HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I thought about doing a separate blog post looking back on 2021, but you know what? Nah. I had some good things happen and some bad things, and well, it’s time to move on.
I’m very big on goals over “resolutions” and this year, I have a lot of them. I noticed that my goals for 2021 were a little abstract (I was admittedly in a much different place)… but this year, I’m getting verrryyy specific.
I’m sharing these for personal accountability, so let’s do this.
2022 Word: Protect
Late last year, this word came to me because I really felt like I did myself such a disservice. I am really bad about saying no. I say yes to everything because I never want to let anyone down, and if it’s a freelance gig, I always want the extra money.
Well, I pretty much made myself sick. I cannot tell you the number of times I ended up crying in my bed feeling like I ruined my own life. All I did in 2021 was work, and that included on any plane ride, during “vacations,” etc.
I failed to protect my own peace.
So this year, I’m protecting my peace, my energy, my money, my space, all of it. And a majority of my goals align with this word.
Lasy year, I used a budget journal for the first time and I spent the entire year just getting a solid understanding of where my money was going and what all of my different accounts (checking, savings, retirement, investment, etc.) looked like.
This year, I’ve got a fresh budget journal and am actually using the numbers from last year to set a budget and hit some goals. My goal is to put $800/month into savings. This is 20% of my 9-5 income and last year I did this, but I used freelance money to do it. This year, I’m doing much, much less freelance (I do have 1 contract job still but am not accepting ANY new clients), so I have to be a better (more mindful) spender to make it happen, but I know I can do it.
I’m also putting $1,000 toward my credit card debt each month and not contributing to the debt. I put a massive dent in my debt last year, but I still have two cards left to pay off. I really enjoy seeing the number go down every month, slowly but surely.
I don’t have any goals to work out more or eat differently, really, but in general I just want to be more mindful about all of it. I’m focused more on prioritizing rest and sleep, and just giving my mind a big break.
This also means much less social media (no mindless scrolling), getting a good bedtime routine going, and checking in with my mental health via meditation and journaling daily (which I’ve been doing for a few years).
I’ve also challenged myself to take 1 PTO day a month so I can get a 3-day weekend, just to do nothing. Travel doesn’t count, or a built-in holiday doesn’t count. A day off just because every month — already have January and February’s in the request list!
In 2020, I met a fellow Austin writer during #NaNoWriMo and we decided to become creative partners. We check in every month and share our creative goals and just cheer each other on. I keep my goals private to her, but in general, I’ll be writing lots this year and getting a grasp on the industry so I can take some leaps.
I also am going to make an effort to quietly inspire myself and create, and just live with it for a while before I share. I don’t know why, but I feel like I’m just always grinding and doing and sharing, and I want to just marinate for a bit.
Basically, I’m just looking to stop hustling this year, and just resting, chilling, and being present. It might sound easy, but it’s all going to be a challenge. I’m here for it!
Whatever your hope is for the New Year, I hope you see it 🙂 Cheers to 2022!
To see more writing from me, be sure to subscribe to The Bitter Lemon by clicking “subscribe” on the right side of your screen. Want even more? Subscribe to my newsletter to get roundups, book recs and lifestyle tips.