Looking Ahead to a Greater 2021

Looking ahead to next year

Looking ahead to next year.

As the calm enters after the storm (actually, it’s storming outside where I am today) you may find some time to think about the future. Where do you want to be at the end of 2021? In your life and your business? Take a few minutes to brainstorm some goals for the new year.

What do you want for 2021? You won't achieve it unless you know what it is. Click To Tweet

Are they doable? Are they goals or dreams? Dreams are OK, but they are not goals. Goals can be achieved in the time frame you have planned. Goals are measurable. Meaning that you can follow your track to success throughout the year. Goals are something that you can state the outcome from the beginning.

Writing down your goals will help you solidify them. I do a kind of mind map, which ends up looking like a lot of scribbling on paper, but it helps me. Go even further. Break down each goal into steps (doable steps) and schedule a date on your calendar when you will achieve each step. That way you will move forward slowly and not get overwhelmed.

It’s also great to have an accountability partner. Someone you can talk to about your goals. Ask them to check in with you periodically to see how you are doing. Your partner just needs to be an interested party, who will listen and ask questions. You do all the work. But, oh how great it feels to have good news to report to someone who has an interest in what you are doing!

In conclusion: What do you want for 2021? You won’t achieve “it” unless you know what “it” is. So I’m taking some time over the next few days to spread some paper across my desk and start brainstorming. I already have some ideas, just need to get them down on paper and start planning. How about you?

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Seana Turner on January 4, 2021 at 8:17 am

    I couldn’t agree more about putting our goals down in writing. I think the very act of recording them, by our own hand, means we are taking a first step of owning our own behavior. My goal this year is to renew a variety of things in my life that are a bit run down, dated, broken, etc. I think I’ll start a written list on my phone so that I can truly see where I need to focus and also what I’m accomplishing!

    • Janet Schiesl on January 4, 2021 at 2:53 pm

      Great idea. I also have to set a reminder for myself to check my goals list throughout the year, so I keep moving forward.

  2. Diane N Quintana on January 4, 2021 at 9:20 am

    I also agree, Janet. Writing down your goals is THE MOST Important thing to do! You can’t achieve that which you don’t acknowledge and work towards. I worked in 2019 and 2020 on a book and organizing product venture with friend and organizer, Jonda Beattie. We completed both at the end of 2020 and are ready to start telling people about both the book and the product. This is an exciting time for me but also a little scary as Jonda and I are venturing into the world of true marketing. We are taking it one small step at a time.

    • Janet Schiesl on January 4, 2021 at 2:48 pm

      Congratulations Diane. I also created a product. I hired someone to help me launch it because it’s way out of my wheel house. Best of luck to you. I want to hear all about it.

  3. Linda Samuels on January 4, 2021 at 11:10 am

    I love your big, bold process of taking out a large piece of paper to do your brainstorming. And what you said is so true- “You won’t achieve ‘it’ unless you know what ‘it’ is.” There have been years when I’ve been much more specific about goals, and other times when it’s an intention that’s set and all choices are made with that in mind. I am goal-oriented, but I have a looser way of going about achieving them. Stuff gets accomplished, but I don’t grid it out step by step. I have the idea and end goal in mind. Often a date gets added for when I’d like to accomplish “it.” But once things are put in motion, everything remains flexible.

    • Janet Schiesl on January 4, 2021 at 2:46 pm

      Linda, you are very focused. I like to set goals, but I don’t set criteria for success and so I don’t always achieve it. I have better success when I’m very specific and structured.

  4. Sabrina Quairoli on January 4, 2021 at 11:41 am

    I love mindmaps. It works really well and allows you to stay creative. Being accountable for your goals and steps are super helpful. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Janet Schiesl on January 4, 2021 at 2:41 pm

      I do my own version of a mindmap on my office wall sometimes. I use post-it notes so I can move things around and add wherever necessary. It helps to clear my mind and calm me down.

  5. Amy Slenker-Smith on January 4, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    I have my notebook and categories. I typically bite off more than I can chew so I’m going working to keep it simple this year. My word for the year is Mindset. Last week, two clients told me that my blog, social and work with them was so helpful because of the mindset shift. So, I’m going to run with this idea and use it as an overall focus for my business. Kinda exciting. Thanks for inspiring all of us with your weekly posts. so good!

    • Janet Schiesl on January 4, 2021 at 2:39 pm

      Thanks Amy. I love your word for 2021. Mindset is so important in good times and bad. My work for 2021 is Flexibility.

  6. Julie Bestry on January 4, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    I’ve been finding that having 2020’s blowup has made me wary of setting goals that outside factors can control. Honestly, I don’t know WHAT my goals for this year are, so I’m working on my annual review to help me into goal-setting mode. Once I have them, writing them down helps, but telling them to my accountability partner and mastermind group is really what keeps me on-course.

    • Janet Schiesl on January 4, 2021 at 3:55 pm

      Looking back at my 2020 goals was crazy for me. So much didn’t happen, but I have to say I’m still in business, so that’s a win. My word for 2021 is flexibility. I think we’ll be dealing with the pandemic issues for all of 2021, so I’m trying to stay flexible.
      Writing things down is a game changer for me. It really works!

  7. Neena on January 4, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Hi Janet,
    You are absolutely correct! You can’t get to your destination if you don’t know where you want to go. I’m keeping my goals simple this year – just a few self improvement items to begin with. Once I have those habits down, I’ll set some more. Happy new year!

    • Janet Schiesl on January 5, 2021 at 7:16 am

      I’m like you, keeping it simple this year. I think we need to be flexible. Maybe that will teach us something we can use in the future.

  8. Lucy Kelly on January 5, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    I love mind maps, they help me see all sorts of connections that a list doesn’t capture! Happy new year!

    • Janet Schiesl on January 6, 2021 at 12:35 pm

      Yes, I use mind maps when I feel overwhelmed. It helps me to clarify the actions I need to take.

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