How to Make 2021 Your Best Year Ever
2020 was a fantastic year for me. All over the internet, I see people eager to have this year over, and I admit, with the pandemic, it’s been rough in many ways. But I had my best year yet, and I’ll tell you how. I plan to repeat the things I did so I can make 2021 my best year ever.
Create a Vision Board
On January first, I created a vision board. I thought about how I would like my life to look; friends, family, physically, and financially. I created images in Canva and printed them out, then glued them to a large poster board.
I hung the vision board above my desk in my office to keep me driven all year. As I checked off goals on my list, it kept me motivated to keep working on my goals. It felt good to know I was building the life I wanted. I started my own freelancing business, moved into a new house, and published a book — all things on my vision board.
Create Scheduled Goals
Goals don’t mean much if you don’t work them into your weekly schedule. I sat down and wrote out a list of my goals. Then I thought about what I needed to do to reach those goals, breaking them down into tasks. I wrote out my week, Sunday through Saturday, and scheduled my tasks into different days of the week. I kept my weekly schedule at my desk to look at every day so that I could work on my goals.
Make Time for Friends
One of the goals I set for myself that made a huge difference in having a great year was making time for friends. While the pandemic cut into how much face time I could get, I still made a point of texting friends every week to check in. I met with my gal pals on video chat once a week to catch up. I had my immediate family and a friend out to dinner for my birthday.
Making time to connect with friends enriched my life. It kept me from feeling lonely and disconnected. There were points in my year where I struggled, and I had people to support me because I had been maintaining connections. It only takes a minute or two to text a friend. Make a point of taking the time to connect with others; you’ll be glad you did.
I am no “go to the gym everyday” girl, but this year, I added some physical activity. I took my family on hikes once a month. Getting out in nature was refreshing and invigorating. I bought an exercise bike online for twenty dollars. This year I’ve moved into an apartment with a gym, and I’m excited to be able to put in some real workouts.
Regular exercise is scientifically proven to boost your mood, reduce your risk for heart disease, and help you sleep better. You don’t have to take on herculean feats to add a bit of exercise into your week. Consider adding a walk after dinner or a day on the treadmill to boost your health.
As I write this, Christmas is in two days, and I’m already saving for Christmas next year. Christmas is coming, and I know I’ll want to be able to buy my family nice gifts. I’m in college, and on a fixed income, so I have to save every month to swing Christmas.
No matter your income, consider putting away at least twenty to one hundred dollars a month toward savings. Not only will it help you be prepared for gifting, but if an emergency comes up, you’ll have a little cash to help cover costs.
Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses
In 2020 I bought as little as possible. I was tired of looking around my house and seeing all of the purchases I had made but not used. I decided to start using the things I had bought and holding off on new purchases. The money I saved by curbing spending allowed me to keep more, and I found that I began to appreciate what I had more.
Get Food Wise
I started making a meal plan every week. I wanted to eat healthier, which meant being prepared for dinner to cut back on last-minute trips for fast food. I sat down at the beginning of each week and looked at Pinterest boards, recipe sites, and my cookbooks to come up with meal ideas. With those meal ideas, I created my grocery shopping lists.
I also made a point to check the refrigerator for leftovers and veggies in the drawer so I could incorporate them into meal plan ideas. This kept food from going to waste, which saved me money. I made large meals and froze leftovers so that I would have something to cook on nights where I didn’t feel like being in the kitchen long, which helped cut down on my fast food habit.
Find Your Passion
Everyone has something they’re passionate about. It may be painting, crochet, golf, anything. For me, it’s writing. I made a point of getting up early and writing first thing in the morning every day. This led to me being more productive. I was able to build writing samples that helped me land jobs. I finished and published a book. I was generally happier because I was doing something I love every day. I highly recommend spending some time journaling about the things that bring you joy and finding ways to work them into your regular schedule.
This year I took online classes towards my bachelor’s degree. Spending regular time learning empowered me. I have gotten better at writing (my subject of study at college). I’ve gotten to read many interesting books, and receiving good grades and feedback on submitted work has been validating. You may not necessarily want to go back to college, but you can still add a book to your life. Learning is a life long process. It’s always a good time to pick up a new skill or hobby, or just improve your knowledge on one you already have.
I use the app Insight Timer to meditate every day, well, okay, almost every day. Adding meditation to my life has made me a more patient person. It helps me feel calm and centered. If my day gets chaotic, I’ll stop and take five minutes to meditate. I meditate after my office work in the morning to decompress, and it helps prepare me to be present for my family.
Insight Timer has hundreds of free guided meditations and many lovely soothing soundtracks to meditate to. I love to take a candlelit bubble bath and meditate to the secret garden soundtrack, which plays the sound of running water and wind chimes.
The key to having your best year ever is intention. You can’t sit idly by and expect a great year to just come your way. You have to make it a great year! Create goals, schedule them into your life. Make time for friends, family, hobbies, education, exercise, and meditation. I promise you if you do these things, you’ll have a fantastic year. So what are your big goals for 2021?