30 January 2021

2021 goals (and a look back over the failure of 2020's)

Girl holding a diary up against her torso, wearing pale blue pajamas

I had a look back over last year's goals post because lord knows my goals flew out of the window, never to be seen again, roughly three months into the year and I could hardly remember what they were. I'd actually mentioned the virus I'd heard of in the post, but I also said I thought 2020 would be a great year, so there's that.

2020 mental health 

This was my first full year of not taking anti-depressants in quite a few years. Although I found that over the course of the year my mood did stabilise, I really struggled with anxiety. Health anxiety (that I've never really experienced much before) became a massive issue, and weirdly it wasn't health anxiety about Covid, but about a whole range of other issues. I became obsessed with checking my body for lumps, totally convinced I was dying of a variety of unknown diseases at different times, and it really did wreak havoc on my life.

I found in the first couple of months of lockdown 1 insomnia hit me hard. I kept waking up in the night and doomscrolling to see what new disaster was happening in the world, and ended up giving up on going back to sleep at about 5:30/6am every morning for a while. Things have definitely eased off since, but it was tough. I think part of the problem was that I'd stopped doing so many 'normal' things that give me anxiety (driving, shopping alone, meeting new people etc) and I thought this would just stop me feeling anxious, but it just transferred on to other things.

However, my overall mood ended up being pretty good. I feel more in control of my life and secure in my surroundings, and I've felt a lot happier working from home. I'm worried about what will happen with my mental health when things open back up again and a lot more is expected of me in terms of socialising, but until then things are looking a little brighter.

2020 challenges

Every year I usually write down a few minor challenges I've set myself and overcome, but I feel like my main challenge for the year was just surviving a global pandemic. I feel very lucky to have kept my job throughout, and clung to my sanity. There have been some really tough parts and I've struggled with not seeing my sister, missing friends and feeling isolated at times, but I've made it through (to a more pandemic-ridden year). 

One of the biggest challenges has really been learning to avoid burnout. I'm someone who always feels they need to be productive all the time, and only can't be when I'm socialising or out of the house. In the first lockdown I crammed my day full of work, working late, chores, different hobbies, and barely gave myself time to chill out. As the year wore on I've learnt that forcing myself to constantly be doing all of these things whilst not having any down time leads to big burnout. I've slowly adjusted to try and make sure I'm having lots of time to relax with baths, playing the Sims, reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, etc, and as time has gone on it's made my anxiety calm down a lot.

2020 top blog posts

These are my top 5 blog posts that I enjoyed writing the most over the last year. My blog really became much more of a book and lifestyle blog than anything else, and I've loved raving about books I've loved, new purchases, releases I'm excited for and I can't wait to create more bookish content this year.

Supermarket sweep: Waterstones edition

The Body Shop's Cruelty-Free Facemasks

2020 core bullet journal spreads

30 goals I want to reach before turning 30

Spoiler filled book of the month: A Court of Mist and Fury

How did I do with my 2020 goals?

1.) Get my eczema sorted. I'd like to count this as done - whilst my eczema isn't gone, I've learnt what triggers it, had the specific type of it diagnosed (pompholyx) and have cleared it up to the point where it's not painful every day like it used to be.

2.) Save over £1000. I feel very lucky to have been able to do this, but what with cancelling our holiday and not leaving the house for months on end, I managed it.

3.) Deep clean and declutter the whole house. I really wish I could say I've done this, but nope. I've deep cleaned and decluttered a lot more of the house than I'm sure I would otherwise have done, but there's definitely bits I haven't got to. 

4.) Try using eco-friendly period products. With everything else going on, I just haven't found the time or motivation to try this. It's something I'm still very interested in doing, but just never got to.

5.) Keep up with my gym membership. I'm going to count this because I kept up with my gym membership until a national stay at home order forced me not to. Since then I've done either 5 yoga sessions or workout sessions almost every week, and it's something I'm really proud of.

6.) Learn to knit. I wish I'd done this. I'd love to learn a new skill, but I just have absolutely no idea where to start and I haven't had the energy to do a deep dive look into it.

7.) Try new foods and new activities in Croatia. We had to cancel our holiday so this one was a no-go, and I'm still so sad about it.

8.) Reach 8K total followers. This definitely didn't happen, and I feel like I've let my socials fade away a bit. I've had a lot of social media exhaustion and find myself much more of a silent watcher on apps than anything active nowadays.

9.) Work towards a promotion. This one I actually secured at the end of the year, and I'm proud of how hard I worked despite it being at home.

10.) Buy sustainable gifts and use sustainable wrapping this Christmas. Although not every gift I bought was entirely sustainable, this was a big focus of mine in terms of present buying this year. I avoided big plastic based gifts and used up paper from pervious years' Christmases rather than buying anything new. 

I'm pretty pleased with achieving half of the goals considering what a mess 2020 was!

Here are my ten goals for 2021:

1.) Save money from every pay check

2.) Read 60 books

3.) Finish decluttering the whole house.

4.) Start looking into buying a house.

5.) Keep up with working out regularly 

6.) Learn to crochet

7.) Deep clean the car inside and out

8.) Spend some time every week having 'me' time and relaxing

9.) Sort out the garden

10.) Write at least 3 blog posts each month

And that's it! What a mammoth post. What are your goals for 2021?

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