Monday, January 10, 2022

2021 New Year’s Goals - What I Accomplished

Today I’m recapping my 2021 goals!  As a little refresher, I chose LIGHT as my word for 2021. 

As in…

Let your heart be LIGHT.  (Seek joy.  Be joy.  Choose joy.)

Be the LIGHT.  (Be God’s shining light in the darkness.)

LIGHTen up.  (Don’t take everything so seriously.  Don’t sweat the little things.)

See the LIGHT.  (Give your worries to God… that’s what He’s there for.)

LIGHTen your load.  (Declutter and make space for only things that matter.) 

DeLIGHT in the little things.  (Because this thing called life is one long string of little things.)

See the LIGHT at the end of the tunnel.  (Keep the faith that things will get better in 2021.)

LIGHT a fire in myself.  (Find that spark again after being in survival mode all year.)

While things were still very heavy at times in 2021, it was a much better year overall than 2020.  2020 was dark, and one of my least favorite years ever (I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way), but in 2021, I tried my best to find the light and to try to make my own happiness despite the circumstances. 

As always, there were many points throughout the year when that was really hard (my Grandma passing away, a couple of cancer scares in our family, Olivia breaking her elbow, Jacob’s classmate passing away, etc.), but overall, I handled the hard parts much better last year than I did in 2020.  I was in a much better mental space in 2021 and that helped tremendously.

As for the rest of the goals, let’s see how I did.  As always, I’m using a Y for YES and N for NO to indicate whether or not I accomplished my goals.

Relationships/Be the Light

Y   Make it a point to connect with family and friends, even if we can’t get back to “normal.” – We sure did!  This year, we were able to spend much more time with family and friends, and we are so grateful for the vaccines to afford us this opportunity.  We started doing Sunday lunches and dinners again, I started going to lunch and dinner with friends again, and the kids resumed playdates with friends.  We also had a completely normal Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family (aside from not attending Mass in-person) and a mostly normal Thanksgiving and Christmas with Brian’s family. 

Y   Do something special for someone once a week (special text, happy mail, etc.) – To be honest, I didn’t keep track of this completely, so I’m not sure exactly how many special things I did and if it equates to 52 things (one per week), but I definitely stayed on top of this all year.  I sent random texts to say hello to people I hadn’t spoken with in a while, I sent words of encouragement to friends in need, I sent a few pieces of snail mail throughout the year to send random cheer, and I got the kids involved, too.

N   Read the Five Love Languages with B and be mindful of B’s love language. – Bless.  We still did not do this.

Y   Spend more one-on-one time with each child. – While we didn’t do this frequently, we did do it a little more than in year’s past.  It’s actually really hard to split them up, though, because they are truly the best of friends, and they rarely want to be separated.  They also enjoy the same things and are perfectly content to try the activities that the other enjoys.  As a matter of fact, just the other day, Jacob was telling me how sad he would be if he was an only child.  He then elaborated by saying how much he loves having Olivia around.  It was the sweetest thing.


Y   Meditate every day. – Last year, I only missed one day the entire year and it was a true mistake (not because I didn’t make time for it), so I’m giving myself a yes for this one!

Y   Quiet time with God every day. – Same for this one! 

Y   Start incorporating daily affirmations into my quiet time. – I bought a set of affirmation cards and I have enjoyed reading through them each morning.

Y   Move meditation/quiet time/affirmations to first thing in the morning. – I’m not a morning person, so I used to do my meditation and quiet time after dropping the kids at school, but this past year, I started doing it right after my shower every morning, and I love starting the day out on the right foot.

Y   Continue seeing my therapist. – I’m still seeing her about once a month, and she’s been wonderful.  I’ve learned a lot about myself and my triggers for my anxiety, and she has provided me with many tools.  I’m definitely in a much better place mentally because of her.

Y   Take more time to read and relax and not worry so much about being productive. – There were periods where things were super busy and I didn’t make time to do this, but for a lot of the year, I did focus more on rest and less on productivity. 

Y   Take more breaks while I work.  I didn’t do this as much as I wanted to, but I definitely did this more frequently than in years past, so I’m checking it off the list!  I started taking Maui for walks to split up my workday a couple of times per week (when the weather is nice), and it’s amazing what a little bit of fresh air will do for you!

Y   Read one personal development book per month. – I did this for eight months and I learned a ton.  All of the books I read and their authors are listed in my books summary later in this post, but to summarize, I read It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way in January, Be the Bridge in February, Everybody Always in March, Growing Boldly in April, DARE The New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks in May, Resisting Happiness, The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey in June, and You Are a Badass in July.  After eight months of personal development books, I was a bit burned out by September, so I let myself sink into some lighthearted fiction for the remainder of the year. Since I learned so much and sincerely enjoyed the journey through these books, I’m giving myself a yes!  And in case you were wondering, I feel like I learned the most from Resisting Happiness, DARE, and Be the Bridge.

Y   Worry less, be positive, complain less. – While I’m not sure I complained less, I definitely worried less this year than in 2020 because I made a conscious effort to let little things go when possible.  Now to learn to let the big things go…

Y   Let my heart be light. – We suffered a lot of loss in 2021, so it was impossible not to have a heavy heart at times, but overall, I do feel like my heart was lighter in 2021 than in 2020, so we’re calling this one a win.  We did end the year on a good note, too, and we had a wonderful Christmas break, so my heart has felt very light for several weeks now (maybe the longest streak since March 2020), and it has continued into the new year despite the uncertainty with the Omicron explosion happening right now.  I’m working really hard on focusing on the good things and remembering who is in control.

Y   Be present. – After feeling the need to escape mentally throughout much of 2020, I was definitely more present in 2021.  There were, of course, times that I failed, but I did a much better job of being present this year overall.

Y   Donate blood at least twice. – I donated 3 times!

Y   Drink 64 oz. of water every day. – Overall, I did great on this and there were many days that I drank much more water than this.  There were a few days here and there where I didn’t quite get it in, but most days I did.

Y   Move my body and find some new workouts to try. – I was very active in 2021 and I tried a few new workouts – I tried HIIT, Pilates, started swimming, and went on a hike for the first time since I started using my Apple Watch to track my fitness.

Y   Eat less sugar and more veggies. – I’m honestly not sure if I ate less sugar, but I most definitely ate more veggies because I made a conscious effort to do so.  This whole year, I started making double batches of veggies when I cooked dinner (broccoli, green beans, carrots, etc.) and I ate the leftovers for lunch so I could get in some lunchtime veggies.  Some days I’d have a super random assortment of things for lunch (avocado toast with a side of broccoli or green beans and an apple – haha), but at least it allowed me to get in those extra veggies.  I’m going to continue this in 2022.


Y   Teach the kids to not sweat the little things. – We talked about this a LOT throughout the year, and I’m hoping it sticks.  I’m *trying* to lead by example, but I fail daily, I’m sure.

Y   Don’t be so hard on the kids. – When typing this out last year, I should have elaborated that this is concerning keeping things neat and tidy.  I haaaate when things aren’t tidy, but I keep having to remind myself that they’re kids, and I can’t expect them to keep their rooms pristine all the time.  I was definitely better about this in 2021 – I have learned to zip my lips when Olivia puts her laundry away by dumping a tangled ball of clean clothes in her drawer and shoving it closed.  I’ve shut up about Jacob having Legos all over his bedroom floor all. the. time, and I didn’t clean the playroom obsessively all year long… as a matter of fact, as I type this, it looks like a total dumpster fire.  I’m not going to lie – it KILLS me every time I open one of Olivia’s drawers and a bunch of crap falls out, but it’s her room, and I need to respect that.  That said, you better believe I still made them tidy up our living areas most days.  If they want their spaces to look like a dump that’s fine, but I’m not going to live in a dump, too.  Hahahaha. 

Y   Continue having frequent, open conversations about social injustice with the kids. – Yes!  We have kept an open dialogue all year about social injustice and racism.  Jacob studied slavery in social studies this year which opened the door for many conversations, and we also started watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air with them, which has also prompted a few conversations.  We have also started including praying for an end to racism in our bedtime prayers every night, and our church has also added a special prayer for everyone suffering from racism and/or hatred during our Prayer of the Faithful at every Mass. 

Y   Give the kids more responsibility. – This year, the kids have both started packing their own snacks and masks for school, and they’re completely responsible for getting everything in the car in the morning.  I used to help them load their heavy bookbags in the car each morning, but I realized I’m doing them a disservice by “helping” too much.  We also loosened our grip on the iPad a bit and we have started allowing Jacob to have more time with it, safely of course.  We also started letting the kids play out in the front yard by themselves.  We have a huge fenced-in back yard so there’s never been a need for them to play out front, but now that we have the basketball goal, we’re letting them hang out front without Brian or me.  If our street was teeming with kids, then we would have allowed this earlier on, but unfortunately, the street we’re on is full of high school aged kids and older, so our street is pretty quiet.  There are tons of kids in our neighborhood, but apparently, we picked the wrong street.  Haha.  Anyhoo, we’ve also made several other changes throughout the year to allow the kids to be more independent, and I’m hoping to expand on this in 2022.

Y   Teach them how to manage money once and for all (save, give, spend). – YES!  We finally sat down with the kids and came up with a plan to help them learn how to handle money.  Right now, every time they get $10 or more, they put 40% in their savings accounts, 10% goes to church, and the remaining 50% goes in their wallets for spending.  Anything less than $10 just goes in their wallets for spending because it’s not worth it to deposit 40 cents into a savings account.  Haha.

Y   Focus on hygiene with the kids (better flossing, shampooing, hair brushing, etc.) – Do I get a yes since I tried?!  Sigh.  We reviewed throughout the year how to properly do all of these things, but our kids continue to rush through any and all hygiene tasks, and it is driving me crazy.  It’s like they just have better stuff they’d rather be doing, so they don’t want to waste time doing things they actually need to do.  Olivia will get out of the shower and all of her hair will be wet except for her actual scalp.  Face palm.  How do I make my kids realize that good hygiene is important?  Is anyone else struggling with this with their kids?!  Momma has tried, so I’m giving myself a yes for this, but our kids get a big fat NO.

N   Teach Jacob to ride a bike without training wheels, take 84. – No again.  Sigh.  Olivia broke her arm the second day of summer break and she wasn’t fully cleared for anything like this until the end of September.  That is my excuse and I’m sticking to it.  Haha.  And yes, I realize we could have still taught Jacob without her, but he doesn’t want to learn anyway.  Haha.

N   Teach Olivia to ride a bike without training wheels.

Y   Use the One Second Everyday app to record our entire year. – Yes!  I took a video each day of the year and put it all together in the app!!  Now I just have to figure out how to add music to it and it’ll be complete!

Y   Reschedule our Disney World trip if we can. – We’re going for spring break this year!  Woooo hoooo!


Y   Clean out the whole house. – Completed this the first few months of the year.  Always feels great!

N   Sell all old stuff, and whatever doesn’t sell, donate by the end of the year. – I sold a lot, but there is still a lot left and I haven’t donated it yet.  Going to aim to complete this in 2022.

N   Organize recipes. – Didn’t even try.  I think it’s because I don’t know exactly how to even do this.  Once I have an actual plan, it’ll be a lot easier to implement.  It’s the knowing where to start that’s the hard part.

N   Start working on family yearbooks. – Literally did not even think about this one time the whole year.  Oops.

N   Be intentional with the things I buy to keep clutter light. – Nope.  I made many impulse purchases this year, not going to lie.  Definitely want to do better at this in 2022.

Y   Cut down my Master To-Do List by 10%.  As of January 1, 2021, my Master To-Do List was 191 lines long, so I need to do at least 20 items to accomplish this goal in 2021. – Yep!  My list is sitting at 168 lines as I type this, so I cut down the list by 12%!

Blog/Social Media

Y   Continue blogging as far ahead as possible.

N   Post more rich, evergreen content. – I think I did less this year.  Whoops.

Y   Post more simple posts.  Everything I do is long-winded and complex, so I’d like to add some random, shorter posts to the mix. 

N   Start focusing on growing pageviews via SEO and Pinterest.

Y   Discontinue hosting link-ups.  (It can be bad for SEO.)

Y   Start researching a blog revamp. – I did spruce up my logo and branding a bit this year, I researched new blog templates, and I also researched making the switch to WordPress.  It’s the switch to WP that’s holding me back from installing the new blog template.  I can’t decide whether to do that or not.  I’m leaning strongly towards sticking with Blogger because it’s going to be a massive (scary) pain to switch to WP.  I did do all the research, though.  Now I just have to make a decision and implement.

N   Share more projects, cleaning, and organization on Instagram. – I kind of started this at the beginning of the year, but then fell off the wagon early, so not giving myself credit for this one.

N   Pitch to more brands for holiday gift guides this year. – I pitched to a few, but definitely not as many as I’d originally planned.

N   Work on growing my oils business. – I freaking love my oils so much, but I didn’t give the business side of things the time of day this year.

Y   Start treating my blog like it’s a real job, because it is. – I definitely stepped outside my comfort zone this year and discussed my blog with some friends and family who didn’t know anything about it.  I don’t know why I clam up when talking about it… maybe because people just don’t understand how blogging can be a job so they don’t take it seriously?  But I’m getting better at telling people it’s my job for sure… even though I know a barrage of questions is coming afterward.


33 items accomplished

12 items not accomplished

Yearly Stats

Books Read: 21 + started and quit 2

    It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way – Lysa TerKeurst

    Be the Bridge – Latasha Morrison

    Everybody, Always – Bob Goff

    Dear Edward – Ann Napolitano

    The Two Lives of Lydia Bird – Josie Silver

    Growing Boldly – Emily Ley

    Firefly Lane – Kristin Hannah

    DARE The New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks – Barry McDonagh

    Fly Away – Kristin Hannah

    The Woman in the Window – A.J. Finn

    The Return – Nicholas Sparks

    Resisting Happiness – Matthew Kelly

    Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste NG

    Daisy Jones and the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid

    The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey – Ian Morgan Cron

    Twice in a Blue Moon – Christina Lauren

    You are a Badass – Jen Sincero

    Soulmate Equation Christina Lauren

    Malibu Rising Taylor Jenkins Reid

    Started Musical Chairs – Amy Poeppel and quit

    Started The Bucket List – Georgia Clark and quit

    The Santa Suit – Mary Kay Andrews

    In a Holidaze – Christina Lauren

Meditation Days: 364

Workouts Completed: 268

    Core Training: 7

    Dance: 3

    High Intensity Interval Training: 2

    Hiking: 1 (1.30 miles)

    Mixed Cardio: 104

    Outdoor Run: 21 (49.83 miles)

    Outdoor Walk: 66 (117.06 miles)

    Pilates: 2

    Pool Swim: 4 (5,385 yards)

    Stair Stepper: 23

    Strength Training: 22

    Yoga: 13

Time Spent Working Out: 184:55:57 (hours:minutes:seconds)

Calories Burned During Workouts: 46,466

Donated Blood: 3 times

Total Blog Pageviews: 332,924

Goals By Month

2022 goals + my word of the year will be posted soon so be sure to check back!  And if you want to see previous yearly accomplishments, you can see the summaries below.

2016 New Year’s Goals – What I Accomplished

2017 New Year’s Goals – What I Accomplished

2018 New Year’s Goals – What I Accomplished

2019 New Year’s Goals – What I Accomplished

2020 New Year’s Goals – What I Accomplished

 Happy Monday, y’all!


  1. I still haven't 'officially' set my new year's resolutions for this year, and this post has me wanting to get going on those!

    2021 was definitely a 'lighter' year than 2020 - can't wait to see what you have in store for 2022!

  2. I haven't made a long list of goals like this in awhile. I think you did great. I was thinking you could do the Love Languages quiz with B online, and not read the whole book, if that works better for you!

  3. SO so impressed with so man of your goals that you net - especially meditating every day and really listening to your body! xo, Biana BlovedBoston

  4. Your goals posts are so inspiring to me! I decided to make monthly goals inside of my New Year goals and am keeping track like you do just keep myself more accountable. Thank you for sharing and inspiring!

    1. Aw thank you! I always find it easiest to meet my goals if I do broad ones at the beginning of the year and then break them down into more specific, manageable tasks each month. Good luck to you!

  5. I think you did a great job with your goals!

  6. I try to read one educational/learning book every other audio book I do, but I need to get back into audio books. I stopped listening to them during Covid. I used to listen to them in the car on my way back home from dropping the kids off at school.

    The word 'Light' is such a good one! I don't think I've ever heard of anyone else using that word before.

    Meditating would be something I'd like to try... especially since there are so many apps these days.


  7. You did GREAT!! I didn't even set goals this year because I did so bad last year!


Thank you for taking the time to comment... I read and respond to each and every one! However, if you are a no-reply blogger (meaning that your email address is not connected to your Blogger account), I will not be able to reply to you directly via email... you will have to check back on the blog post for a response!