In today’s post I’m sharing my thoughts on everything that happened in 2020, my favorite moments and accomplishments, and my goals for the 2021 New Year ahead!
2020 Reflections + 2021 New Year Goals
Hey everyone! I hope you had an amazing Christmas and New Years!
I’m officially back today from my annual end of the year blogging vacation and I’m feeling so refreshed and recharged for the year ahead. For the first time in YEARS I literally did not log on to my laptop for 2 weeks straight and stayed off of Instagram.
I had an awesome Christmas seeing family both in Virginia and Georgia, celebrated my 31st Birthday, and brought in the New Years at home (in PJ’s) with my two favorite boys.
Taking a break like that was just what my mind needed and I gotta say, I’m much happier when I’m not on social media. (but that’s another subject for another day…)
As I always start out the new year, today I wanted to share a post full of my 2020 reflections and my new year goals for the year 2021 ahead. I’ve also rounded up the Top 10 Posts on Kindly Unspoken in the year 2020 below, in case you’re curious.
Ah 2020. The year that I think we all can collectively say we won’t miss – am, I right?! LOL
In all seriousness, 2020 was a crazy year for sure, but as I shared in my 4 Life Lessons Learned in 2020, there were so many bright lights in a year full of negativity and darkness.
Just a few of those bright lights include:
- Increasing my faith and relationship with God
- Having more quality time at home with my family (Read: It’s Okay to Slow Down)
- Reaching my fitness/weight-loss goals (Read: Life After Whole30)
- Learning to better control my anxiety (Read: 20 Encouraging Bible Verses)
- Absolutely CRUSHING my blogging goals (see goal recap below)
- Growing a serious appreciation for “the little things” in life
Another major bright light was of course my husband getting promoted to a Federal Lieutenant position in Kentucky.
My husband has officially been in Kentucky for around a month now and he loves it so much. Not only does this make me so happy for him, but it makes me so excited for the boys and I to move up there with him (hopefully soon) and I can’t wait until we can all be together again.
In case you missed the big announcement, you can read all about it over here.
I don’t know what lies ahead for 2021, but I do know that I’m pressing forward with a positive outlook and a grateful heart. As much as the past year challenged us all, I’m thankful for the hardships that made me stronger and the valuable lessons learned.
I’m also wholeheartedly excited for a new year, fresh start, and ready for everything 2021 has to bring to the table!
2020 Goal Recap + Accomplishments
2020 Goal: Grow my Organic Pageviews by 75% + Reach 1,000,000 Pageviews – 110% YES! Not only did I reach this goal, but I exceeded it by a landslide. I ended up increasing my pageviews by 159% this year and surpassed 1,000,000 annual pageviews in November, just in time to celebrate my 5 Year Blogiversary.
This was a huge accomplishment and something I’ve worked incredibly hard for over the past several years and it just further solidifies my belief that hard work truly pays off.
Reach 25,000 Followers on Pinterest – This is one of the only goals that I didn’t accomplish in 2020, but as I still grew my overall social following by thousands this past year, I’m not too upset about it. Aside from currently having over 18K followers, I currently average between 5 and 6 million monthly viewers on Pinterest, so I really can’t complain.
That said, if you’re not already following me on Pinterest, whatcha waiting for? Follow me over here and join in on the fun! 🙂
Create More Beauty, Family, & Recipes Content – Yes! Being home more in 2020 definitely allowed me to dedicate more time to content creation for the blog, but I’m not going to say that 2020 didn’t come without challenges.
COVID-19 definitely changed the way we all lived, and with less people going out and wearing makeup, I knew right away that it was important to shift my content accordingly.
While I didn’t post as many makeup/beauty posts as I would have liked, I still enjoyed putting together several beauty roundups with the best affordable makeup products to buy, reviewing new makeup and skincare products, and as always published lots of fun Halloween makeup tutorials.
On the flip side, COVID-19 allowed me more time to dedicate to one of my other favorite hobbies – baking! In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I absolutely love to bake and share easy recipes that are family-friendly.
In 2020 I was able to create over 40 yummy dessert, breakfast, and dinner recipes for the blog, and you all seemed to really love all the new recipes. I also created a new Instagram account for sharing all my latest recipes. If you haven’t already, follow me over here.
Improve My Photography – Yes! I didn’t end up taking a course like I originally planned but I definitely watched a lot of online tutorials and gathered helpful tips and tricks from social media to help me really improve my photography skills.
I’m still not a pro by any means and I’m constantly working to further improve my photography/videography and photo editing skills, but when I look back and compare some of my first photos to now, I’m really proud of how far I’ve come and the difference is night and day.
Downsize Our “Stuff” For a More Minimalistic Lifestyle – Yes! As much as I thought I had purged in 2019, I purged, organized, and downsized even more in 2020. I also got a strong grip on How to Stop Buying Stuff I Don’t Need.
For me, having a clean, organized home with less clutter makes me happier and puts my mind more at ease. I’m also definitely happier when I have less choices in my closet and makeup collection.
I’m still constantly going through our belongings and finding new things to sale or donate, but I’m so happy with the progress I’ve made in having “less stuff” and have less anxiety because of it.
Continue Saving Up For Our Dream Home/Land – Yes! My husband and I have been saving up for years now with the plans of buying our dream home or building it, and we’ve made huge strides.
Now that our move to Kentucky is getting closer and closer, I’m getting so excited about having our own dream property. I truly want a place that looks and feels like “us” and whether we end up buying or building, I know it’s going to be a place we will love and cherish for years to come.
Kindly Unspoken Top 10 Posts of 2020
10. Whole30 Results Before + After – Doing Whole30 quite literally changed my life and to this day I’m still SO proud of myself for not only doing it, but also for maintaining many of the healthy eating habits in my daily life. I’m down 12 pounds and over 8 inches from December 2019 (even after indulging in Christmas cookies/holiday treats) and I definitely recommend the program for anyone who is stuck in an unhealthy eating cycle.
9. Milani Baked Blushes Review & Swatches – In this makeup review, I shared swatches of the 8 most beautiful Milani Baked Blushes shades. This post quickly went viral on Google and Pinterest and are best-sellers on the blog.
8. Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color Collection Review – In this post I shared a full review and swatches of the new 26 shade wet n wild Megalast Lipstick collection. These lipsticks are gorgeous and great quality, so don’t sleep on them!
7. Best Nude Drugstore Lipsticks – This post was highly requested and incredibly popular. Nude lipsticks are always a great choice and in this roundup I shared a list of the best, affordable drugstore lipsticks that look great on everyone.
6. Best Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars – These easy cheesecake bars are made pretty with a delicious homemade blueberry sauce and are the perfect choice when you’re craving something yummy!
5. Easy Chicken and Stuffing Casserole – The more simple the dinner, the better – am I right? This easy chicken casserole recipe is one of my personal favorites and instantly became a top recipe.
4. Inspirational Quotes for Hard Times – I think we all needed some extra encouragement this year, so it came as no surprise that this roundup of printable inspirational quotes ended up becoming incredibly popular. Grab a couple for this year to keep your spirits bright! 🙂
3. Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs – Another dinner favorite on the blog this year were these finger-licking good oven baked chicken thighs. Not only are the easy and delicious, but they are also healthy and Whole30 approved!
2. Quick Pineapple Upside Down Cake – I literally shared this easy cake recipe on a whim and it ended up being my most popular cake recipe post to date. It’s also my husband’s favorite!
1. Sausage and Egg Whole30 Breakfast Casserole – Considering how popular my Whole30 posts were this year, it came as no shock that my Whole30 Breakfast Casserole was my top post in 2020. It’s easy, delicious, and the perfect, healthy breakfast choice.
2021 New Year Goals
Kick Self Doubt to The Curb
The biggest goal I have for myself in 2021 is to let go of the self doubt that’s been holding me back for too long and to just go for it. As someone who is highly analytical, I too often talk myself out of something before I even give it a try and it’s honestly gotten to the point of ridiculousness.
This year I want to pray more and worry less. Think big and never quit. Work hard and stay strong. Doubt less and believe in myself more.
After all, you can either be your biggest critic, or your biggest fan. I know what I’m choosing this year.
Launch a Youtube Cooking Channel
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to have my own cooking channel on Youtube, and this year is THE year I’m going to make it happen – no excuses. I’ve already came up with an action plan and am working on a camera setup as we speak so that I can get in a good groove with it.
I’m not sure yet what my posting schedule will look like, but I hope to minimally post 1-2 videos a month. Stay tuned for all the details and I hope you’ll subscribe! 🙂
Create Beauty Video Content on Youtube/TikTok
The Youtube beauty world has honestly always intimidated me and over the past few years I’ve came up with every excuse under the sun as to why I shouldn’t have a channel. I found myself asking questions like “Why post content when there’s already a million other channels out there?” or “I’m not a professional makeup artist, so why even bother?”
But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing and I don’t have to be a professional makeup artist to create valuable content for others.I’ve always really loved the educational aspect of makeup, and even if I’m not perfect I want to start sharing makeup videos regularly on both Youtube and social platforms like TikTok and IG.
Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post on my 2020 Reflections and my 2021 New Year Goals! What is the biggest lesson you learned in 2020 and your biggest goal for 2021? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for stopping by! – Cara