2021 Goals

Fr. Nicholas Rokitka, OFM Conv.
4 min readDec 31, 2020


Snowshoeing in Buffalo, NY

One of my goals for 2020 was to use Twitter a lot less. In fact I titled the post, “2020 and Mostly Quitting Twitter.” It was a good goal with good intentions, and then COVID happened.

A lot of isolation, a lot less travel, etc. Everyone knows what this is like. So I don’t need to say more about that. Twitter was a way to stay connected to people, and that was really important in the difficult year of 2020.

A few weeks ago a friend and I were having a conversation about some of the deeper things in life. After a while of catching up, discussing work and life and all those things, and the conversation came to a pause when they pointed out that too much of my happiness is based on my work. As a religious this is natural to do as we throw so much of ourselves into it. And particularly my work doing internal ministry (meaning I do the accounting for the province and I’m the assistant formation director for the young friars), it’s easy to fall into.

Some of these are new, some are repeats. Some of these goals are life-long “projects” or things I love to do. Some of it’s fine-tuning.

  1. Grow in humility

Need to explain that a little more. A lot really. Everyone needs to grow in humility. Probably. This is the first time I’ve put a virtue on a list of goals for the year. In October I read, “Humility of Heart” by Fr. Cajetan Mary da Bergamo OFM Cap. and it showed me a lot of areas in my life where I don’t have humility. I’ve journaled a lot about this, and I won’t share it here. But! If holiness isn’t my focus I’m wasting my life. And what I need the most help with is humility.

2. Fitness stuffs: run/hike a 50k, deadlift 405 lbs, stretch daily

I’ve been running/hiking forever. And I’ve done this distance before, just want to do it quicker. I’ve been lifting for about 3 years but never really focused on the deadlift. I lifted 340 a few weeks ago, so I think that’s attainable. Stretching is something I always did after running, but probably need to do it every day. Even 5 minutes in the evening would be helpful!

3. Read 40 books

Did this last year two, I got up to 28. Pandemic brain slowed me down, I couldn’t read for 2–3 months of a year. No fun. Hopefully this year can be different! There’s a few books I’ve been meaning to read forever and hopefully this is the year!

Also, there are 3–4 500–800 page books that I’ve started but haven’t finished. Finishing those books would be good discipline. But less books. Need to think a little more about this one!

4. Daily meditation

I did something called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction as in non-prayer meditation, or outside of the chapel. been really helpful in the past, has been good for the last few weeks. Mindfulness is a somewhat trendy kinda thing. I’ve read about it, there’s a potential for some quasi-spiritual stuff but that doesn’t interest me. I just want to sit quietly for 5–10 minutes a day to embrace peace and stillness.

5. 10:30 night prayer

I tried doing praying night prayer earlier and it doesn’t work for me. The rest of the Liturgy of Hours I say at a pretty regular time, I need to do the same with night prayer. With COVID and generally less work obligations there’s a danger of staying up later. That’s no good. Nothing good happens past 11pm or whatever the saying is.

6. Plan for May 2022

Sounds weird but I like to plan. A lot. Every four years the friars of the province get together and make our “Four Year Plan”. We call it something different but that’s the basic idea. If I’d like to go back to school for theology or law or whatever. If I do theology I’ll need to study Latin before May 2022. If law, I gotta prep the LSAT. Planning saves lives.

7. More focus on treasurer work

I have two “part-time” ministries. Kinda hard to explain. I’m the assistant director of post-novitiate formation (meaning the friars who are students and preparing for ministry, as well as the province treasurer. Treasurer is kinda like a CFO except I have no authority. Pandemic means a lot less travel because there’s a lot less meetings and projects. I got kinda lazy with my treasurer work. There’s always some accounting work to be done and I want to put more energy into that aspect of my life. Without knowing when the pandemic ends…..doesn’t make a lot of sense just to sit around waiting.

8. Hiking

I love hiking, never do enough of it. Or maybe I do. Either way, I need goals. I’m trying to go to the tallest point of all 50 US States (if I hit 48 I’d be happy), I’m at 39. For 2021 I’d like to go to 5. Options include Louisiana, Mississippi, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Maine. Also, I’d like to do 5 nights of backpacking. In college I would do about 20 nights. Now that I have all the gear, backpacking is the perfect time away, to connect with nature and God, and have some solitude.

9. Book proposal, again

I love Mary, a lot. In May 2018 I had a major conversion and it was very much because of praying the Rosary daily. I tried to write a book proposal in 2020 but COVID. But! I’ve been in contact with a publisher and they gave me some ideas. I enjoy writing, and a big project would be helpful for my to focus on. However! I might just not be a writer. And that’s okay. But I’m gonna try again!

10. I really want a rose vestment

Not so much a goal. But I want a rose vestment. A nice one!



Fr. Nicholas Rokitka, OFM Conv.

I am a Catholic Priest and Conventual Franciscan Friar currently serving as a formation director in Silver Spring, MD as well as Province Treasurer.