New Years Resolutions {Setting Pandemic-Style Goals}


When I look back at my 2020 goals, I can’t help but laugh.

I started this year off with exceedingly high hopes and lofty goals. I was training for my first full marathon at the May 2020 Flying Pig. I spent a long weekend in January in Florida at Rachel Hollis’s “Rise” Conference, where we made plans and set goals to make 2020 the best year ever. At that conference, we spent time brainstorming a word for the year that we could focus on and return to whenever we felt our goals slipping. February was a pretty good month and I was cruising along toward my goals.

Then March 2020 hit… and we all know how this story ends, especially as it relates to my goals for the year.


At some point, the only word I had left as a goal for 2020 was “survive.” I stopped focusing on trying to achieve anything major this year and instead shifted my focus to maintaining my sanity. Instead of trying to lose weight, run a marathon, or magnify my professional identity, it was taking 110% of my energy to just be a decent mother, wife, lawyer, and friend. All the “extra” stuff was set aside for another time.

As we head into 2021, I’m not entirely sure where that leaves me. For the last few years, setting goals for a new year has been something that inspired me and gave me a sense of direction. Not setting any goals for 2021 feels a little bit like quitting, but at the same time, it feels a lot like giving myself grace during a period of incredible stress and uncertainty.

So for 2021, instead of setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based), I’m pivoting my goal-setting expectations. Instead of focusing on what I want to achieve or do differently this year, I’m going to focus on what positive things from 2020 that I want to keep as we begin to look past the end of this pandemic. Here are just a few of those things:

  • I will continue the COVID-trend of slowing down and spending more time with my family at home.
  • I will continue to make more time for reading.
  • I will continue to show my girls what it means to take care of their health by prioritizing daily exercise and time outside.
  • I will continue to make it a priority to eat local and shop local whenever I can.

What goals do you have for 2021?