Here we are finally in 2021 after a year that everyone has agreed was The Worst™. I'm going to be very kind to myself with the assessment of last year's goals, because with a global pandemic, most of my goals, and probably everyone's goals, were tossed. Let's just get right to it.

Last Year's Goals

1. Get rid of half of my stuff Mixed

I actually got a solid start on this, but of course the pandemic got in the way. I donated a bunch of stuff at the beginning of the year, and I went through and identified all the stuff I want to eliminate. Unfortunately with stay-at-home orders and businesses being closed, it just was impossible to take any of it anywhere. So I've essentially just put this goal on hold for now.

2. Do a big planned thing once a month - Obvious Fail for Obvious Reason

I was so ambitious with this goal. I started a meetup. I actually planned out the full year of events. I put together a shared Google calendar and invited people to each of the events. I actually ran my meetup's first event, and it was a great time! This goal was well on it's way to success, and then it hit the pandemic wall. I think this is the goal I'm the most sad about, because it was going to be amazing! I know that the pandemic isn't even over yet, and I can't really even consider this a 2021 goal. So I'm hopeful that this might end up a 2022 reboot.

3. Improve my relationship to food - Uncertain

It's really tough to say that this has failed or passed. Over the course of the pandemic, I feel like my food habits did change a lot. I didn't actually drink that much and my food intake was pretty consistent. Consistency doesn't necessarily mean quality though, and I know that there's a ton of room for improvement yet. I cooked nice meals on the weekend, but during the week I was often quite lazy. There was also a period of a couple of months that I had to eat terribly for reasons I shant get into here. Yes...I said shant.

4. Break my sugar addiction - Mixed

I started the year pretty strong with this and went all in on the no sugar diet. I lasted 2 weeks before I couldn't do it anymore. That might seem like a fail, but...I noticed that as the pandemic set in, I largely wasn't eating as much junk as I used to. While I think the sugar addiction is still present, it's not quite as strong as it once was. I feel like if I attempted the no added sugar diet again, I'd succeed. I know the addiction will probably never be fully gone, but I think it's more acheivable than it used to be.

5. Maintain a healthy weight - Unexpected Success

Weight is a very interesting thing for me. As I mentioned last year, body dysmorphia is a constant in my life. I just don't really know how I actually look. I relied on a number on the scale to tell me, and in 2019 I was obsessed with making that number lower thinking I looked better thinner. I now look back on those photos and am like "Wow...I look unhealthy." This year I gained weight. In fact, I'm 20 lbs heavier than I was when I moved to California. However, my fitness level is in a really great place, and that weight has moved around for a number of reasons. I actually am finding that I am pretty happy with my current weight as is. So I'm now maintaining a healthy weight for me, which is a different weight than I thought it would be when I started the year. Not what I expected at all.

6. Find a fitness buddy - Mixed

It's hard to have a fitness buddy at all with stay-at-home orders. Over the course of the year, I've had multiple folks that I've either checked in with or regularly reported my daily fitness to. I had a physical therapist for a few months that I worked with to resolve my knee issues. I have had a couple of friends that have checked in via socials to see how I'm doing. One of my colleagues has been remotely been fitness buddying in the last quarter of this year. I also have been posting some info out to facebook via a fitness buddy list and twitter just in general at certain points with updates on fitness. I don't have a singular fitness buddy. I have a few folks, but I largely have been doing a decent job of keeping myself motivated on this, which is something I'm proud of.

7. Reduce my spending - Meh

This is one of those things that's just hard to criticize myself for when I live alone during a stay-at-home order from a global pandemic. I spent money on things that made this time bearable. I have zero regrets about that and I'm not going to judge myself on this goal.

8. Learn a language - Hard. Fail.

There's not much more to say. I didn't.

9. Solve my loneliness Meh

This is another one that just involves kindness to myself. A global pandemic is what it is. I've found some great online groups that have helped with loneliness, but despite many attempts, I cannot change reality. So being stuck at home alone has been my experience most of this year, even during big holidays. My hope is that this changes as we approach the reality of vaccines and the end of this pandemic.

10. Take a real vacation - ಠ_ಠ


Final Verdict on 2020 Goals

There's not much to say here other than everyone's world was not normal in 2020. I hope we never see another global pandemic in our lifetimes. I hope this new year is going to be a better year and a better world for everyone.

2021 Goals

This year I've decided to create categories that may or may not help me. We'll see how it goes.

Wellbeing Goals

1. Cut back on social media / YouTube / couch time or at least manage it better

I have made goals like this in the past. In fact, this kind of goal is what triggered the R2-D2 project. I know I need to be kind to myself during the remainder of this pandemic, but I just don't enjoy how much I sit and watch a thing or doom scroll on social media. I know that we all need time to relax. So I need to keep that in mind. I think my biggest concern is the addictive nature of social media algorithms with searching for that next dopamine hit. I'd like to find ways to address that in my own life. I don't want to not engage in socials at all, because there's a lot of people I stay in touch with via social media only. I just don't want the socials to control me. This is a tough to measure goal, but there's data I can analyze to assess this at the end of the year. Plus, I believe I'll know definitively even just on my own if this has changed.

2. Continue: crush my physical fitness / health with an emphasis on body positivity

I was honestly quite surprised at how awesome my physical fitness and health was in 2020. I honestly don't think I've ever been in as good of shape as I was around June. I had to take a fitness break for a while for reasons, but I'm back to it now. I honestly never thought this was the person I would be, but it really does improve my confidence and happiness. So I'm going to stick with it. Plus, it makes me feel like a badass, which is nice.

3. Run in an actual 5k race

I also never thought this would be me, either. I used to hate running with a passion. I have never once ran in an actual race, and I would like to. I want it to be an in person event, and that likely means waiting until much later in the year. However that's perfect, because I had to take a cardio break. So I need to train back up before then. I look forward to reporting on this goal at the end of 2021.

Creativity Goals

4. Take a ton of photos and share my photography

I love photography, and I think a number of things have made this hobby a stale one for me over the past several years is the fact that where I live makes it hard to get me interested in it. I love nature photography, and apartments / urban areas just make that hard. Furthermore, my camera is just old. I have plans to replace it very soon, which I know will spike my interest again, and I'm also planning on moving to a new place that isn't an apartment. So, I'm hopeful I'll have more things to photograph, which I'm going to share regularly via several social media channels. Watch for that.

5. YouTube Channel - Make 10 videos over the year

I have an idea for a YouTube channel that I think will help me acheive many of my goals over the year. I don't want to burn myself out. So I'm keeping my count of videos produced to 10. That's under one a month, which should be doable. I don't want to share too much about the idea, but watch for it. I've really missed video as a creative outlet. So I'm excited to do more of it again.

Challenge Goals

6. Be bold with makeup, clothing, activities

If there's one thing that I've always been too shy to do is to approach my appearance in the ways that I've always admired. I'm pretty sure this is due to growing up in a more conservative midwestern town, but I aim to change that. I know that I gain confidence when I feel like I look good. So I want to make bolder choices that make me feel good about myself. This might be something like wearing crop tops or more revealing outfits. With makeup, I shy away from bold colors thinking it's too much. Or sometimes I'll be like "this is very bold" and then put on my eyeliner and realize it's not bold at all. I want to be more adventurous. It's hard to do this when I live alone during a pandemic, but as the COVID restrictions lift, I intend to make it happen.

7. Continue: Pare down stuff including clothing

Last year I made a list. I need to follow through on eliminating the rest of that list. I have regularly pared down clothing over the years, but I need to be more aggressive with it. There's still a bunch of clothing that is either old, falling apart, or I just don't wear. I need to toss or donate a lot of it, and I just need to do it. As I get more bold with my prior goal, I'm going to have to make room in my closet anyway. So let's make it happen.

8. Throw out less food

As someone who worked for a company entirely focused on food waste reduction, I'm embarassed to say I throw out more food than I'd like. As a single person, it can be hard to cook when recipes are designed for 4 people, usually. Sometimes it's as simple as I buy fruit and veg that just goes bad before I get to it. That will probably always be a risk, but I just want to do a better job of this so I don't throw out as much as I do.

Ambitious Goals

9. Get going with the Amazons...after COVID

The Amazon group is something that I've been slowly working on for years. It's shown up in prior years' goals before, and I've not made as much progress on it as I'd have liked in the past. This time is a little different as I've officially created the non-profit organization now. I have federal 501c3 status, and while there's still some paperwork yet to do, the only thing stopping me from getting this going now is COVID and my own effort. So as this pandemic winds down, the Amazons should be able to wind up. 

10. Write Book One

I don't recall if I've ever mentioned this before in this blog, but I've had an idea for a fictional superhero type story for over a decade now. I've slowly developed it in my head and in some writing. I've written out several scenes and I've gotten nothing but positive feedback, to put it mildly, about these writings. So I want to make this a fully realized story. My plan is to dedicate blocks of time throughout the year to just write. I know what I need to do. I just have to do it.

Impossible Goal

11. Fall in love again

This goal again?!! Yeah, I know. I'm the only person in my way here. It would seem that despite how think about myself, other people seem to think I'm pretty cool and attractive. It's weird and I don't understand it. You'd think my treatise on why I'm an ugly, awful, garbage person (aka this blog) would be enough evidence for them, but they keep telling me I'm wrong. Also friends, please know I'm saying this in jest... or am I? Anyway, I just need to find the right one for me, which is always the hard part. I also need to make room in my life for love and allow myself to be vulnerable again. That's also a very hard thing. So we'll see how it goes.


Closing Thoughts

2021 is finally here after what can easily be called the worst year in most of our lives. Let's never talk about 2020 again. We have so much to look forward to right now. There's finally some hope. Let's focus on that and make some cool shit happen. Happy 2021, all!