In this report, learn about the personal goals for Q1 of 2021 I set for myself, and whether or not I accomplished them. Don’t worry–I’m including both the good and the bad. I’m not going to leave out the bad stuff just to make myself look better. It’s important to share both sides, since things don’t always go exactly as planned. Let’s see how I did.
Something I know about myself is that if I don’t have a specific purpose in my life, I become listless and anxious, and like a lot of other people, my mood was pretty low at the end of 2020. I didn’t really have much of a purpose and I wasn’t working towards anything.
I wanted to change that. In order to turn my life around during the start of the year, I set some personal goals for Q1 of 2021 and made a plan for myself to achieve them.
How I set my personal goals for Q1 of 2021
During the process of goal setting, I drew a lot of inspiration from Sara Cannon’s goal setting method. She describes this method in detail on her YouTube channel. I recommend checking out her video, “How I set goals for 90 days” to learn more about her process.
The goal setting process mainly involves three parts:
- Set goals
- Create supporting projects
- Define project tasks
- Evaluate results and start again
My personal goals: 2021 Q1
During my goal setting process, I identified the following three goals that I wanted to accomplish during Q1 of 2021:
- Spirituality: Create a sense of faith in the universe by developing my spirituality
- Dream Life: Build a foundation for a vibrant and loving life with my partner by improving our living and financial situations
- Online Business: Make progress towards the ultimate goal of having an online business by expanding my email newsletter list to 250 people
Goal #1: Create a sense of faith in the universe by developing my spirituality
I originally got the idea to develop my faith from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. In the book, Cameron talks about how it is important to have faith in the universe as a force of good.
After I completed the program, I noticed that I had a tendency towards pessimism, which I realized wasn’t good for my mental health. I wanted to improve this area of my life using my Q1 goals.
When picking projects for this goal, I mainly focused on celebrating. I remember hearing a quote from the Dalai Lama say once that celebrating is deeply spiritual. I know that in years past, I didn’t celebrate holidays because I was “too busy,” which made me feel very resentful towards my work and responsibilities. I wanted to make sure to address this problem within this goal by prominently featuring celebrations as part of my goal.
I also wanted to give myself a chance to explore my creativity through writing. For me, exploring creative channels just makes me feel better, so I wanted to give myself support in that area as well. I made sure to include a variety of different channels where I could pursue my creativity.
In order to develop my faith, I identified the following projects that would encourage creativity and that aren’t “productive” in the traditional sense of the word:
- Implement a regular non-religious prayer practice
- Go on vacation
- Celebrate holidays: New Year’s Eve, Martin Luther King JR. Day, Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, President’s day, Daylight savings, St. Patty’s Day
- Celebrate Birthdays: My mom’s, my dad’s, my uncle’s my niece’s, and my friend Nia’s
- Do the artist’s way a second time
- Take a class on creative writing
- Join a writer’s group
This list of projects was admittedly ambitious!
Goal #2: Build a foundation for a vibrant and loving life with my partner by improving our living and financial situations
I am so in love with my partner. His support and love have blown me away. I wanted to create a goal that would support us and foster our material security.
Given that we are in the early days of our relationship (just about a year now as a couple!), I thought I would focus on the long term. I tried to imagine what our perfect life would look like together. I identified owning a home, getting married, and having lots of money. What could be better than that?
But, as we all know, Rome doesn’t get built in a day! I asked myself, what projects would help us make progress towards these goals during one single quarter? With this question in mind, I identified the following projects.
- Buy a house
- Get engaged
- Identify possible alternative streams of income
Goal #3: Make progress towards the ultimate goal of having an online business by expanding my email newsletter list to 250 people
I have always wanted to be an online creator of some kind. I have had casual blogs for many years. Those who have known me for a long time might remember a throwback to my old study abroad blog from when I was living in China. I am also a YouTube addict, although I’ve never had the guts to make many videos of my own.
But this year, I wanted to turn my dreams into a reality. I decided that creating an online blogging business would be the perfect channel.
Tiago Forte of Forte Labs discuss email marketing on the Kye Hy’s YouTube channel inspired me to create an email newsletter. Tiago calls the email newsletter “the trojan horse of online marketing,” due to the high-value nature of email addresses. This spurred on my one and only project for this goal.
- Expand my newsletter to 250 people
The process of working on my goals for Q1 of 2021 went great overall. I ran into a few roadblocks, but there were also some wonderful highlights, which I will discuss here.
Some of the roadblocks I experienced during my Q1 goals were overbooking myself and having an unclear definition for my goal.
I slightly overbooked myself with three separate programs related to creativity. I had to stop attending The Artist’s Way and the Placer Gold Writing Group before I reached my intended number of sessions. I was getting overwhelmed with Zoom calls and was having trouble completing all of the work. This tells me that in the future, I need to plan better ahead of time to understand the amount of time I am committing myself to spending.
A second problem I experienced was having an unclear definition of Goal #3. Above, I have defined it as “Make progress towards the ultimate goal of having an online business by expanding my email newsletter list to 250 people.” One the surface, it seemed clearly defined: (1) make an online business, and (2) expand mny email newsletter list.
But when the rubber hit the road, the goal wasn’t as clear as I thought it was. Was the goal was business development or to expand my email newsletter? My projects were not very well thought out, which is a symptom of my lack of clarity. Next time, I think I’ll have to define my goal a little more carefully, so as not to confuse myself.
Now that we have the roadblocks out of the way, let’s talk about the highlights.
I was pleasantly surprised by a lot of my goal process. The first thing that I loved was that having goals helped me to prioritize. Additionally, these goals helped learn healthy habits, which I can carry on into the future.
These goals really helped me to prioritize tasks during my day. In the past, I used to brush aside celebrations. During this quarter, I was able to allow myself to celebrate, because it was technically on my to-do list. I was able to take an afternoon off to go house hunting because I had already consciously prioritized that activity. It felt so good to not feel guilty about doing “fun” things. When things that things that are fun also serve my stated goals, I felt much more relaxed. It was a win-win!
So, they question that is on your mind: Did I accomplish my personal goals? Let’s take a closer look at how I did.
Goal #1: Develop my faith
Did I develop my faith? The answer to this is a resounding yes. I spent a lot of time praying, doing creative projects, and celebrating. I can say without a doubt that yes, I feel much better. For the first time in my life, I feel like there are good things in my future. This is what faith means. To trust that things are going to be good.
During the course of working on this goal, I completed the following tasks:
- Completed a creative writing workshop at The Writer’s Studio
- Participated in creative writing critique sessions with Placer Gold Writer’s Group
- Went on vacation to Chena Hot Springs in Fairbanks, AK
- Celebrated a number of birthdays and holidays
- Prayed regularly
Looking at this list, I can say that I achieved my goal of developing faith.
Goal #2: Create a dream life with my partner
Did I start to create a dream life with my partner? Yes, I did! I am happy to report that we were able to make the following progress towards realizing our dream life:
- Get engaged
- Buy a house together
- Looked into alternative sources of income
I feel very confident that we now have a strong basis for our future. I would have never dreamed that we would be able to accomplish this much in just a few short months, yet here I am, writing this article from the comfort of my new living room.
Goal #3: Create an online business
This is the goal where maybe things fell a little bit short. Like I identified earlier, I felt that Goal #3 was worded in a confusing way. Because of this, I wasn’t able to accomplish much related to growing my newsletter.
I was however able to complete the following items related to business development:
- Read, study, and publish content related to the popular book on manifestation techniques, Think and Grow Rich
- Create and implement note taking workflow to consistently create content
- Create an editorial calendar
- Invite contacts to subscribe to newsletter by writing notes to individuals in your network
- Attend a conference about creating a successful blogging business
My efforts were definitely not wasted! However, in the end, I do not feel like my efforts got me any closer to growing my email subscriber list.
Next time, I will focus on creating a better definition for my goal. Although I do not feel like I was able to accomplish the goal this time around, I am definitely not giving up on it. I plan to carry this forward into my Q2 goals.
I am so proud of all that I did during this quarter. I feel not only very accomplished, but my overall mood feels lifted. I feel like I have a renewed purpose in life. My plan to create and execute personal goals definitely paid off.
Next, I think I’ll drink to my successes, and also to my failures (for giving me something to continue working on)! Then I’ve got to get to work planning for next quarter.
Thanks for reading my Personal Goals Report for Q1 of 2021! Do you set goals for yourself? Why or why not? Tell me what you think of my report in the comments below!