Setting Goals for 2021 & Looking Back at 2020

I don’t know about you but I love the fresh start of a new year. I love setting goals and usually tend to dream too big. I have tried to narrow down my goals in the past couple of years but still don’t always reach them. I’m not usually disappointed because I know I can just roll them over if I want.

I can’t believe we’re on the second week of January already. Our Christmas was wonderful, as we were able to see all of Andy’s siblings, plus my parents drove up from Texas after Christmas. It was SO good to be with family around Christmas. I grew up many miles away from most of my extended family so I thought I was used to not seeing family regularly – until the shutdowns started. This year reminded me how important it is to make the most of every time we are together.

A Look Back at My Goals for 2020

You can read all about my 2020 (and my 2019) goals here, but here is a recap with a summary of how I did.

1. Have a baby and adjust to life as a family of six – with 4 little ones ages 6 and under. Done!

The adjustment to a new baby was easier than I thought! Caleb is a laid back baby, and simply loves being with our family. It was wonderful to have Andy home for the first several months of Caleb’s life. It was an unexpected blessing of this unusual year!

2. Get caught up on our digital photo albums. Not Done!

I finished my 2019 Instagram book as well as my 2018 family album. I even managed to complete Caleb’s baby book. Unfortunately, I still have to finish his pregnancy album, as well as all of 2019 – and now 2020! I really want to get caught up this year so I’m moving this goal to the new year. Again.

3. Read daily – with the kids and for myself. Done!

My reading went through ups and downs this year. There were weeks where I actually didn’t read a single book for myself, and when I did read, I dove headfirst into lots of fiction to escape everything happening around me. I discovered Kristin Hannah this year and read several of her books. Winter Garden is still my favorite by her.

I ended the year with 63 books read, in addition to 33 chapter books read with the kids. Of course, that doesn’t count the thousands of picture books we read this year! We love to read in our house, and I truly believe it is one of the most important ways I can teach my kids.

4. Save cash to fully fund our new car savings account. Done – and not done!

We met our initial goal, until our research showed that a new (used) Explorer is going to cost more than we thought. So, this is another goal that is getting rolled over. Thankfully, the Tahoe continues to drive well. It didn’t drive nearly as many miles as usual this year so that is making the vehicle last as we save more.

5. Increase blogging income again – while still staying focused on ROI. Not done!

I didn’t increase my blogging income at all. For the third year in a row, I stayed consistent with where I was. While I am still incredibly thankful for the part time income I make through this blog, I am going to work hard at moving past this plateau this year – once and for all!

Looking Ahead at My Goals for 2021

1. Catch up on digital photo albums.

Yes, here we go! Once again, I am putting this goal in writing. I need to figure out a consistent way to make this happen. Thankfully, all my pictures are already in Shutterfly, but I need to sit down and make them happen. I have my Instagram 2020 book to create, as well as finish Caleb’s pregnancy album. The big projects are our family albums for 2019 and 2020. I have years 2014 to 2018 completed, so that is something…right?

2. Read 50 books personally and 25 chapter books with the kids. 

I haven’t put a number on my reading goal for a couple years but I am going to this year. I am not making myself a reading list, like I do some years. Instead, I am going to focus on reading for enjoyment and read whatever catches my eye. I am going to try to get back into my non-fiction habit but I am giving myself permission to move on from any book that doesn’t hold my attention. The kids and I are starting the entire Narnia series and they are very excited about it. I have actually never finished the series so it will be new for both of us. Do you have any recommendations for me this year?

3. Max out my Roth IRA.

One of the good things that happened in 2020 was that I maxed out my Roth IRA for the first time ever! I have been contributing little bits since I was 24, but it took me until I was 37 to max it out. I am thrilled that I was able to do it, in large thanks to this blog of mine, and am motivated to make it happen again in 2021.

4. Add $10,000 to the new car fund.

Yes, this is our biggest goal! This number should give us more than we need for a new – used! – vehicle but if so, then it just accumulates for the next vehicle purchase! Thanks to the IRS Covid money, we just put our first $2k towards to this goal so it is exciting to see good progress happening. We have a sum that we transfer into this account every month, plus we will add extra from my blogging income and my social media job for the Indiana District.

5. Increase my blogging income by 1.5x.

Finally, a big goal is to increase my blogging income. I rarely talk about the financial aspect of this blog, because I simply love writing and sharing and encouraging you! The extra income is a bonus. In the 10 years I have been blogging, it has become more than a hobby and is now a true part time job for me! My biggest dream is to turn it into a full time income for our family. Someday. For now, I am continuing with the slow and steady growth. I have remained consistent income wise the past 3 years. This year, I am going to work behind the scenes at taking my blog to the next level, while still providing the content you know and love. I am in a blogging mastermind with 3 other bloggers and am excited about the accountability and motivation it is giving me.

So, here’s to 2021 and whatever it may bring! I pray that we will handle the ups and downs (that are inevitable in any year) with grace and perseverance.

Have you set goals for 2021? I would love to hear yours! 

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