An Honest Reflection of My 2020 Goals
Tomorrow we wake up in 2021 and say “Goodbye and please never come back” to 2020. No one was spared from the sadness and grief of the past year and we’ve reckoned with injustices, historic elections, and widespread inequities all while trying to stay safe from a global pandemic. It’s been a long, hard year. Each year, I take a few days to reflect and look back at the past year in order to plan and prepare for the next. Despite the disruption of 2020 and the unknowns ahead in 2021, I still took the time to make peace with the year.
For the past four years, I used the Cultivate What Matters Powersheets and recently the Elegant Excellence Goals Journal to guide my reflection and goal setting. While it causes some anxiety and fear being so transparent about the challenges of this year, I feel compelled to share how I navigated unknowns in hopes it might also help you along your own journey. If we’ve learned anything from 2020, it is the power of community.
My goal setting always starts by looking back reflecting on the joys, challenges and small wins throughout the year. However, my favorite part of the Elegant Excellence Journal is the outlook. The journal asks us to focus on 1 year, 3 years and 10 years. This offers valuable perspective in a year like 2020 when it feels like we are pushed far off course. In reality, our 10 year visions may be slightly off, but one year did not push them out of the realm of possibility.
One major takeaway in my goal setting were the small shifts in my 10 year vision and the clarity I have for my 1 and 3 year goals. To my great surprise, setting goals for 2021 was the clearest and easiest goal setting session yet. In four years of setting goals like this, the year of a pandemic was the easiest? I have a hunch for why this might be. With so much of the noise stripped away, our priorities and values were left bare for us to re-evaluate and reckon with. For 9 months we’ve been shaped, challenged and forced to face the deepest layers of ourselves.
When I sat in front of those pages this year, I was able to be truly honest with myself for the first time, to express my hopes and dreams without guilt or worry. To think about 10 years from now with a vision of how I want to feel, be and do. This year gave me the perspective, the reprioritization, the clarity I needed to show up in my own life and let go of the rest.
After a year of unknown after unknown, this year’s goal setting was less about finding ways to outperform the previous year and more about grounding myself in what’s possible, in realizing what I’m capable of and celebrating the joy of small victories.
Before my year end reflection I felt like *none* of my goals felt complete. However, looking back I realize that while some didn’t come to fruition, many others evolved and manifested in beautiful ways.
Begin to save for a house/home
Pour every penny of my savings into Honeycomb when revenue went down by over 50% in Q2
Work less, more rest
Work almost as much but find ways to create boundaries and take weekends off
Reduce inflammation, explore new nutrition
Shift to a paleo diet, feel grateful and comfortable in my own skin for the first time in 10 years
Commit to a workout routine that I love
Discover Crossfit and prove to myself that I can do hard things
Grow Honeycomb to six figures in revenue
Get scrappy and creative, make things work, fight like hell to keep the business afloat
Take a vacation
Travel to Philadelphia to work remotely for two months and have the most impactful experience of the past five years
Reduce mental junk, refine focus on mental health
Create a morning routine, stick to it and realize how much I need my own headspace and “Callie time” each day
Learn / Try a new hobby
Channel my creative energy into creating the most cozy home environment
At the beginning of the year, I was preparing to save for my first home. This was a really exciting venture because it’s something I never dreamed possible at this point in my life. However, when revenues sank by more than 50% in Q2 because of coronavirus, my priorities shifted and all of those house savings were poured into Honeycomb to keep it afloat.
Since we are getting honest about finances, let’s dive into my revenue goal. This was set to be the year Honeycomb broke six figures in revenue, a huge milestone that I’d prepared and worked hard to achieve. I’d crunched the numbers, worked the spreadsheets and this was the year it would happen…until it didn’t. So what happens when your revenue is suddenly in free fall? You fight like hell. I am not mincing words when I say that’s what it took to stay afloat. I won’t get into the specifics of why revenue took such a dive because I empathize deeply with the financial hardships many businesses were (and are still) going through this year. The phone calls during those first few weeks were heartbreaking and all I could say was “of course, I understand, I’ll be here when things are better”. My savings gave me a small bit of breathing room to figure out what to do next. It was during this time that I decided to fully rebrand Honeycomb and developed “Brand in a Week”. Had I not gone through this very challenging time, I’m not sure “Brand in a Week” would ever come to life. It was both necessity and a deep craving for something new that I developed something like this. In the latter half of 2020 thanks to Brand in a Week and pushing through, I’ve been able to get Honeycomb back on track and look towards 2021 with a sense of hope.
While my business felt overwhelming and caused me a lot of sleepless nights those first few months of lockdown, some beautiful, unexpected habits began to form as well.
I started to feel burnout early on in lockdown and the stress was compounding by the day. So I did what any sensible person would do: I ordered a book called “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown. I decided to read a chapter each morning and a few mornings in I had a fleeting thought, “Maybe I’ll take a walk this morning”. A walk?! First we’re reading and now we are walking…. What am I? A morning person now?! I walked for THREE WHOLE MILES that morning, just me and all the thoughts swirling around in my brain.
At my lowest point where feelings of failure and unrest creeped in, I found an outlet where I could wrestle with my thoughts (or zone out) if I needed to. My morning routine saved me this year, it brought me back to center and grounded me when it felt like the world was spinning out of control. It was the beautiful thing that blossomed in the desert. I’m excited to continue this practice into the new year and begin dipping my toes into a meditation practice as well.
When we are in the thick of it, the worst of it, perspective feels out of reach. That’s exactly why I look back and that’s why I’ve been so honest here about the pain points and victories. I’m keenly aware of just how fortunate, blessed and lucky I am to be typing this, to be reflecting on the positive impact of 2020 when it was filled with so much hurt and sadness. If you’ve come to the end of the year and are just grateful for making it through, I want you to know that is enough. You are enough.
There’s certainly more work ahead and I’m excited to get my hands dirty in 2021. Whether or not you choose to make goals in the new year season, I’m cheering you on. This space will be here for you in the year ahead for inspiration, honest talks and room for conversation. I hope you’ll stick around!
Callie Kerbo is an award winning solopreneur based in Austin, Texas. She is the Founder of Honeycomb, and specialises in branding your business to make you unforgettable. You can find her here. http://honeycombcreates.com/
Honeycomb is a full service boutique brand partner, offering concept-to-launch marketing services for startups and growth-stage businesses. Founded on the belief that beautiful design is only as powerful as the business strategy behind it, Callie works to find what makes your business irreplaceable and then develop a creative branding strategy to help share it with the world. By the time your customers find you, they will have only one thing to say: “Wow.”
From napkin drawings of a concept to long-standing businesses, Honeycomb helps businesses of every scale reach their goals and grow their businesses.