Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

January 18, 2021

My 2021 New Year's Resolutions + Word of the Year.

      I am a big fan of resolutions with the start of each new year, but if I had to be honest I had trouble for the first couple weeks of 2021 narrowing mine down for this year! Life still seems so uncertain as we are in such a difficult part of the pandemic. I didn't want to make resolutions that would be unrealistic for how the rest of the year ends up being. But after a lot of brainstorming, I finally came up with some that should be good goals to work towards- pandemic or not! I'm also going over last year's resolutions, and sharing my word of the year. 

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2020 Resolutions Recap:

  • Make Jazzercise Fit Club (Did not do this): My Jazzercise studio has a special achievment you can hit in a calendar year called Fit Club. You reach Fit Club if you attended 150 classes in a calendar year. I was on such a good track to hit this last winter... and then COVID arrived and shut down the studio for in-person classes for months. My studio has done a great job pivoting most of their classes to be virtual... but I will totally admit after a month or two of workouts at home, I started slacking. My carpeted apartment living room floor is horrible for dance based workouts, and I just lost all motivation to work out at home. In the fall once the studio re-opened I did return for masked in-person classes, but I was too far behind to hit Fit Club at this point. I think for the year I finished with around 130 classes- so I did come close!
  • Grow one of my savings accounts by $5k (Did this!): I started doubting this would happen after I had to unexpectedly get a car in the spring. I certainly had some unexpected expenses with the last few repairs on my old car, and the down payment for my lease. But with my last paycheck of the year, I could finally officially say that I grew one of my savings accounts by $5k in 2020. 
  • Start travel hacking/open travel rewards credit card (Did not do this): My plan at the start of 2020 was to research credit cards in the spring and hopefully open a new one in the summer... once it became clear travel wasn't resuming anytime soon, I didn't think it was worth it to pursue this in 2020.
  • Start a podcast (Did not do this): Since my day job is in radio, people ask me all the time if I've started a podcast. While I enjoy listening to podcasts, in past years I never felt very compelled to do my own. Doing a live morning show M-F is essentially like doing a live podcast, and some days I feel very "talked out" and not sure how I could come up with more content for a podcast recording later on. This fall, I was frustrated that I still hadn't gotten a good idea for doing a podcast, and then I finally got one! I actually had recorded two episodes of it, and was hoping to launch it around the holidays. But then we had some changes at work and I gained a new title and a lot more responsibility, and that dominated my focus for the last two months of the year. If I ever do start a podcast, I want it to be because I'm 100% passionate about it, not just doing it because I should do it. I saw it as a blessing in disguise that I didn't end up doing it in 2020!
  • NO moves (Did this): I moved at least once annually every year from 2012-2019. I didn't want to move at all in 2020, whether that was to a brand new city/state, or just across Charlottesville. Boy oh boy did this goal come true! Not only did I not move, I barely left the apartment some weeks thanks to the pandemic. 
      Total: 2/5 resolutions completed. 

2021 Resolutions:

  • Learn how to French and/or Dutch braid my hair: I absolutely love the look of French and Dutch braided hair, but I have never been able to get my fingers to do more than a simple regular braid. In years passed I've tried watching video tutorials galore about this. I've came close to getting it... I understand the concept but it's tough to get my fingers to copy it for some reason. Since I anticipate still spending a good deal of 2021 at home, I think this could be the perfect time to try and learn this finally.
  • Wear a matching pajama set to bed most nights: This is such a silly resolution, but I'm excited about it (and have been doing well with it so far in 2021!). For years, my go-to "pajamas" have been an old college t-shirt (usually with several holes in it) and an old pair of gym shorts. Comfy? Sure! But cute? Quite the opposite! I'm kind of tired of going to bed looking like a bum- even if myself and the cat are the only ones who see what I wear to bed. 😉I do have a few cute pajama sets- some for winter and some for summer, and this year I'm determined to wear those most nights to feel a little more put-together at home! 
  • Spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas with my parents: I didn't travel for either holiday this year due to the pandemic, which means I spent both away from my parents. To make up for that, in 2021 I'd love to spend both holidays with them (pending everything is safe then... but I assume it would be by then?) I would really like to be home in Maine for Christmas, since the last time I was would be 2018. For Thanksgiving, it would be nice to be home, but it would also be nice to have my parents visit me, or meet them somewhere for a little vacation. 
  • Continue French lessons on Duolingo app most days a week: Something I haven't talked about much on the blog is that I started re-learning French in August on the free Duolingo app! I was a French minor in college, but hadn't done anything related to studying the language since I finished my minor credits in 2015. It's been great to get back into it, and a fun little hobby to be practicing most days. I hope to continuing steadily in 2021! 
  • Memorize 12 bible verses: 2019 and 2020 were a good years for me to really make it a practice of reading my bible most days, I want 2021 to be the year that I make it more of a priority to memorize scripture! This is something that I've always struggled with in the past. To start, I'd like to memorize one new verse a month. For January, my first verse of the year to memorize is Psalm 119:28.
  • Visit Vermont: If you've been following me since I lived in Vermont, you're probably shocked to see this last resolution! It is no secret that Vermont wasn't somewhere I really enjoyed living, haha. But, I think I would enjoy a brief trip to Vermont as a tourist a lot more than I liked being there all the time as a resident. In the last few months of my year there, I made some really wonderful friends, and I didn't have much time with them since I moved to Virginia just a few months after I met most of them! I would really like to go back and visit friends, as well as see Lake Champlain and go to a few of my favorite restaurants. 

2021 Word of the Year: 

      PRESENT - is my 2021 word of the year! No, I don't mean presents (Although I guess I wouldn't complain too much if it turns out that way. Haha! 😉🎁) I have a habit of stressing out way too much about the future, and often feeling like I'm living in the future and can't enjoy what's right in front of me for what it is. I am very Type A, I like my life to be planned far in advance. I am not a super spontaneous person (something I'm trying to get better at!). If 2020 taught me anything, it's that planning can be good in its intentions, but you always have to be flexible for things to change. This year, I want to focus on being grateful and positive for every day, every week, and every hour. I don't want to focus on uncertainties in the future, or getting too wrapped up in dreams for myself that might not come true. I want to be living fully in the here and now. 

     If you'd like to see my blogging/business goals for 2021- see this post


     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 



  1. I love that your word is present! I feel like our generation is always on our phones and multitasking. It's definitely on my mind, too!

  2. I'm loving your hair in these pictures and beautiful outfit! Love that sweater!
    Great resolutions and a perfect word of the year!
    Ellibelle's Corner

  3. I feel like the word "present" is going to be such a powerful word for you!! I always used to feel like I was rushing through each stage of life trying to get to the next one, and a few years ago I made my word "savor" which was really such a game changer for me. You will really enjoy this I think!

  4. 1. Oh my gosh, I can't believe you don't know how to do a French braid yet! Your hair is seriously made for one! Once you get the hang of it, it's easy!
    2. YES to matching PJs! This is something I've done since college and, even if you're the only one seeing it, it really does make a difference in your evening/morning!
    3. I'm doing Duolingo, too! We'll have to chat about the best way to use it. I just started a couple of weeks ago and, while I was one class short of a French minor, I'm hoping to get back up to speed ;)

  5. Absolutely loved reading your goals for the year. Way to go accomplishing something in 2020, by the way. Present is a great word for the year. I think we could all use a little more presence. I'm am 100% trying to wear real pajamas every day too, and have always wanted to learn to French braid! I really make those official goals so that I do it!

  6. What a great post! I love your chosen word for 2021but also how you broke down things that you are aiming to achieve this year. I would also love to learn how to French or Dutch braid my hair. But I need a haircut first! Lol It's been a year since I have gotten my hair trimmed, I am starting to look like thing! Lol Speaking of, I love your hair in this post. You look super cute and pretty!

    Maureen |


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