From the day after Thanksgiving when I put my Christmas tree up to the ringing in of the New Year I made sure to make the most of my final hours of 2020. I indulged in all the things that make me feel cozy and make me happy. I lounged around in my plush bath robe, drank all of the sugary coffees and hot chocolate bombs, ate whatever I wanted, and soaked up the feel goods of purchasing thoughtful gifts for those on my list.
As much as I indulged I did manage to check off all of my goals this month. This is the first month I can say that I completed my goals and feel amazing about my efforts.
That feeling of accomplishment is a great way to end the year and the needed momentum for entering into 2021.
1) Personal: Focus on fitness and look into gift giving ideas/stocking stuffers that have to do with fitness for Christmas.
I fit in workouts and targeted my chest and shoulders. We had a handful of beautiful sunny days in the 60s and some that pushed into the 70s. I love Houston for this reason. The kids and I were able to get out and soak up the sunshine and that Vitamin D by going for walks around the neighborhood.
For Christmas I kept my eye out for gifts that would get the kids more excited for outside time. We added spike ball, pickle ball, laser tag, nerf guns, foam glider planes, frisbees, and chalk to our outside equipment. I needed to purchase heavier dumbbells but instead opted for an exercise bike after finding a deal too good to pass up. It’s still in transit and should be arriving next week… along with some of those gifts I ordered over two weeks ago. Haha!
2) Health: For my mental health… reminding myself that the only thing that matters is how I see myself.
I had less than a handful of moments this month where I had to say this to myself. The struggle for baby daddy to understand who I am is still present. I couldn’t have asked for better timing with Mark Manson’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k, coming available for me to have my turn to read it on the Libby app. The book is such an easy and enjoyable read and had me rethinking a few things and it has helped me retrain my brain. I’ve been able to approach situations with baby daddy from an “I don’t give a f**k!!’ mentality and has helped to close off certain parts of my heart that I kept open for too long. This book also has me reframing my “why’s” and reinforcing that sacrifices are needed to get what I want.
One of the passages I highlighted in this book has to do with maturity and learning to only give a f**k about what is truly f**kworthy. The beautiful thing about where I am in my life right now is this resonating message in the book:
“…, as we grow older and enter middle age, something else begins to change. Our energy level drops. Our identity solidifies. We know who we are and we accept ourselves, including some of the parts we aren’t thrilled about.”
3) Financial: Put money towards my goal of having $33,000 for my emergency fund.
I added $141 to my 6 month emergency fund. It didn’t push me out of my current 33% progress on this goal but all of these small amounts add up. I don’t think I’ll hit the fully funded amount until 2022 but it is a real possibility that I could make it happen if I stay driven and continue side hustling, especially if I scale. The truth is I am extremely tired and feeling run down by my year end push and have made the decision to not actively pursue more at this time. I’m okay with maintaining what’s on my plate for now.
4) Family: Celebrate my greatest blessings, my children!!!
My babies! Truly the greatest blessings I have ever been given. I cherish my time with them. I made sure to spend quality undivided time with them every day. My son made my heart swell when his Christmas wish list consisted of 3 items and one of them was a family day to the Houston Zoo. I got to see their faces light up as they walked hand in hand and went to each animal enclosure. We had movie nights, themed meals, and did art projects together. This month was one of the best Christmas seasons I have had in my adult/mommyhood.
5) Relationships: Find resources for getting help with mental health issues for baby daddy.
Because of my strained relationship with baby daddy I’ve had to shift focusing on the issues he has going on and give a f**k more about me and my mental health. These last couple of years have not been easy mentally and it drains me. As mentioned above, Mark Manson’s book is highly recommended. I feel like the insight I gained has given me the okay to feel how I feel and to stop caring to the extent I did. I care about him but those in love feelings are long gone and this is going to be his battle to fight. Even saying that I know me best. I stay ready and have another resource on deck in the event he reaches for help again if only he chooses to get the help.
For anyone struggling with mental health issues and anyone who is a caretaker to someone dealing with mental health issues my heart is with you. This shit is hard!
6) Self-Development: Learn a new skill. Overcome a bad habit. Read.
Okay, so I didn’t learn a new skill or overcome a bad habit but I’m still checking this as accomplished because I read. Refer back to my recommendation for Mark Manson’s book. It’s life changing and liberating.
7) Professional: Make myself a priority.
I did what I said I was going to do. I pulled back when I needed to and in return my body rewarded me with better night’s sleep, less anxiety, and even my weight dropped back down. When I look back at these last 9 years at my job I can say with confidence that all of those hours given to the company and my hardest work ever were absolutely worth it to be in the position I am today. I’m a single mom of two and a financially independent woman. I worked for that. My work has been recognized and I’m being gifted such a unique role at my company that I am taking it graciously. I am comfortable with where I am in my career. I am not chasing more at this time. By not chasing more and being happy and content it is me making myself a priority. My health is important and me being my best for my kids is what they need.
8) Business: Work on side hustles to bring in extra income.
The last two weeks were winter break at our school and my calendar quickly filled with side hustle work. Every family that I work with contacted me. I have gone nonstop and it finally hit me hard yesterday. I pushed through today and am looking forward to having my final job tomorrow morning. I made a little over $690 with another payment coming after tomorrow’s visit. The exhaustion is a sacrifice I’m willing to make in order to hit my financial goals.
Speaking of financial goals, in 2020 I was able to shave off one year from my early retirement plan, accelerated my debt free journey by five months, and spent 29% less than I did in 2019. I made huge strides in 2020 and looking forward to more successes in 2021.
Zaya loves sitting at the window watching the birds fly by or stop in our backyard for a bird bath from the standing water from the thunderstorms. I sat with her for over an hour one afternoon and ooh’d and ahh’d over every bird we saw. I love being able to experience the world for a second time through the eyes of a child. The wonderment is truly incredible and something worth slowing down for to enjoy with her.
That wraps up my 2020 Areas of Development updates. These 8 areas of focus will be something that I carry over into 2021. Setting monthly goals versus a year long resolution really showed how successful this method is for me and if for nobody else, at least these posts serve their purpose in continuing to motivate me.
I am wishing everyone a safe and healthy new year with a reminder to count your blessings and make “contact” with those you love. Happy 2021!!!