Photo: StockSnap from Pixabay. Graphics: Author

What I plan to focus on after the year that never ended

My resolutions this year are grouped into three main areas: community, work and writing:


1. Grow the Circular Economy Club Exeter chapter

Why: 2021 is my year of circularity and I want to make my life and my local community more circular this year. The Circular Economy is important to all of us as we all have a part to play in using resources wisely, reducing waste, and helping nature.

How: I will get local businesses, government and academia involved in our Circular Economy Club, host regular events and start sharing content online to guide local people.

2. Support my community

Why: The Circular Economy aside I want to to do more to help my community to be more sustainable. This is the next step in my journey. The intent behind blogging here was always to help others and I want to explore ways of doing this more locally.

How: I will pay more attention to local events and community groups, and offer my support and assistance where it aligns with my skills.


3. Complete my Thesis

Why: I have a thesis due in the first half of the year, and I need to make sure that it gets enough attention. The topic is the reduction of carbon emissions in ports.

How: I will dedicate time each week to work on my thesis.

4. Bring more sustainability into my day job

Why: I work as a project manager for an engineering consultancy and I want to add sustainability to what I do there. I want more sustainability on my CV and I want to translate what I learn in my personal life to my working life.

How: I implement sustainable solutions for my projects. I will look for opportunities to get involved in sustainability initiatives in the workplace.


Why: In the final quarter of the year I lost focus on what was important to my writing and what I enjoy about it, and became more focused on all the peripheral things (social media, promotion, etc.). I need to get some of that love back and make it feel less like work.

5. Less focus on schedule

How: I will set myself no regular targets or deadlines to meet and no silly challenges.

6. More focus on content

How: I will spend more time writing and editing. I will not obsess over quality but will take pride in what I create.

7. Less focussed on forcing my audience growth

How: I will promote my work, but won’t obsess about follower counts, comments or likes. I will try to have more conversations and honest interactions on social media.

How did I do in 2020?

My 2020 resolutions were one of the first things I wrote for this blog, and I started the year with 5:

1. I will look at my own behaviours and identify where I can make sustainable improvements.

This has gone well. I’m regularly challenging my behaviour to the point where it has become habitual to ask if there are better ways of doing things, and to reflect on how green things were.

One area where we have relaxed our discipline is in single-use plastic. We’ve made some major changes, but we still seem to have a massive amount of plastic in our weekly recycling. It’s something to look at again, to be sure.

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2. I will lead by example, promoting sustainable behaviours and encouraging them in others.

I think that this blog and my social media presence demonstrate this, but I do need to be consistent. I need to get more comfortable challenging others, particularly businesses who could do more.

3. I will post to the blog weekly.

This commitment really distracted me from the act of writing. I didn’t get regularly publishing until July and then it was never really weekly.

4. I will not use the car for short journeys.

This one has been easy, as I’ve hardly left the house in 9 months. Thanks, Covid!

5. I will not buy pre-packaged sandwiches.

As above. Thanks again, Covid!

In summary, I’m excited about the challenges that 2021 will bring, and looking forward to helping everyone move on from 2020. We have to be positive about the future and embrace it.