Life Lessons

Goals for 2021

As we get further into the new year, I wanted to make some goals for myself–as most people do. However, this year I wanted to set goals that will be more attainable. I want to look back at this post in December and be proud of myself for actually following through. Three goals to cover three areas of my life: one for physical health, one for mental health, and one for my writing.

Physical Health

This time last year, I was in the best shape of my life. I was running several times a week, competing in 5ks with friends, and felt strong. Just before quarantine and everything shut down, I ran my very first 10k. Because of where we live, Jeremy and I rarely walk through the front door without a mask on. There are just too many people around us, so running without a mask doesn’t seem wise. And running with a mask doesn’t sound fun.

I don’t feel compelled to push myself to run another 10k, but I want to start doing some exercise again. I think that exercise clears my head and helps with my mental health and physical health. The issue isn’t exercising itself; the problem is motivation actually to start. I’m hoping that writing this goal down will even push me to start.

The goal: I want to use exercise to build strength, and I want to run a 5k if it is safe to do so by the end of this year.

Mental Health

Last year I grew a lot as a person. I started the year in a horrible job with horrible support from horrible people. I had a physically aggressive student beating the crap out of my staff and myself, all while believing it was my fault because my administration was trying to convince me it was. Even though I was in great physical shape, my mental state was not good at all.

I eventually got the student moved to a placement with educators more equipped to handle the physical aggression. Then, everything shut down. The end of the year was ROUGH. Between the last day of school through September, I had my job title change 4 times. It took a lot out of me–which is probably why I found so much joy in writing. It’s very therapeutic.

By the end of the year, I feel like I’ve finally found my voice. I am no longer someone’s doormat. I am teaching in a district where the administration is so supportive. I now have a union to back me up if anything were to happen. I have colleagues who no longer look at me with pity every time I see them. When I feel like I’m overwhelmed, I read, or I write.

In 2021, I want to continue that. I want to continue standing up for myself when I need to without feeling guilty. For anyone who feels trapped like I did, finding an outlet was the best thing to happen to me. Also, therapy works wonders.

The goal: I want to remember that my job does not define my worth and that I am human. I want to remember to stand up for myself when I need to and remember that if I don’t stand up for myself, who will?

Writing Goal

Even with how crappy 2020 was–and it was REALLY crappy–something huge happened for me. I suddenly had more time at home with very few distractions. I had time to write. I’ve always loved reading, and I used to write many stories when I was younger but stopped because I didn’t have much time for it. With all of the extra time, I was able to take a couple of online courses.

In 2020, I finished my first novel and even had the chance to start this website. Although it’s not what I do as a career, I feel so much more relaxed while writing than I do any other time. I’m not planning to publish my first book because it was a learning experience for me. I am currently working on my second book, and depending on how much time I get to write this year, I would love to look into publishing.

The goal: I want to have a post written for every Tuesday for this site, and I want to take time to finish my second book.

Getting Started

For me to reach my goals, I need a plan. Since I will be working from home through the school year, no matter what, I really need to have a work-life balance. There’s no physical barrier between home and work; therefore, I have to set boundaries myself. For being a huge workaholic when I started teaching, I feel like I’ve done a decent job so far this year. I think I can do better, though.

My “work station” is set up in the corner of my bedroom–which I hate. I should not be taking work into the room where I sleep, but I live in a small apartment with no other place to work. This year, I set time boundaries so that I don’t work past a certain time. I was working 8-4 without taking a lunch. Now, I want to work the hours I’m getting paid for and cutting myself off at 3:00. I’ve been working until I’m tired, but I want to reserve some energy to write.

If I’m making sure I have a post every week this year, I need to either write a post each weekend or work throughout the week. If I cut myself off from work, I’ll (hopefully) have more brainpower left to write.

I can attain the exercise goal by either picking specific days to exercise or exercising when I’m feeling restless. When I start exercising, I don’t think I’ll have a problem continuing.

The mental health goal will be reached if I continue to set boundaries with work and relationships, and I feel like this one will be the easiest to do now that I’ve found my voice.

What are your goals for this year? Did you make sure that they are attainable? Setting goals every year and not reaching them means that maybe the goals aren’t realistic. Here’s to 2021. Honestly, nothing major has to happen to make it better than in 2020. Happy learning!