Golden 29th Birthday - 5 Things I Did this Year to Achieve my Goals
I didn't even realize that this year marks my 'Golden Birthday' until a friend mentioned it. A golden birthday can also be referred to as a lucky, champagne, grand, star or crown birthday; and it marks you turning the same age as the day you were born. Therefore, I am turning 29 on the 29th of August this year! I really didn't think this birthday would hold much significance, but looking back on this year and what I have to look forward to this upcoming year; it holds much importance in my life.
Although I got to celebrate one of the happiest and silliest moments in my life: getting engaged to my best friend while visiting London, this past year was filled with many ups and downs (but that's life right?). The downs however, were particular heavy and burdened, to the point of helplessness and depression. Last October, I had left my job in beauty to further pursue a career in marketing and social media, during my job hunt my family needed me to take over caregiving for my high-functioning autistic brother. I think this might be one of the rare times I share about this part of my life on my blog as it is something that I usually only speak to family and close friends about. So, I put the personal job hunt on hold to become my brother's full-time caregiver. Although he doesn't need intense care, the 'job' started putting a strain on me mentally, as I also live at home with my family and brother and there didn't seem to be a sense of separation from 'work' and 'personal' life at home; I fell into a pit of hopelessness at the beginning of 2017, not the best way to kick off the new year. I honestly could not deal with my emotions and frustrations with where I was in my life and where I wanted to be; it took a toll on my mental health and affected my relationships.
On social media, I choose to share the parts of my life that I want people to see - it was hard seeing friends and acquaintances and they would say things like 'wow, it looks like you're doing so much, and getting to travel everywhere' etc....etc....but in reality I was at home most of the time and really didn't feel like I was accomplishing much. That of course is not the fault of anyone looking on my social media because that content is what I choose to share so that is all they see and can therefore perceive of me. After my engagement in April, and I came home and got settled back into the daily routine, my brother started seeing a new therapist, so I too began seeing the same therapist to be able to just speak to someone because I had a complete total melt down at home.
Although I've always had the encouragement and support of my friends and fiancé, it was good to speak with an unbiased person that gave me a lot of insight and advice. Fast forward to today, I am happy to say I'm in a much better place and that's due to a shift in my mindset which translated into action. And hopefully this will continue through my golden birthday year bringing much more success and reaching my biggest goals and aspirations. Here are 5 things that I did this year (or that became much more apparent to do) that helped me achieve my goals:
1. VISUALIZE YOUR GOALS
I must say that even writing what I desire for myself proved to be helpful in achieving it, but to get a bit more creative, I like to make vision boards (or a 'mood' board for my life). Whether it's clipping photos from magazines or printing out 'pinned' images, get these visuals up on a cork board or similar and post it somewhere in daily sight. Include work, relationship, health images and more. My vision board included the type of job I was working towards, house and decor goals, it really can be anything! And things will change, so add or take away photos and images that don't align with what you're desiring.
I CAN believe the power of aspirations as things started happening when I affirmed in my mind and said aloud the things I wanted for myself as well as specific qualities that would help me achieve those goals. When I wake up in the morning, I tell myself that I'm awesome and will have a great day! When spirits are getting low, I tell myself that 'I got this'! Obviously, saying aspirations isn't going to instantly make things turn the direction you want them to go, but I truly believe that the constant enforcement of these positive words and statements puts change into motion.
3. DO YOU
Take at least an hour out of your day to do something for YOU, and something you enjoy doing. Whether that's listening to music, taking a soothing bubble bath, going for a run or painting - do it! You can also try something new or take up a hobby, this time is for you and no one else. You're feeding your soul and mind with something you love doing, and it's overall making your heart and mental being happy.
4. DON'T COMPARE
I think this is one of the most difficult things to avoid, especially in this social media driven age. Stop comparing yourself to others, and if you aren't...then good for you! I can't tell you how many times I felt insignificant, or not accomplished because I was religiously following the lives of others - feeling sad and sorry that I wasn't doing what those people were doing, didn't get me anywhere. Instead, use those moments you see on social media to start the fire inside you and drive you. I know it's easier said then done, but plant the seed in your mind to immediately disregard and shut down the negative thoughts of comparison in your mind when you're perusing through social media.
5. ROAD MAP
Alongside the vision board and daily aspirations, create a road map for yourself. I have done goal worksheets....yes worksheets for both my fiancé and I to fill out. The goal worksheet is not the roadmap itself but helps with creating a roadmap; I would include 3, 5 and 10 year goal sections under the categories of health, personal and career. From what I filled out I would create a road map including a time line as to how I would achieve those goals. Yes, things will change or transform and you just adjust your road map accordingly. Also, on a complete side note, it's okay to CRY, if you are just overcome by frustrations or your emotions, don't bottle it up just let it out! This includes seeking professional help like I did; I don't feel that there's much of a stigma surrounding seeing a 'shrink' or therapist anymore (like oh, you're seeing a shrink so you have problems? that's not the case at all), and it may take seeing a few different people until you vibe with one that you like. This is the opportunity for you to speak to someone about everything on your mind, instead of letting certain things fester and therefore affect your behavior and life - it's also a great way for the therapist to give you different perspectives and insight on how you may be reacting to situations and help you realize that and how to modify your thought process to make better decisions in the future.
These 5 things were actually acquired starting in my early 20s, but it became clearer and made so much sense recently. I hope they bring a little bit of something to your life however you choose to apply it! If you have any other nuggets of wisdom, leave me a comment - in the meantime, I'll be celebrating my birthday!
Photos taken by Bleudog Fotography