Goals for 2021: My Dreams for a New Year

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Who else is ready to leave 2020 in the dust forever?! Personally, I know I’m ready to MOVE ON – along with 99.9% of the world! 

Has anything changed overnight? No, of course not. But, considering that the United States has started vaccinations, I expect improvements in the coming months. 

Weirdly enough, I fondly remember the first two months of 2020.

For instance, I wanted to get over my fear of flying in 2020, but since I didn’t have a chance to board a plane (and had more, uh, worrisome things on my mind), I still need to work on my anxiety and hope to continue working toward this goal in 2021.

Anyway, time for my yearly goals post! I’m excited to hear about your goals for 2021, too! 

Disclaimer: I spent a lot of time ranting in this post! I tried to be positive here and there, but we can all agree that 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year and many people (including myself) have negative feelings about recent months. 

So buckle in!

goals for 2021 include keeping up the christmas tree

Let’s Talk About Goals for 2021

My goals for 2021 aren’t too original, but that’s okay. 

Honestly, I didn’t want to do any resolutions other than “survive,” and while I won’t beat myself up for my shortcomings this year, I still want to try and improve myself. If I fail, then that’s okay!

Happy reading! Feel free to reach out and share your 2021 goals, too!

A toast on my last solo trip to Charleston.

Regularly Write in My Travel Blog

In 2020, I stopped writing in my travel blog with the exception of a few posts.

Unsurprisingly, the Coronavirus Pandemic drastically affected this business. The plummeting traffic, along nagging guilt about writing about travel when so many people were suffering, was so demoralizing that I just … stopped updating the blog.

In July, I wrote a few posts about past trips, but then stopped completely when I received a comment accusing me of breaking quarantine. As someone who hadn’t left the state, let alone my town, from April – July, the nastiness hurt me (and pissed me off).

Not to mention, social media just felt so toxic to me, making it hard to promote material on my channels.

I’m trying not to be bitter. I know part of this online toxicity was because so many people were trapped at home and stressed out. Snapping at people on Twitter or Instagram was one way to release negative energy over a situation that no one was able to control. 

One of my goals for 2021 is to update this blog on a regular basis. I have hopes that we’ll be able to travel safely in the later parts of 2021. I want to share my passion for travel without feeling guilty about it. 

I’ve noticed lots of others feel good about promoting travel again too. 

Does this mean I’ll promote ignoring COVID restrictions? Of course not! But writing makes me happy. And happiness is a huge priority for this year. 

Stop Free Emotional Labor

I always feel responsible for other people’s emotions. 

I’m a teacher. To some degree, supporting my students wellbeing is part of my job description. That’s fine. I accept making them feel better! However, I need to take a break outside the classroom.

Therefore, another one of my goals for 2021 is that I want to focus on my feelings and not worry about others’ emotions all the time. Does this mean I’ll act like a jerk and not care if my friends or family cry? Of course not (I feel like I use this phrase a lot)!

But, at the same time, I want to do my best to be a good person, while simultaneously accepting that I’m not 100% responsible for fixing someone else’s emotional state. They need to do the work too.

Furthermore, when the pandemic resolves itself, I’m excited to apply this “no emotional labor” rule to dating too. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’ve dated a few people who were not right for me at all. 

I believe in 2021 that we will value emotional connections a lot more, as well as be more in-tune to our own feelings and realize that we can’t always solve other people’s problems. 

Here’s to me!

goals for 2021 hopefully include lowered cases
Doing my Masked Duty.

Maintain Boundaries in the Travel Space

As I’ve stated, I took a lot of space from the travel industry in 2020. Don’t get me wrong. I love other travel bloggers and have built an incredible community. I wouldn’t stop writing in this blog ever. Not even a literal pandemic stopped me.

Nonetheless, although I want to write more and promote new destinations, especially after my vaccine, I may continue taking a step back from the world of travel writing and influencing as a whole.

Why? I felt like a lot of extra responsibility was dumped on me as a travel blogger.

I felt like I had to be perfect. 

For example, this might sound controversial, but I don’t think it’s my job to tell fully grown adults not to travel in a pandemic. I don’t think I need to go back through hundreds of posts to add COVID disclaimers when the pandemic is likely to end by late summer (at least in the United States). That would take hours.

Everyone knows COVID is a thing. I don’t need to bang that news over people’s heads.

visiting the met museum of art to see this creepy dude
Me in 2020.

Instead I lead by example.

How? I wear a mask and avoid non-essential travel. I haven’t been on a plane since my trip to Charleston (February 2020). I’m open about staying home. On social media, I also promote recent vaccines, as well as the importance of getting your shot when it’s your turn, so we can travel safely this year.

Folks, as I’ve already said, I do enough emotional labor around my students that I don’t have the energy to handhold adults with disposable income. I feel like it’s the public health department’s job to inform people about COVID-related travel risks.

Plus, I’ve noticed women getting a lot more hate for “encouraging travel in a pandemic” than male travel writers, which is not cool. 

I really hope the tense atmosphere dies down soon. I understand the pandemic is stressful. But the unspoken expectations of perfection gave me insane anxiety. 

mmmm delicious pie
Pie is better than Twitter.

Dump Doomscrolling 

2020 was the Year of Doomscrolling.

Doomscrolling or excessively consuming bad news became a problem for me (and many others) this year. Staying informed is important and necessary. The world has serious problems that must be addressed.

But without a doubt, constant bleak headlines have impacted my wellbeing. (Like, seriously, is anyone at The Atlantic ever happy?)

I need a break.

Personally, I especially want to take a step away from Twitter. Every time I visit the platform, I’m immediately slammed with Tweets about how everything is terrible, and we’re all screwed for the foreseeable future.

Rather than destroying my mental health on Twitter, my goals for 2021 include finding ways to contribute to our world in a positive way. 

eating greek food in new jersey
Eating Allllll the Food is Self-Care!

Put Myself First (Be as Selfish as I Want!)

One of the reasons COVID-19 made me so angry was witnessing how selfish many people are. 

Wear masks? Hold off on non-essential travel? Avoid having huge private gatherings? Naaaaaah! 

As a side note, I spent much of the summer at the Jersey Shore where my family resides full time. And this summer was a nightmare.

New Jersey’s beaches drew thousands of clueless tourists, and many ran around wearing no masks without a care in the world. And in this area? We have one small hospital. 

The lack of consideration for locals, many who are older at-risk retirees, was unreal.

Therefore, if all goes well with distribution and NJ keeps the same plan, I should receive my vaccine in the coming weeks. Once the waiting period is done and my immune system is ready, then I am taking my life back. 

If it was “okay” for tourists to bombard the shore this summer at the height of the pandemic, then it’s more than okay for me to enjoy a bit more freedom once vaccinated and cleared by healthcare workers. 

Will I follow safety guidelines? Sure. Will I socially distance around the vulnerable? Yes. Will I accept travel restrictions. Definitely.

For instance, if the Metropolitan Museum of Art, still requires masks and timed tickets, then I will happily abide by their rules. 

But I am going out. Sitting at home all day is not in the cards – especially as a single person – once vaccinated.

I also will get my nails dome, I will do indoor dining (NJ currently allows it at 25%), and I will do weekend trips to New York again.

Life is short. I’m not sacrificing more time than absolutely necessary. In 2021, I come first. 

adorable foster kitten

Finish Projects that I Start

Time for a practical goal. I’m terrible at finishing projects. To be honest, I’m surprised this travel blog is still active!

I want to finish all the projects I want to do! 

Whether I want to write a short story or redecorate my apartment, I want to actually achieve these tasks without leaving a billion things unfinished. 

For example, I’ve already joined a few writing groups to hold me accountable! I like doing activities with other people to stay motivated, and even though it’s hard to meet in-person right now, the Zoom groups have been awesome.

Perhaps I’ll even complete a book in 2021! No promises, though, haha.

Eat Well, Sleep Well, Be Well

I think this goal for 2021 is pretty self-explanatory, huh? Trying to go to bed on time and avoid crazy crash diets are both important for my wellbeing and need to take priority in the coming year. 

I also want to focus on my mental wellbeing after a very difficult couple of months. 

Meaning …

nature in new jersey is lovely
Another one of my goals for 2021 is to go hiking.

Practice Mindfulness Throughout the Week

Mindfulness works.

One of biggest goals for 2021 is to take a pause and appreciate the present moment. Anxiety makes me fret about the past and future. Anxiety even affects my travels.

Years ago, I’ve downloaded the Calm app on my phone to practice taking these mindful moments. I want to use this app to help me in 2021.

We’re even implementing mindfulness at my school, which I think is great and will give me more opportunities to practice!

Why worry about the past when it’s finished? Why worry about the future when it hasn’t happened? 

Life is precious. We need to focus on the here and now.

i love my speakeasy mask
Stay safe and happy in 2021!

What are your goals for 2021? I hope you all have a wonderful New Year and take care of yourselves! Brighter days are ahead!