Ten Goals for 2021

I am so ready for 2020 to be over and done with! It’s been a crazy, unpredictable, frustrating, and somewhat ridiculous ride at times, and I am looking forward to starting over in 2021.

Over the past month, Brett and I have been talking over our combined goals for the new year, and I’ve also been thinking of a few personal ones I’d like to accomplish, and we’ve come up with the ten goals listed below:

Joint goals for Brett and Me:

  1. Continue to stay healthy! Besides avoiding COVID-19, Brett and I both want to lose an additional 10 pounds. We will continue with our current eating plan and exercise for the year and see where that takes us. We plan to segue to cross-training before the middle of the year, and will be purchasing a recumbent exercise bicycle to add to our walking. Our end-of-the-year goal is to be able to walk two to four hours at a time at least four days per week.
  2. Save enough to cover YaYu’s 2021-2022 college expenses. Thankfully we have 12 months to accomplish this, but her final year has the potential to be an expensive surprise, even with financial aid, as the college knows they have a “captive audience” and may lower previous levels of aid (this happened to us with our son).
  3. Save $8000 for future travels, including an additional $1000 in Delta gift cards from Swagbucks. This is a big goal, but we think it’s one we can accomplish. Savings throughout the year will come from the $1 bill/change jar; WenYu’s and Meiling’s reimbursements for their phone plan; a monthly saving allotment (which has been increased for 2021); all refunds, reimbursements, and rewards; and every other bit of odds and ends we can throw into the account.
  4. Save $600 for Christmas 2021. We plan to keep it simple again next year, even if we’re all together again. Brett and I have already decided that any gifts we give each other will be to support our 2022 walking tour in Japan.
  5. Send at least one stored item to each of the girls. We plan to send WenYu a lamp we’ve been storing for her, and also her light box (for drawing), but have no idea yet what to send to Meiling (she wants my KitchenAid mixer, but for what it would cost to send from her we could buy her a new one). Postage is going to be expensive no matter what we choose to send, but we are determined to start whittling down the stuff we are keeping for them. YaYu’s things will stay here for the time being, until she finishes school.
  6. Go to the beach at least 26 times. That’s an average of every other week but we think it’s a goal we can accomplish. 

My Personal Goals:

  1. Read 52 books. This past year was a bust as I didn’t read for nearly three months after we came back to Kaua’i – my mind just couldn’t focus. I have decided that 2021 will be a “year of mystery” with my reading focusing on mysteries, thrillers (which will include the John LeCarré books – will get as many read/reread as possible), and police procedurals from around the world. I already have over ten books on hold at the library!
  2. Add 20 minutes of upper body strength training with weights to my daily exercise. I need to improve my upper body strength for our 2022 tour. YaYu has agreed to help me find a program I can follow online.
  3. Continue to study Japanese, and add French as well. I’m going to finish up the Memrise Japanese offerings at the beginning of the year, then plan to move on to working with the Japanese for Busy People text to get a firmer grip on the grammar. I’m not sure how much I can improve, but the point for me now is to keep going with it. I found a free beginning online French course offered through MIT, and want to start that. It will be challenging, especially since I will have to submit lessons and will actually be awarded a grade for the course once I sign up, so once I start I will be committed. I thoroughly enjoyed learning French before we left on our Big Adventure and have been wanting to learn more.
  4. Start writing a book. I have an idea of where I want to go with this, so will begin next month with an outline, and also start researching publishers. I plan to set aside an one hour each day for book writing. 

We have one other surprise goal, but have no idea right now whether that will turn out to be more of a fantasy or something we can get done. We’ll know more as the year goes along, but for now will keep it under wraps.

When I look over my personal goals it’s clear that I’m going to have to organize my time better next year in order to get to all these things I want to do. I’m ending this year with a sort of fuzzy schedule for the things I’m doing now, and will work with that and add things and find times that work best for me so I don’t feel overly pressured. From the looks of things though my day will be quite full, and I’ll need to motivate myself to keep moving. My daily activity cards will help me stay motivated and on task, but I know it’s going to take a little time to settle in and find my groove.

2021: We’re ready! Bring it on!


12 thoughts on “Ten Goals for 2021

  1. Thanks for the kick in the pants! I’m so engrossed with getting through the 2020 holidays in a meaningful manner (even though this year is so very different from other years) that I haven’t even considered looking ahead to 2021 (except to anxiously wait for my turn at the vaccine so I can hug all of my grandsons again). I’m usually much more cognizant of planning for the new year than I have been this year. I need to get myself geared up. Thank you.


    1. Hi Debbie – I am right there with you wanting to see and hug our grandkids again. Our son said they might be able to come once a vaccine was available and it looks like we might get our wish this year.

      This month is flying by though, and we hadn’t really thought much about next year except for exercise, so it was a good exercise for Brett and I to talk about what we want to accomplish next year. Goals work much better for us than resolutions – we can measure our progress.

      Happy holidays to you and yours. We’re sad that the two big girls won’t be here for Christmas this year, but happy that YaYu is with us. Fingers are crossed for a big reunion next year!


  2. Wow! I love your goals!!!! Some of my 2021 goals include: Goal #1: Have our oldest granddaughter, age 5, spend a week with us in the summer. We have 2 other grandchildren younger, ages 1 and 3. I plan to add the 3 year old in 2022 and the 1 year old in 2023. By then, all 3 will stay together during the summer. I plan on having “Camp Grandma” each year . Goal #2 Visit Orkney and Shetland Islands. Goal #3: Plant 3 gardens: spring, summer, and fall. Goal #4: Pay extra on our mortgage each month. Goal #5: Start walking again 3 x a week. I am still working on the rest.


    1. These are all great SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive! I absolutely love the idea of “Camp Grandma” – I plan to borrow your idea for the next time we’re together with our grandkids. We do sleepovers, but I think I can expand on that with activities, etc.

      I’m envious of your travel plans as well – the Orkney and Shetlands are both places we’d love to visit.


  3. Now I realize that I have to start writing down my goals. It can’t just be “get vaccinated.”
    Good luck with your goals. I feel confident that you can do it.


    1. I absolutely have to write down my goals somewhere, and have a way of tracking how I’m doing. I plan to start writing a monthly update here on the blog of how we’re/I’m doing – it will help me stay on track.

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  4. Maybe try Pahla B on you tube for workouts for over 50’s. Warning she talks a lot. But beginner friendly workouts and seated weighted workouts as well.


    1. Thank you for the suggestion! I am going to check her out, but beginner-friendly is what I am going for right now so we’ll see if her workouts are a good fit.


  5. I’ve been working out at home for years (long before COVID) and there a lot of great instructors on YouTube that are free. My favorites are Jessica Smith, Lucy Wyndham-Read, HASfit, Sydney Cummings.

    Good luck with the book! If you need any help, let me know.

    My goals are to stay healthy/continue to exercise (no matter what is going on in the world), save up to hopefully travel in late 2021 or 2022, take some online classes. I’ve been thinking about getting a master’s degree for years, but my company won’t pay for it because it’s not directly related to what I do, so I have to decide once and for all if I can do it/should do it at my age or give up on it.


    1. Thank you also for the suggestions. Both WenYu and YaYu follow instructors online and have made some suggestions, but many seem too advanced for me.

      I have discovered this year how important real exercise is for me – I get antsy now if I can’t get out to walk, and I’m pleased with my progress and looking forward to accomplishing more this coming year. My body is changing shape, and I look very different than I did when we arrived back in March. YaYu even said I was looking “toned” (I’m not though, just getting smaller).

      I understand your hesitancy about going for your master’s – it’s a LOT of work and expensive as well. I enjoyed the process though, and sort of kick myself now that I didn’t go on for a Ph.D. I dream about going back to school, but that’s not going to happen here. I will see how the French course goes, and how I feel about having to turn in assignments and such again – I think it’s going to be a real wake-up for me.


      1. I took a couple of grad school courses 7 or 8 years ago, just to see what it would be like. The program was fully online, which is the only program I would consider. I got A’s in both classes, but it was a ton of work–research, writing papers, reading, posting online comments a few times a week, etc. so I dropped out because it was just too much to do when I also work full-time. The only reason I’m thinking about it now is because I’m stuck at home and have more time on my hands than I usually would, but I’m planning to retire in 8 years so by the time I finish a master’s going part-time, I’d get no return on my investment. Really, the only reason I was considering it is because I was thinking if I ever wanted to teach, I would need at least a master’s, but most colleges want a PhD, and there’s no way I’m doing that!

        Lucy Wyndham-Read is more for beginners so you might want to give her a try. She has an Advent Calendar workout right now that I’ve been following. https://www.lwrfitness.com/fitness-advent-calendar/


      2. You hit grad school on the nose: tons of reading, papers, papers, papers (long ones too), classroom participation, and so on. I used to think that maybe the whole point of the program was to see who would last – it was exhausting. And I had to small children at home (both under five)! Looking back it was a miracle I finished. I was encouraged to go for my Ph.D. but I was done. I still think about it though from time to time, but I’ve been out of academia for too long, and out of the workforce and my field as well. I’d essentially be starting over. By the way, with a MA/MS you can teach at community colleges, but maybe they’re raising the bar as well and now want a Ph.D.

        Thanks for the suggestion – I am still investigating and weighing my options for an exercise program.


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