Hello everyone! Today, I thought I’d share my reflection on my year 29 goal.
In case you’re new, every birthday I chose a goal for that year. My birthday is tomorrow, so it’s time to wrap up my year 29 goal, which was to “live with intention“.
Oh! If you’re new here (newer than May 2020) you might be wondering, what’s BirthMay? Well, every year I blog every day in May because it is my birth month. I just figured it was something fun to do, and it has proven to be really enjoyable for me. This will be the fifth BirthMay on my blog! No matter how many BirthMays you’ve been through with me, thank you for being here this BirthMay and thank you for your support!
Live With Intention
So when I picked this goal I was actually planning ahead, so I think I thought of this idea in March and decided on it in April, in preparation for my birthday. This is one of those times where I do think that planning ahead backfired a bit! Back in those days, I had no idea how long the pandemic was really going to go on for. In March the quarantine was only supposed to last two weeks, and in April it was extended to May, but even so I was hopeful that it’d all go back to normal relatively quickly.
Of course, as it neared the end of April and even in the first two weeks of May, it became apparent that the pandemic would go on longer, especially as I was furloughed in April with an expected return date of “maybe August”. But, even with realizing that this would extend into the summer, I don’t think I really thought that it might stretch into a year.
The reason I picked this goal was because I wanted to use this goal to do more cool stuff like head out on more excursions into the city, go to more musicals and concerts, and even travel a bit more. With the lockdown, I realized that I’d have to put off some trips so I figured it’d be a good idea to implement this goal to sort of propel me to do these things to “make up” for the lockdown in the early part of 2020. Needless to say, that didn’t end up being the case at all!
Instead this goal turned into a more self care focused goal. I found myself having to take breaks from a stressful job hunt, making time to play more video games or read more books, and even pulling back from social media too. I decided that these things had an intention of keeping me sane and productive, rather than just mindlessly watching tv or movies (although I had a great time watching shows like Gilmore Girls for the first time!).
I don’t regret how this goal turned out, but I do think that I am still sad it went so differently than I imagined it. I really wanted to use this goal as a reason to get out more and explore more. Especially because I want to move away from Chicago and I wanted to use an intention of appreciating this beautiful city before doing so. I had so many musicals I’d planned to see, museums and exhibits I wanted to explore, and I was dreaming up a story set in Chicago (which I did eventually write!) so I wanted to go do in-person visits to several locations to really be able to do justice to those places. Well, that didn’t happen and while I don’t need this goal to do those things, I think it would have been nice to fulfill the goal’s potential with these ideas.
Even so, I managed to get quite a bit done with this goal in the quarantine! Here’s some things I did with this goal in mind:
- Job hunt with intention – I finally got an offer in late April and am going to start my new job soon! But the journey was so tough. I found myself having to take little breaks throughout the week because filling out application after application, writing cover letter after cover letter, and then fielding several spammers when my resume got leaked by a job board was so draining. This goal really helped me understand that it’s okay to take a break and take care of myself from time to time.
- Blogging and posting with intention – I have been blogging for about five years now. I oftentimes treated my blog as a sort of online journal, and it clearly still is, but I have started to change how I view it. Before the pandemic I had plenty of cool and exciting things to share like travel posts (for fun and for work) or reviews on musicals I’d seen, or even reflecting on my graduate studies. When that all stopped, I had to reevaluate what I was posting. I managed to make content out of my new love for baking and gardening, but I also tried to share what books I was reading, games I was playing, and more. I still love to share those things, but I think my content will continue to change to provide more value to those of you reading my blog.
- Dreaming with intention – okay, this might sound weird, but hear me out. I really have come to believe in the power of manifestation. I think manifestation is a different way of setting goals, and while I’m not a super spiritual person, I do think that it’s a really powerful tool in creating the environment you want to be in. Rather than just daydreaming about what I could be doing instead of being at home, I was actively trying to manifest a job to work from home so that I could focus on moving to Texas or somewhere else whenever I wanted to later on and that seems to have worked! Of course, I did a ton of active work to find the job, but in the end a friend referred me to this position and that’s why I believe I did get it. Because I put it out into the world that I wanted a work from home position and someone listened (my friend and then my friend’s boss who listened to the referral) and it happened! That’s just one example, and there are a few more that made me realize how important manifesting your future is.
- Financial responsibility with intention – I’ve stated a few times already that I’ve really gotten into budgeting this past year. I never lived outside my means, but I wasn’t actively analyzing my finances and focused on saving. This year taught me that being intentional with what I’m bringing into my life is so important and I’ve cut out a huge amount of needless spending. I don’t want to brag so I won’t go into details but I managed to save so much money this past year simply by cutting back and really thinking about what I wanted to buy instead of impulse shopping. I finally feel like I’m making headway in my life as I have savings now for not just travel and an emergency fund, which was always a priority to me, but also I have a good amount saved for a car, and even a bit saved for a house! I’m also finally starting to really consider moving out on my own, which always made me nervous as I wasn’t sure how I would be able to make that work. Budgeting really helped me understand what is and isn’t possible, and I’m so happy I finally jumped aboard this plan!
Okay, with all that out of the way, I went back and looked at my post from last year. Of course, none of it was a surprise as I know why I created the goal. But what I was surprised by was how little I shared in that post. I guess, looking back, I might have known after all that the year wasn’t going to go according to plan, as I didn’t share anything about travel plans in it. I’m sure having lost my job was a bit reason for that too because about half my travel plans in 2020 were supposed to be work related.
Anyway, I did a very short post about my year 29 goal and what I did share did ultimately line up with what I feel I accomplished! I grew more fiscally aware and responsible, I took care of myself, and more. I feel much better about this goal now that I’ve really sat here and written out this post. And while I’ll always remember this year as a really hard time for everyone, myself included, I’ll also feel like I didn’t waste a year of my life but rather found a way to make it work and live with intention.
If you read all that, thank you so much! I hope you enjoyed my little reflection although, to be honest, I feel like most of the time these aren’t too enjoyable for anyone but myself. So if you did enjoy it please let me know. Tomorrow I’ll be turning 30 so I’ll also be sharing my goal for my 30th! Well, that’s the plan anyway. Unlike last year, I haven’t exactly picked a goal yet so if you don’t see a goal posted tomorrow and it’s just a generic “It’s My Birthday!” post, you know that I didn’t decide yet!
Thanks for reading!
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