By the time you’ll be reading this post, we’ll be in October and heading towards some of my favourite events of the year. There’s something so magical about Autumn. I almost get as excited for Halloween and Bonfire Night as I do Christmas!
With the New Year less than 13 weeks away, it’s time to review my 2021 goals before I start compiling ideas for next year! I’ll be carrying out a final review before the end of the year, but I like to review my goals around September/October as it helps me to focus on any changes I would like to make as we head, not just towards the end of this year, but into next year too.
For those of you new to my blog, as well as for those of you who might need a re-cap, these are my goals for 2021:
- To breakeven
- To buy fresh flowers once a month
- To continue to improve my engagement on WordPress & Instagram
- To travel outside the UK
- To Improve my Spiritual Growth
At the end of 2020, I found myself unemployed for the first time in my adult life. On a whim, I decided to set up my own business. As of early January, I officially became a Freelance Content & Copywriter.
Freelance life has morphed over the last nine months, and I now seem to refer to myself as a Freelance Content Writer & Social Media Manager. In a day and age where every business needs to have a social media presence to survive, social media seems to be where my skills are required the most!
Although my business goal for the year was to break even, my overarching goal was to survive as a sole trader. With little redundancy pay and limited savings, it would be an uphill battle to survive.
There’ve been plenty of squeaky bum moments, but with the end of the year looming, I’m proud to say that my business has survived.
Life as a freelancer can be unpredictable when it comes to income. I’ve been lucky that most of my clients are regular and pay me monthly.
Whether I breakeven at this stage will depend on how much tax I need to pay at the end of this year/beginning of next, but I’ve managed to pay myself a consistent salary, and I haven’t incurred any debt as a result of my business. Nine months in, I would say that that’s an achievement in itself!
As I start to think ahead to next year, it’s time to put an end to the ‘survival’ mindset I’ve fallen into and get back into a ‘growth’ mindset.
2021 was all about survival. 2022 will be all about growth.
To buy fresh flowers once a month.
To some people, having this as a goal might seem strange. Yet, for me, it’s brought me so much joy.
I love fresh flowers. I no longer have a garden since moving just over a year ago, so I’m unable to nip outside and pick or admire my own. Whilst my boyfriend gives me the most beautiful flowers on special occasions, I missed not having flowers in my flat at other times of the year.
I also questioned why I felt I had to wait for my boyfriend to buy them for me and not just go out and buy them myself. Ok, so some of this comes back to finances. I felt that because I didn’t need flowers, they were an unnecessary expense. They were a luxury, not a necessity.
Yet, there has been something incredibly satisfying about going out and buying myself flowers every month over the last nine months. I could argue that whilst technically speaking I don’t need to buy flowers, the satisfaction and happiness that I get from buying them is probably a good enough reason to justify needing them.
To continue to improve my engagement on WordPress & Instagram.
I’m failing this one miserably. Not because I’m not growing either account, because I am. But more because a) I’m prioritising other things instead and b) I didn’t make this goal smart enough.
In my blog post, ‘Setting Goals in 2021‘, I spoke about the importance of setting SMART goals. I then failed to set SMART goals for myself.
Over the next couple of months, I plan to take a deep dive into this one and see if I can a) salvage it in any way and b) come up with a more meaningful replacement next year.
To travel outside the UK.
Ok, so this one was always going to be a long shot. In fact, at the beginning of the year, we didn’t even know what the chances would be of taking a vacation in the UK, let alone abroad.
Thankfully, the ability to travel abroad is getting easier. I’m just not sure I can be bothered with it all at the moment.
I have, however, managed to get away in the UK. In July, we found ourselves on a lovely spa break followed by 36 hours exploring Dorset. We also had a family get together in Somerset for five days of beautiful September sunshine.
With another potential UK break on the horizon in November, I can safely say that staying in the UK is just fine by me at the moment.
To Improve my Spiritual Growth
As I approached the end of 2020, I felt I had been in spiritual limbo. I had been through epic periods of growth and encountered plenty of challenges along the way. I felt sure that I would find some spiritual peace this year.
Newsflash! I still feel in limbo! Or maybe I’m stuck? Who knows. But one thing is for sure. I’m still on a path to self-discovery.
I’ve done various things throughout the year which I thought would help to improve my spiritual wellbeing. I spent a good proportion of the early part of the year meditating and practising yoga. I started to listen to a podcast about transforming and healing. I went for lunch at a Buddhist centre and brought a book called How to Understand The Mind which I’m yet to read. I’ve met new people who are more spiritually-minded. I even treated myself to a new crystal.
And I still feel stuck.
I know I’m on a journey to becoming the person I’m supposed to be, and I know that journey’s not always going to be easy, but it would be lovely to receive a sign so that I know I’m at least on the right path.
I also failed miserably at making this goal SMART. Time for another re-think.
With only three months of the year remaining, it’s time to reflect on whether I can salvage the goals that haven’t gone quite so well, to celebrate those where there have been wins, and to start thinking ahead to the goals I’d like to set as we move closer to 2022.
One things for sure, in a year that has still been topsy turvy, it’s important to recognise the progress that has been made. Whilst my goals may not be going entirely to plan, there have been other successes this year which certainly deserve to be celebrated.
If you’re not quite on track with your goals, don’t forget to go easy on yourself. The last couple of years have been some of the strangest times in our existence. Circumstances have changed, often at a rapid rate, and we’re not the same people we were before the pandemic.
Even if you haven’t achieved your goals so far this year, that’s ok. it’s still useful to sit down and reflect on how the year has been for you so far, even the not so good bits, as this could help you to shape your goals for next year.
Did you set any goals this year? I’d love to hear how you’re getting on with them?
Don’t forget the importance of celebrating your successes, no matter how small they may seem.