It’s fair to say that 2021 wasn’t the year everyone was expecting it to be. With the COVID-19 pandemic still going strong and the division of people greater than ever, these haven’t exactly been fun times at all. Seeing all of this around me, I’ve made a conscious effort not to spend so much time on social media where these “fights” tend to happen. My Facebook profile and page are simply used to share posts from my blog and Instagram and I visit once a week to quickly take a peek, before I’m gone again. The only two social media channels I like nowadays are Instagram and Reddit, which I spend most of my social media time on now.
Excuse the long introduction and nagging about how I don’t like what the world is turning into because of COVID-19. But now that is off my chest, at least. I love focussing on the positive, which is what I’m going to do with the rest of this post! Which will be a constructive feedback session with myself.
My Goals for 2021
I stated in my Monday Musings blog that I set 10 goals for this year, but a few of them are top secret, so I can’t share anything about them… I can however still share information about the other eight goals! Here they are, in no particular order:
- Explore the house market with Bren and see what we can get, before February 2021
- Finish my novel “Stempels” and have it published, by March 2021
- Outline the Kevar novel, by March 2021
- Lose weight and get into shape, by June 2021
- Write at least one weekly blog article on JeffreyDebris.com, by December 2021
- Write at least one weekly blog article on thebookdragonsnook.com, by December 2021
- Read 30 books, by December 2021
- Write 500 words on any of my projects daily, by December 2021
Ouch… when I look at these now, I can see that this year was probably one of my worst goal setting years ever, but as I said, let’s focus on the positive and see how it all went and mostly, why! We’ll handle each one step by step.
1. Explore the house market with Bren and see what we can get, before February 2021
Okay, we didn’t get the “before February 2021” part, maybe, but we did eventually move in July of this year to our new place. What we found out is that it’s near impossible for us to buy a house in the current market, which is why we settled for renting again. Although the rent is higher in our new place, we do get a whole lot more enjoyment out of it and love our new, smaller apartment in Hilversum. I would still say that we met this goal, but I did have the timing all wrong, as we didn’t complete our exploration of the housing market until June. Conclusion: Goal Met!
2. Finish my novel “Stempels” and have it published, by March 2021
Well I did finish the first part of this goal. The novel is done and ready to be sent out to publishers. I already approached three, but they weren’t interested, because the novel isn’t within the genres they usually publish. Bren and I are working on getting the manuscript to the big publishers, but this requires some more preparation. Hopefully by the end of this year we’ll have the manuscript sent out to all of them, this should be doable by the end of this year. Having the book published this year however is out of the question, but we’re still going strong! Conclusion: Goal almost met!
3. Outline the Kevar novel, by March 2021
Yeah, in all honesty I was taking so long finishing up on Stempels and was too busy settling that I didn’t spend any time on the outline of the first Kevar novel. So, this is definitely a goal I’m going to set for next year, because I do plan to finish the entire novel next year. The story is forming in my mind and it’s going to be a great story, featuring zero Humans and only alien species! One of my biggest pet peeves with scifi/fantasy has always been the involvement of Humans in the story, usually as the main protagonists. I already changed that with my scifi trilogy, by making all the aliens have the biggest roles in the story. Anyway, back to the goal. Conclusion: Goal not met!
4. Lose weight and get into shape, by June 2021
I originally set this goal to be “done” by June of this year. But well, then we got this apartment and it took me a long time to settle. I have, however, renewed my membership to the gym here in Hilversum and I’ve been doing that for a good six weeks now. Already I can tell that I’m in far better shape than I was before I started, but I haven’t lost much weight, yet. This year brought a big lifestyle change for me and I’m eating far less meat than I ever thought I would. On average I eat meat once a week, while originally I told Bren I’d still be eating meat three times a week, or so. Turns out that veggie/vegan food can be really, really tasty and I don’t even miss the meat all that much. I still love eating it, so I’m in no way a vegan or vegetarian, nor do I pretend to be, but cutting back on meat this much has a profound impact and that’s what was really important to me. So, although I haven’t lost as much weight as I wanted to, the act of going to the gym three times and watching what I eat, I think it’s safe to say that we did it. Conclusion: Goal met!
5. Write at least one weekly blog article on JeffreyDebris.com, by December 2021
Hmm, I think I skipped a couple of weeks writing blogs here, but I have started posting a whole lot more frequently as of late. Overall I’m happy with the amount of blogs I’ve been putting out and as I said dozens of times before, I just have so many ideas for blogs on topics I love! Now that I’m more sure about what I want to write, I’m sure I can keep up a a steady stream of blogs into next year. Looking back at this year, I see that there are some gaps. But overall it wasn’t too bad. Conclusion: Goal partly met!
6. Write at least one weekly blog article on thebookdragonsnook.com, by December 2021
Bren and I have been running The Book Dragon’s Nook together for a couple of years now, but ever since we moved to our new home we were both a bit undecided about what we should do with the blog. Initially I had wanted to give Bren an platform to write her book reviews on, shortly after that I joined to provide book reviews as well, but lately we feel that we just have so much more to share than just book reviews. We are also considering quitting doing blog tours and book reviews, unless it’s for books we chose to read ourselves, instead of those that are being sent to us to review. After reading so many books and seeing your own TBR (To-Be-Read) pile just grow, you really want to spend some time reading the books you actually bought or received as a gift. Besides all that we also want to share more lifestyle blogs and blogs on other topics. And maybe even change the website’s language to English, instead of Dutch. This would save me a lot of translation time. Time I can use to write more content! 😉 Looking back at the goal, however, I have to admit that I haven’t been on my best behaviour when it comes to reading and subsequently on writing reviews for them. Conclusion: Goal not met!
7. Read 30 books, by December 2021
I’m currently on 28/30 books, reading one and well, we’ve got a couple weeks left in December, so I’m confident I’ll make it to 30. That’s a lot less than last year, but I have to admit, I was getting a bit burned out from reading again, which is never a good thing. Next year I’ll exclusively be reading whatever I want, so I’m fairly confident I’ll be reading a whole lot more next year. I think it’s safe to say this goal will be met. Conclusion: Goal met soon™!
8. Write 500 words on any of my projects daily, by December 2021
I really want to write every day on all of my projects, be they blogs, or novels, but I must admit that I didn’t. Mostly because we moved and I had to settle, but also because I was getting burned out from writing Stempels a little bit and slogging through the editing process is never my favourite part of any writing project. So, yeah, I definitely know I slacked a bit more than usual this year. Do I care? Not really, but I will aim to be more productive next year! Conclusion: Goal not met!
Well, from the eight goals I shared, five of them were met, or partly met. The others I sadly did not meet. Does that mean I should be scolding myself? No. The thing about setting annual goals and reflecting on them is that you learn a lot about them. As you can see I wrote out my thoughts on all of them and why I did or didn’t meet them, and what my general feelings about them is. Some of these goals are great to set for next year, like my Kevar novel and others will be there again, in some form or another.
This may have not been my most productive year, but it has been a good year overall when I look at other stuff besides my goals. I love my day job and the freedom working from home brings. I love our new home and my relationship with Bren has grown so much stronger. I’ve been helping her with her dream of having her own shop and that’s been working out really great. It’s just so awesome to see how much we’ve both grown during our time together and that is really what’s most important. Setting goals is a nice tool for working on yourself, but since I’m doing it mostly just for myself, because I’m somewhat of a productivity nerd, I realise that I shouldn’t be sad if I don’t reach goals if there’s a good reason for it. Right now my life is good and despite COVID-19 I’ve thrived this year. I’m hoping next year will be as good in that regard, or possibly even better.
So, what do you think? Did I set the bar too high this year? Or am I going too easy on myself? Did you set any goals for this year and have you met them, or not? Please let me know in the comments below!