2020 might have been a global horror show but it has been a personal triumph. That is, at least when measured against the goals I set myself 365 days ago.
I achieved the things I set out to do. Whilst they may have been small in the grand scheme of things, they were something to achieve even if everything else was falling apart around me.
It’s time to turn the page and set some new goals (and roll over some old ones) for 2021.
New goals for 2021
1. Eat less meat
I’ve spent a lot of time in 2020 thinking about my diet, and how I could get a better relationship with food. I’ve lost 10kg in the process. Now I’ve started to think not just about portion sizes and calorie counting, but also the quality of that food and its environmental impact.
In any given week, I have meat basically every day; usually for both lunch and dinner. For 2021, I’ve resolved to eat meat less often. My objective is to go meat-free an average of twice a week.
Success measure: 104 meat-free days
As a stretch goal, I’ll aim for an average of 3 meat-free days in a given week.
Stretch goal: 156 meat-free days
2. Quit Instagram
A couple of years ago I quit Facebook. I don’t regret it; it was a blackhole. I still use other services from Facebook though, like Instagram and WhatsApp. In the last couple of years, Instagram has become much less of a highly-curated photo service and much more of an algorithmically-crafted social network. It’s slowly morphing into Facebook; and I don’t want that for all the same reasons I don’t want Facebook.
I want to share and see great photography and art. Instagram rarely gives me that joy anymore, so I’ve decided the platform has outlived its usefulness to me. I’ll be shuttering my Instagram account on 1 January 2021.
Success measure: 365 days without Instagram
3. Be more mindful
My brain has felt a bit like a pressure cooker about to explode this year and so, against every fibre of my being, I’m going to try something new for 2021 to try and maintain my resilience.
Every day, for at least 5 minutes, I’m going to try and be ‘mindful’. I’m usually the first person to usually say this is all quackery, but I’ll give it a go and see what difference it makes. Maybe I’ll surprise myself.
Success measure: Be mindful for at least 5 minutes every day
Rolled over goals for 2021
4. Give something back
I did not get very far with this goal last year but it’s something I still want to do. I feel very passionately that people in positions of privilege have an obligation to give something back; so I’m going to have another shot at finding a charity trustee or college governor role. Failing that, a substantial volunteering role somewhere will be a good thing to do.
Success measure: Become a charity trustee or college governor by December 2021.
Repeated goals for 2021
5. Keep writing blog posts
I’m going to continue to push myself to keep writing blog posts. It helps to stretch my brain and it feels cathartic. This year’s goal is to – once again – write at least 12 blog post throughout the year (or roughly one a month).
Success measure: 12 blog posts written
I’m going to additionally set myself a stretch goal this year: to try and write more than one blog post a month.
Stretch goal: 18 blog posts written
6. Drink less alcohol
I strongly considered going tee-total this year, but if 2020 is anything to go by, giving up booze in 2021 would be a goal I would never achieve. So rather than set myself up for failure, I’m to try and do dry January again and hopefully this year make it all the way through.
Success measure: No alcohol during January
As a stretch goal, I’m also going to try and do Stoptober.
Stretch goal: No alcohol during October
7. Save some money
Having exceeded my £5,000 savings goal last year, this year I’m going to up the ante with a goal of £7,500.
Success measure: £7,500 saved
As a stretch goal of £12,500. I fully hope – pray, even – to fail at achieving the stretch goal, because with any luck I’ll get to spend money on living a real life, rather than a lockdown life.
Stretch goal: £12,500 saved
You can follow my progress with my goals by visiting my goals dashboard.