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Setting My Goals for 2021

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.


Setting Goals Every Year Helps Keep Me Motivated, Sharing Them Keeps me Accountable

My friend Christine and I have set goals together every year. I don't remember when this started, but we email each other our goals in January and then once a year get together in the summer and discuss how far we have come on our list of goals. Then at the end of the year, we have a phone conversation about how well we did at accomplishing our goals.

Our goals have been broken down into two parts: professional goals and personal goals. The professional goals usually had something to do with our jobs or were sometimes related to our entrepreneurial endeavors which we each have had. Our personal goals usually had something to do with losing weight or exercising more, creating more time with our husbands/families, keeping a journal, etc.

Each year when I go back and look at my goals, I always seem to be disappointed that I haven't met most of them. Although there is accountability when you write down your goals and share them with someone else, it's not as big a deal as sharing them with the whole world.

Christine is my close friend, and if I don't reach certain goals, she is likely to go easy on me and just remind me that I can write that goal the following year and accomplish it then. She is a sweetheart and I love her for her encouraging ways. So, needing to find a way to get more accountability, I decided to share my goals for 2021 with the whole world, and see if that doesn't light a fire under me so I can actually reach all, or at least MOST of my goals for 2021.

I am a bit late in starting so since the date I am writing this is 1/15/2021, I am going to give myself exactly one year from today to accomplish these goals.

Below you will find my list of goals for 2021. I will be updating these goals around the 15th of each month so you can follow along and see my progress.

My goal setting friend Christine (left) and me!

My goal setting friend Christine (left) and me!

Goal #1: To Lose 11 Pounds and Stay There! FAILED!

Having been declared cancer-free one year ago this month after a breast cancer diagnosis in 2019, it is very important to me to stay as healthy as possible. My cancer surgeon told me she recommends to all of her patients that they should have a BMI of under 25.

When I was first diagnosed, my BMI was 29.6. If you aren't familiar with Body Mass Index, the scale us as follows:

Under 18.5: Underweight

18.5 - 24.9: Normal weight

25 - 29.9: Overweight

30 +: Obesity

So, at 29.6 I was heading toward obesity by this scale. The year following my breast cancer diagnosis, I lost 26 pounds. That put me at a BMI of close to normal weight for my height. But then the holidays happened and I gained a few pounds. My goal is to hit 143 and stay between 143 and 145. My husband and I enjoy eating good food together and have regular date nights where we go out o eat. So getting down too far would detract from my quality of life. So a BMI of 143 - 145 would get me in the 24.5 BMI range and I am happy with that.

Today is January 15th, 2021 and my BMI is 26.1 Too heavy. Each month I will update my weight/BMI for you and when I reach my goal, I still need to stay there so it should be an interesting year.


January 15th, 2021: 154.8

Scroll to Continue

February 15th, 2021: 153.4

March 15th, 2021: Skipped (see update below)

April 15th, 2021: 154.8

May 15th, 2021: 153.6

June 15th, 2021: 153.8

July 15th, 2021: 150.4

August 15th, 2021: 152

September 15th, 2021: 152.6

October 15th, 2021: 153.4

November 15th, 2021: 155.4

December 15th, 2021: 156.4

January 15th, 2022: 153.8

Below is a link to determine your own Body Mass Index if you haven't done it before.

Update: Another goal failed. As you can see, I certainly know how to maintain my weight, but am really having trouble losing those last 11 pounds.

My weight dropped in July when cleaning out my parents' house and having a big yard sale. We did a lot of work in the heat and that helped me lose weight.

In August my husband and I traveled to a work conference for him, and then a graduation event in California. That travel involved a lot of eating at restaurants, so the weight started to climb again.

In October my weight started going back up because my son broke his ankle and I stayed with him for 10 days to take care of him after his surgery. I was emotional because I hated to see him in pain, and well, we ate more takeout than we should have.

In November we went on our first cruise in 2.5 years. It was a 10-day cruise to the Caribbean and if you have ever cruised, you know once again why my weight kept climbing.

December was the Christmas holidays. Enough said!

On January 3rd I started a low carb low sugar diet and that helped me get back down to a more reasonable weight. I still want to hit 145, and it's a new year so that weight loss goal will go on my new list for 2022.

Me and my son when I was at my heaviest in 2014.

Me and my son when I was at my heaviest in 2014.

Me, this summer, with 11 more pounds to lose.

Me, this summer, with 11 more pounds to lose.

Body Mass Index Calculator

Goal #2: To Exercise Between 600 - 800 Minutes a Month: Failed!

According to the Mayo Clinic website, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. I do fairly well at this between taking brisk walks with my dog and swimming in a local indoor pool. On rainy days I have some CDs U dance to inside my house.

But my goal is to increase this by aiming for 150 - 200 minutes a week which will average out to 150 - 200 minutes per month. I will keep track of these minutes each week and total them up each month.

Below is a link to the Mayo clinic article I referenced for this goal.

February 15th, 2021: N/A

March 15th, 2021: N/A

April 15th, 2021: N/A

May 15th, 2021: N/A

June 15th, 2021: N/A

July 15th, 2021: N/A

August 15th, 2021: N/A

September 15th, 2021: N/A

October 15th, 2021: N/A

November 15th, 2021: N/A

December 15th, 2021: N/A

January 15th, 2022: N/A

My Mom fell at the end of February. She was living in North Carolina with my brother and his wife, and ended up in the hospital. I had to drive the 8 hours there, and then stood vogil at the hospital with her, and then in Hospice. She died in March. The whole experience and the aftermath of her death left me emotionally drained and I just couldn't get back to this goal. I did my best but my heart wasn't in it for a long time and I forgot to write things down, so tis goal went by the wayside.

Mayo Clinic on Aerobic Exercise

Goal #3: To Walk an Average of 7,000 - 8,000 steps a day: FAILED!

Every day I wear a pedometer attached to my pants. I have been doing this for years and in fact, wrote an article about my Omron pedometer. I love wearing this pedometer because it is an easy way to challenge myself to walk more steps each day. It tells me the following 4 thongs:

How many steps I walked

How many aerobic steps I took

How many miles I walked

How many k calories I burned.

Although many people love their Fitbits, a Fitbit seems too complicated to me. I just like to wear my pedometer and challenge myself to walk a lot every day.

So each day this year, I want to challenge myself to walk between 7,000 - 8,000 steps a day. There are some days I am not feeling well, or am too busy to get a lot of walking in, so my goal is to hit between 210,000 and 240,000 per month.

February 15th, 2021: N/A

March 15th, 2021: N/A

April 15th, 2021: N/A

May 15th, 2021: N/A

June 15th, 2021: N/A

July 15th, 2021: N/A

August 15th, 2021: N/A

September 15th, 2021: N/A

October 15th, 2021: N/A

November 15th, 2021: N/A

December 15th, 2021: N/A

January 15th, 2022: N/A

This goal did not work out either. Life got in the way and I wasn't able to walk as many steps as I wanted to, nor keep track of things when my mom fell and then was in Hospice. Once she died, and I was home, I just couldn't get into my old routine anymore.

Goal #4: To Save $1,000: Goal Partially Reached!

I have a goal each year to save $1,000 for a special emergency account and I don't allow myself to touch that money unless it's for something very special. So for the next year, I will need to save $83.33 a month in order to reach my goal. Last year I surpassed my goal by $189 and that felt great.

I am hoping to do better this year also, but time will tell!

January 15th: $200

February 15th, 2021: $90 (Total Saved: $290)

March 15th, 2021: $50 (Total Saved: $340)

April 15th, 2021: $180.00 (Total saved: $520)

May 15th, 2021: $50 (Total Saved: $570)

June 15th, 2021: 0 (Total Saved: $570)

July 15th, 2021: $75 (Total Saved: $645)

August 15th, 2021: $50 (Total Saved: $695)

September 15th, 2021: $50 (Total Saved: $745)

October 15th, 2021: $50 (Total Saved: $795)

November 15th, 2021: $50 (Total Saved: $845)

December 15th, 2021: 0

January 15th, 2022: 0

Total Saved: $845

Well, close, but I didn't quite make my goal. I am sure I wouldn't have even done this well if I hadn't been saving and had that as a goal.

Goal #5: To Double My Writing Income: Goal Failed!

I write for fun on a few different websites and have a blog. My goal is to double my writing income in the next year. Since I have been doing it just basically for fun, it hasn't amounted to all that much, but I plan to at least double it.

Below I will keep track of how much I earn from my writing each month. Some of the websites make you reach a certain threshold before they give a payout, so some months may amount to zero writing income.

Total writing income from 2020: $328.11

The goal for 2021: $656.22

February 15th, 2021: 0

March 15th, 2021: $88.48

April 15th, 2021: $50.01 (Total Earned: $138.49)

May 15th, 2021: See total below

June 15th, 2021: See total below

July 15th, 2021: See total below

August 15th, 2021: See total below

September 15th, 2021: See total below

October 15th, 2021: See total below

November 15th, 2021: See total below

December 15th, 2021: See total below

January 15th, 2022: $436.08

While I earned approximately $108 more writing in 2021 than I did the year before, I didn't double it and that is disappointing.

Goal #6: To Resign as an Avon Representative: Goal Completed!

I have been an Avon Representative off and on since 2003. At one point I was doing really well and had 52 Avon reps under me, and had made President's Club numerous times.

But some things have changed with the Avon company lately, and I have been more on an all-natural kick since having had breast cancer. And therefore, Avon just doesn't seem like the best fit for me anymore.

I love Avon and this was a hard decision to make. So I am writing it down as a goal to encourage myself to resign as a rep. I have a wonderful upline reader who I will buy from in the future if I need Avon products.

I was holding onto Avon so I could do fundraisers and help non-profit agencies but found another company through which I can do that.

So that leads me to Lemongrass Spa...

I resigned as an Avon Rep in March, 2021!

Goal #7: To Open an Online Store as a Lemongrass Spa Representative: Goal Completed!

After my breast cancer diagnosis, I was looking for a company that sells all-natural health and beauty care products. Someone recommended Lemongrass Spa to me, so I checked out their products and liked what I saw.

I signed on as a representative with Lemongrass Spa products but planned only on getting my own personal products at a discount. But for only $10 a month I can have my own Lemongrass Spa website, so my plan is to leave Avon, and continue to purchase my own products from Lemongrass Spa at a discount, but also have my own website in case my friends also want to purchase from me.

I can also do fundraisers through Lemongrass Spa, so that solves that problem.

Lemongrass Spa Store Opened:

Date Goal Completed: March 21st, 2021

Goal #8: To Revamp my Blog and Post Weekly: Failed!

I started a blog a few years ago under my own name. I am all about saving money, and am pretty good at it. I wanted to help others save money also, so I decided to blog about it. I also offered monthly drawings for my subscribers. But after a while, that got to be expensive.

Also, I discovered this amazing magazine called, "Artful Blogging" which had stories and beautiful photos taken by other bloggers that just took me to another world of art and beauty. I wanted to do that with my own website. But how can I take beautiful arty photos of 12 cans of Ragu spaghetti sauce I got a deal on? Or 5 deodorants I got for free? Or a fistful of coupons I was going to use at the grocery store? None of that seemed very pretty. Nor would it take my readers to a beautiful world. Then some things happened in my personal life that kept me away from the blog for a while.

So I have been thinking about going in a new direction with my blog. I just have to get the motivation to do a first post about how due to the pandemic, and those things in my personal life, I am going to take the blog in a new direction. I am not really sure how to start that post, so writing it down here as a goal will surely help me to get started.

I want my blog to be about simple and grateful living. Things we may take for granted that are really blessings in our lives but we need to look for them. I think especially during this pandemic, a blog like that is much needed.

And then I want to post on the blog weekly. So that is four posts a month.

I will keep track below of how many posts I do every four weeks:

February 15th, 2021: 0

March 15th, 2021: 0

April 15th, 2021: 0

May 15th, 2021: 0

June 15th, 2021: 0

July 15th, 2021: 0

August 15th, 2021: 0

September 15th, 2021: 0

October 15th, 2021: 0

November 15th, 2021: 0

December 15th, 2021: 0

January 15th, 2022: 0

I had good intentions on this but having the guts to totally change my blog around just never happened last year. I hope to do it this year, in 2022.

Goal #9: To sell $3,000 Worth of Items on eBay: Goal Completed and Surpassed!

I have been selling on eBay part-time since 2012. Originally I started it to help pay my daughter's college tuition. But now I just do it for fun and to have some extra spending money, and to save some money in my emergency fund.

I love going to thrift stores and finding treasures to sell. That's almost as fun as making money on eBay when items sell. Due to the pandemic, I am not going into thrift stores nearly as often as I used to, so I am only giving myself a small increase in sales as my goal.

In 2020 I sold $2733.86 on eBay.

So, my goal is to sell $3,000 worth of items in 2021.

January 2021: $78

February 2021: $54

March 2021: $139

April 2021: $160

May 2021: $226

June 2021: $160

July 2021: $292

August 2021: $436

September 2021: $180

October 2021: $668

November 2021: $275

December 2021: $470

Total eBay Sales in 2021: $3138

Goal #10: To Create a Craft to Sell on Etsy and Research Opening an Etsy Store: Goal Completed!

I really don't know why but for the past few months I have been itching to develop a craft that I can make at home and sell on Etsy. I love how creative people are on that website, and maybe because the pandemic has caused us to stay at home more, it has made me want to get crafty.

It's been a dream in the back of my mind now for years to sell on Etsy, but if I don't write it down, I fear it will never happen. So I am writing it down. But since in the end, I may feel it is too complicated, at this point, I just am committing to creating a craft(s) to sell on Etsy, and to research what selling on Etsy entails.

If it seems like it would be too much of a commitment to me, I can always decide to sell the crafts I develop at craft fairs, Farmer's Markets, etc., if they ever open up again. But for now, I am just going to create a craft and do the research.

February 15th, 2021: N/A (See update at the bottom)

March 15th, 2021: N/A

April 15th, 2021: N/A

May 15th, 2021: N/A

June 15th, 2021: N/A

July 15th, 2021: N/A

August 15th, 2021: N/A

September 15th, 2021: N/A

October 15th, 2021: N/A

November 15th, 2021: N/A

December 15th, 2021: N/A

January 15th, 2022: N/A

UPDATE: I created a craft, but after doing the research about Etsy, I have decided I would be spreading myself too thin, so am putting Etsy and more crafts on hold for now.

Goal #11: To Clean and Organize my Office: Goal Failed!

I am pretty sure this goal has been on my goals list for many years, and it's been a while;e since I have felt good about my office being organized. I have lots of piles of things that I need to find a place for.

So, this is the year, especially since I feel like not having a clean and organized office is getting in the way of my progress on some of my other goals (like creating a craft, selling more on eBay, etc.)

I WILL clean and organize my office....maybe next year!

Goal #12: To Have 300 Articles Posted on HubPages: Goal Failed!

At this moment, as I write this and before I actually post this, HubPages has me listed as having 248 articles published. My goal is to be at 300 by 1/15/2022. That means I have to write 52 new articles to reach my goal.

I am actually in the middle of a challenge where I am supposed to write 10 articles in the month of January 2021 alone. I have two written already, and this will be one of eight I have left to do. So that leaves only 44 more articles to write in 11 months. I can do that, especially if I have another "10 articles in one month" challenge!

I will track the articles I write here:

February 15th, 2021: 251

(I deleted 3 articles that were no longer valid so this makes it look like I only wrote 3 in January, but I wrote 6)

March 15th, 2021: 251

April 15th, 2021: 251

May 15th, 2021: 251

June 15th, 2021: 251

July 15th, 2021: 251

August 15th, 2021: 251

September 15th, 2021: 251

October 15th, 2021: 251

November 15th, 2021: 251

December 15th, 2021: 251

January 15th, 2022: 252

Update: After writing 6 out of the 10 articles in January, I have decided to give myself the 10 HubPages Articles in 30 Days Challenge during every month that there are 31 days. That way I get a break in between and can rest up and gear up for the next month with 31 days. And some months I may just write an article or two with no pressure.

Update: Ugh. I only wrote 7 new articles in 2021

Typing away on an article for HubPages!

Typing away on an article for HubPages!

Goal #13 To Grow Vegetables in My Yard: Goal Failed

My husband and I moved to North Georgia six years ago, and since we moved, I have been wanting to grow vegetables in our backyard. Our backyard slopes down though so it could be a challenge. Also, the soil here is like red clay, so that's another challenge.

I have looked at a container garden, but just never bit the bullet and did it. One year I did buy three tomato plants with three tomato cages. I watered them and watched them grow bigger and even get the start of tomatoes on them. We got 1 beautiful red tomato, and then we left to go to New England to visit family one day in August of that year.

When we came back, I went into the backyard to check on my tomato plants and if you can believe it, there were NO leaves or tomatoes left on any of my plants. They were stripped bare. I was heartbroken and couldn't believe it. Can you guess what had happened to them?

Hornworms happened to them! They are these big fat ugly worms that attack tomato plants. I was so disappointed that I have never tried to grow anything here again. But I have thought about it and yearned to do it and I am ready now.

I am writing it down and sharing my goal with the world so now I will have to stop just thing about it and actually grow some vegetables in our backyard this year. I will be doing some research on container gardening and will let you know what vegetables I will be growing, and keep you updated on their growth.

Update: While I like the idea of it, it got too confusing to me to find the right planters that wouldn't leach chemicals into my plants so I just didn't do it.

Keeping Track of My Progress

You may be wondering how I will keep track of my progress. I have found a really wonderful wire-bound FranklinCovey planner that is super helpful to me in tracking my goals. It has a monthly calendar with space to write each day's appts. or goals, and also a space on the side for notes. reminders, etc. I would be lost without this. I love to scratch off my daily goals once I have accomplished them.

So I will be using this planner to keep track of my progress on my goals.

Will You Join Me in Writing Down Your Goals for 2021?

Okay, I have laid my soul bare and laid out my personal goals for all the world to see. How many of you will join me? You don't have to share them with anyone if you don't want to. But for accountability purposes, it does help you to keep working on reaching your goals if at least one other person knows about it and will ask you about how you are doing to help keep you motivated.

Wish me luck and I will keep this updated throughout the year.

Goals for 2021 Poll

Update: April 29, 2021

Ugh, well my plan to reach my goals has hit a bump in the road. I was doing very well for the first six weeks, and then my mom fell at the end of February and was in the hospital out of state. I went there to be with her, and then she was admitted to Hospice and died there on March 6th, 2021.

So needless to say, I got off track on keeping track of things like how many steps I walked (the pedometer kept track but I didn't write the numbers down and it only tracks for one week, then starts all over again). I didn't eat right, so started gaining weight.

When I returned home, it has taken a while for me to get back to my routine. Emotionally I am just not there yet. So I will update what I can, and now you know the reason that I can't update everything. I plan on restarting the tracking of my goals on May 15th so stay tuned for that.

Update January 15th, 2022

Ugh, this was so embarrassing. Out of the 13 goals I set for myself in 2021 I only actually completed 4 1/2. The most embarrassing part was having to share that I failed most of my goals with the whole wide world. Oops.

What went wrong? Two things that I can figure out:

1) My mom died and the aftermath of that emotionally and physically really interfered with reaching my goals. I lost my Mojo emotionally, but plus I had to take some trips out of state that I hadn't planned on, and that interfered with my weight loss and exercise habits for sure.

2) I failed to keep checking in on my goals. A goal is not good unless the person making the goal keeps checking in to see how they're doing on reaching it.

Case in point is my goal to reach $1,000 saved. I am sure I could have done that easily, but I failed to check in each month and see how I was doing. As you can see there were some months I didn't save anything at all. Shame on me. Well, I will know next time not only do I need to write down my goals but also them down and tape them somewhere I can see them.

3) I think I had too many goals. With so many balls up in the air I had to keep working on, it was hard to keep up with everything.

2022 will be a better year for reaching my goals.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Karen Hellier


Jo Miller from Tennessee on January 18, 2021:

Good luck with these goals.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 18, 2021:

Good for you, Karen! I'm exhausted reading your lofty goals. Seriously, good for you on each one of them. I wish you nothing but good fortune in 2021, and a boatload of success.

Liz Westwood from UK on January 18, 2021:

This is an impressive set of goals. Maybe the last article for 2021 can be an update on how your goals have gone over the year.

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