Finding Your Center

I was one of those kids that thought New Year’s Resolutions were a load of crap. I mean, why wait until an arbitrary date on a calendar to make goals for yourself? You can do that any time of the year!

Fast-forward to adulthood, and I have fallen into the classic trap: work harder, and you will be rewarded. After months of not giving myself the break I needed, I limped into December, exhausted. I had dropped vital work boundaries, stopped making time for myself, and was completely burnt out. I resolved then that this needed to change and took two weeks off from work, social media, and what had become my regular schedule. I guess I was rolling in just in time to make goals around the new year.

With the help of this handy-dandy planner, I decided to get into what I long thought to be a cheesy annual tradition. I needed to re-center myself. I actually took time to look inward, much to the glee of my therapist, and reflected on what 2020 meant to me. There were adventures with friends, solo travel and living overseas, buying a sailboat home, living with family again, quarantine, quarantine, and more quarantine, and our move to Washington D.C. A lot had happened!

I spent my time off re-inputting healthy habits like eating non-processed food, meditating, spending more quality time with my partner, and hanging out with friends (via Zoom of course). I also put together 5 measurable goals that aligned with my values – in other words, no more goals doing things I don’t actually care to do.

I chose a mix of personal, financial, and business goals that lined up with my overall desire to find my center. Maybe these will inspire you – not to have the same goals, but to really take a look at what your ideal 2021 would look like, and how you can make it happen. I will also preface this with: we want to plan for success, but need to be prepared to learn from failure. Things will not go perfectly – but we can certainly try to come pretty close.

Make my minimum revenue goal from my business doing AWESOME work.

The last year has had many a lesson to teach me about being in the design business. I have become aware of my self-doubt and imposter syndrome, and how that has taken away my confidence as a designer and entrepreneur. I also ended up on one too many soul-sucky projects, and definitely want to get more picky on what I work on. My revenue goal this year is only twenty percent higher than my goal last year, but the idea is to take on less work overall, but more work that aligns with my values and goals as a business owner.

Sail 1000 nautical miles.

This year, I bought a boat – and that has brought me so much joy, frustration, and growth as a person. We sailed about 250 nautical miles this past year, and that was over the course of 5 days. This year, me and my partner want to become better sailors, and spend more time adventuring. 1000 nautical miles is a bit daunting, but I love the challenge, and am very motivated to go for it. I already have a voyage or two planned out!

Hit my savings goal.

In college and the years following as a volunteer, I rarely had the financial opportunity to save up for anything beyond a small vacation. Now that I am fully employed, I want to have a savings account. I value my independence more than anything, and now that I have the financial freedom to actually put money aside, I am going all in. It feels really good to have this goal for myself, knowing that it is achievable and measurable, and lines up with my values.

Take 6 courses on new skills.

I am only 24 years old… which means I have a lot to learn! As a web developer, there is always something more to learn, and as an entrepreneur and adult, well… the lessons are endless there. From skills that contribute to my professional career, to skills that improve my personal life, I am intent on investing in my growth.

Do at least 4 self-care activities per week.

This is something I have truly slacked on most of my life. I grew up with a hard work/earn your means mentality. This has helped me accomplish quite a lot – like graduating college in three years, and excelling in language learning throughout my life. But, it can come at a cost, as any good therapist can attest to. I have burnout far too frequently, and have foregone enjoyable time doing things I like with people I love. This is my year of building self-care into my regular routine. It lines up with my value that life is meant to be enjoyed, purely for the sake of enjoyment. And it will help my mental health tremendously.

What goals are you making, and are they aligned with your personal values?

Let me know in the comments below!

-Marta

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