Here's to a Year of Happiness and Growth: My Goals for 2020

I don't usually make a list of resolutions going into a new year. I don't really believe in resolutions, since it seems like no matter how good your intentions are, they always end up abandoned by March. I usually just have a general "be better than last year" mindset. There's nothing at all wrong with that, but this year is different for me. I'm entering a very pivotal time of my life: I just got married, and I turn 24 in three days. There are some really big things I want to do by the time I'm 30, and in order to accomplish those things, I need to start laying the groundwork now.

I came up with a list of goals I want to either achieve or start working toward in 2020 to better myself and / or set up a successful future for myself, Tyler, and our future family. Some of them are very big goals, and some of them are more minor / manageable goals. I hope they inspire you, you're able to learn something, and that you'll share your own goals for 2020 with me in the comments at the end of this post!

Be more intentional with purchases

This section is super long, but hear me out. In the past few years, I've developed a bad habit of purchasing things without critically thinking about how much use I'll get out of said things. I'm especially bad at this when it comes to makeup and clothes. 

Rather than "sitting on" the purchase and really thinking about how much I wanted / needed something, I was buying things that I felt I really wanted at a first-glance level. I'm now working on thinking more critically: do I really need a new bottle of foundation if I still have two others that I'm currently using? Will that shirt be an investment piece, or am I going to wear it once, hate the way it looks on me, then let it sit at the bottom of my dresser for two years before I finally get rid of it?

When it comes to makeup, I try to think about if I have similar products, how long the product will last before it expires, and if it's limited edition, do I really want it, or am I just getting caught up in the hype? We live in such a consumer-heavy environment that it's easy to not critically think about these things, but it's important that we do so for a variety of reasons. 

First of all, it's bad for the global environment if I'm purchasing product I'm not really using, because creating product requires resources. In the same token, I'm contributing to the waste problem by adding trash to landfills—think shopping bags, shipping boxes, packing materials to keep products from becoming damaged in transit, product packaging, etc. 

Second of all, it's become increasingly important to me that I'm saving more than I'm spending. Although the instant gratification from shopping feels so fun and it's awesome to have cool new things, I need to focus on the fact that I want to buy a nice house and start a family in the next few years. Those are two VERY EXPENSIVE tasks! I'm finding myself pivoting from my shopping addiction ( let's be honest ) to saving for my future, and if you're around my age, I think it's important that we all take a moment to critically think about our financial goals in the next decade of our lives. 

So yeah... that was a long af explanation, but I feel that it's a really important goal that I want to tackle!

Go cruelty free 

Building on wanting to be a more intentional shopper, I also want to go cruelty free. I love animals so much, and I feel ashamed when I buy products from companies that aren't cruelty free. For me, this is mostly in the makeup and skincare industry. Going forward, I will no longer buy from MAC, L'OrĂ©al, NARS, Origins, Benefit, or any other company that is not cruelty free. 

We're at a point where there are other solutions available for product testing and creation that don't require animal abuse and suffering. Although I will be giving up some of my favorite products / brands, I feel it's necessary to help spread the message that animal testing and sourcing is absolutely unacceptable.

Go on a late honeymoon

Tyler and I never got to go on a honeymoon because we spent basically all of this year saving and spending money on the wedding. We decided to wait to go on a honeymoon until 2020 so we're able to ( hopefully ) save up for a "big" trip. I'd love to go to Hawaii next fall, so keep your fingers crossed for us! Also, if you have any insight on travel hacks to cut costs without compromising the overall experience, let me know in the comments below!

Find the next phase of my career

I think I've spoken about this before on my blog, but as much as I love working at the Y, it's definitely not my forever career. It's been an amazing first job, and I've learned so much from my experience there, but in order to create the life I want to have, I need to move to the next phase in my career. Simply put, I don't get paid anywhere near my actual worth at the Y because they're a non-profit organization. A big 2020 goal of mine is to find my next career move so I can begin making the money I deserve to make.

Move out of Bloomington

I love living in Bloomington because it holds such a special place in my heart being my college town, but it's extremely overpriced. Housing costs are astronomical for the area, and high living costs aren't something I'm willing to deal with to continue living here. I can get more bang for my buck by moving to the Indianapolis area, which is what I plan to do within the next year.

Save to buy a house

I have big house goals, guys. I have bougie taste, which works against me sometimes because it requires the big $ dollas $. I turn 24 this week, and I'm determined to buy a house by the time I'm 26. I hate moving, so it has to be the house we're going to live in for the foreseeable future. That said, I'm aiming for four bedrooms, at least two bathrooms, two living area spaces, a spacious kitchen, ample yard space, and preferably a three-car garage. I told you I'm bougie; the heart wants what it wants! 

In the Indianapolis area, a house with all of the above runs around $300,000. For those of you who may not know ( I recently found this out myself ), the "ideal" down payment for a house is 20% of the overall selling price. Twenty percent of $300k is $80k, so I have some major saving to do! 

Even though that's a huge amount of money ( at least it is in my opinion ), this goal is the one I want to achieve the most out of this list. Our house is going to not only be our home, but also the place we raise our future children. It's going to be the place we come home to everyday, the place we celebrate holidays and birthdays and anniversaries, the place where we experience the ups and downs of life. I want it to be an oasis from the world around us, so it's extremely important to me to achieve this goal for myself, Tyler, and our family-to-be. Can you tell I'm a homebody? (;

Pay off debts

This goal goes hand-in-hand with buying a house because the overall goal is to improve my credit score so we're able to get a good mortgage loan. I would love to pay off my student loans ( I'm very fortunate in only having about $4,000 left to pay ) by 2021. I also need to get my credit card debt in check. Being financially free is definitely peak successful adulthood status! I'm not there now, but I have every intention of setting myself up for financial success in this next year.

Grow this blog & my Instagram

I'd love to grow both my audience and engagement on my two favorite platforms: my blog and my Instagram. I love creating content, whether it be taking outfit photos to share my style and favorite fashion brands, setting up product shots of new things I'm loving, filming & editing makeup tutorials to teach a technique or show off a product, writing about topics I'm passionate about, or anything else! I have so much fun doing those things, and I have even more fun when you guys respond to them. Engaging is the most fun / rewarding part of the process, so I'd love to increase my engagement with you all in 2020 (:

Learn some new things

For years now, I've been saying how much I'd love to learn how to box and to finally, after literally seven years of classes and a whole ass trip to France, become fluent in French. In 2020, I'm determined to actually do those two things. Something I've realized now that I'm not in school anymore is that I miss learning, and I really believe that taking the reigns on being proactive in learning new things is how you continue to grow and thrive throughout your life. I've also recently been inspired to potentially pick up American Sign Language as well—shoutout to Alyssa Anderson from the Approachable podcast!

I'm just tired of saying "I've always wanted to do x." I want to stop being wishful and actually do these things. For French and ASL, I think I'll sign up for Skillshare, which is an online learning platform. Thanks to The Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast and the Approachable podcast, listeners can join Skillshare for FREE for two months. Can't beat free knowledge! So yeah, catch me learning new things and evolving as a person in the next decade. And kicking ass with my new boxing skills because self-defense is pretty crucial for women in these lovely times we currently live in.

What are your goals for 2020? Big or small, I would love to read them in the comments below!

Want more content? Check out my recent post about my reflections on 2019.

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