Tips for Goal Setting in 2021
Last year was hectic and while you probably didn’t achieve the goals you originally set, I’ll bet there are still things you did achieve! I planned to travel the world, clear my leftover debt from custody and be in the USA for a white Christmas right now. Obviously, that didn’t happen and we had one intense ride from bushfires to repatriation for my family.
However, I did get to travel in Australia a little, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. We got an incredible home right near the beach in Noosa when we were repatriated. My family and I were able to experience more fully living in the islands. I did clear some debt and I brought forward my pregnancy plans to now, resulting in a baby boy being born soon.
Here are my tips for goal setting and the goals I have for 2021.
Disclosure – this post may contain affiliate links to products and services I use.
How to Set Goals for 2021
While last year didn’t go to plan, it probably isn’t the first time you didn’t achieve your goals. Many of us start the year so excited with big plans then it wanes and we hardly achieve any of them. This year will be different we say, but unless you do things differently, it won’t be.
Review Your Previous Year
Have a look at the goals you set for last year. Which ones weren’t achieved and why? Which goals did you achieve and why? What helped you achieve them? Look at what went right and what went wrong, your motivation behind the goals. Write a clear list of your achievements too so you don’t get stuck on what you didn’t do this year.
Reviewing the year before gives you a better understanding of yourself and which goals you are likely to achieve or even want to achieve this year.
A few examples of mine:
Looking at those goals, I barely achieved any of them. I did read the books and complete the 2020 challenge but that’s pretty much it from this list. However, it wasn’t a total waste:
- Advanced Diving Certification – I was going to get this then the world stopped and I got pregnant so couldn’t dive. But, thanks to Dive Munda, I was able to do a speciality certification online which has helped my understanding of diving massively. And will make getting my advanced easier as I understand more.
- Conqueror Challenges – I set a goal for two, completed one and am so close to completing Route66 with it but the pregnancy reduced my capacity to do it.
- Read 20 books – my goal was 20 and I absolutely smashed it.
Decide What Matters
Often we set goals because others are doing the same thing or we feel pressure to do them. If a goal you set isn’t something you really want to achieve or believe you can, you won’t be motivated to do it.
Which areas of your life do you want to improve? How do you want to improve them? What does an ideal scenario for each area of your life look like and how can you achieve that?
For me, family, health, compassion and wealth tend to be my focus. I enjoy helping others where possible, my family always comes first and health is a priority due to having experienced ill health a few times.
If you are unsure, a good place to start is by working out your core vales. Tips on working out your core values here.
Write Down Your Goals
Include what you want to achieve, be specific about how and why. A goal that doesn’t have a solid plan or reason why is unlikely to be completed.
With my goals, I write them down in my journal, in permanent marker on my mirror, I change my passwords to match my goals and have a vision board/motivation wall as a visual reminder of what I am working on.
Most of you are Aussies and while we would love to travel internationally, right now that is not a realistic goal. However, you can plan and save for it, just be realistic about when you will be able to go.
The same goes for any goal. A common one is weight loss. Set a healthy, realistic goal for it or even better, set health goals which involve strength, stamina and size (as in measure yourself with a tape measure or dexascan instead. Scales and the BMI is not the best way to determine your health or size.
Have Time Frames and Accountability
Without a definite timeline of when you will achieve it and without checking in, you are unlikely to be motivated to do it. I tend to check in with my sisters but as my daughters are now 11 and 13, they are also involved in my goals usually.
I’m careful with ensuring my goals are positive and that I can trust those I am being accountable to.
My 2021 Goals
Below I have listed out my goals, how I am achieving them and specifics for the areas of life I am focused on. Also, I have tried to keep it more realistic given the current state of the world.
Being a finance site, I put these ones first but in life, my family always comes first. As such, there have been times I made less money, had a different focus or was unable to clear debt as fast as I wanted because family needed me.
Clear $9,150 Debt
This is debt still owing to my parents from my custody battle, you can find out about that here. I left an abusive marriage, court dragged on for years but eventually, I secured custody of my daughters. I was left over $20,000 in debt which isn’t bad considering the overall cost was hundreds of thousands of dollars. I would own a house outright if it wasn’t for legal costs.
But it was worth it and I would do whatever I had to all over again to protect my kids.
So this final $9,150 I want cleared asap.
Double Business Profit
Different to income, the profit is what the business actually keeps. The Thrifty Issue is one site I own but I have other business interests. While I did take time off last year, my site also got hacked and due to a change in circumstances, I lost 70% of my income in March, I am confident. In 2021, I will have some maternity leave but I believe this to be achievable.
And with an increase in profits, I will increase my personal income which in turn increases my savings/investments.
I managed to drop to a size 10 as desired in 2020 but I wasn’t super toned or strong and had health issues. Then fell pregnant so that goal went by the wayside. My pregnancy has been incredibly complicated with numerous health issues so once I give birth, I have a strong focus on my health.
Complete 2 Conqueror Challenges
Conqueror Challenges have definitely helped me be more focused when it comes to my health. These are virtual challenges where you do specific distances of well-known tracks. My current one is Route66 and as you progress you get postcards, facts, can look at street view, are part of an incredible community then you get a cool medal at the end.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing these challenges and have set myself a goal to complete 3 in 2021. You can check out The Conqueror Challenges here plus get 10% off.
My daughters and I will be doing some together this year. First, I will complete the last few kms for Route66. Then I am doing The Appalachian Trail as my personal goal and my daughters will select a trail for us.
Row My Fastest Time – 500m in 1.45
Last year I was the fastest rower at the gym for a brief period. I did 500m with a time of 1.49, making me faster than the males and females which felt great. Then we had to go back to Vanuatu, later I got pregnant and as much as I love rowing, it was not practical.
I will either buy myself a machine after I give birth or join a gym to complete this goal.
Pre-Pregnancy Weight with Increased Strength and Fitness
Before I fell pregnant I managed to get down to a size 10. Ideally, I would like to be an 8 to 10 again which I was in 2014 as well as being able to run 10km, row a few km, complete a 1 hour session of any exercise I choose etc.
Despite being my ideal size a couple of times in my life, I was not healthy. At a larger size, I could actually run further and do more. So this time, healthy weight loss and increased strength are the true focus, not just size.
One thing I have to factor in is PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) which can make it harder. In fact, I am lucky to have been able to have kids at all and lose weight at times.
My family is everything to me and I live by the motto “Family First, Always”. This means many of my decisions are dictated by what is best for the family. I am part of this family, my mental and physical health are important so I am not saying I sacrifice my own needs. Rather, I mean, the family as a whole needs to benefit from any decisions I make.
As such, I haven’t always worked as much as I could. Opportunities have been turned down as they would not be in our best interests or my daughters needed me more etc. Money is great but relationships are greater.
One on One Time
During the past year with travel, repatriation and a complicated pregnancy, I didn’t get to spend as much one on one time with my daughters. Previously, every week we would do something just us as well as a family activity each week.
This time together helped strengthen the relationship, gave them an opportunity to discuss anything they might want to and simply enjoy being with Mum. Both my daughters have commented on how much they like this.
Being used to a lot of travel, weekends away and fun experiences, last year was a struggle. On Christmas Day, I put envelopes on the tree. Inside each one was an activity, weekend away or something we had discussed wanting to do. Now, they are all on the calendar, budgeted in and planned for.
They include big things such as diving certifications and weekend to Fraser Island, Brisbane etc. As well as smaller things such as exploring the Fairy Pools near us or Eumundi.
Here is our wall, next to the kitchen, with all the activities, the calendar and a map for inspiration.
One of my favourite areas to set and achieve goals is in self improvement and education. Some of these goals I’ve been working on for a while but that hasn’t deterred me from continuing and trying.
Complete My Diploma
Sadly, this has been on my list for far too long. I almost had it done this year then my pregnancy took a turn forcing me to postpone. However, my baby is due soon and after he is born I will be able to lock in the practicals I need to complete my diploma.
Read 52 books
A book a week used to be how I lived but over time, I have let that habit slip. I know when I am reading regularly, I am more focused and my mindset is stronger. Starting the day with even 10 minutes of reading helps me significantly.
Daily Meditation, Yoga and Visualisation
My morning routine used to be so motivating. On days I completed it, I achieved so much more. Days I didn’t, I felt sluggish. Typically, it included reading, journaling, exercise, yoga, mediation, visualisation with a review of my goals, 2L of water and breakfast before my kids got up.
This will be harder with a newborn and can be shortened so each part only takes a few minutes. The point is getting it done!
Advanced Open Water Diving Certificate
My daughters will become open water divers and I will get my advanced certification this year. We planned to do it with Dive Munda but due to closed borders, it will have to be done here in Australia.
Previously, I did a lot of fundraising and public speaking around homelessness and domestic violence. In a few years, $30,000,000 was raised through events I spoke at and was involved in. I am passionate about doing what I can, where I can. Below is where I am focused for 2021.
20 Books for the Vanuatu Feminist Library
My son is half Ni-Vanuatu and half his family live in Vanuatu. It’s a beautiful country, however, they seriously lack some resources. Having only just graduated from Least Developing Country to Developing Country (huge effort, only 5 other countries have done it in decades), it is quite different.
The culture is extremely patriarchal but The Vanuatu Feminist Library is providing resources to help create gender equality without losing their cultural identity.
I was going to take books with me next time we go but since borders closed and we have no idea when we will get it, I am looking at options e.g. Posting direct from Amazon or Book Depository.
They are open to book suggestions and especially female authors providing great advice. Anything from health to finance and for all ages in English, French or Bislama. So leave a comment if you have any suggestions or if you want to donate a book/send a book here is their Facebook Page (it’s not active but messages will be responded to. The owner/manager is currently in Melbourne). The library works with Sista, another organisation I will be supporting there.
Alternatively, I’ll be posting directly to my partners family in Port Vila and they will take the books direct to the library there so people can use them immediately. Feel free to contact us if you would like to do similar or want suggested titles.
12 Kiva Loans
I’ve done Kiva loans for years and love them. The way it works is you can donate as little as $25, along with heaps of others to provide a loan to someone in a list of countries. Once they repay the loan you can relend the same $25. Or you can choose to do a regular donation so the money builds up.
Personally, I have rarely had someone not repay and the only ones who haven’t were when I had it set up to auto relend. Meaning, when enough funds had been repaid, Kiva selected people to lend to on my behalf. I changed that and now lend mainly to women in the Solomon Islands (my stepdaughter lives there and is half Solomon Islander) or Tonga (my daughters are part Tongan).
My goal is another 12 Kiva loans for 2021, on top of the money already in there. I’d also love to one day meet some of the people (this can be arranged) and give them the loan money they repay. As in, if they’ve borrowed and repaid $500, give them the full amount, no strings attached when I meet them.
Having spent a lot of time in the Solomon Islands, I know what a difference that would make. I’m also aware of the culturally appropriate way to do it and will continue to visit there so would love to see women develop their businesses further.