• Elina Agrawal

2021 Intention Setting

I must say I’ve postponed writing this, out of fear and perhaps even to remind myself that though we have entered a new year, we still stand in the shadows of 2020.


As I write, the UK is in the early days of another total lockdown (which should have been implemented weeks ago), and the news is full of footage from the riots in the US capital which were provoked by possibly the most orange president the world has ever known. With so much uncertainty, intention setting within this mess has proven ridiculously challenging. None the less, I still believe in the usefulness of new years resolutions and goal setting. I’ve put together a series of questions to make it easier for myself to organize the next year of my life. Please feel free to use these questions yourself if you find them helpful!


Q1: What are you choosing to leave behind in 2020?


After looking at roadblocks I faced last year the first thought that came to my mind had to be Covid-19. Unfortunately, I have no answers there. Fortunately, there are many smarter people in the world who are handling it.


What does remain in my control is my toleration of people who don’t show me the basic respect I deserve. In the past, I have looked away while certain friends, partners, dates, and colleagues gaslight, undermine, and hinder me. I can not stand for it any longer. I refuse to give just anyone access to me and my life, especially when they have not shown any deserving for it.


Q2: What wisdom can you take from 2020 into 2021?


2020 has been a teacher to us all, teaching us all the hard lessons and throwing us in the deep end to fend for ourselves. It must not come as a surprise that I learned many lessons during it. For the sake of brevity, I’ll stick to just sharing one.


At the beginning of quarantine we all had surplus time to spend on our own, this is where I did some soul searching of my own. Like most overthinkers, I kept finding myself reliving all the mistakes I’d made in my life; social situations handled poorly, promises broken, errors in judgment. This brings me to my first lesson learned: always acknowledge when you’re wrong, and then forgive yourself. No matter how bad your part was in a situation, you have to understand that at that moment in time, you didn’t know any better. If you’re beating yourself up about a mistake you made then congratulations, you’re a good person. Just don’t let that impede you from continuing to be a good person, you deserve forgiveness from yourself; you’re only human.


Q3: What do you wish you did more of in 2020?


I wish I allowed myself to live. I spent the majority of my time fretting about nonexistent situations, having relationship problems without being in relationships, and spending an embarrassing amount of time making excuses. I feel like I was walking through the world with my eyes closed and searching for a light switch when the lights were already on. I don’t want to live like that anymore. I crave adventure, there are places I haven’t been, foods I haven’t tasted, music I haven’t heard. I don’t want to spend another year keeping myself in a box when there’s so much else in the world. Below I’ve listed the things I hope to do in 2021, I’m hoping that by sharing this list I can keep myself accountable.


  • Urban Axe Throwing

  • Graffiti Lessons

  • Take a Boxing class

  • Go Paintballing

  • Learn how to Scuba Diving

  • Go Sky Diving

  • Write more


With these answers, I’m hoping I’ll be able to set myself up well enough for the year to come. Seeing as the first week of 2021 has come with multiple major events I’m sure that is to be expected of the rest of the year as well. Despite any surprises that this year will bring I’m sure we’ll all be able to find our footing. We’re a resilient bunch, and I reckon if we managed to survive 2020 then we’ll be just fine with anything else thrown at us. To all those who have decided upon their resolutions for the new year, I applaud you, and I wish you all the luck in achieving them. For those who are still contemplating, I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


Here’s to 2021 and the mysteries it may unfold.


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