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2021: The Year I Develop My Systems

Happy New Year everyone! And welcome to 2021! Well, I can't say that I'm unhappy to see the backside of 2020. I think a lot of us hoped this would be the year to kick butt and take names, but it turned into something entirely different. I know that I had high hopes for 2020 after spending most of 2019 recovering from a broken leg. So, now we're going to try our best to make 2021 even better than we hoped!

As usual, I am declaring a theme for this year.

2015 was The Year I Say No.
2016 was The Year I Give No F*cks.
2017 was The Year I Have Fun.
2018 was The Year I Don't Compete.
2019 was The Year I Improve Myself and My Business
2020 was The Year I Lead A Happy Creative Life

2021 will be…

The Year I Develop My Systems

Yes, it's time to take things to the next level for me, both at home and in my health and at work and in my writing. This is the year that I make better plans and I stick to them, something I'm already quite good at but I seem to lack follow-through for the truly hard things. I drag my feet on a lot of tasks that I just don't want to do, but ultimately, they need to get done. This is the year I put them in my Things app, and I either do them or I delete them. I find I delay these things for too long and then I feel guilty for not doing them. (“Bill my freelance client” to-do task, I'm looking at you.)

Now that I'm living a happy, creative life thanks to last year's goal, I want to live that life with fewer things hanging over my head on a daily basis. It's time to streamline and develop. It's time to make my habits into systems. I love systems! I'm looking forward to making it my theme for 2021.

I have a lot of goals this year, mostly health and fitness related, so let's get to them!

Writing and Publishing Goals

I will write and publish the first 2 books in The Amagi Series. Yes, you heard it here first! Skylar's series will be called the Amagi Series and I plan to write AND publish the first two books in it THIS YEAR. I have a stretch goal of THREE books in this series, but that's only if things do not go haywire with the pandemic. The prequel, featuring Skylar in flight school, will publish this year (summer, I think) in an anthology, so you'll have a lead-in to the series, too. I'm super excited about this series, and I hope to really get it off and running in 2021.

I will write a novella for an anthology. Sorry this one is so vague. I was invited to write for an anthology this year, and I might write about a side character in the Flyght Series world for it. I'm still working on ideas. But this one will also need to be written this year.

I will publish Book 4 in the Hikoboshi Series, THE RISE OF SHIROI NAMI. This is already written and will go through revisions in February. I'm aiming to publish in late April. Cover reveal and pre-order links coming soon!

I will write Book 5 in the Hikoboshi Series. I think this may be my NaNoWriMo book again! My goal is to write this book late in 2021 and then have it ready for publication in 2022.

Business Goals

I will continue to advertise my free books every month. I will hopefully be adding free books to my catalog this year too, and that will give me more to advertise as well. I will set up a schedule for advertising these free books, and at the beginning of each month, I will make sure those ads are scheduled for the following one to two months.

I will continue to publish my ebooks as widely as possible. This means finding more channels worthy of uploading my books to. In 2020, I added Eden Books. This year, I hope to add another channel.

I will spend more time on Instagram. I plan to work harder on my presence there. It fell by the wayside a bit in 2020, but so I'd like to focus more on posting every day and using the Stories more.

Blogging Goals

I will continue to update my blog on a regular basis. I did well with this in 2019 and 2020. I will endeavor to continue on with this!

I will continue to update my pen name's website as well. I am not writing cozy mysteries in 2021, so I need to keep my pen name's blog and website up-to-date with content for that audience. (Just a note, that I will not be writing cozy mysteries until I can visit Japan again, after the pandemic.)

Creativity Goals

I will read 20 books and listen to 20 audiobooks. I plan to set this challenge on my Kindle and read read read this year. I know it doesn't sound like a lot of books, but for me, and all the writing I do, it is a lot. I need to set aside the time to just read. My stretch goal for this is to read EVERY SINGLE DAY in 2021, even if it's only for 5 minutes. I want it to register in my Kindle that I read that day.

I will watch more TV and movies. I had this goal last year and I'm repeating it this year. This time I will keep better track of what I'm watching and blog more about it too.

I will knit more. This was a good goal for 2020, and I did knit a lot more! I plan to finish my current shawl, start and finish another.

Bring all my Pinterest recipes into Paprika. This is more busy work than anything, but I think it will inspire me to cook more too. We shall see!

Personal Fitness Goals

This is where the bulk of my goals are this year due to the Peloton! And this is also where my systems and schedules will come in most handy…

I will bike 1800 miles on Peloton. 150 miles x 12 months is 1800 miles. I biked ALMOST 150 miles in December, so I think this goal will be doable. My stretch goal for this will be 2000 miles.

I will complete Power Zone Training and 2 Power Zone Challenges. I'm in Power Zone Training now, and I already did my FTP test to figure out my zones (hardest 20 minutes of exercise in my life). I start my first Power Zone Challenge on January 18th, my birthday! I would like to do one more this year, if at all possible.

I will complete the Crush Your Core Training on Peloton. This looks really hard, but my core muscles could use some work. Strengthening them will help with my posture a lot. So I would like to start this training in March.

I will complete the Tabata with Robin Training on Peloton. Tabata is HARD, y'all. But Robin insists that “intervals make athletes” and I believe her. I would like to do this training late in 2021.

I will drop another 10 lbs. I am very close to my ultimate weight goal. Honestly, I'm pretty happy with where I am, but another 10 lbs would be ideal and I would be at the weight I was before I had my youngest child. As I continue to lose weight, I see MASSIVE benefits in my health including less hip and knee pain. I think 10 lbs in a year is more than doable, especially with all the exercise I have planned.

I will hit 300 rides. Considering how much riding I'm planning, this one should be a walk in the park. I will re-evaluate this goal mid-year and see if I need to adjust it upward.

I will continue with the Low Carb life. I am so much clearer headed and happy when I'm low carb, as this holiday has taught me. I'm also going to eat less gluten as I think that it contributes to my nasal congestion that I have struggled with my entire life.

I will get a new GP this year. I need a new general practitioner/doctor. I fired my old one three years ago and I've just used the urgent care since then. I was going to get one in 2020 but then the pandemic happened. This year, I am going to make it happen. I want my titers done so I can see which immunizations I need boosters for and check my blood work, just to make sure everything is tip-top. I also hope that this will lead to getting the COVID-19 vaccine as well, but I will research how to get that one on its own. I don't want to delay on that.

And that’s it!

And that's a lot, right? I'm going to do my best, and I'm PUMPED to get going. I've never felt so energized and excited about a new year, mostly thanks to the Peloton! But it's all going to lead to a happy creative life full of systems and habits that will carry me through.

Want to share your 2021 goals with me?

Comment and let me know what you’ll be up to in the new year!

S. J. Pajonas