BHAGs + 2021 word of the year

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“You are perfect just as you are, and you could use a little improvement.”

—Shunryu Suzuki

Over the years, my annual planning approach has shifted from what would probably be called a traditional-resolutions approach in my 20s to a focus on a single word or phrase in more recent years. Despite the method, as an avid planner who strives for continually learning and growing, I almost create a list for what I’d like to accomplish in the next 12 months. That list usually comprises a mix of start/stop/continue items and tends to flex throughout the year as priorities change. For example, last year, I had a goal of completing 100 workouts, which seemed rather lofty when I created it. However, by the time mid-year rolled around and I could really focus on my fitness (one positive to not being able to go anywhere), I left that original goal in the dust — so I adjusted. Obviously, 2020 was anything but a “normal year” and it provided many examples of how I shifted and pivoted my goals to more closely align with reality.

For 2021, I still identified a focus word — ENOUGH — and have the start/stop/continue items. However, instead of a scattered list of to-dos, I set a few big, hairy, audacious goals (or BHAGs) that are more continuations or improvements on what I’ve already been doing. Enough signifies many things but is primarily focused on believing that I am enough just as I am (and so are you). Coupling my word with a bunch of goals may seem counterintuitive, but the opposite is true. You can be and have enough and appreciate it all AND also want to improve.

New this year, I’ve also begun getting more into the bullet-journal lifestyle and have expanded on how I organize and set up my planner for the year, month, week, and day. One significant change is the more formal tracking of weekly and daily habits. For Christmas, my husband gifted me several templates and tools to completely customize my habit trackers, and I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting.

Ultimately, my plan is to continue being less rigid and allowing myself the ability to update as circumstances change. Here’s what I’m starting the year with the following:

Big Hairy Audacious Goals

  • 10,000+ Peloton activity minutes
  • Meet house down payment goal
  • Complete 200 hr yoga teacher training
  • Don’t buy anything new for the year

Habit Tracking

  • Give back/volunteer
  • Budget
  • Artist date
  • Review/planning
  • Fresh flowers
  • Weight check
  • Budget check
  • Write/create
  • Connect with others
  • Me time/me date
  • Planning
  • Gratitude
  • Read
  • Reflect/journal
  • Meditate
  • Move
  • Nourish
  • Nature/outside
  • Meat free
  • No buy
  • Crossword

What’s the difference between my approach and making a bunch of resolutions? Maybe not much. But the biggest differentiator that I see is each of my BHAGs relate to something I’ve already been doing in my life — it’s just taking it to the next milestone. The inclusion of daily, weekly and monthly smaller goals helps the larger ones to not feel quite so daunting.

All of this to say that this is the plan I have set out for myself this year but it’s just one way. And who knows what the year will bring and how these goals will change but I’m excited for the journey and, fingers crossed, to see some progress.

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