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If you read this blog regularly, you know how much I love talking about goal setting.
I spent years setting new year’s resolutions for myself, only to forget about them by February. And honestly, this is how so many people approach goal-setting!
When it comes to setting goals for the year, setting the RIGHT goals is half the battle.
In this post, I’m sharing 21 goals to set for yourself this year that can seriously make 2021 your best year ever!
21 Goals to Set For Yourself to Make 2021 Your Best Year Ever
Learn a New Skill
One of my favorite things about blogging is that I have learned SO many new skills that I absolutely did not set out to learn.
It’s really helped me to learn how much I love learning new skills and has pushed me to branch out and try learning new skills that are completely separate from my business as well.
There are SO many resources online to help you branch out and try something new.
Two of my favorites are CreativeLive and Skillshare, both of which have TONS of classes available (and if you use one of those links ^^ you can get a free trial).
Create a Monthly Budget
I feel like money-related goals are some of the most common people set for themselves every year, so I definitely had to include some on this list!
If you don’t currently have a budget, that is honestly the first goal from this list that I would tackle.
Money is one of the single biggest stressors for people (especially millennials), and it’s one of the biggest points of conflict in marriages and relationships. So it definitely seems that getting your money under control should be pretty high on the priority list!
I went years of my adult life without creating a monthly budget. Looking back, it’s still crazy to me that I really didn’t know where my money was going every month.
Creating a monthly budget allowed me to get my money under control in a way I honestly couldn’t even have imagined.
If you’re ready to tackle your monthly budget, head over to my in-depth guide for starting a budget and actually sticking to it!
Read 12 Books
I love to read so much, whether it’s fiction, poetry, or personal development books. But sometimes I just get out of the habit of it and realize I’ve gone months without reading!
I’ve started setting a yearly reading goal for myself and using Goodreads to track how many books I’ve read. This has really helped to motivate me to keep reading.
You can definitely set a goal of reading more than 12 books. I just think that 12 is a good starting point for people who don’t read super often because that gives you an entire month to finish each book.
If you’re looking for some book suggestions, make sure to check out the list of my favorite personal development books!
Start a Side Hustle
I’m a huge proponent of having a side hustle. I started this blog back in 2014. At the time it was only meant to be a hobby, but it has definitely turned into a side hustle!
Looking back, I’m so grateful I started the blog when I did! Not only has it allowed me to earn extra money alongside my full-time job, but it has also paved the way for a lot of personal and professional development.
There are SO many options for different side hustles you can start. I recently wrote a blog post where I shared 35+ legit ways you can start making extra money.
If you’re ready to start your side hustle, make sure to check out my in-depth guide on how to start a side hustle!
Create a Morning Routine (And Actually Stick To It!)
I’m going to be honest, mornings have been one of my biggest struggles for…basically my entire life. I’ve never been a morning person. But I really took the whole “not a morning person” thing to a whole new level.
But once I graduated from college and started my career, I had to get up early for work every morning. And I needed to actually be awake and functional rather than being a zombie for the first two hours!
Creating a morning routine seriously made ALL the difference for me. I learned to create a routine that actually helps me to wake up and enjoy the morning rather than being miserable and frantically running out the door late every day.
Make sure to check out my guide on creating your own healthy morning routine!
Eliminate a Bad Habit
I think it’s safe to say we all have a bad habit or two that we’d like to kick, whether it be excessive drinking, smoking, or chronic lateness.
Let’s be real, this is a lot easier than it sounds. And most of us have probably tried and given up more than a few times. But don’t give up!
Here are some steps that just might help you finally break that bad habit this year.
Start a Gratitude Journal
At some point a couple of years ago it was like a switch was flipped and everyone was talking about gratitude journals. And I promptly ignored that advice and went on with business as usual.
Then last year I was struggling with some pretty severe anxiety and was looking for solutions, and once again the idea of a gratitude journal kept popping up. So I finally broke down.
It turns out everyone was right. It’s amazing how when I’m having a bad day, something as simple as writing down things I’m grateful for can completely turn around my mood.
You can do this first thing in the morning, right before bed, or any time you’re having a rough day and need something to help turn your mindset around.
Spend Less Time Online
I have a full-time job where I’m on a computer most of the day, and then I go home and run an online business. So it’s safe to say I’m spending a LOT of my time online. And running a blog means spending a lot of time on social media.
One of my goals for 2021 is definitely to spend less time online. Quite often I don’t have a choice. But in the moments where I’m not working and have the opportunity to spend time with loved ones, I want to make a genuine effort to focus on those around me and get outside more rather than have my phone in front of my face all the time.
Eating healthier is without a doubt one of the most common goals people set for themselves each year. I’m right there with you! My eating habits are significantly better than they used to be, but they aren’t perfect (and I don’t expect them to ever be perfect).
Rather than push yourself to cut entire food groups or go on really restrictive diets, aim for slow progress and a better diet.
If you love bread and pasta and decide you’re cutting out carbs completely, how long will that really be feasible? What if instead you trade the white bread and pasta for whole grain, and swap in veggie pasta a couple of times per week? That’s not a huge change, but it would still make a difference.
Rather than preventing myself from eating foods I love, I shoot to eat clean 75% of the time, and then I feel better about eating whatever I want the rest of the time!
Create a Fitness Routine
Fitness is another goal to set that seems to be pretty universal. And for some people, the idea of creating a fitness routine seems SO daunting.
Here’s the thing though, your fitness routine can look literally however you want it to look.
If you don’t like running, don’t run. In fact, skip the cardio altogether it that’s not what floats your boat.
My favorite exercises are the ones that don’t feel like exercise at all! Brandon and I love biking around the city when the weather is warm. We love checking out bars and restaurants in town, so we just started biking there instead of driving.
I also love hiking, which definitely feels more like a hobby than a workout!
There are also SO many workouts like yoga, pilates, barre, etc. that are a great workout, but low impact.
Finally, your fitness routine can just consist of walking! When the weather is nice, I throw on a podcast and take the dog for an hour long walk. I get my body moving, I get to listen to a favorite podcast, and I feel amazing when I’m done.
Travel to a New Place
I love to travel, and I definitely don’t get to do enough of it. In 2019 my husband and I were able to take a vacation to a place we had never been before. Then, in 2020, we traveled the country in our RV. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2021!
If travel is in your budget for this year, I absolutely recommend making it a personal goal for yourself. And rather than visiting the same destinations you’ve visited before, branch out and explore a new place!
There are honestly so many amazing places and things to see, and none of us will be able to see them all.
But whatever your interests when it comes to travel, whether it be hiking, history, or laying on a beach, you can always find a new destination to visit.
Declutter Your Home
Thanks to Marie Kondo and her new Netflix series, it seems like everyone is jumping on the KonMari bandwagon and making it a personal goal to declutter their homes this year.
I’m right there with you, and I’ve been on the declutter train for several years now.
In 2017, I got divorced and moved from a three-bedroom house to a studio apartment. That meant I had to get rid of almost everything I owned.
I thought it would be the most difficult thing ever, but it turned out to be amazing! I was honestly surprised by how much stuff I had that I didn’t need, or even really want.
Since then I’ve continued to keep an eye on how much stuff I accumulate and regularly donate clothing and household items I find I’m not using.
If you’re ready to declutter your home, try asking yourself these questions.
Create a Minimalist Wardrobe
While we’re on the subject of decluttering, let’s talk about clothes. You guys, I used to have SO many clothes. Clothes I hadn’t worn in years, and yet still couldn’t bring myself to get rid of.
When I finally decided to really force myself to narrow down my wardrobe, I realized I was wearing the same few pieces and the same few colors over and over again.
I’ve created a minimalist wardrobe for myself by limiting the colors in my wardrobe (95% of my clothes are black, white and gray) and limiting the style of clothes. I’ve really narrowed down what my personal style is, and I really don’t feel the need to experiment with anything outside of that!
Now, a minimalist wardrobe definitely won’t work for some people. If clothes and fashion are your passion, you’re not going to be excited about this. But if fashion isn’t a priority for you, I really recommend challenging yourself to create a minimalist wardrobe this year.
Meditate Every Day
I was definitely skeptical a few years ago when I saw SO many people recommending meditation for productivity and personal development.
And even after trying it the first few times, I was still skeptical. But once I really gave it a chance, it totally won me over.
I’ve suffered from my fair share of stress and anxiety, and meditation has helped me reduce these a lot.
I’ve also noticed that it has helped me improve my focus, which has been amazing. I have WAY to much going on in my life to not be focused.
For anyone struggling with anxiety, I think daily meditation should absolutely be on your list of goals to set for yourself this year.
Journal Every Day
I’ve been journaling on and off for pretty much my entire life. I hadn’t journaled for years but picked it back up again in an effort to control my anxiety.
Journaling has really helped me to reduce my stress and anxiety, and just learn to better control my emotions.
When I sit down to journal, I focus on identifying the negative emotions I’m feeling and trying to get to the root cause. I also focus on affirmations I know to be true in order to negate the worried thoughts I’m feeling.
If journaling is a goal for your this year but the idea seems daunting to you, I recommend picking up the Five Minute Journal. As the name suggests, it’s literally five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening. And even in that short amount of time, I think you’ll see a difference!
Drink More Water
It turns out that about 75% of us are living our lives chronically dehydrated. And I know without a doubt that I used to be one of those people.
I’ve had a lot of health-related annoyances in my life. Not to the point where something has been seriously wrong, but just enough so that I’ve always felt…well, just not great.
Once I started making a really solid effort to drink more water, I noticed a big difference. I aim to drink 100 ounces per day, and I track it religiously throughout the day.
I use the Fitbit app to track my water intake, but there are also apps like Plant Nanny that are specifically designed for tracking water.
Set a Bedtime For Yourself
I will be the first to admit that I do NOT get enough sleep. There are some nights where my schedule prevents me from getting to bed as early as I would like. There’s unfortunately not much I can do about that.
However, I also find myself staying up WAY too late on the nights that I could be going to bed earlier.
One of my personal goals for 2021 is to get more sleep, which means setting a bedtime for myself and actually sticking to it!
One creative way I’ve heard of accomplishing this is by using a bedtime alarm. I would set mine for about an hour before I actually want to go to sleep. That way I have time to prepare my lunch for the next day, get the coffee maker reader, wash my face, brush my teeth, and spend some time reading in bed.
In case you can’t tell, I like to have as much prepped the night before as possible because I won’t be happy having to do it the next morning!
Build an Emergency Fund
You guys already know you need to have an emergency fund. But since I’m guessing a lot of you either don’t have one or aren’t putting money in regularly, I’m adding this as a goal to set for yourself this year!
Statistics show that most Americans have less than $1,000 dollars in savings, and nearly half have less than $400. Those numbers are pretty alarming, considering something as simple as unexpected car repairs could easily take out your entire savings account.
I struggled for a long time to build my emergency fund. Finally, I decided that rather than save whatever money I had left at the end of the month, I would pay myself first.
On the first day of every month, an automatic transfer takes money out of my checking account and puts it into my emergency fund.
If you’ve struggled to save, trying paying yourself first and really prioritizing your emergency fund.
Related Article: 25 Creative Ways to Save Money
Reconnect With Old Friends
I’m pretty lucky in that I have had the same close group of friends since I was about 16. We were a close-knit group in high school. And then many of us ended up going to the same colleges, so it was easy for us all to stay in touch and we got together pretty regularly.
After college, as I’m sure happens to a lot of friend groups, we all moved away and started our careers, and definitely didn’t spend as much time together.
Over the past year or so we’ve really made an effort to see each other more often. We’re lucky to all live in the same state where the travel isn’t too difficult. We’ve been able to make it a pretty regular thing.
I’m so glad we all reconnected! If you have a close friend or group of friends that you’ve drifted apart from or haven’t seen in a while, reach out and try to reconnect. You’ll be so glad you did!
Revisit Your Career Goals
When was the last time you took some time to really reevaluate your career goals?
I’m a big proponent of five-year goals for things like career and finances. But let’s be real, five years is a long time. And things can definitely change. My career goals have absolutely changed in the six years since I graduated from college!
Make it a goal for this year to spend some time thinking about your career. Consider your short-term and long-term career goals. Think about the company you work for and whether you see a future there.
In some cases, your career goals may have changed so much that you have transitioned (or want to transition) to a totally different industry.
Make Time for Self Care
If you read this blog regularly, you probably knew self-care was going to make this list!
Self-care is so important, and most of us are NOT making enough time for it!
Self-care isn’t just about pampering yourself. It’s about making time for sleep, mental health, and physical health.
Not only is self-care essential for your mental and physical health, but it’s also amazing for boosting your productivity!
If it isn’t on your list of goals to set for this year, it totally should be!
Goal-setting can be super overwhelming for some people. Setting the right goals is half the battle!
There’s still plenty of time to reach your goals and make 2021 an amazing year. When you’re thinking of what goals to set for yourself, make sure to include a few from this list to make your year awesome!