Monday, 30 December 2019

2020 - 20 goals for the first year of the new decade

I met up with a friend just before Christmas. We are both starting new jobs in the new year and have every intention to make 2020 our year. We talked about what we wanted to do and how we wanted to feel this time next year. After that conversation, I was left thinking - how will I make the first year of the new decade a great year for me? It's all good and well having the intention and feeling positive, but what personal goals should I be setting to ensure that I have the best year possible?

This is what I came up with.

20 goals for 2020

1. Read 40 books

It's only natural to begin with my love of books. I am actually set to start a job in publishing in the new year, and my initial interest in the industry all came down to my love of books. And yet I've realised this year that my reading has been completely sporadic. As a result of this, I am setting myself the aim of reading 40 books, with the intention of falling back in love with reading. I have been reading a lot throughout December, so this is already in motion, and I am looking forward to working through my bookshelves in the new year.

2. Visit two new countries

Travel was something I thoroughly enjoyed in 2019. I went to Holland, Italy and Croatia, and hope to explore more of Europe - and perhaps further afield - in 2020. Travel is obviously something that can cost a lot, and equally, I recognise it isn't the best thing for the environment. Therefore I am setting an aim of visiting two countries I have never been to before, instead of being more ambitious with either my funds or air miles. One of those countries will for sure be France - can you believe I've never been?!

3. Enjoy my quiet time

Quiet time has always been important to me. I have definitely become more of a people person in my 20s, meaning I will almost always choose to spend time around people as opposed to on my own. Because of this, I think it's important that when I am having quiet time on my own, I really enjoy it and make the most of it. I'll do this by doing things I enjoy, like reading, walking, going to the gym, reflecting, watching something I really like. As much as I'm sure 2020 will be busy, it's important to me that I make quality time for myself, as much as for everyone else.

4. Learn to cook 10 new things really well

It's definitely time for me to expand my repertoire when it comes to food. Though I make a great pesto pasta, eating it three times a week is becoming a little too repetitive for my liking. I feel like I have some staple meals that I make really well, and this year I would like to add to those. Cooking has never been something I've particularly enjoyed, but it's something we all have to do, so I would like to make more of an effort with it in 2020.

5. Let people go

This is something I started actively doing in 2019. I realised in the summer time that I was making an active effort to keep people in my life who, to be honest, I could do without. So I started letting them go. There are a lot of great people in my life who I can put that time and effort into, and equally, there are new people I'm meeting all the time who deserve it more. It's a difficult thing to do, especially if you've always had someone around, but I think it's important to reevaluate and just think, what do they actually bring to my life? If it's little or nothing, then it's time to let them go.

6. Go to the sea more often

The sea gives me clarity and calmness like nothing else. I don't know what it is about it, but I feel so at peace whenever I'm by the sea. Unfortunately I live in one of the most landlocked areas in the country. Classic. As a result of this, I want to make more time and more of an effort to visit the sea more often. I began doing this more often in 2019 for sure, and I'd like to carry that on into 2020. The sea breeze does wonders for my mind, so I'd like to  experience it more often.

7. Be better with money - save more, spend less

I would like to spend less money, especially when it comes to material things. And I would like to be more conscious of my money and exactly how I am spending it. This means setting saving goals and spending limits. I am happy with spending money when it's necessary or to socialise, but want to specifically work on this by buying less physical 'stuff'. Big plans to make an expenses spreadsheet and track where my money is going, so that I can see what needs to change and what is already working.

8. Browse your wardrobe instead of online clothing stores

Linking up with the last point: stopping the temptation of spending by not looking at websites that will lead to unnecessary purchases. It's way too easy to see something online, order it and then have it at your door the next day. I'm aiming to look to my wardrobe for inspiration and challenge myself to make more different outfits with what I already have. This way I'll be able to be a little bit more creative without it costing a penny.

9. Spending ban - January-July

A major saving plan I have is to put myself on a spending ban from the beginning of January to the beginning of July. This is a pretty big challenge and definitely has certain caveats. It essentially means only spending money when it's completely necessary - e.g. buying deodorant because it has run out. The spending ban is primarily to stop buying material things that I do not need, and to help use up things I already have before considering repurchasing. I will still be allowed to spend money on food, drink and transport, but am going to set a limit on going out to eat and drink, as I know that this is something that I spend a lot on. My hope with this is that I will think of other ways to socialise that cost less. Overall, I think this will have a massive impact on my finances and will make me really think before I spend money on certain things in the future.

10. Cry more even though I hate it (I feel a lot that I don't let out)

I am not a particularly emotional person. In fact I think I can often come across as someone who feels nothing. However, I think I'm just very good at keeping face and deciding which feelings I want to allow others to see from me. I typically cry once or twice a year - in private of course - but this tends to be a long cry, more of a breakdown really, because I let things build up instead of dealing with certain feelings as and when they occur. So this coming year, I want to get better at letting myself cry if I'm sad and going through the motions. Because I do feel sad sometimes and that's okay.

11. Listen to my body - it knows best

There's a lot to be said for listening to your body. Ultimately, it knows what you need more than you give it credit for. If you feel like you want to rest, then rest. If you want to exercise, then exercise. If you want to be alone, then be alone. If you want to be around people, then socialise. Take a night off if your body wants it - cancelling plans is fine, especially if you're only going to seem half there anywhere. If you're unwell, you need to rest. If you're energised, find an outlet for that energy. It's a very simple thing, but so many of us don't.

12. Travel with only people I want to remember having had by my side

As much as I would like to travel this year, I don't want to say yes to an opportunity to travel just because it's there. I think I can sometimes be a little too keen to say yes to something without considering the whole picture. This year I want to only visit places with people I am happy to be spending that time with. Considering the entire experience before saying yes is very important.

13. Be a little less hard on myself

I cannot remember a time when I did not struggle with this. Criticism from other people has never really bothered me - I find it constructive if anything. But I am so critical of myself, and I expect a lot. I've been working on it, but I think I need to go through the thought process a bit slower and take more into consideration when I'm being self-critical. I need to not compare myself to others and understand that if I don't think I'm doing well enough with X then maybe it's because I'm putting too much effort into Y instead. Not sure how far I'll get with this, but it's something I'll be working on.

14. Spend less time on my phone

I feel like this goal will have a big impact towards a lot of other goals. Trying to cut down on screen time is something that a lot of us should aspire to do. It'll make us more in the moment, more efficient, and more engaged with what's actually going on around us. There are far more beneficial things I could be doing with the time I spend scrolling instagram, so here's to a year with significantly less time on my phone.

15. Get up and go - be more of a morning person

I used to be such a morning person, and yet, in the past few years this has completely stopped. I loath early mornings and have forgotten why I ever liked them. Well, in 2020 I'm going to try to remember why. I think it'll have a lot to do with the amount of hours in the day and being awake whilst it's quiet outside. It's going to be quite the challenge through the rest of the winter, but I have high hopes that by sticking with it, I'll be up through all the daylight hours and more in the summer.

16. Do not buy any new books all year

Think it's time I realised I've got a whole bookcase of unread books and should stop buying new ones. I have a massive variety of books to read, so this year I'm challenging myself to read those instead of buying any new ones. There's one exception that I'm prepared to make, which is for the final book in a series I've been reading, which comes out in the summer, but besides that, there'll be no new books on my shelf until 2021 (unless given as a gift (although I'll try to refrain from asking for books)).

17. Have regular clear outs - be more minimal

I've been pretty good and decluttering this year, and it's been really good for me. I've got a little more space and a lot more headspace since becoming slightly more minimal. I intend to carry this on in the new year, having regular clear outs and aiming to become evermore minimal. I definitely value people and experiences far more than physical things, so that's what I'll be focusing a lot more of my energy on.

18. Try not to overthink everything - sometimes it just is what it is

As a notorious over thinker when it comes to the little things, it's about time that I learn to just let them be. The only thing overthinking ever seems to amount to is disheartenment. And that's really not something I need to be creating in my own head. Hopefully by working on this I'll have far more time to focus on all my other goals. Because often, it just is what it is; nothing more to it.

19. Move out (it's time)

It's been a long time coming, but 2020 is the year I finally move out of my parents' house. Aside from uni, I've not lived anywhere but my childhood home, and boy does it feel constricting. I did not grow up in the cheapest area, so I am ever grateful that I've been able to live in the family home for so long, but I'm definitely ready to have some more space to myself, ideally a little closer to the nearest city.

20. Become a better planner

So many of my plans tend to be last minute. And because of this it does sometimes feel like I'm scrambling to fit everything in. This year I would like to be a bit better at planning ahead, but still leaving room for spontaneity (that's where there's the most fun to be had, of course). I asked for a diary for Christmas, and intend to put into into good use, planning at least four things in advance at the beginning of each month, no matter how big of an event that may be. I think this will help ensure I see the people I want to see and do the things I want to do, rather than sitting down at the end of each week and wondering where the days have gone.

Overall, I'd say 2020 is looking to be a good year for personal growth. I am excited to be starting new things, and picking up where I left off with others. 2019 was a year of great incline and massive falls, so I'm hoping that things will at least stay a little more level in the new year. Fingers crossed!

If you have any goals for 2020, I'd love to know!

Until next time.

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