Welcome to So Relatable, a bi-weekly newsletter featuring conversations about the creative process, suggestions for nourishing yourself, and inspiring links. I’m glad you’re here!
I love the new year. I know it’s an arbitrary day on the calendar and that time has only the meaning we give it. But it’s also a marker, a collective shift. We’re emerging from last year’s shambles, from the holiday season, from the big Winding Down. Today is my last day of vacation (I took two full weeks off even though I wasn’t traveling - I had to do something with all that unused PTO) and after resting and relaxing, I’m itching for new goals. And so, in the spirit of sharing and for the specter of accountability, here’s how I plan to spend the next twelve months.
But first: a word.
I’m one of those people who likes to choose a word to serve as the year’s overarching theme, a sort of guiding light. Last January, before the pandemic turned our lives upside down, I chose the word “enough.” Here’s what I said about it then:
I can already tell 2020 is going to be a challenging year, and when I inevitably feel like I'm falling short, words like those can be a profound reminder. I have everything I need; all of this is enough.
It turns out that “enough” was a great word for 2020, but not for any of the reasons I thought. It was more like, “Do I have enough toilet paper?” and “Am I doing enough to fight racism?” and “Have I put enough effort into my socially distant friendships?” 2020 was a year of the bare minimum, of just enough to get by.
I’ve had enough of enough, which is why my word for 2021 is extra. This year, I want maximalism. Leaps forward. Loud holidays. New lessons. Deeper relationships. Some of my goals and plans will have to wait until I’m vaccinated, but I have plenty of goals I can start right now. A year is a long time and I’m hopeful that 2021 will be a good one. I hope it is for you, too.
All My Goals for 2021
Finish the second draft of my new book (+ send to friends + write third draft)
Continue to grow this newsletter (reach 1000 subscribers)
Spend less time looking at my phone (unfollow, delete, repeat)
Learn, practice, and/or improve three skills (tbd)
Plan a spring garden and grow some groceries
Go on a trip with Nathan to somewhere new
Regularly volunteer with a local organization
Strive for a low impact/low waste life whenever possible
Get the COVID-19 vaccine ASAP
Lift heavier weights (+ maybe join a new gym)
Incorporate more yoga + mobility work (at least twice a week)
Abstain from alcohol 4 days a week (hello, Dry January!)
Figure out what to do with my stocks options
Continue to pay extra on mortgage and contribute to retirement
Remain debt free outside of student loans + mortgage (thank you, YNAB!)
Snack of the Week
Last January, I organized a goal-setting brunch with some of my favorite Type A friends, and we had a great time making and sharing our resolutions for the year. We met a few more times for quarterly check-ins, and while the events of 2020 meant some of our goals (as well as our meetings) changed dramatically, I was grateful for their support and motivation during a difficult year. Yesterday we held our first brunch of 2021, shared a lovely spread, and make some tentatively optimistic plans. It was the perfect way to kick off a new year.
What’s Your BHAG? How to Create a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal, SitePoint. This article leans a bit corporate, but you can apply its long-term strategy to your creative life as well. My BHAGs are to finally sell a novel (which I have very little control over) and to one day achieve financial freedom (which I have slightly more control over). What are yours? 🗻
Three Goals Every Writer Should Make in the New Year, Brevity. This brief round-up of writing advice is simple yet sound. I especially like the tip to be happy for the success of others even as you’re still struggling. Difficult, but definitely worth figuring out. ✏️
The Rise of the Charcuterie-Free 'Charcuterie Board', VICE. I’ll take one pancake charcuterie board, please. 🥞
Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Journey, YouTube. I’m kicking off 2021 with 30 days of yoga AND Dry January. I have a feeling it will be an excellent pairing. Care to join me? 🧘🏻♀️
To Do List
Do you have a word for the year? If so, hit reply and tell me what it is. If not, come up with one (it’s not too late!) and THEN hit reply and tell me what it is. If I get enough replies, I’ll share your words in my next issue for our collective inspiration.
My deepest gratitude to Carleen L. and Katie O. for their extremely generous support! It helped pay for the bottomless cups of coffee I sipped while planning my 2021 goals.
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(At the end of 2021, I plan to donate 20% of anything I earn from this newsletter. Thanks for your support!)
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