2021 Goals Countdown: Family

December 24, 2020

Despite the fact that I started thinking about 2021 goals at the beginning of November (#plannerproblems), it has taken me a long time to come up with my list.

However, as we hang out at home and wait for the New Year to arrive (and our quarantine to end . . . ) it seems like a great time to dedicate a series of posts to different goals areas.

So, here we go! Today will be FAMILY. No vacation plans will be on this list; I think it is safer to pandemic-proof my lists this year. If we end up being able to travel (2021 family ski trip would be a-mazing) then . . . added bonus!

If not, that is okay too.

2021 Family Goals

Josh and Me:

Have a date night OR date weekend (the latter preferred!) each Quintile

Try to have an uninterrupted conversation at least 2 evenings/week (this is . . . more challenging than one might expect!)


Take Mommy Day with each kid. This will most likely happen during spring break. G&C are not off the same time as A anyway, so we won’t be doing anything as a family. But it will be a great opportunity for some individual time! G will get her first Mommy Day this year, too.

Take walks with A whenever the opportunity arises + figure out something equivalent I can do for one on one time with C

Potty train G. You guys, she is STUBBORN in this regard. Round #3 has not proven to be easy. She does fairly well at school but home is . . . not going well. One would think the quarantine would pose the perfect opportunity, but thus far no dice.


Finish estate planning for the love of god. (We started in 2018. Oops.)

Continue savings goals of at least 20% gross income. We achieved this in 2020 (and then some). I am not sure I want to increase, but I definitely want to stay at least at this level. Maybe we will increase our automatic 529 contributions a bit, too. College for A is a mere 10 years away (hold me!).

We will continue to use YNAB and update a spreadsheet quarterly showing progress with investments/net worth stuff.

Experiment with some different dinner strategies, including the idea of seasonal meal planning (a la Lazy Genius – love the idea of choosing a few cookbooks to focus on for a season and a handful of go-to crowd favorite recipes to repeat) and also doing some intermittent meal kit services for a change of pace.

There you go! One facet of 2021 goals, here for easy reference. Merry Christmas Eve to those celebrating.

Taken on a pre-quarantine walk with G.
I notice so many more things when I walk WITH the kids (ie, no podcast distractions). Someone is growing bananas!


  • Reply Liz December 24, 2020 at 6:58 am

    For my 7 year old boy, he and I got into Pokemon Go as a way to spend a lot of time outside walking together – especially when schools closed in March (I had a kind of broken phone that only works on WiFi, so I tether it to my phone and he can then play). It was easy to say “let’s go for a Pokemon walk” and have him be excited to be outside together. Plus we now have this shared interest to talk about – for example while sledding yesterday he asked me “Mom, what’s the biggest ice type you can think of”. Me: “Oh, how about Abomasnow”. And off he went stomping with his friend who we were having our first socially distanced outside playdate in 2 months! (Vt just relaxed a few of our restrictions).

  • Reply Anna December 24, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Does the 20% include money put aside for retirement and college (i.e. and, if so, would you mind sharing those percentages?) Happy 2021!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 24, 2020 at 9:07 am

      Counts retirement, does not count college! When we do our final tally for 2020 I’ll do a post with the full percentages!

  • Reply Sam December 24, 2020 at 9:17 am

    I just read the Lazy Genius, and I’m curious to try the meal planning system. I love the idea of just putting one thing away each day from a clutter area and starting with the least cluttered one. It’s amazing how quickly things look better! I’m working on my 21 for 21 this week, so I love seeing all your goals. Thinking of your family this week, and hoping everyone stays healthy.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns December 24, 2020 at 10:44 am

    I need to read the lazy genius book! My family goals are to get our son potty trained – he is resistant at home AND school. I know he could do it if he tried or wanted to, but he doesn’t and now that we have a newborn he really doesn’t want to do it as he wants to be the baby a lot of the time… We have a zoom meeting with our attorney to update our Will and discuss whether we should set up a trust. That’s my main to do for 2021. I also want to do a mommy day with our son but hopefully we have some good options for 2021 with the vaccine on the horizon. So I think that will be a fall endeavor.

  • Reply Candice Adelson December 24, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    I don’t usually read comments, so sorry if you have already addressed this: during your current quarantine do you go outside for neighborhood walks/ runs? No judgment either way! I am just imagining what it will be like when someone in my family inevitably gets exposed. Things are very shut down where I live, so no zoo, (in person) school or outdoor attractions for us anyway. But we do get outside daily and I would be so sad if we had to stop!

  • Reply A December 24, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    Have you looked into Ottolenghi’s cookbooks? Lots of plant based/lean meats based meals with really delicious flavors that most Americans probably haven’t tried at home or feel comfortable with! (Not judging, just…as someone from a different ethnic background, I can’t stand most of the Bon Appetit/Cooking Light recipes for their gentle approach to flavor haha). Six Seasons, by McFadden, is super popular, and my friends seem to like it.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 24, 2020 at 1:21 pm

      I have his book Plenty and should go back to it! We subscribe to Milk Street mag which is really good about featuring almost only recipes from specific cuisines, Asian / South American / European (east and west!) / African with lots from Middle East. It’s really a great cooking mag.

      • Reply A December 24, 2020 at 2:16 pm

        Oooo, I need to subscribe to that!! Thank you for the rec!!

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