The Twenty-Something Series: Rethinking my goals for 2020

With everything going on, I've had to rethink a lot of my goals for 2020, and set a few new ones. In this post, I reflect on the feeling of giving up and staying motivated.

If you've been following me for a while, you'll know I've come to love setting goals. I'm a very goal-oriented person: I'm a terrible procrastinator so love a deadline; I have to-do lists for each day, week and month to keep me organised; I don't get around to doing things I actually want to do unless I write them down, to keep myself motivated... and accountable.

At the start of this year, I shared two posts talking about my (more personal) goals for 2020, and my writing goals for 2020

It's safe to say that, more than halfway through the year, things... didn't exactly go the way I'd planned. (Thanks, covid.) So in this post, I'm going to look at some of the things I have - and haven't - achieved, and how I'm re-thinking what I want to do with the rest of my year.

Goodbye, holiday plans 

First and foremost, this is the one I'm most disappointed about. Some of the uni girls and I had been talking for a while about how we should have a weekend away - and finally, this year, two of us planned to go to Vienna. We were due to fly just as all of... ~this~ started kicking off, and made the decision to postpone it to October. And, now things are still pretty serious (at least, in the UK) we've postponed it to next year.

I think part of the reason this is so frustrating for me is because it also involved spending time with my friends - which obviously, hasn't really been possible in lockdown. Plus, I'm not great at taking holiday from work. I've used five vacation days so far, this entire year - and usually, I take days off work to... work on my books, so it's also disappointing because it would've been the perfect opportunity to switch off.

An unproductive start to the year

Oh, how naive I was, saying I planned to finish the new adult book I'd started working on last Christmas by Valentine's Day! I think I wrote about 2,000 words on it, total, this year. I did manage to do some edits on a different book, but other than that - it was a couple of weeks into lockdown before I started really working on my books again!

I also talked about the publishing deals I was hoping to get, which... haven't exactly materialised yet, but hey, there's still time.

Honestly, from January through to March I felt like I was in a funk. I don't know how else to describe it. I was having a good time watching movies in the evenings (which has now become a thing that I do?! I have a whole thing called Beth's Movie Reviews Nobody Asked For where I talk about the movies I've been watching on my Instagram stories). I was going out with friends and making plans, seeing my family... It wasn't like I was miserable or anything - just unmotivated to make any progress on my books. And you guys know how much I love feeling productive, so this was rough for me.

Admitting defeat on some of my goals

This part has easily been the hardest - because it feels like I'm admitting defeat, or giving up on them, whereas I'd like to at least try to make them happen. And, obviously, I can't just pluck publishing contracts out of thin air, or conjure up motivation I didn't have, and I won't be going on holiday while the pandemic is ongoing. There are things like that trip to Vienna I know are just postponed, but there are others I feel like I'll be missing out on. I was dreaming of going to LA for the release of The Kissing Booth 2 - which, given that it's out in only a few days, definitely won't be happening. There is nothing I can do to change that - and it's so frustrating, and disheartening.

On the bright side: the things I have achieved!

Never one to dwell too long on the shitty stuff, I'm going to move swiftly on to the things I have managed to tick off my list of goals. 

Last year I started setting budgets and tracking everything I spent, so this year I wanted to make a point of saving my 'leftover' salary each month - which I'm pleased to say I have been doing! I've got a streak of over 170 days on Duolingo, and completed all of the Level 2 lessons on the German course... AND the Level 3 ones!

I wanted to guest on a podcast. Well, reader, I have been on three! I did one for Tim's Wonderful World of Wattpad, one for World Book Day, and more recently I was on That's What I'm Tolkein About, chatting about a chapter of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (and what a drama queen Denethor is). 

I also wanted to try to get into vlogging a little - which wasn't a goal I shared on my blog, but was one I wrote in my journal. I wanted to try to vlog twice a month - but as of May, resolved to try to vlog at least once a week, and have since uploaded 13 videos - and even made a little intro and outro! I'm by no means very good at vlogging, or editing, or anything like that, but I'm having a lot of fun trying to learn new things and improve.

And as for my books?

Well, as you may already know, The Kissing Booth 2 was published in January, and a spin-off novella The Kissing Booth: Road Trip! was published for World Book Day (it's currently only available in the UK, for the record). The YA book I was hoping to edit is currently in progress, so that's good, and I also ended up writing a brand-new book called Lockdown on London Lane! It was something new and different and a lot of fun, especially since I was uploading it to Wattpad - something I haven't done in a while!

I'd still like to finish the new adult book I started writing last Christmastime, as well as another new one - and hey, still plenty of time for that!

Plus, a couple of new goals...

Since my Duolingo has been going so well, I've set myself a couple more goals on that - I want to practice my Portuguese more (since I've been focusing on German so far this year). I've also signed up for Skillshare premium to do some classes, because I just like learning stuff - I've been watching some courses on vlogging, too, which has been fun. 

I also want to make some plans with friends, since lockdown has eased enough now that we can visit each other (even if we can't take holidays together) and have set myself a reading goal for the rest of the year. Lockdown has also meant I've been spending a lot less, so I've been trying to work harder with my savings goals - and curbing my online shopping, which has been surprisingly achievable!

Right now, I'm trying to re-evaluate what I want to do - and what I feasibly can do the rest of this year, to set myself a few other new goals, and feel like I'm making the most of my year. I mean, heck - I already lived on my own and often didn't have plans to go out or see people during the week or on weekends, so it's not like lockdown is some huge leap for me, or has suddenly changed my life drastically.

Has 2020 changed any of your goals and plans for the year - or forced you to set new ones? I'd love to know, so let me know down in the comments!

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