• David Sales

My Resolution for 2021? Achieve Last Year's Goals

I Didn't Jump into 2020 Like I Said I Would. Am I Ready Now?

I was never one for New Years Resolutions. My previous lives were such creatures of chaos, they weren’t conducive to public declarations of personal commitments. I had enough reasons to feel crappy about myself. Why set myself up for more personal failure?

I must have been feeling quite full of myself last year.

Reading over a journal post on my website from this time a year ago, New Decade, I wondered if I had suffered a mental break? Part of me was even jealous of the “GO GET EM” attitude I had back then. That guy was on fire, and 2020 was going to be the year of taking chances and going for it. It sounded fantastic!

Yes, I was going for it in 2020, but settled for surviving it.

The past year was nothing like I expected. Of course, we didn’t expect a global pandemic to toss our lives into uncertainty, and I know most of us found our plans turned upside down. Perhaps surviving the year was an acceptable achievement?

I wish I could cling to an excuse, but unfortunately, failing to push myself toward those goals had nothing to do with a pandemic. Not doing the work, the determined daily work, of healing and building my recovery so I could move forward was the culprit.

Reality check.

I chickened out.

Here’s the last of that 2019 journal post on my website:

If you’ve been paying attention to all I have written above, you may now know my approach to this new decade. If not, I’ll tell you straight:
I am going for it. I know I won’t regret that.

Nice try, Captain Courageous.

I didn’t jump out of 2019 and bravely free fall into the new decade like a boss. Heck, I pulled the ripcord on my chute before I even got off the ground. And there it is — posted on my website for all to see. Awkward.

Of course, I could just remove the post and no one would ever know the difference. Surely the dozen people who read it back then don’t have it burned into their minds. But I won’t. I may have failed to live up to that public commitment, but I hold myself accountable to someone more important… Me.

I have worked too hard in my recovery to sign off on my own BS.

It is important that I don’t, because there was a reason I wrote that. It’s the same reason I’m revisiting it today and why I’m holding myself accountable for not following through.


Yes, I want more. There is nothing wrong with that, and I won’t feel guilty about it. I just have to put in the work, something I didn’t do in 2020.

My definition of more is an emotional one. I want more meaning, more connection, and more depth.

As a person in recovery, I do practice gratitude, and trust me, I am grateful to be sober and alive. I am grateful to have a roof, a bed, and food when so many others don’t. I’m grateful that I have healed some of my trauma, learned strategies to cope with depression, anxiety, addiction, and the effects of PTSD. I am grateful, and I attempt to acknowledge that in all that I do.

I can be a grateful person, remain humble, and strive for a better life at the same time. I think that makes me human and likely is a sign that I am growing.

Moving On

I won’t beat myself up for the fearful stumble in 2020. I’m choosing to give myself the benefit of the doubt that I wasn’t quite ready to jump last year. I wanted to, but I needed to learn a little more.

Regardless, if it is something that is important to me, something I want to achieve, it’s never too late to regroup and try again. Just because the clock is running out on 2020, doesn’t mean the dream is dead. 2020, 2021, 2030. They are just numbers.

Perhaps I’m ready now?

I think I might be, and I want to find out.

I am working harder than I have in years, and I’m facing my unique challenges head on. I know where I am going and I am aware of what it is going to take to get there. Each day I get up and want to connect with the world.

I don’t always have much to show for my efforts today, but I don’t worry about that. Today isn’t the future. Defeat in my world is subjective, and I don’t despair rejection. I focus on the work and find joy in it.

Should I write another piece abut how I’m going to blow 2021 out of the water?

No. I don’t have to. The piece from last year still stands, and I don’t give up on things that are important to me.

I’m just going to be a little late.

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Disclaimer - I base my articles on my own personal experience as a recovering alcoholic and addict. I share about what has helped me, what I have learned about myself, and are to provide insight into my recovery. I encourage anyone struggling with mental health and addiction challenges to consider talking to a professional clinician. You are worth it.