Why I took 2020 ‘off’ and my plans for 2021

It’s been a whirlwind of a year hasn’t it? In short, 2020 can suck a fat one. But I’m not going to let the bad vibes scupper my plans for 2021.

You see, I decided to pretty much take 2020 off from the blog. I directed my energy towards other things and kind of let it tick over and grow on autopilot. Luckily, that worked and now I find myself in a position where I can attack 2021 with all the gusto that I – and I’m sure all of us – can muster.

Anyhoo – enough chatter. Here’s why I took 2020 off and my plans for 2021.

What constitutes taking the year off?

Well I didn’t take it completely off. I still created 14 blog posts and posted 35 times over on Instagram. I also collaborated with Visit Bristol, Visit Gdansk, Fjallraven, Ordo, Fyodor and My Fresh Box, so before I start pissing all over my own chips, I just want to get it out there that I haven’t been a complete dosser.

But a lot of that was done pre-March. In Fact, about 85% of it was done pre-March. Back when the world was sweet as could be. After the big bad Rona hit, I decided things needed to change.

I took my foot off the blog pedal and shifted my attention to other areas – namely my business.

What went well this year?

Well I finally started to make a living.

After 3 years of growing this blog to where it is today and getting more and more content on the first page of Google, securing brand deals and generally doing everything right – I was earning…£0.

You see, blogging won’t pay the bills unless you’re Zoella. The most I’ve been paid for anything related to this blog is about £300. The rest is just gifted, which is absolutely amazing. But it doesn’t pay the bills.

So I sat down and had a chat to myself. I accepted that the blog is what it’s always been for me – a place where I can share all my tips and tricks with you. It’s a place where I can write what I want, when I want and not care about what anyone else has to say. it also enables me to travel round the world for free and get loads of cool stuff sent to me. Well, nothing is ever free – I do have to work for it – but it’s still nice.

So that was that. I accepted that fate.

It also meant I had to find a “real job”. But after being my own boss for so long I couldn’t face going back to an office, so I started up a business based on everything that my 3 and a half years of blogging had taught me.

It was called Constellation Media and within about 6 months I was making more than I ever had done before. I bought a bloody Mercedes C-class for crying out loud.

So I have had a very lucky year. When so many people have gone from having money coming out of their ears to having nothing at all, I have somehow managed to go the other way.

Hopefully this will carry on long into the future, but if it doesn’t then eat least we had a good ride. Forza 2020!

Did I hit any of my 2020 goals?

At the back end of 2019, I wrote this article about my lofty goals for 2020. Obviously I would have changed them somewhat in hindsight, but let’s see what they were and whether I hit any of them shall we?

Rent out my own office space

This was one I did manage to box off.

I signed up to a Spaces co-working space in Liverpool which was brilliant. I pretty much used it every day but when I cancelled it for obvious reasons, they took about 2 months to refund my deposit as well as stiffing me for about £200 in other ‘charges’. Good experience in person, but bad experience with their customer service peeps.

I’ll say it now though, I can’t wait to get back. If you’re not bored out of your mind at home by now then you’re a certified freak.

Reach 10k on Instagram

Nowhere near. I think I grew my account by about 600 which isn’t too bad, but this was never going to be achieved considering that I stopped posting to my feed pretty much all together.

That illusive 10k is still a goal of mine, but it’s probably a goal I’ll be pursuing more sustainably in 2021.

Get a new apartment with the missus

Sort of.

But we have huge plans for 2021 on this goal, so I don’t want to reveal too much yet.

Travel to 10 new places

HA! As if this one was ever going to be achieved this year. Oh how wonderful hindsight is.

2021 though…that goal is getting obliterated.

st nicholas market bristol

Reach a 140kg squat

What? Another failure?

Unfortunately yes. Doing air squats in your studio apartment whilst all the gyms are shut isn’t conducive to making big gains believe it or not.

Maybe next year…

Gain 10lbs of muscle

I went the other way actually and now sit about 3lbs lighter than I did at the beginning of the year.

And that’s because I pursued this goal much too aggressively in the beginning and ballooned like a fat little pig. My diet was also all over the place in terms of calorie intake so I wasn’t consistent enough to just be putting on muscle weight. A LOT was fat.

That’s why I hired myself a coach for accountability and went on a 3-4 month cut, losing about 6lbs. Since August I’ve been slowly creeping back up by about 3-4lbs which is exactly the rate I need to be at. But this time, I am doing it whilst minimising fat gain and staying much more consistent in the gym. I’m also eating like a pig, but it fits in my calories so everybody is a winner.

This goal should be smashed out of the park next year.

Grow my business to 12 employees

At a point I’d say I actually hit this goal. But I pivoted to offer my clients a more personal service. I rebranded from Constellation Media – an agency, to by Crawford – me and a small team of 3 of my best contractors, to offer a far more personalised service. This has allowed me to make more money whilst stressing less and delivering even better results instead of micromanaging projects and pulling my hair out because some idiot can’t do their job.

If you want something done right, do it yourself. More people in your business is absolutely no guarantee of it being better. I learnt that lesson nice and early thankfully so I would count this goal as missed and hit simultaneously.

£10k in monthly revenue

I would have actually hit this if one of the idiots referenced above hadn’t let me down. I had taken a £3.5k deposit from a web design client and all of a sudden, my head of web design went awol. When he came back, he went on a rampage and deleted the client’s site.

Cue a £3.5k refund, a big apology and the end of Constellation Media. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of not being able to trust anyone else with my projects, so in a funny old way, it all worked out for the best.

If it wasn’t for that debacle, I would have surpassed my £10k goal. But for the time being, my highest monthly total to date is £6,882.00. Nothing to be sniffed at, but I really want to push on in 2021 and smash that goal’s head in.

Sell 100 more copies of my book

Another fail? Surely not?!

I’ll be honest, I sold about 100 copies of my book all in all which isn’t bad considering I’m not an author, barely promoted it and it was written on a topic that people don’t really tend to read full books about.

the bulking blueprint book cover

But the fact is, The Bulking Blueprint doesn’t really reflect my thoughts surrounding weight training anymore. So I discontinued it. There are better books, guides and plans out there for people, so giving consumers one less complicating choice felt like the right thing to do.

I am pretty happy with this outcome, so in a way it wasn’t a failure. Except it was, but whatever.

Learn a language

I tried Spanish. Failed. I tried French. Didn’t fail (but also didn’t keep it up). And I tried…Indonesian. The jury’s still out on that last one. So no, I didn’t reach this one either, but I did try (and continue to try), so maybe in 2021 I’ll be able to get a decent understanding of at least one of ’em.

Probably not though.

2020 in a nutshell

Based on all of that, I think it’s safe to say that 2020 was a little bit of a washout for me and my goals. That being said, it has allowed me to zero in on what I deem important and informed my plans for 2021 massively.

My plans for 2021

I want to keep it really succinct with my plans for 2021. I swung for way too many goals last year and ended up missing pretty much all of them. That’s largely down to covid, but still. Let’s keep it simple. Here are my big boy goals for 2021.

Start a YouTube channel

Kinda already ticked this one off. See my YouTube channel here.

But I really want to push on and do big things with this. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve always been a bit scared of putting myself on video and talking to the camera but 2020 has made me realise how trivial that is.

If you want to do something, do it, before you’re a box full of dust in the ground.

So that’s happening. Subscribe if you want to stay bang up to date with my uploads.

Live abroad

Ubud or Canggu out in Bali appeals, as does Barcelona or Taghazout out in Morocco. As someone who dictates his own hours and can work from anywhere, this has been an idea I’ve been toying with for some time now and covid has accelerated this desire tenfold.

So hopefully I’ll at least do a month of digital nomading somewhere in 2021.

Make a big dent in my bucket list

I wrote a post a few months back detailing my 30 before 30 list. It’s basically my bucket list with a cooler name and a far more condensed timeframe.

A few of the coolest ones I want to tick off are driving a supercar, living abroad (see above), eating at a Michelin star restaurant, skydiving and tough mudder. There’s loads more obviously, but if I could tick those little fellas off, that’d equate to a happy Sam.

Keep on stacking moolah (and spend it right)

2020 has been good for me personally. I want to carry on in that vein and make 2021 even more successful. Money isn’t everything, but it certainly gives you more freedom to live.

solar powered boat wine aperitif metz

That’s why I want to stack that cheddar, but also spend it right. I want to invest in myself, take nice trips and just generally do cool bits. What’s the point in having dough if you can’t enjoy it?


And that is pretty much that fellas.

2020 was pretty hit and miss. Some big L’s and some big W’s, but the best thing to take from this (for me at least) is that a year off has done wonders. I am more motivated to bring content to the masses than ever before so let’s ride the wave and get some drivel out there!

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