Looking Back on 2021

Green-Leafed Plant Beside Window and Wall | Photo by Greg Rosenke via Unsplash

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I've been staring at a blank screen for longer than I'd like to admit. While I've been ready to write this post for a while... I can't decide how I want to lead things off.

2020 started off with tons of promise. I was going to turn 40 that year and had big plans for myself, including my 40 Before 40 list. But the year spiraled in an entirely different direction... and I spent the rest of 2020 in a heightened state of anxiety because so much was uncertain.

The whole world had high hopes for 2021. It had to be better than 2020. Unfortunately, that was not the case... Even though our family had a lot of fun tackling our Summer Bucket List, 2021 brought even more anxiety and profound burnout. I never knew a level of exhaustion as deep as the exhaustion I felt in 2021.

That's why I took a break around the holidays. I needed time away from this space so I could focus on resting and recharging. The time away was exactly what I needed... and I started the new year in a much better place both mentally and emotionally.

Now that I've shared my process for setting yearly goals, it's time to reflect on 2021. It's time to acknowledge all that has happened so I can fully commit myself to everything that 2022 has to offer.

Here's an update on the goals I set for myself for last year.

Nourish in 2021 | Taste As You Go

The realization that I needed to spend more time taking care of myself inspired my theme for 2021 -- NOURISH

I considered the various ways a person could nourish themselves. Then I turned the exercise inward and thought about the ways I could nourish myself. What could I concentrate on that would
  • help me live a healthier lifestyle
  • feed my love of learning
  • make me happy

As I wrote down my goals for 2021, I made sure they were ways I could:
  • Nourish my body
  • Nourish my mind
  • Nourish my spirit

Here's how I did on my 2021 goals.

Nourish my body...

Goal: Drink more water.

For the most part, I did really well with this one. I carried my OG Hydroflask around with me everywhere I went and made sure to refill it as soon as it was empty so I didn't have any excuses. With that said, there were still days when I start off strong but then forget to drink more water after refilling my bottle (similar).

Goal: Be more active.

When I set this goal, I originally saw myself committing more time to exercise. But I realized it was even more important for me to be more active on the very basic level. We spent so much of 2020 not doing anything that I had to make sure we got out of the house whenever possible. Having our Summer Bucket List helped us make the most of our summer months, despite still being somewhat limited in terms of where we could go.

Goal: Get more rest/sleep.

If I'm being honest, I was not very successful here. I struggled a lot with anxiety last year and that affected my sleep in a big way. There were nights when I had to rely on earbuds and white noise to help me fall asleep. 

Goal: Take better care of my skin.

It became essential for me to devote time every evening to my skincare regimen. While my husband hustled the kids through their bedtime routines, I retreated to our bathroom to wash my face and apply an assortment of skincare products to my face:
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day and going through this skincare routine every night make a difference. Investing in the skincare products I linked above was 1,000 percent worth it. My skin looks and feels much healthier... and I feel an obvious difference whenever I skip everything else after washing my face.

Nourish my mind...

Goal: Read 12 books.

I came pretty close to reading 12 books in 2021 but only managed to finish nine. I did start reading my tenth book in November but didn't finish it before the end of the year. Here are the titles I read last year:
  1. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
  2. Digging In by Loretta Nyhan
  3. Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis
  4. This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann 
  5. Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim
  6. Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
  7. Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J.B. West with Mary Lynn Kotz
  8. Tightrope by Amanda Quick
  9. The Age of Doubt by Andrea Camilleri

Goal: Continue Spanish lessons.

I was beyond successful with this goal. Thanks to Duolingo, I have been doing daily Spanish lessons for 473 days in a row!

Goal: Continue antiracist work.

I most definitely did this. Some of the work I did in this area was at my day job and some of the work centered on activities at home and discussions with the kids. 

Nourish my spirit...

Goal: Create new blog content.

While I did manage to create new content last year, I didn't write as many new posts as I was hoping to write. But a win is a win... even if it's a small one... Right?

Goal: Complete backend blog updates.

I made some significant progress on this goal, but I didn't check everything off my list of updates to make yet. Don't be surprised if you see this goal again on my list of goals for this year!

Goal: Devote time to music.

Sadly, this goal fell by the wayside. Every time I tried to sit down at the piano to run through scales and finger exercises, two curious kiddos would magically appear on the bench beside me. 

Don't get me wrong, I loved having them show interest in what I was doing. But it was impossible to practice in a meaningful way with distractions as cute as they are.

Goal: Foster important relationships.

Check this one off!

While I still have a lot of work to do to continue nurturing those relationships, I made some truly rewarding progress here.

Goal: Support local community.

This goal was one of the easier ones on my list to achieve. Our family supported our local community as much as possible last year. We shopped small, ordered take-out from local restaurants, and made charitable contributions to local organizations. 

Goal: Continue living green.

Living green has been a focus for so long that it's second nature now. What's truly inspiring is seeing the kids be more mindful about their choices.

Well, except when it comes to saving electricity. Maybe they'll learn how to remember to turn the lights off in 2022.

Goal: Feed emergency fund.


I worked with my financial advisor to develop a strategy to knock this goal off my list. After I fully funded our emergency fund, I was able to shift my focus to other financial goals. Saving for an emergency was one thing I didn't have to feel anxious about last year!

Goal: Continue making our house a home.

A goal that will live in perpetuity! 

Here are some of my favorite home projects from 2021:


One year agoNourish in 2021
Three years agoTidbits
Four years agoWeeknight Beef Stroganoff
Nine years agoSushi Zen - New York, NY
Eleven years agoSaying Buh-Bye at Boyd Thai

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