While it may be an increasingly unpopular opinion, I love the hope of a new year—the promise of a fresh start and a blank planner to fill with all my wildest aspirations. Will I lose this new year momentum by the time February rolls around? Probably, if I’m being honest with myself. But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming big every January and imagining what life I want to make for myself this year. We can all agree that 2020 wreaked havoc on our plans and goals, so I’m a little apprehensive about planning for 2021. However, if this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s to prepare for the worst and hope for the best—so that’s what I’m going to do.
I’ve spent so much time ‘relaxing’ (i.e. wasting time) these past few weeks that I haven’t gotten the chance to sit down and brainstorm what I want out of 2021. I figured if I wrote a blog post about it, it would force me to take the time to flip through all my lists and sticky notes about life plans and compile them into a condensed document. Is this blog post comprehensive? Of course not. But it’s the starting point my jumbled brain needs right now.
What Will 2021 Hold?
I always like to spend the first few days of the new year mapping out any big life moments or events that are scheduled to occur in the next 12 months. This year’s list looks a little sparse, since there’s no way of knowing how this pandemic will shake out, but here are some of the big things 2021 will (most likely) hold:
- Finishing my Criminology major in March.
- Writing my Criminology thesis over the summer and into the fall.
- Possibly studying abroad in the fall (fingers crossed!).
- Graduating college in November if my study abroad program is cancelled (so hard to believe I might be graduating this year!!).
Instead of traditional resolutions, which I always forget about a few weeks into the new year, I like to pick 4-5 habits every month to focus on. I keep habit trackers in the monthly spread of my planner, which keeps me way more accountable than just writing down a resolution on a piece of paper and hoping for the best. January’s four habits are:
- To spend way less time on my phone (and to completely put it away when I’m with other people).
- To go to bed by 10:30 pm every night.
- To stop complaining (such an ugly trait).
- To spend 15 minutes engaging on Instagram every day.
Bucket List Items
2020 was supposed to be THE year for crossing off items from my monstrous bucket list, since I was supposed to study abroad in the fall and travel a bunch. Buttttt obviously that didn’t happen. So this year, I’m investing my energy into crossing off bucket list items that can be accomplished even during a Covid (and hopefully post-Covid) world. They include:
- Visiting Craters of the Moon in Idaho (the terrain is supposedly like walking on the moon, as the name suggests. So obviously I’ll have to bring a space-like outfit and do an out-of-this-world photoshoot).
- Swimming in the Great Salt Lake. I have driven past this lake too many times to count and yet still have never experienced the buoyancy of the salty water.
- Singing at a karaoke bar now that I’m 21! This one is dependent on Covid conditions improving by the end of the year.
- Falling asleep under the stars, preferably in the bed of a truck so that I don’t have to worry about animals/bugs crawling on me as I sleep.
- Going to a hot springs in the winter. I might be able to do this one back at school in Colorado!
- Seeing a drive-in movie. I can’t believe I’ve never done this before.
- Donating blood! I’m a wuss with needles so this one will take some courage.
- Eating Rocky Mountain Oysters. Disgusting, I know, but I gotta try ‘em.
- Hiking a 14,000 foot mountain in Colorado, or a 14er, as the cool Coloradans call them.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a post about goals without including my blogging aspirations for the year! I’d like to…
- Pitch to my first brand by the end of February.
- Start my own college-themed linkup by the end of March to connect with other college bloggers.
- Rebrand and redesign my website over the summer.
- Land my first brand deal by the end of the year!
- Hit 2,000 Instagram followers (which means averaging 75 new followers per month).
- Hit 20,000 visitors to nearly double the number of visitors I had last year (which means averaging 1,667 visitors per month).
- Make back all the money I’ve invested into blogging over the years by the end of 2021.
In the past, I’ve been really bad about making my goals realistic and actionable. To change that this year, I made a timeline and specific, measurable steps to help me strive towards my goals every week (and maybe even every day!). At the end of the year, I plan on revisiting this blog post and my timelines to celebrate ALL of the above accomplishments! After all, hope is not a strategy, and I have to make these things happen by putting in the work and following the steps to get there.
What goals or resolutions do you have for the new year? What are you most excited for in 2021? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
(Also, a quick side note on this outfit—I love the edgy vibes from the lace-up pants and studded mules mixed with the preppy vibes of the layered sweater/collared shirt/statement necklace. An outfit I’ve worn several times outside the blog!)
Miles of smiles,
Denim Collared Blouse: JCPenney, $18, last worn here | Grey Cropped Sweater: Hand-me-down, last worn here | Black Lace-Up Pants: JCPenney, $11, last worn here | White Mules: Rebecca Minkoff via Saks Off Fifth, $70, last worn here | Blue Purse: Unknown, $20, last worn here