning, omg! love the view out the window
Thank you so much!!
I love this! I am going to be sending big time juju that you get a month in Paris this year! My word for this year is Awe. The intensity of this last year has left me really struggling to be present and existing a lot in worry and fear. I just got a little puppy and will be having a baby boy in June and I want to be present and in awe of the simple beautiful moments with these little beings and all of the other moments that happen every day that are worth pausing for and appreciating.
I love this selection so much – it says to me “presence” with these gifts you’re receiving and I think that’s so powerful. Thank you for sharing, Liz! (And thank you for that juju!!)
Love this so, so much and have some similar goals this year – health and hydration being at the forefront. If you don’t follow – I’d highly recommend following Dani from http://www.thyme-is-honey.com – she’s an excellent resource for hydration and wellness. (And, she currently lives in Copenhagen which her IG stories provide a nice escape from daily life here when you can’t get away just yet.) Happy 2021 – I’m excited to follow along on your journey and create one of my own, too!
Thank you so much for this rec! I’ve not heard of her but am going to follow!
I also find that the times I need meditation the most, I can’t find time for it. Something that has recently worked for me is changing the time of day I meditate. Instead of trying to sneak it in after breakfast or mid-day to help me refocus, I do it literally right before bed. Sometimes I’m really tired and fall asleep halfway through, but I just think of that as my super zen time 🙂
Oh yes I love meditation for sleep! I’m hopeful I can expand my practice to more daytime however to help my anxiety & focus. But meditation has been a game-changer for sleep for me I have found for sure!
Thank you so much for sharing your goals- INTENTION is my 2021 word as well! For me personally, it greatly reduces my anxiety to control what I choose to give my attention to and what I intentionally do with my time . I wanted to raise my hand in vulnerability/ solidarity with you and say I too have “Pursue Love” this year 🙂 Cheering you on in 2021 and happy to have you back from your break!
I love how you phrased this, Kristen! “For me personally, it greatly reduces my anxiety to control what I choose to give my attention to and what I intentionally do with my time.” I’ve found this of late, too and I’m hopeful it continues! And here’s praying for love for both of us. So appreciate your kind words more than you know.
I really love this post. I believe in the minimalist lifestyle myself. I don’t buy nearly as much clothing as you but I love you buy quality items that you love and that will last. There is a saying ” I can’t afford to be cheap”. You always look so put together. I definitely want to get back to my old eating and exercising habits this year. I also would like to work on my spiritual well being. I believe when that is in place everything flows easier. I hope to soon see a post about your apartment. I hope you get to Paris this year! Christmas in Paris.
Thank you so much for weighing in, Christina! Loved hearing about your personal priorities. I can’t wait to show you guys my place.
I’m so inspired by your goals and intentions, Meghan. My word for the year is “detail”. I got through last year but a lot of it felt like I was just passing the time… this year I want to pay more attention to the details – decorating a new home we hope to purchase and move into, paying attention to the details of the books I read, noticing details about my coworkers and friends while we all move through life at such a harried pace. I have a lot of hope for this year but I don’t want to put too much pressure on it. I want to live intentionally and really make decisions as opposed to letting things happen to me.
I love this, Melanie – it pairs well with intention I think. I’ve been reading so many thoughtful words lately that have reminded me to take in the details that surround us and bring us comfort. Sending you lots of prayers for the new house!
I’m always so impressed by the thought you put into these posts. Best of luck to you on your 2021 goals. I also recently signed up for Masterclass, and I’d love to know some of your personal favorites.
Thank you, Katie – so much. And so far I’ve done the Annie Liebovitz one and started Thomas Keller! I hope you have as much fun with it as I am!
Thanks for sharing, Meghan. My word this year is possibility. Trying to feel hopeful for what life has is store not only when life is back to “normal” one day, but now. I want to deepen my friendships, be more present, learn & read more (I was gifted masterclass too!), get some new furniture, maintain habits of eating well & moving my body, and, like you, be open to the possibility of love. I want to allow whatever thing, person, circumstance, knowledge that comes into my life to bring many possibilities/meanings, not just what I think it “should” or I want it to mean. I also hope to connect with your community here in person at some point, if safe. I was planning to attend your event at Follain right before Covid hit (and just learned the Village store closed ??). Thanks for being such good company!
This is such a beautiful + thoughtful comment, Jess! Feels very akin to my hopes for the year and that made me smile. Absolutely love the word you chose. And yes I am so sad about Follain! I hope one day in person events can return so I can meet supportive readers like you!
I love the “pursue love”. It feels vulnerable and brave and is so relatable.
My word for the year is believe. I’m choosing to believe it will all work out- and that so many good things are ahead!
Thank you so much, Steph <3