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Bethany's 21 for 21 List

Submitted by Bethany on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 10:30

Well, like clockwork, a new year is upon us! Which means it's time for new goals and a new list of some of what I hope to accomplish with the turn of the calendar page. This concept is inspired by Gretchen Rubin and her "Happier" podcast. I wrote a 20 for 2020 list last year and found it to be a helpful guide of things I wanted to work on or accomplish throughout the year, even if I didn't quite get it all done

So, what's on tap for this year? Let's find out! 


1. Walk 21 minutes a day
This one is straight from the podcast and from my list last year. There were definitely days this goal got me up and moving when I would have preferred to stay on the couch. Gretchen actually kept this one as "Walk 20 in '21" this year but Joel said I had to do 21 minutes. Okay FINE. I'm super excited to have a checklist printed out and hung up in my office so I can physically cross off every time I accomplish this one each day! (Oh, Joel also wanted me to specify that this goal is "on average" so if I do miss a day here or there all is not lost as I can make it up.)

2. Yoga 3x/week for 21 minutes 
Okay, also on average. There will be some weeks I just don't hit this goal and I don't want to give it up just because I don't have a perfect streak. My yoga app keeps track of practices on a calendar and overall, so really I want to have practiced yoga 156 times by the end of the year. Considering my lifetime practice amount on the app is currently sitting at 98, that will be quite the improvement! 

3. Go on 21 bike rides that are at least 21 minutes long
We purchased electric bikes when we were in London (and not using public transport due to Covid) and the electric part definitely comes in handy now that we are living in hilly Wales. I finally got confident enough to drive on my own in November and since then my bike riding has fallen off dramatically (also partly due to the cold.) I don't want my bike to languish and it is good exercise so I'm hoping this goal keeps me more intentional about getting out there and using it! 

4. Eat ultra low-carb for 21 days
Yes, yes, I love my carbs and I have found ways to lose weight and get healthier without cutting them. However, it will still be good for me to deny myself carbs on occasion. The key here is this is not 21 consecutive days, just 21 days throughout the year. That makes it much less of a daunting prospect. 

5. Win a Healthy Wage
Speaking of health goals, I plan to win another Healthy Wage this year! Last year I lost 20 pounds and got paid $500 for the pleasure. I haven't started it yet this year so I don't know the goal or the prize amount but I will start one and win it. And this time I'm spending the money I win on shoes! (Last year I was a responsible adult and paid off debt rather than do anything frivolous with my winnings.) 

6. Practice piano 3x/week for 21 minutes 
Say it with me, on average! I have been wanting to (re)learn the piano for years now and I am finally in a position in life when I can do this. We even scored a full-size electric keyboard for free on Freecyle! There are millions of free tutorials on YouTube so I have the means to do this one, I just need to be intentional about making time for it! 

7. Learn to play "Come Thou Fount" on the piano
Taking time to practice should be easier if I have a set learn goal, so the first song I want to learn is one of my favorite hymns, "Come Thou Fount." I want to learn to really play it, too, two hands, all the fancy things, not just tapping out the melody. 

8. Read 21 classic novels
This one is a repeat from last year but I've focused my goal so it should be easier to reach. I plan to curate an exact list sometime in the next few weeks, too, so it's a really concrete goal! 

9. Read a Harry Potter book in French
This is my nod to focusing on a foreign language this year. I can somewhat read French still, so I figured if I read a book I know practically by heart it will come to me. Now how do I find a Harry Potter book in French? That's a darn good question! That will be the first part of this challenge. haha.

10. Watch 21 classic movies
I love movies, but mostly new ones. There are so many classic talked about all the time movies that I have never seen (like, don't hate me, The Wizard of Oz.) I have asked Joel to curate the list for this one! Also, as an added challenge, I am specifying that when we watch these classic movies I have to put my phone down and actually pay attention. A novel idea, I know. 

11. Write 21 full-length blog posts
Since I started a real job again this year my blog post writing has fallen by the wayside. But I do want to keep up this labor of love and log of our lives! So this year I intend to write (at least) 21 full-length blog posts. I don't exactly have a definition of full-length but I'll know it when I see it! (Does this count as one? Hmmm!)

12. Save £8,000 pounds in our Emergency Fund
This is a big stretch goal but one I have every confidence we can reach, as long as we remain intentional about it. We are used to living pretty frugally from our travel days, so this is really just an extension of that. We can save this amount of money and still live comfortably, we just have to pay attention to how we spend our money and not let it slip away on unnecessary things! Also, here's hoping our £300 car lasts us for the whole year or that could throw a spanner in the works. 

13. Finish my rainbow shoe collection
This is frivolous and fun which is totally allowed when I'm setting my own goals! I've always wanted to have a rainbow shoe collection and by golly this year I'm going to get it. I already have pink, red and orange in the ballet flat that is my preferred style. I technically have blue and purple but they are Converse so not always appropriate for work. I have my eye on some particular pairs (looking at you Rothy's) but I also might settle for colorful shoes I find at charity shops since that would help me reach the savings goal I just mentioned. Or who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and find my Rothy's at charity shops as I did with my red ones! 

14. Replace all my makeup with new items
I know for a fact the mascara I'm using is almost 2 years eyeshadow is even older than that...and really you aren't supposed to use certain items for that long. When we were living as frugally as possible new makeup just wasn't in the budget and also I didn't wear it super often. But, now that I wear it more for work (especially when on camera!) and I have room in the budget, it is definitely time to treat myself to some new items. 

15. Celebrate my 35th birthday with all things Harry Potter
Yes, I want to have a Harry Potter themed 35th birthday celebration and by golly, I will! I am hoping that this will actually involve going to the Harry Potter studios tour in London, but that will depend on the outcome of the pandemic and our budget. I have until September 24th to figure it all out! 

16. Make a knitted square blanket
This is another hobby I can pick back up now that we have settled down from constant travel. Thankfully my mom saved all my knitting supplies during my purge a few years ago so I've already started on this goal! I have some squares made...just need to make a lot more and then figure out how to turn them into a blanket. I don't think it will be very pretty but it should be cozy! 

17. Audition for a local play and/or musical
Obviously, this is another pandemic depending goal...I likely would have already done this in 2020 if things were "normal." The local musical theater group actually meets for rehearsal in my church hall so it will be super easy to get involved once we are able to do such things again. I have high hopes for 2021! 

18. Sew pockets into my dresses/skirts
This is a repeat from last year that I never quite got around to, but I am hopeful I will this year! My wardrobe mostly consists of charity shop finds (which I love!) and once I can customize them to have my beloved pockets I will be all set. 

19. Paint a wall
To be honest, I never even did this when we owned the house we lived in. I've always been pretty satisfied with just putting art on the walls when it comes to decorating. But this year I am craving putting my own stamp on things (maybe because we lived in other people's houses for 2 years?!) and I really want to paint either our bedroom or my office (or maybe both!) I'm thinking dark navy for the bedroom and I don't know what yet for my office. Joel has promised to tape off everything if I do all the painting and I just wanted to make sure that went on the record. 

20. Hang different curtains/blinds in my office
Speaking of decorating...this is another one I want to do! I actually want to invest in some proper blinds, too. Despite popular belief, it doesn't rain here all the time and on sunny days I am blinded in my office unless I close the curtains, which I don't like doing! I need something that keeps the glaring sun out but still lets the light of day in. 

21. Fill out the "Every Little Detail" book
This is a real "adulting" goal if there ever was one. I actually downloaded this resource last year, which is designed to put all of your important life information in one spot for easy access for yourself or any loved ones if something were to happen to you. Of course, back then, we didn't even have a fixed address so I wasn't ready to start filling it out. Now that we have our own place in the world and have some adult things like owning a car again, it's time to get this one done! 


So there you have it, a good look at (at least some of) my goals and plans for the year 2021! Now I'm off to go walk for 21 minutes...

XOXO, Bethany