I Didn’t Achieve Everything I Wanted to in 2020 — and That’s Okay

At the beginning of the year, and throughout, I set some goals for myself. Some of them were more descriptive (like being able to do a pull-up by myself before the new year) and others were very vague (like keeping up with my blog). But then 2020 came and went and I didn’t reach every goal I wanted last year. And that’s totally okay.

I had been seeing a lot of things circulating on social media about how you should be extra gentle towards yourself in regards to what you achieved in 2020. I mean… we had (and are still in) a global pandemic!

I agreed with all the posts I was seeing, but I also think you should be gentle with yourself every year. Instead of focusing on what you didn’t accomplish, instead, focus on all the things you did accomplish – no matter the size of the accomplishment.

Related: What I’m Doing to Improve My Mental Health

So I thought I’d volunteer as tribute and share all the things I’ve been beating myself up about and then all the things I should instead be celebrating.

Goals I Tried to Accomplish

Do One Pull-Up by Myself

I’ve always wanted to be able to do pull-ups by myself. I finally started practicing them every workout in September. Had gyms not closed again in November I’m sure I would have been able to do at least one by myself by now but that’s okay.

girl in a gym locker room mirror wearing a mask

Related: Comparing Four Popular Gym Chains: which gym is right for you?

I may not have accomplished this goal, but I’m more motivated than ever. Once they open again I’ll be ready to start working towards this goal again.

Paying off my credit card

I’m normally the kind of gal that pays their credit cards off almost entirely every month – until I moved in June. Having money on my credit card month-after-month started to stress me out so I made a budget and goal to pay it off by the end of the year. Then I got cats who needed lots of vet attention and didn’t take into account how much it cost to furnish an empty apartment.

So while I didn’t get it all paid down, I did make up for quite a bit of it and was able to build up my savings to what it was before moving.

Run 13.1 miles

I started running regularly again once the gyms closed at the beginning of the year and started picking up miles easier than expected. My first run was eight miles and because of that, I thought maybe this would be the year I finally run a half marathon. But after moving I stopped running and was never able to run over 3.5 miles for the rest of the year.

brooks running shoes

Related: How to Get Back Into Running After an Injury

While this is another goal I’ll have to work to finish another year, I am still proud I ran so much last year. Plus, before 2020 I had never run more than 6.25 miles and my longest run last year was 8.5 miles.

Make new friends

One of the first goals I set in 2020 was to make a new friend. I started out strong and used Bumble BFF to met one girl, but we fell out of touch when the pandemic broke out. After that, I never tried to reach out to anyone new.

While I may have never made a new friend, I reconnected with older friends that I now live closer to. Also, due to the popularity of zoom and Teleparty, I talked more often with other, more recent friends.

Journaling every week

I used to journal every day for years. Whether it was a gratitude journal, writing about the books I was reading, or just writing random stuff, I did it basically daily for almost three years. Sometime in late 2019, I stopped keeping up with my journaling and I decided in 2020 I would start trying to bring it back by weekly journaling instead of daily. But there were months I didn’t right not once.

books, iced coffee and a journal on a picnic table

I had originally been extremely upset about failing to keep up with journaling. I had been able to do it before, why not now? But then I realized I was still trying despite the hardships, and that’s what mattered.

I had even gone as far as setting up a reminder on my phone to journal every Sunday night. This helped because if I didn’t complete the task, my phone kept pestering me about it until I did. Totally recommend doing the same for tasks you want to get done!

Writing more for my blog

I didn’t have a concrete goal for what I wanted to do with my blog last year, but I did want to keep up with it like I did the previous year. In 2019, I put out 19 posts, rebranded my blog, and started sharing more posts that I spent extra time putting together. I thought 2020 would be the same, but alas I was wrong.

I was pretty bummed throughout the months I never put out a post, but you know what? I did write 7 posts, 5 of which I posted. And I was extremely proud of every post I put out last year.

Read my posts from 2020 here:

Reading at least 35 books

Books are a big part of my life. I’ve been reading regularly for as long as I can remember and started keeping track of books I read in 2017. I also used GoodReads to set goals for how many books I wanted to read each year. I read 40 books in 2018 and then 65 in 2019 so I thought I’d be able to read a large amount in 2020 as well.

side of room with otooman, pillows, a full bookshelf with a skull print framed

I originally set a goal of 35-40 books but soon lowered it to 25. I once again lowered the goal to 20 books when I was way behind. While I wasn’t able to finish 35, or even 25 books, I did finish 21 which is still an accomplishment.

Other Small Things I’m Celebrating

  • Leaving a job I didn’t like
  • Keeping four plants alive
  • Moving across the country
  • Starting therapy
  • Being more gentle with my body
  • Stretching more
  • Working more on my photography skills
  • Going to the gym multiple times at 6 am
  • Being able to take care of my two kittens
  • Making it through 2020, no matter how many times I cried

I want to emphasis again that I’m not sharing this to brag about the things I did in 2020. Not at all. I’m sharing this to show that even though I didn’t complete major goals I had, I did make progress. That’s something I should still be celebrating.

And something you should still be celebrating, too. Take a moment to list all the things you made progress last year, whether they were goals you formally set or not.

What goals did you not accomplish last year but made progress on? What small things did you achieve that you are proud of?

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I Didn't Achieve Everything I Wanted to in 2020: choosing to focus on the good
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