I remember setting those goals and writing my annual blog post about it. Full of hope that with 2019 not having been so great, what could possibly go wrong in 2020! Ha! Double ha!
And as I finished setting my goals for 2021 last month, the news came in that Northern Ireland was entering a much stricter lockdown until at least early February if not more (as I type this, the lockdown has been reinforced for the past week already). Ah well!
And if 2020 has taught me anything, it is to sometimes take things as they are. There are things that you can easily get done whatever the circumstances and some that are completely out of your control and this is when I feel it is important to let go of the pressure on yourself.
So, did I tick any goals boxes last year? Only a small handful, yes. It's ok.
I did reach my reading goals again this year. I have to admit there was a time when I did not think it would happen because when the first lockdown occurred, I found myself unable to focus much on what I was reading at the time. It felt like every chapter lasted forever when in reality, the book itself was not that big and was also not boring at all. After a few weeks feeling that way and I admit, feeling overwhelmed by the news and endlessly scrolling through social media, I reminded myself what reading does to me: it's an escape and it has a great impact on my mental health. After that, I was back into my routine of turning off wifi from my phone at 9pm and grabbing a book before bedtime.
At the start of 2020, I made a list of recipes that I wanted to try from cookbooks. It turns out I did make a whole lot of new-to-me recipes because I have never cooked so much in a single year (when we looked back at 2020, we realised we had only ordered takeaway meals 5 times since early March).
Among them, a lot of recipes were from Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbook Simple and some were things I wanted to learn how to make from scratch like bagels and gyoza (I have made gyoza before but with store-bought wrappers). Even my husband gave it a shot with things like cinnamon rolls and homemade marzipan cherry chocolates among others.
I also continued sharing some of my own recipes here on the blog, from chocolate chip and sea salt cookies to pear and smoked scamorza pizza.
One major goal that E. and I reached last year is we bought a house. The sale was finalised right before the first lockdown of 2020. It resulted in many delays in terms of essential work and renovation, and we also had to wait until early July to move in, but we have a little place of our own in Belfast now. We're home!
Some goals were not on my 2020 goals list. They are the ones I made up as the year passed by. In some parts, because I had to rethink some of my bigger projects and in some others, because I had to set smaller goals to keep my mental health in check.
2021 might well be a duplicate of 2020. Even knowing this, I have set a list of goals, just as I do every year.
I cannot be certain about what will be achieved or not. The idea, I guess, is to not be too hard on myself when things do not go to plan.
I hope you, too, do not put some extra pressure on yourself when things are not what you were hoping for. We cannot control what will happen in 2021 but we can look at ways to look after ourselves and each other. One step at a time.
Things may not be perfect but they can be good enough. Here is hoping for a good enough 2021!