What I want out of 2021

Hi guys! I am back from another hiatus…and well, I can’t believe we are already in 2021!

I usually start every year with blogging and reflecting on my goals for the upcoming year.

I had a bunch of blog post ideas for 2021 in my Notes App, and I was just putting off writing. Honestly, I just did not feel like writing. My mental health has been shot between dealing with the pandemic, personal stuff, and the U.S. Capitol insurrection that occurred a few weeks ago.

I’ve been second-guessing myself as a blogger too. I don’t want to be some sort of instafamous influencer and it seems like blogging (as in writing) and being an influencer go hand-in-hand these days. I still have dreams for this blog even though sometimes I want to shut it down and forget I ever blogged. But I love storytelling and sharing things with others (although not oversharing, and not to too many people in person, so if you are one of the few people in person who knows that I blog, consider yourself lucky).

I’m not even going to try to write for SEO on this post. I’m just letting it all out here. Let’s just say that January is my (and everyone’s) trial run for the year. I want to accomplish what I can even though it has been taking a lot of mental energy to do so.

Without further ado, here are some things I want to achieve and accomplish:

Saving money.

I know, I know, I vow to save money every year. But I am serious about it this time. I even unsubscribed from Sephora’s e-mails and deleted their app on my phone. I need to start unsubscribing from other e-mails too. And tone down on buying clothes for my dogs’ Instagram (although I will say I have SO much fun being their momager). I am thankful to have gotten a raise at work but I need to be smart about saving so that Cecilio and I can eventually move out of our apartment (maybe not this year though), travel next year, pay off my bills and eventually talk about starting a family in 2023.

To stay healthy (whether I lose weight or not)

This year, I have been serious about trying to lose weight. I haven’t even had my Hot Cheetos in a month. But it has been pretty discouraging not seeing things shift. I was able to lose a few pounds last year but I gained it all back. And honestly, it does get discouraging when people say, “You shouldn’t exercise for weight loss, it’s all about your diet” because I do enjoy working out a lot. And I have been cleaning up my diet and kinda tracking calories (but not too much because it’ll make me go crazy). I just get so hungry and famished when I don’t have enough to eat, my blood sugar goes kinda haywire. And then it’s to the point where I can’t think straight at work.

I’m trying to find that balance between loving myself and feeling good in my own skin but also wanting to go back to my pre-prednisone weight and doing it in a heathy way. I am also trying to eat enough so I don’t keep having headaches and lightheadedness, but not too overboard. But I am also trying to give myself grace too, we are still thick in the pandemic and our stress levels are still at an all-time high.

I will aim to work out 4–5 times a week and incorporate as much fruit, vegetables and protein in my diet as possible, while limiting junk food and alcohol. I rediscovered my love for fruit too (my favorites being red grapes, blueberries, bananas and peaches). I will obviously continue taking my meds to keep my lupus in remission.

Sleep 7—8 hours a night

This is also kinda in line with my health. I noticed that if I am sleep-deprived, I get super hungry and I cannot get through the day. I got away with sleeping 1–5 hours a night back in university when I was in the graphic design program (which was brutal AF) but now I can’t do that anymore. My body hates me for it. I catch up on sleep on the weekends and feel amazing for it, but now it’s time for me to apply those sleeping habits on the weekdays as well.

Get the COVID-19 vaccine

I don’t know when I will get it but I can’t wait to do so. I work in an essential organization so there may be a chance that I might get it sooner rather than later. I will still continue to wear masks (I have to since I go to work onsite) and social distance. The vaccine is to protect myself, and masks are to protect others. Either way, it just seems like the vaccines offer a glimmer of hope that things are going in the right direction as long as we do our part.

Practice drawing and painting again

I kinda got back into art when I did the Inktober challenge back in October with They Draw and Travel. I used their prompt to draw and paint a city everyday. You can check out my artwork here. It made me remember how much I loved being creative. I even did a plein-air sketch in San Francisco for 90 minutes and had so much fun. I’m thinking…maybe I can bring my sketchbook more when Cecilio and I go out and about, and just sit back and draw. And maybe I can share my artwork in this blog and incorporate my love for travel and art/illustration/design.

Start and continue reading

I have to admit, I am not a huge reader and I want to change that. I am proud of myself for finishing a book Cecilio got me in like 3 days. I usually am a slow reader, and I have a hard time finishing them. I even signed up to get a library card, although the books I placed on hold are not ready for me yet. I would love to do some book reviews on this blog too.

Continue writing and blogging

This blog is one of my many creative outlets too, and it’s just that I’ve been a little discouraged comparing myself and feeling like I have to be this aspiring influencer. I mean, I would love to work with brands someday and I still have dreams for this blog. It’s also just kinda funny when I switched over my niche from beauty to travel/lifestyle, that COVID happened. I also just have to balance my time between my career goals and my blog because I absolutely want to grow in my career as a designer and could never see myself quitting to be a full-time blogger, unless (and ONLY unless) if I made enough as a freelance designer. But even then, I enjoy the stability and certainty of regular employment, and being able to interact with my coworkers from different backgrounds. In the meantime, I can share local California travel and lifestyle (reading, fitness, food, art, etc.) content.

I will say, I do feel better writing this all down after not blogging since September. I forgot how much I enjoyed it, especially when I don’t stress out about numbers and analytics.

How are you all? Do you have any goals for 2021 and beyond?

Hannah is a travel writer, graphic designer, and the founder/editor of Hannah on Horizon. She is based in Sacramento, California, living with her husband and two adorable dogs. She shares tips on how to experience luxury travel on any budget, and how to maximize time at each trip or destination, no matter what your budget or amount of vacation time at work. She enjoys making you feel like you have visited each destination with her through her storytelling and informative writing style.

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