It is the end of a decade. We either start out fresh and hit a reset hoping that 2019 will disappear in the rewind of our memories. Whatever way you choose to spend 2020, allow yourself to start something new or redefine what it means to kick in the new year.
If 2018 was my black hole then 2019 was my growing pains. Sadly, I did not post as much as I promised. Disappointingly, my 2019 did not live up to the expectations I set myself up for. Instead, I was met with disappointments and missed appointments. So, rather than creating a whole new set of resolutions and check boxes, I’ve decided to continue what I failed to accomplish during 2019.
New Look, New Mindset but Same Old Resolutions
I got a new and drastic haircut in the middle of 2019. It was triggered by frustration and the stress of constantly having to look good for work. A pixie cut seemed like a great band-aid solution to both my stress and crippling self-esteem. I hoped it would start a domino effect on my productivity however it was only a new look, not a new attitude.
Looking back on the Life Map I’ve created last year and I was disappointed with how little I’ve actually achieved. But I do not want to be too harsh on myself; instead, I will focus on realistic, executable actions. Instead of creating a list of many things I wish to achieve this 2020, I broke it down into three categories.
I have explained before that the number three is great if you need to set up goals because it is not too much and not too little.
Healthier Choices is Good but Commitment is Better
Now for 2020, I want to focus on what I can do more to take care of myself –like actual self-care. I can summarize my health goals in three words: Commitment, Exercise, and Mindfulness.
Last year, I said I will become more active and start eating healthier, and I was able to eat healthier. I’ve tried to eat meat at least a few times a month and more veggies, it was hard to ignore Burger King staring at my direction especially when cravings kicked in during my period. However, it came to a point where I was also eating less due to body issues that resurfaced. People close to me have commented on how hollow I looked during most of 2019, I was not thin –I was unhealthy.
In regards to my emotional and mental health, I did not practice mindfulness at all and lost my focus. I didn’t meditate to ease my anxious thoughts, instead, I spent most of 2019 letting my anxiety take over most of my decision making. So, it was a constant state of second-guessing floating on piled irrational thoughts. Because of this, I lost all of my focus and discipline to do anything –including reading a book. Simply reading a chapter felt like a chore.
To correct my unhealthy coping mechanisms, I need to turn healthy habits into a routine like exercising twice a week or going to the gym. Starting small like practice mindfulness for five minutes a day, jot it down onto my schedule so I have no more excuses. Next is creating my own reading list for each month with a reward at the end. This reward can be a sweet treat or a worthy Netflix binge, anything to push me to finally finish a book. (Food is great for motivation)
Self-Development for My Career Growth
I have jumped from a writing career to public relations then suddenly found myself creating event concepts only to go back to a writing career. My 2019 was a confusing year for my career path because I jumped from one field to another. Mostly faking it until I make it but that will only get me so far in life especially when I barely learn anything new. For 2020, I want to expand my knowledge beyond my chosen field.
Honestly, I love the hustle but I also like to spend weekends learning a new hobby or even a new language.
I was watching Netflix’s “The Two Popes” the other day and was surprised I understood some of the Spanish lines. It has been a while since I’ve learned a few basic Spanish phrases, so understanding a few phrases made me realize learning a new language is fun. It helps build comprehension and respect for the culture of the country you are learning from.
Next is attending weekly or monthly meet-ups and workshops for writing and communication. Work is great but finding opportunities for learning outside of the company is also a great thing as well as make new friends and networks. I will get training opportunities from my own company however it won’t hurt to find my own which can help me further my career.
Lastly, I want to work on the steps I need to study Masters abroad which means taking exams, researching scholarships and loans, and consulting with educational agencies. It sounds like a lot of work that cannot be easily achieved in 2020 but at least I can try doing the first few steps towards it.
For 2020, I do now want to hinder my growth or any opportunity which can help me become a better writer. It would involve a lot of growing pains and study but in the end, it would be worth it. Hopefully, I find the strength to focus and commit. Because my self-sabotaging attitude is getting tiring.
Money Matters and Financial Goals
I have discussed what I forgot to do last year, so let me put a positive twist to my failed 2019 resolutions. I was able to better my spending habits last year and meet my minimum savings goal! You guys have no idea how happy I was when I checked my savings account during the last few days of 2019. I was surprised I was able to spend within my means without depriving myself or the pride not to ask for help.
Last year, I moved into a dorm life to be closer to my job and I had to ask my parents to help me out on the down payment. I felt guilty but I also didn’t like starving myself just to save money. It was something my parents were concerned about like I said I was really bony not thin. For me, creating good financial habits means living comfortably enough not to worry about debts or depriving one’s self. I want to quit unhealthy habits not constantly engaging with them.
For this, I will create a monthly spreadsheet that tracks my spending habits in order for me to pay back loans and commit to a monthly budget. At the same time, learn the difference between saving and being cheap. Unfortunately, my goal to become healthier means that I might need to spend more on healthier food options.
I want to strike a balance between saving money and only purchasing my needs without depriving myself. If I was able to meet my savings goal last year then I can work harder to maintain this good financial streak.
New Year not so New Me Attitude
The best thing about New Year is that you have this sense of motivation to become a better version of ourselves –unfortunately, I am not as motivated as I am supposed to be. Especially, when I have failed most of my 2019 goals and spent most of last year trying to build my discipline. Although, if we are being honest, I made too many excuses for my lack of productivity.
2019 was honestly a big slap on the face; it was when I realized adulthood is hard. I jumped from job to job due to unethical on-the-job practices and non-compete clauses which hinder any growth. If 2018 was a depressive black hole, 2019 was just frustrating. I lost passion for many things to the point I put-off passion projects and ignored this blog. I’ve written at least five or six poems in the last year, it felt like I was no longer a writer despite being a writer as an occupation.
This post can be riddled with dozens of excuses or justifications but I rather focus on the positives. I will break down each and every part of my newly redesigned life map into realistic, executable actions and goals. No more false promises this 2020! Especially to myself, because God knows I held myself back which only hindered my growth as a person.
Without sounding like a broken record here is what I hope to accomplish for 2020. I’m claiming it now universe!