Looking Back on My Goals for 2021: Ouch

With the year just about over, it's an opportunity to look back on my 2021 New Years' resolutions and see just how much I can disappoint myself.


Picture courtesy of Pixabay.

Crowdfunding (Success!)​

I pledged to stop crowdfunding anything that caught my fancy and I stuck to that pledge. On Kickstarter, I backed my favorite artist who creates character portraits, my friend's Crafty Quest box to introduce kids to role-playing elements, 3D-printable puzzles and props for cosplay and gifts, and d20 fidget spinners. On Indiegogo, I backed the SCP art books and was happy with the end result. Overall, I backed products because I believed in the creator or would genuinely use the end result, and I'm much happier with my crowdfunding investments as a result.

Diversifying the CAR-PGA (Success!)​

I'm the Chair of the Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Games Association, and one of our goals has been to increase our membership. We're doing it, one person at a time, by inviting speakers to our monthly virtual panels, which we record and share on our YouTube channel. We've had everyone from Jon Peterson, author of Game Wizards, to Steve Jackson, of Steve Jackson Games. We're getting there -- we'll be producing an Annual Report to show our growth towards the CAR-PGA's goals.

Finish My Star Wars Campaign (Failed)​

An entire year went by and we didn't make any progress on this, at least in part due to the pandemic. That's a recurring theme.

Print More Miniatures & Terrain (Failed)​

This was a good idea, but when you’re not playing in person there isn’t much point. One of my printers broke and was in the shop for a few months, so that impaired my progress too. But mostly my printers get into gear for Halloween and print non-stop creating gifts for the holidays. Until I have an in-person campaign, I’m not going to make much progress on this front.

Play In-Person (Failed 2x)​

See above. My daughter is vaccinated now so we're making incremental progress, but not as quickly as I hoped. I did play with my kids a bit, but we're all busy these days and I didn’t play with them nearly as much as I would have liked. The one campaign we did play turned into my setting, 5E RPG: Academy Adventures.

Appreciate Players​

It's hard to judge this one. I try to value and cherish my online players as much as possible and send them gifts to show I care for their birthdays and on holidays. I was happy to support and spread the word about Jasper's Game and the Role-Playing Game Creators Relief Fund. Ultimately, I leave that to my players.

My 2021 Score: 30%​

So how did I do? Of my seven goals, I succeeded on two of them. Yikes. A large chunk of this was due to optimism on my part that the pandemic would be over. I suspect I’m not alone on that front.

In my next article I’ll lay out my plans for 2022. They will not be nearly as optimistic this time.

Your Turn: Please tell me you did better on your goals for 2021 than I did!
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Michael Tresca

Michael Tresca


I usually go for the most selfish, anti-Wheaton's Law resolutions I can.

Because then I know I'll have no trouble keeping them.


Good luck to you Rafael, may you exceed beyond your expectations in 2022.

Personally, after 2020, I stopped making resolutions. What happens, happens. Though I finally got all my 40K armies painted after 23 years (all 11 of them), so there's that. Alos finished our D&D Saltmarsh campaign, and it looks like I'll get my 5E version of Bestiary Malfearous pretty much finished (580 monsters, started the conversion in February). I'll be very happy if I can get it to the point I can get a POD version of it, even if just for myself.


I don't think there needs to be any disappointment in re-prioritizing your annual goals based on different information coming to light as the year progresses. It seems that you met the goals of those things under your control - you can't end a global pandemic, for instance.
For me, my 2021 goals were of mental health and survival. I've made it to the last week of 2021 with minimal (I hope) emotional damage to myself.
What are my goals for 2022? I need to reorganize and de-clutter my gaming space, try to stay more positive on messageboards/online spaces, and (non-gaming-related) finish writing and recording this album I started in 2001.


I succeeded, because I am still alive. I am fighting stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. As long as I am alive I am succeeding. I suppose for 2022 I am looking to play in a long term D&D campaign. Also, surviving 2022 is on the list too.
I was going to write a sarcastic post about how my goal for 2021 was to get through 2021, but your post put that into perspective. Thanks for making me appreciate my life a bit more, and I hope you achieve your goals for a very long time to come.


My 2021 year of gaming was a much better year than 2020. I did manage to play several sessions of boardgames, miniature games and rpgs in person, all in a safe way.

Two exceptions:
  • I did not paint miniatures I had set aside.
  • I did not curb my compulsive buying of RPG books. Resold half of what I bought.

Painting should be easy but I always find something else to do. Buying less is a major goal of 2022.

I give myself 60%.


Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I was going to post something just like this closer to New Years, but since you beat me to the punch, I’ll post my evaluation of my 2021 goals and set my goals for 2022.

Last year’s goals:
1. Get a regular game going again by March. This one I did succeed at, though the campaign didn’t make it through the year. I’ll still give myself credit for this one, I got the game started in the time frame I wanted to get it started in.

2. Play Weekly I kind of succeeded at this one, kind of didn’t. I certainly scheduled my campaign weekly, and for the first few months we did actually play weekly. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to keep up with that schedule, and more and more sessions had to be canceled, or turned into board game nights. So, I’ll give myself half credit for this one.

3. Be ready for game on game night. I don’t think I succeeded here. In my defense, this goal was directly opposed to the previous two. I pushed myself to start by a certain deadline and to play every week, which didn’t leave me the time to do the preparation I needed to really feel ready, which contributed to burnout and made me less enthusiastic to prepare. I had anticipated this might be an issue, but I hoped that setting aggressive goals for myself and posting them publicly would help me hold myself accountable for them. But I should know by now that’s not how my ADHD brain works.

So, overall, 50% success on my goals from last year. Not a passing grade. Time to do better this year. Here are my new goals.

1. Prep smarter, not harder. The failure of my goal to be ready for game by game night last year was due in large part to burnout. I set an aggressive schedule for myself, as well as setting out to be fully prepared for every session, which was a bad way to approach what I think was a great goal. This year, I’m rethinking how I prepare for games. I’m going to try a rolling prep system, where I keep track of active quests and PC goals and just prep what I think I’m most likely to need for next session based on that information, rather than trying to prepare everything I could possibly need before even starting. I’m also going to try to force myself to be comfortable with sloppier prep. It doesn’t need to be pretty, it just needs to work.

2. Finish the campaign. I have a bad habit of starting campaigns, burning myself out, and canceling them. I did it with the campaign that started in March. But, no more. I’ve got a fresh start with an adventure I know I love, and this time I’m going to see it through to the end. I’m hoping that the previous goal will work in favor of this one, rather than at odds with it like last year’s goals.

3. Make the mundane fun. I’m talking stuff like overland travel, downtime activity, inventory management; the stuff that all too often ends up being pure process with little actual gameplay to it. The stuff that a lot of DMs handwave away because it’s boring. I want to include those parts of play in my game, but I want to make them fun. I think I have the tools I need on my end to make that happen, the challenge will be in the technique of running it in the way the players will find satisfying.


Limit Break Dancing
Most of my goals for 2021 were for Health & Wellness.

Goal No. 1: Lower my BMI to 26. I lost about 30 pounds, and reached this goal back in June. My BMI has crept back up into the 27-28 range, what with all the holiday food and seasonal affective disorder, but that's gonna change starting next week. (cracks knuckles)

Goal No. 2: Lower my Total Cholesterol to 130. The bogeyman of my family is high cholesterol and heart disease, so I have to work pretty hard to keep this under control. I actually ended up lowering it all the way to 110 back in June. I've been managing it pretty well ever since, too, keeping it around the 130-140 range.

Goal No. 3: Work Out Every Day. This one was the hardest, especially when I was traveling or didn't feel well (which was often). But I managed to do at least one workout every day for a solid year...and counting. I recommend Darebee.com to anyone who is looking for at-home, no-equipment workouts free of charge.

Goal No. 4: Publish Again. It has been too long since I've published anything (like, more than a decade), and I had hoped to break that streak in 2021 by publishing something on DMsGuild or DriveThruRPG. Alas, I never could find the time. I'm gonna carry this goal forward to 2022, and keep my fingers crossed.

Goal No. 5: Start an In-Person D&D Campaign. This goal was met back in April or May, but ended abruptly when 2 of my players moved to Kentucky and 2 more ended up in Thailand for several months. Kinda hard to game in person from three different time zones...but I'm not giving up. I'm rolling this resolution forward into 2022 as well, and hopefully this time it'll stick.


Game Designer
I'm still at time in my life where things move so much from month to month that I hardly ever attain the goal I set myself at the start of the year, but I end up in a different and unexpected place with plenty else to show.

Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
I don't remember any of the goals I made at the beginning of the year. But I can see now that I am in a much different place than where I started. And I acquired a lot of new stuff; things I've been holding off buying, or finally able to locate a rare item for a decent price.

And, I finally got one of these bad boys:

It's not a toy if it's Black Series, right? An adult, I am. Thank my wife, I have.

Also, I have one goal ready for 2022: put this monster together/find a place to keep it.)

Not that anyone in this thread is asking for advice on how to reach the goals they set (and what I’m about to say is not new), so take this with a big grain of salt, but I’ve found I’m much better at achieving the goals I set when I make my goals SMART. So:

Time Bound

Doing that makes it much easier to know exactly what you want to achieve and by when. Vague ideas with no deadlines inevitably lead to me not progressing them at all as I can always do them “later”.

The other thing that helped was then breaking the big goals down into small, manageable tasks with their own deadlines. Again, none of this is new or groundbreaking, but it definitely works.

My goals this year were mainly about improving my health and I did a pretty good job of that.

I managed to go from 95kg at the end of August 2020 to 68kg by April 2021. Since then I’ve maintained that weight while gaining muscle and losing fat by joining the gym and lifting weights for the first time in my life. I managed to rock up consistently 4-5 times per week for 9 months. So I’m pretty proud of that.

This coming year I’d like to see if I can get a 6-pack (just to see if I can) and build more muscle.

Gaming-wise I’d like to become more engaged as a player in our current campaign. I’ve felt like I’ve been phoning it in the last few months, so I need to stop doing that and get fully engaged again.

I’ve just got a 3D resin printer, so I want to print and paint some minis with that.

I also want to play or run a few different systems and run some games for my kids.

So nothing too big, but still goals to aim for nonetheless.


I succeeded, because I am still alive. I am fighting stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. As long as I am alive I am succeeding. I suppose for 2022 I am looking to play in a long term D&D campaign. Also, surviving 2022 is on the list too.
Good luck to you in your continued fight against cancer, and thank you for posting and sharing this about yourself. It really helped remind me to put things in proper perspective at just the time I needed it.

Good luck to you in your continued fight against cancer, and thank you for posting and sharing this about yourself. It really helped remind me to put things in proper perspective at just the time I needed it.
Yep, stuff like that makes a lot of other stuff fade into insignificance very quickly.

Keep fighting Rafael.


Community Supporter
I succeeded, because I am still alive. I am fighting stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. As long as I am alive I am succeeding. I suppose for 2022 I am looking to play in a long term D&D campaign. Also, surviving 2022 is on the list too.
Thank you for sharing your story Rafael, it really puts things in perspective. Sending good thoughts your way for 2022!


B/X Known World
My goals for the year were:

Survive. Success so far. I think. Unless this is all a simulation or overly-elaborate LARP. 1/1.

Get vaccinated. Partial success. First two done but boosters are weirdly hard to schedule and get so far. Assuming 3 is the right number of COVID shots to have now 2/3.

Take care of my family. Partial success. My wife works at a hospital. Ex-wife works at a hospital. Kid has issues. Brothers and their families are scattered and weird. One parent down, one to go. 1/2.

Not go crazy. Iffy at best. 0.25/1.

Total: 4.25/7. So about 60%. Not bad considering how basic the goals were.


I succeeded, because I am still alive. I am fighting stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. As long as I am alive I am succeeding. I suppose for 2022 I am looking to play in a long term D&D campaign. Also, surviving 2022 is on the list too.
Rafael, bless you and stay strong. I hope 2022 continues on the same track for you.


Well, here is what I wrote for gaming goals on December 28, 2020:
  • Build more impressive terrain.
Success! You can see my latest over at Pogre's 2022 Miniature and Model Thread

  • Finish painting the load of historicals for the French and Indian War game I bought (Musquets & Tomahawks). Mostly fur trappers and French regulars left.
Mostly a success, but I was gifted a large number more models to paint and have not touched those.

  • Do more creative stuff than just painting - do more sculpting, fancy hand outs, extensive fantasy maps, etc.
Mostly a failure. I did do some calligraphy for some handouts, but mostly failed on this goal.

  • Paint the last few figures of historicals for Dark Ages - just a few Vikings left.
Yep - got 'em done.

  • Have a D&D campaign ready - so I can hit the ground running when we can play in person again.
Yep, every Sunday for four hours.

  • Keep my weekly Zoom WFRP campaign going.
Not really. We switched over to Traveller and have been playing that weekly.

  • Expand my gaming circle. I have a great group of friends, and I am blessed with a good pool of players, but I like meeting and getting to know new people. Obviously, this one will have to wait a bit until face to face gaming is much safer.
Obviously, I pretty much hang out and play with the same group of folks due to Covid concerns. I am scheduled to go to my first small convention at the end of January. However, if they do not shut it down I don't know if I will be brave enough to go with the current surge.

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