A Motto for 2020

Jan 6, 2020

What are your goals for the New Year?  I was never big into resolutions, but last year, I committed to reviving my life.  And while 2019 was filled with more ups and downs, I didn’t make all of the progress that I wanted to make.

While my mental health is better, being in a depressed state for almost two years has lasting ramifications.  My career, my finances, my friendships suffered and my physical health all suffered.  But the biggest blow was to my confidence.

When I heard ‘boss up and change your life’ in the lyric to Lizzo’s Good as Hell, I thought, “That needs to be my motto for 2020.”

I need to start believing in myself again, and only way I know how to do that is to do the things that seem difficult — the projects that I put on the back burner, the career moves that I need to make, etc..  I have to stop being so afraid to fail that I become too paralyzed to try.  And I need to summon the courage to do the hard thing anyway, even when I’m scared.

So what are your 2020 goals?  Small or large, it’s always nice to start off a new year with a clear picture of what you want to change, achieve, or do next.


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  1. kate says:

    Yes to this for EVERYONE!

  2. TheLOOP says:

    I want to spend more time on my physical health in 2020. I have never been a workout person. The last 4 years or so, I have been heavily focused on my career and on being a good parent to my three kids. This has taken a toll on my health – I have been experiencing issues like muscle fatigue, back pain, low stamina etc. I don’t need to shed weight but need to get stronger so I am looking into pilates, strength training and maybe a run a week to build stamina.

    • Kristen says:

      hot yoga has been a game changer for me (3 kids, mid life career change, etc). it’s so meditative, doesn’t feel like a ‘work out’ and fun!

    • DianE says:

      Check out Momma Strong. It’s geared towards mom-problem-areas and for people with limited schedules for fitting in exercise.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I did this last year and worked with a nutritionist to understand how to eat. It was a game changer – workouts got better, I felt stronger, ate MORE and lost weight, even though that wasn’t my goal.

      • Casey says:

        Depending on your insurance plan you may also be able to get reduced cost nutrition consults as well – many plans are focusing more on prevention and nutrition to try and save health care dollars

    • Lindsey says:

      I got the Peloton in July and it has changed everything for me. Not having to waste time going to and from the gym has helped me making exercising a reality, even with kids. My firm reimburses for part of it as a gym membership. I actually look forward to working out.

  3. MJ says:

    I relate to this so much. Years of being stuck in a job that doesn’t adequately challenge me has left me with so much self-doubt. The only way to break out of that negative headspace is to do exactly what you’ve described. May we all boss way up in 2020!

  4. Jules says:

    I have two goals for this year/decade.
    1) use less single use items. It’s a small step, but I feel strongly about doing my part to curb useless consumption.
    2) Take better care of my looks. I always felt super guilty about spending money on myself (outside of education, necessities, etc) and feel that I have really let myself go. My skin, hair, both are in a dire state. I noticed that spending money to look good also makes me feel good, and when I feel good, it snowballs into more good things. I’ve already signed up for a series of laser treatments and facials 🙂 Because I’m worth it, as they say. lol.

  5. kristen says:

    in 2020 i’m working on letting go of my EGO

  6. sara says:

    -get a reading routine in. I can’t during my commute as it makes me motion sick, so establishing a nighttime reading routine is a big priority for me. the books stacked on my nightstand will thank me.
    -spend less money on clothes (this will be very hard for me)
    -make more of an effort in my friendships. I entered a very serious relationship in 2019 and since he’s moved in, I haven’t been as good about prioritizing my friendships.
    -consume less in general.

    • Mel says:

      I get motion sick while reading paper on the train, but discovered that reading on a Kindle or tablet doesn’t cause the same effect.

      • sara says:

        I wish this was the case for me! I can’t even look at my phone on the bus. I suppose I could do audio books, but in general I just listen to podcasts and music on the bus.

        • Anna says:

          The harsh contrast and glare from the phone often hurt my eyes, so at least the Kindle doesn’t have that, but I totally get you on getting motion sick easily.

    • ErikA says:

      For those that can’t read during the commute but can listen … Audible! I can’t read during my commute either (long drive) but I’ve found that I LOVE memoirs read by the author. Trevor Noah, Chanel Miller, Tara Westover, Michelle Obama, Sy Montgomery, Lauren Graham, Steve Martin. I have learned so much about things I never would have actually picked up a book and read about. And if you have Amazon Prime it’s easy to build up free credits.

  7. Colleen says:

    5,000 push-ups. Take better care of my skin and teeth. Focus on strength and flexibility. Start digging in and finding community after a big move.

  8. MOnica T says:

    I took my chart that said “2019 will be the year I…” and crossed off 19 and put 20. My list includes Read More, Be a Lifelong Learner, Decrease Household Waste, Bake More, Do More Crafting, Reach An Audience, Save More Money and Maintain My Health.

    I might add a new square to include Connect With Others. This has been my greatest happiness in the last year. I might have finally accepted that while I think of myself as a loner, if I find people I adore it’s okay to reach out and be the initiator of a deeper connection. I can organize events that bring others together too and help build a community, whether it’s a work softball team or a regional technical group. If a place for us doesn’t exist then I can create it.

  9. Elle says:

    This totally resonated with me. As a new & youngish (39) empty nester, I want this year to be about figuring out what I want out of life outside of my roles as a mother and care taker. First order will be leaving this management job that I *thought* I wanted and move to an IC role that will allow more time for me.

  10. Annie says:

    Mine is to pet more dogs on the street (with owner permission). I lost my beloved dog companion a month and half ago and I’m quite sad. I’m grieving in an emotionally appropriate way, but nowhere near ready for a new pup. I am, however, so ready for lots of short term dog friends. I’m also reading digital minimalism and am likely going to implement some of the recommended approach.

    • Anna says:

      So sorry about your loss. Losing a pet is a particularly painful kind of hurt. Have you thought about fostering? I know pet rescues are always looking for fosters, and it could way to have the company of a pup without a long commitment, and when you say goodbye it’s for the best of reasons. Rescues are usually pretty flexible with the kind of commitment from fosters (super short term, until a new home opens up, older, healthy pups, puppies, special needs, etc.). Just throwing it out there.

    • Heather says:

      Love this one! It always makes my day when a stranger asks to pet my dog. (And he of course, loves the attention). And sorry for your loss! Losing a pet is the worst.

    • Charlotte says:

      If you get to a point where you are thinking about having a dog at home again, but not sure you’re completely ready for your own pup, you could help a deployed military member by watching their dog while they’re downrange.

    • casey says:

      I’m so sorry about losing your beloved pet – have you thought about volunteering at a shelter?

  11. Kelly says:

    I love the text graphic. I think my goals are:
    1) Read 100 pages a day.
    2) Invest more.
    3) Have conversations in my life with people to help me set a next career goal.
    4) Get everything in order so I can go after whatever I decide from #3.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes on investing! Saving is important, but investing is critical. I did not start until my mid-30s, and not comprehensively until about 40. I so wish that I had started sooner – even in a target date mutual fund.

  12. JanIne says:

    In 2020 I want to be more realistic. In prior years, goals were very narrow and specific but general at the same time. And not always very forgiving. I want my goals to be attainable and sustainable, and to not cause resentment.

    I want to change my relationship with food. I want to stop making “eat better” and “stop eating crap” generalized statements and instead work to embrace a balance of healthy with indulgent. I have a 7 month old daughter, and I don’t want her to struggle with body image issues like I have most of my life. I want to be more active, and find ways to be active that include my daughter and husband. Long walks in the mornings, park time.

    Professionally I want to find a better balance. I find myself wanting to project the image that I never had a baby and things will continue as they were before. Before, I would work nearly 10 hours a day, eating lunch at my desk. I need to find the happy medium of performing consistently, while not overextending myself and prioritizing my family.

    • Belle says:

      This year, I pledged to eat three fruits and vegetables every day outside of meals. It doesn’t seem like much, but I have an issue with junk food, so it’s a place to start.

      • Janine says:

        That seems attainable and reasonable – instead of limiting focusing on what you CAN have. And your # seems realistic for a daily habit too.

        Part of the problem with New Years resolutions seems to be that so many people make multiple drastic changes all at once and it becomes unsustainable. Making small goals and adding only one at a time would result in better odds for longevity.

  13. Rachel says:

    My goal is to pay off my student loans. While law school paid off professionally, I hate having to make this large payment every month so I’ve decided to buckle down and close out the last two loans. It will be a year of minimal fun and few purchases, but the thought of being down with this forever makes my heart sing.

  14. Cait says:

    This year, I changed from big picture yearly goals to small daily goals. I find that a lot of small, regular achievements is really motivating for me and is less stressful than big annual goals.
    Daily goals are: floss (gross that I don’t already do this, but that’s the reality), some kind of exercise for 90 minutes, and eat 5+ servings of fruit and/or vegetables.

    • Ruchita says:

      Same here. I’m using a habit tracker to keep track of my small goals.

      – Drink one bottle of water. This is one of those large Swell bottles.
      – Eat one fruit or vegetable each day. This seems really minimal, but I have to start off with baby steps. (What About Bob is actually on the TV right now)
      – Exercise. This is the hardest one for me, but I’m starting off with three days a week doing stuff like Fitness Blender videos.

  15. Pam says:

    First, thank you for being authentic. I appreciate it so much.

    I can relate. I switched jobs because my prior employer was sinking. My current position is not challenging at all. I feel like I have set myself back further in what had become a floundering career anyway due to factors beyond my control. Started to boss up as I realized this but have not found a new position yet. You are not alone.

  16. Alish says:

    Disconnect more. I really don’t need to scroll through IG one last time before I go to bed.
    I put a tracker on my phone to find out how much I’m on it. I wasn’t surprised, but it was way too much time. Next step is set restrictions to be off it during certain hours.

  17. Erin says:

    Lots of great inspiration here! My goals are to read 30 books this year, workout 4-5x per week (min. 20 mins), reduce single use item consumption significantly (always have a reusable bag with me to use, buy a coffee mug I like, don’t use plastic silverware and reduce food waste) and bike to work 1-2x per week.

  18. Casey says:

    * no last minute cancels for fitness classes
    * stick to my routine
    * parent my near teen with love, logic and patience
    * make use of my gym membership while my kiddo is at his karate
    * maintain good grades in grad school
    * scholarship for grad school (is this a thing? Does anyone know?)
    * cook at home and make use of leftovers
    * take a long break from drinking alcohol and continue to drink less this year
    And a personal one related to my marriage that doesn’t need to be on the interweb 🙂

    • Cait says:

      Grad school scholarships are real but they’re highly variable depending on what you’re going to school for and where you want to go. Check with the financial aid office, and also check with your undergrad. A lot of schools offer alumni scholarships that aren’t widely publicized or can connect you with people in your field that can help you find funding for a graduate degree. If you’re planning to work while going to school, see if your employer offers any kind of flex time or tuition reimbursement benefits. Otherwise, look into assistantships as well as scholarships to help defray the costs.
      Good luck! It sounds like you’ve got a great year ahead!

    • Belle says:

      I’m big on no last minute cancellations.

  19. Pam says:

    Thank you for being authentic. I appreciate it so much.

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