As I perused TikTok one afternoon during my son's nap I stumbled upon a video of a woman talking about doing a "glow up" before turning 30. Only she wasn't simply talking about changing her physical appearance--she was talking about an overhaul of her entire life. A "life glow up" if you will.
Now, while I am typically the first person to tell someone who wants a life overhaul to "slow down" and "take baby steps", what I loved about this idea is that she was primarily changing how she approached different areas of life. How she looked at "problems" or growth areas. She was looking at things from a perspective that wasn't as obvious as "lose weight" or "earn more money". She was coming at it from the perspective of trying to cultivate an intentional life by identifying what she wanted her life to look like, instead of what she didn't want it to look like. It was more tangible. Small goals for a lifestyle change rather than one giant goal that would hopefully have a waterfall effect of changing her entire life.
How I define an intentional life is one that it filled primarily of things that you WANT in your life. The best of the options you have before you. It's a life where one is deliberate about their "nos" to make sure they have room for all of the "yeses" they want in life. An intentional life means moving at a speed which allows one to be tuned in not only to their needs but also their wants and priorities. Intentional lives are comprised of the things we spend our time, money, and energy on.
Please don't be quick to write this blog off as just another approach to the dreaded "New Year's resolutions" that people give up on by February. I set out to craft a very intentional list of starting points for people who feel overwhelmed when looking at their lives, know that they want to make changes, but just aren't sure where to start. These are the types of people I often see in my office. The people who say, "I have what I thought I wanted." And, man can I relate at times! We want our lives to feel full, we just want to make sure it's full of the things that are important to each of us as individuals, not what society tells us is supposed to be important.
I asked my Instagram followers for ideas of goals for different areas of life which I broke down into 5 categories (although I'm sure you could make more); financial, experiential, relationships, career/education, and physical/health. Again, I wanted the goals to feel like meaningful ADDITIONS to life, rather than something we are trying to get rid of.
**I want to emphasize the lists below are just ideas to get you inspired to create your own specific goals/ideas. Do not feel pressured to do any or all of these exactly as they are. Maybe pick one area or a few things you'd like to focus on.
Max out my IRA
Being able to afford apps & a dessert (if I want them) when I go out
Have my emergency fund 50% completed
Save X dollars by Y date for EVENT (vacation, wedding, etc.).
Generate enough income while staying home with kids
Create a budget
Travel somewhere new
Celebrate reaching a milestone
Present an idea to an organization I want to work with
Take a class (cooking, art, etc.) to learn a new skills
Try 3 new types of food
Read X number of books
Be intentional about getting outside in nature
Set up time to connect with someone in person AT LEAST once per month
Focus on being open minded to allowing new people into my life
Continue growing my relationship with money through education, reflection, and intentional actions
Share more of my internal experiences with people I trust
Schedule date night (even if it's just as home) with my partner twice a month
Enroll in school again
Open my business
Take a training I'm interested in
Find a mentor who has the education and experience I am interested in
Prioritize whole foods
Reach a weight/strength/speed goal
Eat more protein
Drink half my body weight in ounces of water every day
Get intentional movement at least 3 times a week
8 hours of sleep a night
This is in no way, me saying to pick your New Year's resolution now. Instead, this is me asking you, what do you need more of in your life to create the life you really want to be living?
Be gentle with yourself as we move through the busy holiday season and end of the year. It's always a mad dash this time of year when no one seems to know what day it is or where the year has gone. Also, a goal/habit/lifestyle change can be started at any time of the year so if July feels like a better time for you to reflect, do it! All it takes is you believing that you are worthy of the life you dream of and then making space for it to happen.
Brooke Halliday, MA, LPCC (she/her)
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Certified EMDR Therapist
Owner of Redbird Counseling