I love writing new Year’s resolutions because it involves my two favorite things, making lists and unrealistic expectations. – Elizabeth Hackett

The start of a new year is my absolute favorite time. I love the camaraderie of people everywhere dreaming of new things to accomplish and creating a plan to make them happen. Instead of trying to have all of my goals and intentions for the new year planned out and decided on by January 1st, I took my time this year knowing that after the hell-ish year that was 2020 I would need to decompress first. I started by making a big list of items I would like to focus on throughout the year and hope to have accomplished by the end of 2021, and then I started brainstorming all of the smaller steps it would take for me to work towards completing them. One thing I learned about myself in 2020 was that if I want to complete a project, it really helps my brain and motivation levels to break it down and make a laid out plan with small goals that will eventually lead you to the big goal (not rocket science, I know).

The goals:

My planner from Pen + Pillar has a lovely “Goals for this Year” page at the front, broken up into the categories Personal, Financial, Relationships, Work, Fun, and Other. This template helped me to compile and categorize my long list of want-to-dos into smaller, manageable lists. Here are some of the items for each one!

Personal – Write to share (actually publish my writing for others to read), declutter my things, move my body, be in the Word daily, be consistent in prayer, practice a weekly Sabbath day of rest

Financial – quarterly spending freeze, start investing, pay for all of my adult bills (phone and car insurance)

Relationships – connect with at least 1 friend a week, pare down my social media following numbers, apologize and ask for forgiveness where it’s due

Work – learn a new technology for marketing, online courses for photo organizing and travel videography

Fun – monthly challenges (inspired by Suzanne Hines), put together annual photo albums, read 24 books (2/month), practice calligraphy and handlettering, learn how to video edit on Final Cut Pro, post to my hobbies Instagram (because accountability)

The game plan:

I joked to myself that this is how I know I’ve fully graduated from school brain to adult-life, corporate America brain: I think of my calendar year in the fiscal quarters instead of semesters. I’ll probably be adding to and editing this list throughout the year, as I’ve broken it down by quarters in the calendar to make the lists less daunting.

Daily – follow 5-day Bible reading plan, prayer (write them down), read for fun, move my body

Weekly – set up a friend date (FaceTime, dinner, phone call, walk together), work on a creative project

Monthly – pick a challenge for the month, read 2 books, clean out and declutter one area of the house, photo dump from my phone to my hard drive, one review blog post, personal reflection (Highlights, Hard Things, Learning)

Quarterly – pick one creative project to focus on (photo albums, video editing, calligraphy and handlettering), choose photos for annual photo album

  • Q1 – Focus: implement new rhythms for the number-related goals of the year and photos. Put together 2019 and 2020 photo albums, declutter my bedroom and college things, read 6 books, publish 3 monthly review blog posts, social media audit, online photo organizing courses (Backup Bootcamp and Organizing Old Photos), choose Q1 photos to go in the annual photo album

My favorite resources:

Planner – I LOVE this planner from Pen + Pillar. It has the annual goal sheet mentioned above, and breaks down the weeks and days with manageable to-do lists and ample notetaking space to use however you please (I use mine to document goals and favorite quotes from the week)

The Next Right Thing Guided Journal by Emily P. Freeman – The BEST journal for reflection using the beauty of list-making in a weekly, monthly, and seasonal structure

As of January 26, 2021 these are my goals. I believe I’ve broken them down for what will (hopefully) work for me, and I’m so excited to work towards accomplishing them. I’m publicly publishing these as a form of accountability, but also for my own documentation! By the end of the year I hope to look back on this list and be able to say that I stewarded my time well so I could do what beginning-of-the-year-Hannah hoped to. Bring it on, 2021!

Do you have any goals for the year? Please share so we can cheer each other on!

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