Learning, Creating, Doing | 2021 Goals

The jury’s out on whether posting about your 2021 goals online will make you more likely to complete them. I’ve seen research supporting both sides of the argument, with some saying that it fulfils our desire for sociability, while others believe that receiving premature praise before you’re done makes you less likely to finish.

I’m of the camp that sharing our goals makes us more accountable for them, and I’ve got three big targets for 2021. They fall under three creative aspects of my life: learning, creating and doing. Here’s what they entail:

Learn more

I recently wrote about the 20 life lessons that I learned from 2020 (read part 1 here, and part 2 here), and one of them was about the need for lifelong learning. While I had been referring to academic texts, this also applies to my mindset towards reading as a hobby. You can learn so much from reading fiction, but it’s one pastime that slips away from me without conscious effort.

Last year, I only managed to get through 10 books. That’s not at all bad, but I’d aimed for 25! I’d always noticed I was a slower reader than my coursemates while at University – and that certainly didn’t help while writing my dissertation – but this is one aspect of my life I’d like to change. I see other bloggers, such as Melissa Snow or JenRoseWrites (who I was lucky enough to collab with last year, writing about our very different University experiences), who can in one breath demolish entire novels, and I can’t help but feel a pang of jealousy.

I’ll be tracking my progress towards reading 25 books over on GoodReads this year, so follow me if you’d like to keep up.

Create content

Over Lockdown, I had the bright idea to write 1,000-fictional words a day so that, within a year, I’d have a really long novel on my hands. However, I then started teaching and, like reading, this took a real backseat in my daily life. 1,000 words just felt like too much computer time, especially after a day of working.

So, this year, I’d like to start smaller. My daily target is just 500 words per day and, if I happen to write more than that – great! But 500 words will be enough. By this time next year, I should have written over 182,000 words. For me, it won’t matter if what I write is total trash. As long as I’m writing, no matter how badly, I will always be improving.

That’s the real goal of 2021: not to write a book, but to be a better writer.

Easier said than done.

Doing more to get bigger

I’ve said for a while now that I’d love to put on muscle mass and look bigger, but lockdown kind of curtailed that dream, with a four-month-long gym closure. This year, pandemic permitting, I’d like to make that dream a reality.

I’ve already got the meal planning down to a fine art, where I’m spending no longer than about ten minute making hearty meals every day, so now comes the hard part: going to the gym and lifting big. My issue in the past has been setting pretty vague goals, like get bigger or go to the gym more. How much would I be going to the gym? How much bigger would I get? How would I do this? It’s not a bad thing to be ambitious, but you need to be specific.

This year, I’ve created a spreadsheet to track my progress, body fat percentage and weight, along with different routines to keep me from getting stagnant while working out.

My goal is to leave work as early as possible each day, go to the gym 3 times a week as a minimum (meaning any extra will be bonuses), and then finish extra work at home, since I’m lucky enough to have a solid desk setup that makes home working enjoyable.

Those are my goals for 2021. What are yours?

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