OMG, it’s December

December 1, 2020

I am feeling relatively blocked when it comes to goals right now.

(I know: who am I!?)

This is not because I haven’t had time to think about them. In fact, I have granted myself plenty of time to journal and think and write about what I would like to do in the coming year ahead.

I just . . . keep coming up a little blank.

So perhaps writing the list below will help clarify things a bit.

Things I do NOT want to set as goals in 2021:

Train for a race. Meh. I’m kind of over it. The last half marathon I ran in Jan 2020, and I honestly thought I was going to die at the end. I’m kind of more into strength over endurance these days. I could see myself working on a faster 5K some day (rather than focusing on long distance) but not feeling it right now.

Put pressure on myself to work on my non-fiction proposal or writing because — honestly, I guess I’m not convinced this is something that can be done well in a part-time fashion, and it’s not going to become my full time job. (Maybe a self-published endeavor instead, and I can just add a checkout link to the blog. Hmm.)

Put things like vacations on the list because #pandemic.

Have some arbitrary fitness goal. I am definitely interested in experiencing with other home workout programs (from Beachbody or moving on!) but I don’t feel the need to reach some specific endpoint.

Attempt to try to “streak” anything (ie, not miss a day of meditation or Duolingo. While I am pretty pleased to be on day #75 of DL Spanish, setting it up as a yearly goal just feels like too much pressure).

Aim for a more aggressive savings goal because honestly I think we’re currently at the right level (not too careless but not living lives of deprivation . . . or even close).

Specific growth goals for podcasts or this blog or whatever. If the content is reasonably good, I assume the #s will continue to (slowly) rise. If not, then not.

Specific # of books to read in 2021. It’s tempting to go for 52 (1/week on average) because I’ll likely be very close to that in 2020. But I actually prefer not to be shooting for a specific number as I do not want reading to ever feel like a chore.

Acquisitions goals. I am sure I will BUY things (the iPhone 12 mini is taunting me, mostly for the better camera — my current phone is an increasingly antiquated 8), but I don’t feel the need to include said items on my goals list.

Hmm. Well, all that helps!! A little.

After all that, I have concluded that my goals for next year will be centered around maintaining focus and presence, enjoying quality leisure/rest time, deepening relationships, and fun. Oh, and probably organizing. Because of course.

on a mid-day Tuesday walk no one would have predicted in 2019.

Happy new month. ♥️


  • Reply Gillian December 1, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    I struggled with this same issue for 2021. So many of my goals in 2020 were outwardly focused and then I literally couldn’t meet them (attend the ballet or symphony once per quarter–HAH!). For 2021 I decided to focus much more on habits that would be unaffected even if the pandemic continues the whole year. Developing a system for minimizing food waste in our home, creating a habit around spending individual time with each of my kids on a regular bases. Growing the audience for my blog, etc. It is still a work in progress.

  • Reply Kate December 1, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    I took a different approach – I set goals only did the first half of the year, which I assume we’ll still be quarantine times. Not setting post quarantine goals is depressing. Seeing don’t is also depressing.

    Instead of goals, I borrowed from 100 dreams, and set 21 things I want for the H1’21.

    • Reply CBS December 2, 2020 at 3:50 am

      I think this is such a smart approach. There are things I want to do that don’t require a vaccine and I should focus on them. I have big gardening ambitions this year, want to teach my kid how to ride a bike, want to try some new baking.

  • Reply Kelsey December 1, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    Feeling similarly, Sarah! I am wrung out from this year and next year is still so unknown. When life does return to “normal” I want to give myself time just to breathe and not accomplish. It’s hard for me not to make goals but I’m having a hard time finding goals that feel aligned with my emotional state right now.

  • Reply Omdg December 1, 2020 at 8:39 pm

    How about relationship goals? Like making a new friend, or making a plan to meet up with someone either in person or virtually just for your own enjoyment, not because of networking or anything like that. Or maybe an Annabel goal, like plan to do a project or activity together, just the two of you, since she is growing up and she might really value some extra time together.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 2, 2020 at 5:47 am

      YES! Agree, these are the kinds of things I want to pursue (“deepening relationships” on my list includes family, friends, etc).

  • Reply Tyra December 1, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    I aimed to read 50 books this year. I think I’m at 46 now, and I definitely feel pressure to read rather than it being totally relaxing. Next year I think I will set a non-fiction goal (maybe something as low as 5-10?) because I’m usually slower with them but I’m not going to set a fiction goal!

  • Reply Sam December 1, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    I agree that setting goals feel hard right now. I may think more month to month for next year in terms of goal-setting. I’m also interested in focusing more on 100 dreams list or someday/maybes as a way to set monthly goals.

  • Reply CBS December 2, 2020 at 3:48 am

    Ugh, how is it December?? I keep thinking that it is cold and dark, unusually so, and then I remind myself, yes, it’s winter.

    It is really hard to set goals when everything is so uncertain. My initial list:
    – a few process/organisational goals – monthly and quarterly tasks – ie. financial check-ins, CV updates, finish baby book (baby now 3.5), meal plan rotation

    We’re moving this month and I’d like to focus on getting to know our new town – trying different farm shops, bike rides etc, and as things open up, figure out how to find a community there.

    I also need to get a UK drivers’ license and hope that at some point I’ll be comfortable with lessons.

    I’d also like to do some more reading within my field – I tend to read because I need a reference for something, rather than read for critical reflection?

    But I think Kate is right, set some goals for the first half of the year, and then reevaluate at the midway point.

  • Reply Lisa December 2, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Happy December – very glad to great this month as baby comes tomorrow and we are one month closer to closing out a tough year. Not that something magical will happen on 2021, but there is something refreshing about turning the calendar on the year and starting fresh. Plus we have the vaccine on the horizon so I am choosing to believe that 2021 will be MUCH BETTER!

    I am not really setting goals for 2021… with the baby coming tomorrow, 2021 will be about adjusting to life with 2 kids. I like to give myself the year after a baby is born to adjust to life and see what I want to take on. I always have a goal of reading 52 books, but that’s a low bar goal for me… I read 105 last year and will probably hit 100 this year. One idea is to maybe check out a reading challenge, like the one on Modern Mrs. Darcy? That pushes me to read books I might not have otherwise. I think she usually has 12 challenges so not too many and you could skip ones that aren’t a fit for you?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 3, 2020 at 8:08 am

      HAPPY BABY DAY!!!!!!!!!! so excited for you, your C is today I believe! Sending healthy delivery vibes!!!

  • Reply Lea December 2, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    I’m having my 2nd baby early Spring next year. I want to document this baby stage more (planning this to be my last pregnancy).

    What platform/blog writer do you use to upload your blog posts? I would like to blog more but losing my Microsoft blog writing platform stopped all my blog post.


    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 3, 2020 at 6:25 am

      WordPress 🙂

  • Reply Jenn December 10, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    I SO agree with your resolution to not come up with a specific goal number of books for this year! I do every year…this year’s was 60 but when I hit that fairly quickly in the back of my mind I changed it to 100. I’m now at 95 and have serious anxiety about finishing those last five! (I’ve been on mat leave since March and there were lots of nursing sessions with phone in hand reading…I’ve never been able to read so many before.) Anyway, I’ve also resolved not to go for a certain number because the obsessing about keeping pace was too much for my little Upholder heart.

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