And just like that, another year has zipped by! I hope everyone’s had a year that they’ve wanted and enjoyed as well as being able to make the most of getting together, seeing loved ones and friends as well as revisiting old routines that have had to be adjusted over the last two years.
I wanted to pop by the blog to say hi and wish everyone an awesome holiday season and a happy new year! I know we’re not really out of the woods yet and that there’s room for improvement but let’s celebrate how far we’ve come since this time last year!
As per our usual routine, let’s take a moment to look back through year 2021 and the things to look forward to in 2022. It has been another year filled with learning, and challenges – complete with months and weeks that felt like it was stretching on and on but here we are, preparing for another year!
Looking back at 2021…
Reading 31 Books in 2021
One of the things I did really well on this year was over-achieving my goal to read 21 books this year. I ended up reading all of 31 which you can track on Goodreads. Some of these books I’ve read a more than once. I’ve reviewed approximately 20 books that I read in my first quarter of 2021 over on a previous post.
I must say that reading these books as audiobooks have helped me power through most – it helps that I can listen to these audiobooks while I’m doing my morning walks or while I’m cooking and cleaning the condo.
Halving my Takeout/Grocery Spending
I touched on this goal in my 2020 post where my goal for the year to reduce the volume of my pantry stock and shopping more mindfully. This was a year where I’ve not only been to reduce my monthly grocery and takeout but switching up the protein with more plant-based items. Whether it be the meatless menu days or substituting the animal-based protein with plant-based ones in my regular recipes, my goal is to trial and error more recipes next year with more tofu, beans and other greens!
The takeouts have also gone down considerably – of course, there have been the occasional slip-ups but for most of this year, I’ve been able to stick to my monthly goal/targets to keep the takeout spending. UberEats or Doordash were never usually part of my routine but some times the BOGO or discounted deals make the takeout spending somewhat worth it when I’m not really feeling at-home cooking.
Making the Most of My At-Home Gym and Entertainment Setup
I mentioned creating this set up in a previous post – I definitely have been making more time to move and slowing down. It’s amazing what you can learn on YouTube and I’m a huge documentary watcher anyways so having my TV set up has been good for both my mental health and also in terms of learning in a fun way.
Hitting Multiple Personal Milestones
I’ve not been active blogging mostly as I’ve been focusing a lot more on myself, and a variety of personal-related goals. I am proud to say that I’ve hit a few of those goals – I won’t dive too much into it as I don’t want to disclose anything too personal but needless to say, while there’s always room for growth and further improvement, I’m thrilled that the hard work is paying off and showing results!
Cooking more food variety
Extending a little bit on #2, one of the things I’ve been doing these last few months is watching mundane grocery and cooking YouTube videos focused mostly on Korean and Japanese cooking. I’ve been trying to incorporate more variety in my cooking so I try to focus on a different theme each week. One week can be a Korean-focused week, the next Indonesian, the next Mexican and then French or Italian. I’m finding this helps take care of my takeout cravings. YouTube videos are insanely helpful at getting me out of the cooking rut!
Goals for 2022
Rest More / Focus on Self-Care Days and better WLB
Similar to last year, I wasn’t able to take as many time off until the tail-end of the year. There were a few days in the summer that I took off, mostly for things relating to appointment catchups I needed to do. I’ve been finding myself really drained on an daily basis and I can tell it’s taking a toll on me. From the increased stress-eating to the yo-yoing mood swings, I really need to get a better handle on my mental and physical health! My goal this year is to truly sign off and have restful days every few weeks or so.
Spend more time with Friends
Ever since the summer, I’ve made more of an effort to hang out with friends (once everyone’s double-vaxxed of course) and I’ve made an effort to get caught up with a few friends over the last few weeks. One of the things I definitely want to do more is make this more of a regular thing (safely of course!) and really make up for the all the time we couldn’t see or get caught up in the last two years. Whether it be the coffee breaks, dinner and drinks catchups among other appointments and so on, I’m excited and look forward to making up for lost time.
I hope 2022 can be the year when we can travel again. I know travelling has slowly been picking back up then shut down and I have seen more and more of my friends travelling – basically being done with restrictions. As someone who used to travel internationally regularly, the last two years have been challenging. I really hope we can get vaccines to more countries around the world and allow travel to return to normal again.
Saving up for Renovation #2
When I bought my condo in 2019, it needed a bit of cosmetic work which I got done in 6 weeks’ time. Think, painting, new floor for some rooms, re-doing the kitchen and bathroom. I only wanted to renovate “just enough” to create a comfortable home and live in it for a few months/years to get a better feel of what ares would require additional renovation and what could be lived with. I’m going to try to save up for a few things in 2022, namely:
- New flooring for the whole unit – I only did the bathroom and kitchen a few years ago
- Redoing the pantry – I have a whole pantry that’s currently being used for storage right now and I can absolutely use the extra storage space for the various renovation bits I had leftover
- Redoing the wardrobe/closet – my master bedroom has a his/hers closet with a fairly inefficient use of storage space; I’m interested in creating those boutique-like closet with the space that I have so we’ll see
Read 22 Books for 2022
Since I exceeded all expectations for 2021, I’m setting another goal for 2022 in terms of the number of books to read through. I’m combining the audiobooks in this list so I hope to hit it out of the park like this year.
How was your 2021 and what are your goals for the new year?