My Goals for 2021

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2021 Goals

This year, my goals are centered around making the most of the time my family is spending at home. Since many of you have had questions about how the pandemic is affecting our family and business, I thought I’d take a minute to touch on that first.

Back in March, I shared that my husband and I would be self-quarantining our family for the foreseeable future. Since then, we haven’t been around anyone outside our immediate family. That decision has required plenty of sacrifices, but it’s also brought us peace of mind, and allowed us to go about our days without worrying about getting sick, or getting someone else sick.

Since staying home meant skipping an entire craft show season, we knew this decision was likely to take a big bite out of our income. That was worrying, since we figured our wholesale customers wouldn’t be buying either. But we agreed that it was what we needed to do to keep our family safe, and we counted ourselves lucky that we still had the income from our blog and online shop.

Working from home was already our norm, and the kids adjusted well to digital learning, so it wasn’t a difficult transition for us.

But it was difficult to see our oldest daughter miss out on all the senior year festivities. We watched the graduation ceremony online, and they didn’t even bother to read her name. That was heartbreaking.

But for the most part, we’ve chosen to focus on the positives that have come out of this crazy time. We’re enjoying the break from all the endless running around, and using the extra time at home to catch up on things. We’ve even found somewhere safe to take our family walks. And thanks to the amazing support that you’ve shown us, we continue to keep our bills paid.

2021 Goals

Since we expect 2021 to be a lot like 2020, we remain committed to our decision to stay home. So, this year we chose goals that would make the most of the time we’re spending at home. Here’s what we hope to accomplish in 2021.

Payoff 2020

1. Continue working on our PayOff2020 goal.

We managed to pay off our mortgage in 2020, but we fell short on the rest of this goal. So, we’re just going to keep working at it, until we get there. In the past, we made extra payments towards our debt throughout the year, but this will likely be another year without craft show income, so we’re going to take a more cautious approach, and bank the money instead. We deposited both of our stimulus checks in our savings account. They’ll serve as an emergency fund during the pandemic, and if they’re still there afterwards, we’ll put them towards our PayOff2020 goal.

We didn’t get to have any yard sales or participate in any consignment sales last year, so we’re going to sell some stuff on eBay and Facebook Marketplace, and put that money in our savings account, too. Basically any “extra” money that finds its way into our hands this year is going to get added to our savings, in the hopes that it can be applied to our PayOff2020 goal.

Update: We banked our stimulus checks, and succeeded in selling a bunch of no-longer-needed stuff. We made $952.08 on eBay and $4,091.90 on Facebook Marketplace.

Front of House

2. Continue working on projects around the house.

This was on last year’s goal list, and it’s going on this year’s list, too. We only have another year and a half of kids at home, so we’re working to catch up on home maintenance/home improvement/organization projects. We want to be free to travel and have fun, once the kids are raised and it’s safe to venture out into the world again.

I’m going to start a project list, so we don’t overlook anything that needs to be done.

Update: Here are the projects that we crossed off our list in 2021:

  • Repainted the studio bathroom, including the clawfoot tub
  • Replaced the faucet in the studio kitchen
  • Wrapped the studio fridge, to make it look copper
  • Installed a new light fixture in the studio kitchen
  • Put down new flooring in the studio kitchen and bathroom
  • Put down new flooring in our home kitchen
  • Stripped and stained one of the screen doors at the studio
  • Painted more of the studio exterior (still need to tackle the eaves
  • Tackled some painting and stain touch-ups on the exterior of our house
  • Installed a garden gate
  • Installed a brick patio
  • Reorganized the pantry
  • Cleaned out and reorganized the linen closet

3. Use up my excess of candles.

When you’re a girl, you receive a lot of candles for gifts. As a result, my collection has gotten way too big. It’s time to get those candles lit and used up. I’m burning the biggest ones first, since they take up the most space to store.

Update: I managed to use up 25 candles.

How to Make a Reusable Sandwich Wrap

4. Work on more zero-waste projects.

We’ve always been big on avoiding waste. We use cloth napkins and reusable food wraps. We have no-waste parties and no-waste lunchbox set ups. And this past Christmas, we switched to reusable drawstring gift bags. But there’s still more we could be doing.

I’m currently developing recipes for a shampoo bar and solid dish soap. If I manage to land on something we like, we’ll be able to eliminate more plastic bottles from our home. I also have plans to work on a bunch of zero-waste cleaning products and sewing projects this year. Stay tuned for lots of tutorials.

If this is one of your New Year’s resolutions, be sure to check out all the zero-waste projects that I’ve already shared.

How to Make Unsponges

Update: I made reusable sponges

How to Sew a Soap Saver Bag

soap saver bags, and a TON of other things. Here are links to all of the zero-waste projects I tackled in 2021:

5. Upgrade our travel gear.

This is a new goal that I decided to add towards the end of February. Since travel will be more of a priority for us in a year or so, it’s time to assemble a collection of travel gear that works well for us. For years, we’ve just used whatever we had in the house, and that’s given me a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t. Now I’m ready to address the problem spots. In some cases this will mean buying replacements for things that aren’t working for us. In others, it’ll mean making the replacements myself.

Cord Wraps

Update: I bought a couple foldable duffle bags on Amazon, and found a brand-new laptop backpack on Facebook Marketplace. I also made myself some cord wraps. I’d still like to make a couple big laundry bags, like the ones I made my daughters. I’ll probably tackle that in 2022. I’d still like to order one of these Matador toiletry bags. They’re designed to allow your soap to dry out, which is something regular travel soap containers don’t do. When we go on road trips, we tend to stay somewhere different every night, or every couple nights, which means we’re always packing up our soap when it’s still wet. I need to revisit this goal in 2022. I sort of tabled it, when it became clear we wouldn’t be travelling anytime soon.

Free Printables to Help You Get Started With Your Goals

Monthly Budget Worksheet

Printable Budget Worksheet

Financial Goals Worksheet

Printable Financial Goals Worksheet

Debt Repayment Plan Worksheet

Debt Repayment Plan Worksheet

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  1. I love your newsletters. My first goal is cut waste in our food…only two of us… and use my new sewing machine to learn to make projects to build up for christmas. You are encouraging and inspiring. Thanks

    1. Switching to reusable gift bags was a total game-changer for us. It took some work to get them all made, but it’s completely taken the stress out of wrapping gifts. Now, we just slide a gift into one of the bags and we’re done. No more fussing with wrapping paper, tape, scissors, etc.

      Clean up Christmas morning was a breeze, and we actually found that our gifts took up less space under the tree, which was also nice.

  2. I am sooo happy for your house payoff! We have a car that we owe around $2900 on that my mother has decided to “gift” us an extra payment each month to help us pay it off in five months – WOOHOO! After that, unfortunatley, we have a large ($15,000) credit card debt. We will be putting that car payment and our regular credit card payment together to pay it off in three years. THEN, we get to tackle the house. I am trying to figure out how soon the house will be paid off? Do you have a formula to figure that out? Again, congratulations! I have been following you for years. I cannot believe the girls are that old now!

    1. Hi Cate,

      Congrats on almost having your car paid off! I know how good that feels. I used an online mortgage pay off calculator to play with the numbers and come up with a plan to pay off the house. Since paying off our mortgage was part of our bigger PayOff 2020 plan, my husband built a spreadsheet to calculate what the payments needed to be to hit our target date (way too math-y for me, but it worked well). I also had our bank print out an amortization table for us. It’ll be based off of the mortgage terms that you set with your bank, so it won’t be accurate if you’re making extra payments. But, if you just find your current loan balance on the table (or the closest match), it’ll give you an idea on where you’re at with your pay off. I found it motivating to see how much our extra payments jumped us ahead on the table.

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