I Turned 21?! A Birthday Reflection.

On Sunday, I turned 21.

In the days leading up to my birthday, I always like to reflect on the past year of my life. My good friend Angela asked me to share my goal setting process for my birthday, so I talked a bit about it on my Instagram already, but I wanted to share it here as well!

I always start by journaling about where I’m at currently, what I did/didn’t do over the last year, and just my thoughts in general. This really helps me to reflect and check in with myself. I journal on a fairly regular basis, and I highly recommend giving it a try!

Twenty was a weird age. More than half of it was spent trying to survive a pandemic, and the other half was pretty uneventful. I felt pretty isolated for a majority of it, and I felt like I didn’t accomplish much. I also feel like I shut myself in a bit, and I turned down a lot of experiences that I wish I had taken up.

Those are some of the things I wrote about in my journal. Then, using my journal as a guide, I created a page in Notion with my intentions for the year ahead.

Here are my affirmations/intentions:

  1. I have a positive attitude and enjoy the simple moments.
  2. I free myself of expectations and I am more creative.
  3. I make new connections and I am more adventurous.

I don’t really set “goals” in the traditional sense on my birthday because I create quarterly goals instead every year. But, I do like to create somewhat of a “to-do list” instead. Here is what that looks like for the next 12 months!

I will…

  • finish writing a book
  • give myself more breaks & stress less about school
  • start a new hobby or reinvest in an old one
  • travel somewhere new (city, state, country? whatever’s possible)
  • take a fun class (yoga? pottery? photography?)
  • start a book club with friends
  • eat more vegetables and learn to cook 5 new meals
  • start a new long-term creative project (podcast? poetry collection? e-book?)
  • pay off a big chunk of student loans
  • make 5 new friends!

That is all in terms of how I look back on my years as well as how I think about the future! It’s really strange to me that I’m already 21. I feel like I’m still in high school sometimes, if I’m being honest.

But I’m really excited about this next year of my life, and I’m pretty optimistic about it.

Do you have any planning systems surrounding your birthday?

10 thoughts on “I Turned 21?! A Birthday Reflection.

  1. Happy birthday Jessica! As far as goal planning goes, I’ve been really interested in theories about manifestation. It’s definitely more spiritual and I’m trying to gently explore what it means to manifest my ideal life from the universe while also taking responsibility over my decisions and situations.

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