January marks a new beginning and has always a special meaning. But for many of us, January 2021 has even more significance than usual. We hope for a much better year than we just left behind. And even though we can’t count on more traveling endeavors, social gatherings, family reunions, or return to the pre-pandemic normal any time soon, yet, we can plan the next 12 months based on our experience last year. And that’s exactly what I intend to do.
I recently finished reading the Ultralearning book by Scott H. Young, which left me even more pumped up to make 2021 a year of change and growth. Right away I listed several projects to tackle in the next months. I guess I read the book at the right time since these go well with typical new year’s resolutions.
I’m not someone who plans her year in advance but on January 1st of this year, I decided otherwise. Like many others, I feel like 2020 was a painfully slow year and also incredibly insignificant to my personal growth. Like everyone else, I miss traveling, coffee dated with my friends, and even going to the office. And since it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to experience any of these any time soon, I decided to take full advantage of being home most of the time and plan some fun projects and activities to do.
In no specific order, these are the habits I would like to pick up, things I would like to try, and skills I would like to learn this year.
1. Sourdough Bread Making
I’m not a complete novice to growing a sourdough starter and baking a loaf of sourdough bread. I also realize that due to the pandemic almost everyone has a sourdough starter in their fridge by now and thus, it might seem I’m a bit late to join the party, but really, it’s never too late to start enjoying delicious bread.
My sourdough starter is already growing and I found several bloggers and websites sharing sourdough recipes. Plus, there are a few recipes I’ve done in the past, like this easy sourdough bread, these cinnamon rolls, or sourdough pizza, to which I can go back to.
My hope is to bake with sourdough regularly, find new recipes to try, and learn more patience because patience is one of the key ingredients to a good loaf of sourdough bread.
2. Read One Book a Week
I love to read and I have a line up of great books on my shelf and in several e-reading apps. I just need to make sure I devote more time to the actual reading. So instead of scrolling through Instagram or re-reading the latest covid-19 news, I plan to read this year.
The goal is pretty clear and simple and by the end of 2021, I plan to read 52 titles. I’ll do a recap of books I read and the ones I loved the most at the end of the year.
3. Finish One MasterClass a Month
Last April, I subscribed to the Master Class. The membership is not at all cheap but I loved the previews of several classes and was sure that for such money, considering how many courses and classes are available for free, I will take full advantage and finish many courses.
Well, it’s been 8 months and I finished 2 classes. Two! That’s not a very good return on investment. So I decided that until my membership end I’ll complete at least one class a month.
4. 30-days of Yoga with Adriene
I already did one of Adriene’s 30-day programs in December. I followed classes from 5 years ago and when I learned about Adriene’s new program, starting on January 2nd I joined in.
The idea is simple, there’s one Yoga video a day, for 30 days. It’s free and available on YouTube. Each video is about 30-40 minutes and Adriene’s offers many adaptations to suit all levels of Yogis. The theme of this year’s practice is Breath and on top of a nice yoga workout, and a bit of meditation and relaxation, Adriene’s focus is on teaching a few breathing techniques.
The program will end at the end of January, but at that time, I’ll already have two full months of yoga practice under my belt. Hopefully, the habit of daily yoga practice will be already well-rooted in me.
5. 30-days of No Sweets
This one will be the most difficult to stick to. I mean, who can give up chocolate and all the other delicious stuff made of it? 🙂
Seriously though, in 2020 I was reaching for chocolate bars, biscuits, cookies, cakes, and other junk food more often than not. Anxiously following corona crisis news, ever-changing prognosis, unclear new rules, combined with isolation, cancellation of our travel plans, and general insecurity, junk food was my answer. Chocolate was my anchor.
So with the start of the new year, my goal is to cut down on sweets. To make it a special treat again, not an everyday must. To savor it, not devour.
So for the first 30 days, I’ll try to restart my mine and break the habit of reaching for chocolate every time I want. And after the first 30 days? Hopefully, the habit will stick and I’ll treat the desserts as something special, occasional, and worth enjoying slowly and mindfully.
6. Write More
I want to find more time and opportunity to write. Be it here, or privately. To mark what my life is like, what I do, love, eat, see, make, and learn…
I bought a new diary for 2021, where I plan to note things, to keep track of my life. But I also want to write longer texts and improve my English through writing.
The writing was always something that intrigued me, fascinated me, but also scared me. This blog was one of the ways to face this fear and I would like to return to this space this year.
7. Eat More Healthily
For the past couple of years, my diet has changed and not for the better. I stopped eating many foods I liked and stopped cooking many dishes I loved. I started to focus on convenience and reached for more ready meals, takeout, and preprocessed options.
At the same time, I got sick of some old recipes I was making on repeat and didn’t know what to cook next. Some recipes I made several times in the past, got lost from my bookmarks and are impossible to find anymore. So one of the goals is to keep a personal collection of recipes and cook more.
I learned about the Brainless Crowd Pleasers from the Lazy Genious Podcast of Kendra Adachi and I love the idea. To have a curated list of meals everyone in the family eats and likes, which are so easy to make you can do them half-asleep. To fight the endless search for an answer to the ‘What’s for dinner’ question, I plan to start our family’s list of Brainless Crowd Pleasers this year.
8. No Shopping
If anything else, 2020 made it clear that we don’t need to hang out in shopping malls. It helped to fight mindless shopping. Well, at least in theory, because at the same time online shopping skyrocketed in our home, as well as in many others’.
So for this year, I decided to commit to a pretty strict rule, to buy no new clothes, shoes, and accessories, no new books until I’ll read all of the unread books already waiting on my shelf, no new cosmetics until I’ll use everything I already have.
If I’ll absolutely need something, I’ll buy it. But right now I cannot come up with one such thing.
Keeping Track of the Progress
8 doesn’t seem like a big number, but it actually is pretty challenging to change and incorporate all these things into my life.
To keep up with my progress, I have a nice new diary/journal, where I’ll note all the books I read, Master Classes I’ll finish, days of my 30-days challenges I completed, etc.
I used to be a big diary person, noting everything from school assignments, appointments, work projects, and places I visited but in the last few years, I switched to online programs. And while it makes sense to have a family calendar online, visible to all family members, it’s also nice to flip through the past years’ diaries and remember how fun a trip was, how challenging an exam period in university was, or what books I read and loved. I’m looking forward to filling my 2021 diary in the coming months and flip through it in the future.
How About You?
Are you a goal-setting person? Do you make plans at the start of the year? Do you have new year’s resolutions? Are you a word-of-the-year person? Join in the comments on Pink Vagabond Instagram, and let everyone benefit from your inspiration, experience, and wisdom.