January 19, 2021
I recently published my 2020 Year in Review, in which I briefly touched on my goals for the coming year. As promised, I've put together a list of things I'd like to accomplish in 2021.
Before I begin, I'm a firm believer that you can set and start goals at any time (and I often do). But after the year we've had, I thought it only right to start fresh this January.
That said, I've broken up my goals into three sections:
Let's dive in, shall we?
1. Developing my online presence
I've been "on the internet" for more than half my life. This year, I want to expand my footprint even further by providing as much value as possible. To that end, my first goal of 2021 is to:
Serve creative entrepreneurs
Throughout my creative career, I've learned tons of valuable lessons. While running my agency for 14 years, I figured out how to:
- Build a client list I was proud of
- Foster an engaged community that brought me work
- Set up marketing channels and build sales funnels
- Craft a site optimized for conversion
- Charge what I'm worth
- Create a business I loved
So this year, I'm going to focus squarely on the needs of creative entrepreneurs. I plan to do this in a couple of ways (which leads me to my next goal):
Write one 1,000+ word article a week
I have a backlog of article ideas that I want to get out to the creative community — and this is the year I do that.
I'll cover topics on creative business, maximizing efforts and productivity, creativity, and more. I'll also dig deep into my daily routines, including the productivity hacks I use to get the most out of my day, the objects that inspire me, and the tech that helps me get it all done.
I'm hopeful that my writing will bring more people to the site, which should help me hit my next goal for 2021:
Increase visits and pageviews on this site
No, this is not a vanity metric — it's about providing value and bringing more people into my world. The more people that visit, the more opportunity I have to teach.
I have modest traffic now, so I'm hopeful I can shatter this goal. But right now, I'm aiming for 5,000 visits to my site and 10,000 pageviews. If I can do that, I should be able to realize my next goal, which is:
Grow my newsletter to 300 subscribers
As of this writing, I have 173 subscribers to my newsletter. I'll need to average around 2.5 subscribers per week to meet this goal by the end of 2021. It's a lofty one, for sure. But I'm hopeful that with increased traffic, my presence will grow in the creative community.
This intention segues nicely into my last goal in this category:
Get to 2,000 followers on Twitter
If I'm honest, I've had a love/hate relationship with Twitter for years. After curating my feed in 2020, it's become one of my favorite places to hang out.
I've been hovering around ~1,700 followers for years, and I'm finally ready to re-engage with the platform. My goal is to provide value, share what I know, and help as many people as possible in their entrepreneurial journey.
Twitter gives me a lot — it's time to give back.
2. Making more (mostly) passive income
I've earned my living online since 2006. In that time, I've made a lot of my money from client services. This year, I'm more interested in putting in extra work on nights and weekends so I can reap financial rewards down the line.
Here are a few goals that I'm setting for myself in this category:
Create a revenue-generating brand on Shopify
A Shopify store has been on my list for a while. I have a few ideas based on some new hobbies I've picked up. The two spaces I'm looking at are a print-on-demand store and a niche decor store.
I've also started learning the ins and outs of development on the Shopify platform these past few months. More to come on this front soon.
Add one product per week and one blog post per month on MidModMidMod is a passion project I've had for a few years now. My love for mid-century design aesthetic is near-obsessive — and MidMod is my outlet.
I've seen decent organic traffic from just a few blog posts and <100 curated products. In 2021, I want to double down and add at least 50 new curated products to the site.
I source everything through Amazon, so it's just a matter of finding fresh brands to feature. This one's a no-brainer, and I hope to see more organic traffic because of it.
Writing one article per month is a bit tougher, but it's not impossible. Especially if I do a bit of keyword research so I know I'm not wasting my efforts.
Create at least one product to sell on Gumroad
I've been inspired by independent creators lately, and I've made it a point to support them by buying their products on Gumroad.
As I walk through the checkout process, I always think to myself, "You have 14 years of design experience. You should be creating this stuff, too." For years I created icons, graphics, and templates for my clients. Why not design something once and then sell it over and over?
3. Growing my mind, body, and soul
Having all of these digital goals is great, but personal wellness is something I also take seriously. Here's what I want to accomplish on the physical side of the coin.
I started my meditation practice again in 2020. It became a regular part of my morning routine, and this year want to increase it even more. My goal is to meditate at least 10 minutes for 240 days this year. Last year my average session was 12 minutes long, so this should be doable.
Last year I closed my rings 193 of 305 eligible days (I give my body a break on the weekends). This year, my goal is to close them 230 times. Only 219 more to go.
Redesign my office
As a designer, my environment impacts my mood, productivity, and creativity. And since I work from home, this is the space I spend the most time in every day.
I've struggled to find a productive and comfortable layout, so I ended up turning to Modsy. They were just the kick in the pants I needed to jump-start my creative space. They gave me two layout options, and I picked the one that worked best for me.
Since then, I've been shopping around and finding furniture and objects that fit my budget. I hope to have everything ordered and in place by the start of Q2 this year. Stay tuned!
Read more books
I read tons of emails, articles, and Twitter every day, but I don't read enough books. My goal in 2021 is to read three fiction books and three non-fiction books. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments — I need all the help I can get.
Reduce alcohol intake
I've cut back significantly on alcohol, but this year I want to take it further. I'm not ready to call it quits yet — mostly because I invested a small fortune in rum in 2020 to make authentic tiki drinks — but my goal is to reduce my intake by at least 25% this year. By doing so, it should make my next goal even easier:
Lose 15 pounds
I've managed to lose a fair amount of weight since 2018. My plan for this year is to get back down to my college weight. To do this, I'm going to continue exercising, eating well, fasting, and reducing my alcohol intake (see above).
My wife is bilingual and can speak Spanish fluently. For years I've been saying that I want to hold a conversation without butchering the language. ¡Deséame suerte!
Wrapping up my goals for 2021
As you can see, I have a lot I want to accomplish this year. I'm excited to get going and create systems and frameworks to help me work through each goal.
Did you set any goals for the new year? Are you thinking about what you might want to accomplish personally and professionally?
Hit me up on Twitter and let me know what you have in the works. And if you need someone to help you stay accountable, let me know — the buddy system can work wonders!