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Looking at 2020, Goals for 2021

Meagan Waller
I’m a millennial who’s been building websites since 2004 and writing code professionally since 2013.
Originally published at meaganwaller.com ・6 min read

Going into 2020, I only had a few clear goals, and none of them were professional goals. As I said in my first blog post, I had been feeling burnt out and stagnant with tech, in general, the past few years.

My goals for 2020 were as follows:

  • Pay off all credit cards
  • Have three months salary in savings
  • Read seven books
  • Workout two to three times a week
  • Complete Couch to 5K
  • Lose 25lbs

I completed almost all of these goals.

💸 Financial Goals

Pay off all credit cards

2020 is the year I aggressively tackled my debt. I paid off all my credit cards, and I paid off my back taxes from the IRS that I had been paying monthly since 2014. Making these significant payments drained my savings slightly. Still, it made more sense to pay them off and stop paying interest versus letting the money sit in my savings account, accumulating a paltry amount of interest. Of course, there is a great deal of privilege in making that decision. I had job security throughout 2020, which wasn't the reality for many people.

Have three months salary in savings

At no point this year did I ever have three months' salary in my savings account. However, I made significant payments on credit cards and other debts. At the end of 2020, I put an offer on a house, and closing is in a couple of weeks! 🤞 Buying a home was what I wanted to accomplish with my savings; now, I will be rebuilding my savings in 2021. (More on that below.)

📚 Personal Goals

Read seven books

I made the modest goal of reading seven books this year. I had always been a big reader but had fallen off of regular reading in a big way. I am happy to report that I crushed that goal. I read 34 books this year. Most of them were fiction books, and most of them were new to me. I'm slowly working my way through my backlog of books because while I wasn't great at reading them, I was terrific at buying them.

🏃‍♀️ Fitness Goals

Note: There is talk of dieting/weight loss/body image issues below. Please proceed with caution or skip if you are sensitive to these topics 💛

Workout 2-3x a week

My fitness journey has been a long, storied one. It's way out of scope for this blog post, but I will say that I've always wanted to be an athlete. 2020 is the year the stars aligned, and something clicked for me, and I became one. In 2019 I started going to Crossfit. I enjoyed it but had an injury unrelated to Crossfit that put me out of commission for about 4-6 weeks, then the holidays came, and I just never went back. At the start of 2020, I found Orange Theory and fell in love with the classes. I was going diligently up until they closed towards the middle of March. Once gyms reopened in my state, I decided to go back after seeing the safety precautions my local OTF utilized. At one point, I was going five times a week, but I've reigned it in a bit and am currently going two times a week. I developed plantar fasciitis from running too frequently and heel striking. I've since recovered and have worked on my form a lot, and I am running again.

On days I don't do Orange Theory, I am following a powerlifting program four times a week with a bonus accessory workout on the fifth day and a 30-minute personal training session to work on form and do a more high-intensity weight lifting routine.

I would love to talk so much more about fitness, but I want to keep this relatively short.

Complete Couch to 5K

As I said above, I've always wanted to be an athlete. I specifically have always wanted to be a runner. I remember being in middle school and high school, promising myself that I would train over the summer and return to school and try out for track or cross country. I'd attempt training one day in the heat of a Florida summer and immediately give up when I wasn't great at it. I've downloaded and promised myself "tomorrow morning" I'd start couch-to-5k a thousand times over the past decade.

At the start of stay-at-home orders, I decided it was the perfect time to start couch-to-5k. I loved it. I've gone from around a 38 minute 5K after the program to a 32.5 minute 5K this year, a PR I hit on an "easy run" recently. I've also signed up for a 15k in March and have started training for that.

Lose 25lbs

Losing weight is the goal that was always at the top of my list every single year without fail. 2020 was the year I examined the why of why this goal loomed so large in my life. I'd been a chronic dieter since I was nine years old. Nine. Can you even imagine? Food, weight, and body have been an all-consuming thing for me for almost my entire life. I realized this year that no matter what amount I put on here to lose, I'd never be happy upon reaching it. I'd keep moving the goalposts. I needed to heal my mind-body connection and my relationship with food. I don't want to get too into this because it can be super triggering, and it's outside of the scope of this post. Weight, dieting, and body image are an ongoing struggle for me, being super real. I made huge strides towards mindful eating. I stopped drinking, stopped using nicotine, stopped numbing myself in other ways. I've started to divorce myself from the idea that weight loss falls into the "fitness" category. This will be an ongoing challenge for me. I have a lot of unlearning to do. However, I can happily say that 2021 will be the first year that a specific weight loss goal will be absent from my resolutions.

Things I did in 2020 that didn't make my initial goal list

I want to quickly list a few notable achievements that I didn't even think to ideate at the top of 2020.

  • Enter into the process of buying a house
  • Go back to school
  • Restart my blog
  • Start and follow a skincare routine (this is huge for me!)
  • Start waking up early and going to bed early

Goals for 2021

Now to set my intentions for 2021. I'm just going to list my goals, and then this time next year, I'll expand on them as I did in this blog post

Fitness Goals

  • Run 15k
  • Squat 200lbs
  • Deadlift 250lbs
  • Bench 100lbs
  • Get a strict pull-up
  • Run under a 9-minute mile

Financial Goals

  • 3 months salary in savings
  • Continue to live debt-free

Personal Goals

  • Continue with school: 2 classes in spring, 2 in summer, 2 in the fall semester.
  • Read three books a month, two fun fiction or non-fiction, one professional/personal development

Professional Goals

  • Create and maintain my career/hype doc
  • Blog at least 2x a week
  • Do #100DaysOfGatsby
  • Contribute to an Open Source project
  • Complete JavaScript, CSS, React, Vue, Professional, Expert, and Computer Science learning tracks on Frontend Masters.
  • Launch the side project I'm super excited about! (I've imagined this side project since 2016)

Shooting-for-the-stars goals

These goals would be amazing to accomplish, but I know they are long-shots or might be best deferred to 2022 or beyond.

  • Make Senior Developer
  • Be a guest on a podcast
  • Get a blog post published in a newsletter
  • Look into creating video content
  • Look into live stream coding
  • Work on branding for my blog

Wrap Up

That's it for my 2020 wrap up and looking into 2021. What are your goals or intentions for the upcoming year? Did you reach your goals in 2020?

Discussion (2)

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zenuka profile image
Sebastiaan Molleman

Very inspiring post, thanks! I'm going to borrow some of your goals :-)

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meaganewaller profile image
Meagan Waller Author

Thank you! Which ones are you going to try and tackle this year?