A new year means new goals! For 2021, my primary goals are all about holding myself accountable (to myself), creating and maintaining the balance between my personal and professional lives, and finding more moments of calm in my daily life. And, of course, there are loads of little goals and objectives related to health and fitness, travel and adventure, and my personal and professional development – some of which will help me to reach my primary goals. (Yes, I thrive on goals!!)
This year’s goals are taking me back to the basics; back to the ABCs, if you will. I chose my three primary goals after a lot of self-reflection during my nine+ months of COVID19 isolation and a realisation that I may well have another nine+ months of isolation – or at least of working from home. Whilst I have managed to cope fairly well with isolation, and I recognise that I have a great deal of privilege during this time of global chaos, I have also realised that I am not working as well as I once did. (Although very few people are!)
One of the things that I learned about myself during this time is that I gain a great deal of my energy and motivation – and subsequently my productivity – from experiencing different environments. Yes, despite my life before COVID19 being relatively isolated and lonely, life was also varied and exciting. Pre-COVID, when I felt “stuck” or unmotivated, I could simply change my physical environment. This worked in both my personal and professional lives and was a great way to energise myself.
But now, like most people, I can’t change my environment in the same ways as I did before. And that means that I must find ways to energise myself in the environment in which I live. Thankfully, I have always been open to trying new ways of working and being, and have been working to test and implement new practices throughout these months of isolation. I hope that I can harness that experience to help me succeed in the goals below.
Without any further ado, here are my primary goals for 2021:
A is for Accountability: I will hold myself accountable for completing tasks and projects within the timeframe that I set.
This goal will require a lot of work-related to time management and organisation, self-discipline, and self-motivation. I have excelled at these in the past, but I need to re-think my approach as my “old” ways are not as effective in this long-term isolation environment. This will lead to increased confidence and a higher level of productivity in both my professional and personal lives.
B is for Balance: I will find healthy boundaries between different elements of my life to be more motivated and disciplined.
This goal will be met in part by holding myself accountable for timely task completion. That is because I will be better able to relax during my personal time when I am not worried about unfinished work tasks. This will lead to greater levels of joy and success in both my personal and professional lives, as well as a stronger sense of confidence and self-esteem.
C is for Calm: I will work to be more mindful and aware of my world both in terms of my own emotional and mental well-being to the physical environment in which I exist.
This goal relies heavily on my success with finding balance in my life, which in turn relies on my ability to make time to stay fit and active. Indeed, the goal is almost more a result of my reaching most of my other goals – the primary ABCs and the sundries shared below. If done correctly, reaching this goal will bring me greater levels of mental and emotional well-being.
To achieve these ABC goals, I will need to identify the weaknesses in my life and daily routines that are holding me back, including the temptations that lure me away from the task at hand. I will also need to develop a realistic approach to overcoming these weaknesses and finding the strength that hides beneath them.
Ultimately, I hope that practising these ABCs will also help me to find further success in previous annual goals such as being more mindful, being stronger and more confident, and prioritising myself. These primary goals will also help me to achieve the rest of my goals with (hopefully) a bit more ease. These include goals related to running and fitness, travel and adventure, and personal and professional development. My running and fitness goals are highlighted below whilst the others are shared on my goals page which is updated regularly.
Running and fitness goals:
My running goals include both a standard and stretch mileage goal. That’s because Garmin has introduced a new set of badges for a 2021 distance challenge of 2021 kilometres (1,255.8 miles). That is quite a bit more than my standard goal of 800 miles, however, I feel quite confident after having pushed through more than 215 miles in December so that I could reach my 2020 mileage goal. So, maybe it’s possible.
My 2021 step count goal is 5,000,000 steps. That’s a million-step increase over last year’s goal, but less than half a million more steps that I racked up in 2020. It will be a challenge in some ways, but I feel that it is possible, especially if I manage my stretch running goal.
A third fitness goal for the year is walking, something I don’t generally set goals for. However, I feel that setting a goal will help to motivate me to enjoy more adventures (see below). So, I have set a target for 365 miles of walking activities. This, of course, doesn’t include all of the walking I will do. For example, walking to/from the mailbox doesn’t count! Instead, it is for the “intentional” walking that I undertake solely to walk.
By the end of the year, I intend to look back on 2021 and see how I’ve grown and developed as a human being. I believe that all of these things will lead to my being successful in both my personal and professional lives and that I will be more motivated and productive – and healthier in mind, body, and spirit.