2021 Holistic Goals

2021 holistic goals
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2021 Holistic Goals

While I have scorned the idea of New Year’s Resolutions for most of my adult life, I have typically written down a set of goals with the aim of improving my life in some way.

I often write those goals down in a blog post, and then check back at the beginning of the next year to see if I succeeded. Goals have ranged from reading more books to planning more imperfect dinner parties. All have been met with….limited success.

It’s not because the goals aren’t good. In fact, they’re perfectly lovely and reasonably achievable. But if there’s anything I learned from 2020, it’s that the best-laid plans can become unachievable – undesirable even – in the face of small and big life changes.

I am grateful for the way 2020 made me take a long view that isn’t as beholden to a calendar. The pandemic doesn’t really allow us to make reasonable assumptions about the near-future, and so the inner work I have done – both willfully and against my will – has been more about trusting my gut and making moves that really matter to me even if they don’t matter to anyone else. This has been life-giving, to really trust myself.

In 2021, I have three goals:

1 | Listen to my needs and wants.

Instead of waffling on what’s most practical or possible or reasonable, I want to continue to lean into the urgency of doing what I need to do to build a calm, beautiful life.

That may mean taking a class simply because it feels like the right class for this season, skipping unnecessary meetings, moving apartments, and/or taking more walks (even in bad weather). Rather than act out of a need for control or resist out of insecurity, I want to take steps based in self-assurance.

2 | Maintain and build healthy boundaries.

A goal I’ve been working on for several years, I want to continue to examine the guilt, shame, and obligation that keep me from sustaining healthy and life-giving boundaries. I am a giver by training and impulse, but I know that I both deserve that same generosity and need healthy personal space to sustain care.

For much of my life, I thought that I was a bad Christian/woman/human if I didn’t give of myself until I broke. But healthy boundaries help build personal agency and keep me/others balanced for long term community work. Even Jesus sought out alone-time and held the line when people were encroaching on his life’s work. Boundaries can look like accountable love rather than isolationism.

3 | Find more green space and grow where I’m planted.

The pandemic has made it really hard for me to find peace in my surroundings, barricaded as I am in a small apartment in an over-developed city.

I want to make some practical moves (literal and figurative) that allow for easier access to green space and a greater sense of expansiveness. I also want to seek out ways to love where I live in spite of its complications rather than mope around, just waiting for the day I can move down south again.


The thing I like about these goals is that they allow for various and fluid actions to be taken. They are not things to be checked off so much as concepts and intuitions that grow as an outpouring of what’s already deep down in my spirit. They are orientations toward a robust life that can function within change, growth, and transition.

Your 2021 Holistic Goals: How are you feeling about goal-setting this year? Any plans (big or small)?

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