2020: the Promises to Self

I don’t know what it is – the new year, the new decade or the (almost) new eclipse, but I have this gut feeling of upcoming change that results in excitement.

Perhaps, after a year of trying to “settle” (still not sure what exactly that means), I’m ready to push again. All I’ve wanted in 2019 was “a routine” as the two previous years have been full of limbo, transitions, starting fresh. There was a lot of letting go of the past and looking into the bright future. Every bit of it was exciting, yet exhausting.

2019 was dedicated to just living a life. “In the middle of nowhere,” as I call our neighborhood, with love. I’ve finally become okay with eating at the same restaurant over and over, and started to look forward to my regular order at the two coffee shops. I’ve enjoyed how predictable a trip to the farmer’s market become every summer Tuesday night (it always ended with tacos). I’ve hoped to see the same dogs at the dog park. I’ve scored a secret beachside parking spot countless number of times. It was great, but not 100% “me.” I look forward to being uncomfortable again through making an effort.

Re-imagine my mornings

Ironically, the first thing on the list has to do with routines. I’ve been working from home for a year now. You’d think my mornings have become TED Talk-worthy by now, with so much time on my hands, enough for a quick yoga session, meditation, breakfast from scratch and a walk in the park, all before 8 a.m.

In reality, my morning routines have never been worse. I didn’t realize until recently how much I’ve given up when I’ve been excused from 1+ hr commute. I no longer have nothing else to do to the point of listening to an inspiring podcast or damn-good audio book. I now have to take vitamin D because I don’t go outside often enough. I have shifted my wakeup time by an hour and have gone from having plenty of time between brushing my teeth and answering e-mails to basically, zero.

The strategy? Not to have an alarm sitting on my nightstand. This is the most first-world problem, but last spring we’ve upgraded our mattress and I’ve never had a harder time getting out of bed because of how comfortable it is. Once I’m out of bed early enough, I have no doubt I’ll find joyful things to do before logging onto the work messenger.

Have the courage to create

I won’t go into detail of my idea here, but I’ve had an astrology-related project thought for at least two years. By this point, I’m realizing it’s costing me more not to do anything about it than to making it happen. It’s taken a lot of fear, a lot of excuses, a lot of self-doubt and a lot of indecision in order to not act on it – way more than it costs to just freaking do it.

The strategy? Consistent reminders that I don’t want to look back at myself a year from now and realize I haven’t taken any steps forward. At the end of the day, creativity is the only magic pill to feeling fulfilled. Also, creative ideas, no matter how small, are greater than us. It is not really our choice on whether to manifest them into reality or not. It is our responsibility.

Reach a financial goal

2019 was the first time I’ve felt like a real adult and not a child fraud stilt-walking around. I started calling financial planning “fun” and seeing it as a tool for, maybe not instant, but pretty quick gratification. I’m giving myself until the summer to hit a number-specific goal.

The strategy? Consistent reminders that this is not forever. Yes, I might have to calm down on some spending. But if I stick with it, there will be no other outcome than achieving the set goal. After that, I will revisit the budget again and add the decorative pillow allowance back into the spreadsheet.

Accept the inconveniences

“Nothing is forever” is the mindset I want to get back to in 2020. “Just living life” has been full of simple pleasures, shortcuts and easiness. Sounds wonderful yet somehow this wasn’t a fulfilling mindset for an ever-changing mutable Sun sign. To some, indulging in the finest things brings joy. To others (and me), it’s distracting because getting used to good things can also mean not being comfortable doing new things.

I don’t want to not go on a trip I’ve dreamt of because there are no direct flights available (inconvenient). I don’t want to not spend quality time with friends because I need eight hours of sleep (inconvenient). I don’t want to miss out on anything because it wasn’t pencilled into my schedule two weeks prior. I want to focus on what’s important instead of how it’s done.

The strategy? Gratitude.


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