For the last decade, I’ve developed the habit of setting a theme for the year. While tangible goals strong pillars, choosing a feeling or theme offers guide-rails and room for deviation. For 2021, the word I chose was CLARITY:
“For several years now, I have feel lost, ill, and devoid of anything resembling energy or enthusiasm. Now that my emotional larder has been restocked and my health has risen to a sustainable baseline, my next goal is to assess where I am presently, determine where I would like to be, and to discern what the path to that desired future may look like. I hope for an open mind, a clear vision, and a willingness to explore all available options. What is my next step? What action can I take to reintroduce a sense of purpose into my life? How can I bring more joy into each day? I hope that each day will be filled with smart questions and deep answers.”
In the realm of wellness, I was diagnosed with and am now undergoing treatment for chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS); discovered and removed mold from our home; went on a two-mile walk nearly every day with my partner while discussing our future; meditated and journaled regularly; and, did the best I could to remain sane through these trying times. Clarity: I discovered the root cause of my body’s ailment.
In my relationships, I somehow grew even closer and more aligned with my partner; I found new ways to engage with family and friends (read: outdoors or over the phone); and every evening, my partner and I fill out highlights of the day in our 5-year journal and look back on the last few years. I’m hoping the year to come will allow for more face-to-face time and chances to meet new people. Clarity: My partner and I made plans for the future.
In regards to finances, I achieved a six-figure salary for the first time at age 32; saved 48% of my income; grew my net worth by 40% (+$47,200); and researched Bitcoin after 8 years of pestering (sorry, honey…) and reallocated some stagnant bonds into the volatile beast (good for me, not recommending for thee). Clarity: I knew I needed to make more money to survive, so I made it happen.
In the realm of purpose, I left a mediocre job in which I was underpaid lacking opportunity for growth; and took an exciting new job in a management position. I don’t know what my ultimate purpose in life or my legacy may be, but I believe this opportunity will allow me to learn, grow, or–at worst–same money to later pursue something else. Clarity: I recognized my languishing and pursued something new.
In the area of creativity, I tried dozen of new recipes (my South Indian cooking is fire!); started around two dozen sewing projects (is it WIP or RIP?!); and have tinkered with short stories and character-building exercises. The false starts have been fun, through I am excited to work on the creative follow-through in the year to come. Clarity: I was reminded that creative pursuits bring me joy, and should be a high priority in my days.
How about you? Did you set any goals or themes for 2021? What have you accomplished, and what are you most proud of? Are you setting any intentions for 2022? (If you don’t know where to begin, Find Your Word from Susannah Conway has been my go-to tool for many years.)