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21 Goals To Set In 2021

The past year has been… challenging. Mentally, physically, emotionally, I think it’s safe to say that it’s all been exhausting. Usually I look forward to writing our annual goals post (catch 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively.) But this year I don’t quite feel the same passion. Thinking of goals to set for 2021 has definitely been more challenging than in past years!

Thinking about my own goals for next year, I’m not sure where to start. I think it’s going to be another inward-focused year. And another one that will likely be filled with ups and downs and stressful moments. As I reflected on this past year, I focused on what felt the most comforting to me. 

That’s the feeling I want to bring into next year. I don’t want to be scared or unsure. I want find my footing even in times that feel turbulent and feel secure, even when I can’t control what’s going on outside. 

These goal ideas are meant to inspire you to achieve more and dream bigger! We can all do hard things and are capable of more than we think we are.

21 Goals To Set For 2021 

1. Make your home your sanctuary. 

As this past year has shown us, we’re spending a lot of time at home for the foreseeable future! And even when it is safe to go out again, our homes should still be our safe place. 

Start by focusing on one room in your house. Maybe it’s the space you get away to or maybe it’s the room you spend the most time in! But focus on making that space as beautiful and wonderful as you want it to be.

Your home is your safe space — and it’s time we treat it like so!

2. Shop small with businesses.

Many of us have been shopping small around the holidays but why not do that the rest of the year too? Whatever you’re looking for, chances are you can find it at a small business. 

3. Set a big financial goal you don’t think you can reach.

I’m big on setting financial goals, especially when they seem hard to reach. This year has been financially difficult to navigate for many of us. So maybe your goal for next year is more along the lines of “finding a new job with a 10% salary increase.” That’s a great goal worth setting!

4. Make rest part of your daily life. 

If balance has been elusive in the past, I challenge you to make rest part of your daily life.

Rest is an important part of self-care that many of us put off in favor of our to-do lists or other priorities. But 2021 should be the year of rest. It should be the year we make sure we’re taking care of ourselves mentally and physically. 

5. Have “treat yourself” as a line item in your budget.

Treating yourself doesn’t have to be expensive! It can be that $10 a week coffee habit or the once a month trip to Sephora. What I do think is important, though, is to make sure you’re saving for it appropriately. Add yourself to your budget! 

6. Pursue your dream career or hobby.

There’s always going to be something that gets in the way of going after your goals. But why should we let outside factors get in the way of our dreams?

There’s never going to be a “perfect” time to do things — so why not now? Give yourself 12 months to go after something you’ve been dreaming about.

7.  Read more books that interest you.

This is always a goal on my list. Reading is something that lights me up but often ebbs and flows in my life. Sometimes I find myself forcing myself to read things I don’t really want to just for the sake of having read them. 

Make a Goodreads account and read things that spark your interest! Whether it’s one book a month or one every six months, reading is great escape that will help you cope with stress.

8. Keep a plant alive for an entire year.

Don’t have a green thumb? Me either. I had the chance to work with Bloomscape this year (check out my gift guide here!)and I was so thrilled to learn how easy they make it to take care of plants! 

I recently got two plants (with instructional cards) that I’m making it my mission to keep alive in 2021. We will check in and see how I’m doing halfway through the year.

9. Take on a fitness challenge.

As I’ve entered my 30s now, it’s become even more apparent how important it is to take care of our health. I try to have activity in my day as much as possible but I’ve always felt my best when I have a consistent fitness routine

Whether you need a challenge to keep you focused or not, get active! 

10. Take your side hustle to the next level. 

If you have a side hustle, it’s time to take it to the next level. Set some goals for your business. Maybe it’s to make X many sales in X many months. Or hire someone to redo your branding! 

Side hustles are an awesome way to increase your income, plus they often give you a creative outlet you don’t have in other areas of your life.

11. Send more snail mail.

I always send Christmas cards around the holidays but hardly ever send mail during the rest of the year. It’s a fun way to keep in touch with friend and family and send them a reminder that you’re thinking of them!

I often use the Felt app to send cards to older family members who need just a bit of cheer every month.

12. Journal.

Journaling consistently is hard. I wish I could say it’s something I keep up with but the truth is that I’ve never been super great about it! My husband, on the other hand, journals every single day. Even if he writes down just a list of what he did that day, he always writes something in his notebook.

I do like to write my thoughts down when I’m struggling with something, though. This year I’m going to try to do it more often! Here’s to putting all those pretty journals I buy to good use.

21 Goals To Set In 2021

13. Make new connections.

Whether it’s new friends or new colleagues, making new connections benefits everyone! In a time where we are all struggling to feel connected, take the time once a week or so to make a new connection. You never know where it might lead! 

14. Negotiate a bill.

I was talking to my brother recently and I asked him if negotiated his credit card interest rates and he said, “I didn’t know you could do that.” And yes — you can! Often all it takes is a phone cal and a quick conversation to get a lower interest rate.

You can negotiate other bills too. From your car and home insurance to your cell phone, there’s often many more deals to be had! Which means money saved for you.

15. Explore your town.

With international travel being off the table for awhile, why not take the time to explore what your local area has to offer? Following safety guidelines, of course! 

There’s often plenty to do around us that we didn’t even know about. From beautiful parks and hikes to small shops, there’s likely a lot to do nearby! 

16. Declutter your house room by room.

I love decluttering. If I ever make a second career, it will probably be helping people declutter and organize their homes. 

Tackle a room a month and go through your space and get rid of anything you don’t need or use anymore. Most of the stuff you have that’s in good condition can be used by someone else. You can also donate things or take them to a local thrift store as an option.

Once you’ve done that, get to organizing! An organized home is an understood home.

17. Wake up earlier.

I am always amazed by people who get up at 5am. It’s not that I *can’t* do it… it’s more like once the alarm goes off all I want to do is turn it off and go back to sleep — no matter when I went to bed!

I’m thinking of challenging myself of waking up at 5am for a month. That seems like a long time but I definitely need the extra work hours as I prep for six months of maternity leave beginning in March of next year. Would you join me?

18. Get into a cleaning routine.

This year I moved from a 2 bed/2 bath apartment to a 4 bed/4 bath house. It’s been a big change space-wise and I’ve quickly realized that I need to get into a cleaning routine sooner rather than later.

It doesn’t need to be anything super specific, but it is helpful for me to at least pick up and tidy one room a day in my house. 

I feel better when I maintain this routine and when everyone in my house has a role in cleaning, that helps too!

19. Donate to a cause you care about on a regular basis.

I tend to donate on a case-by-case basis… there isn’t one thing I always donate to. But I would like for that to change! There are many things I’m passionate about — mental health and education being two of those things. I can find local and national organizations that align with my values and donate to them regularly. 

20. Have a set bed time.

My bed time these days is around 10pm and I’m generally up by 7am. Sleep is so important to me and having a great routine for bedtime helps me feel more balanced and well-rested overall.

Aim for 6-8 hours a night if you can! 

21. Get creative in a new way.

This year is the year I try my hand at more DIYs! I promise. My mom was a very crafty person… and that is a gene I did not inherit. But I am going to try! Whether it’s crafts with my toddler or something for my house, a DIY project is something I will tackle! 

And there we have it, 21 goals to set for 2021!

I hope these ideas inspire you to dream bigger. Even is the next year or two doesn’t look like what we hoped it would, that doesn’t mean we can’t still make progress in other areas of our lives. 

Let me know what goals to set for 2021 that you are thinking about! 

About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.