New Decade, New Intentions

If you’ve been around my little corner of the internet long enough, you’ll know that I don’t do well with new year’s resolutions. I’ve been through too many cycles of burnout to count, and last year I finally came to the conclusion that there had to be a more sustainable way for me to set personal goals for growth.

So rather than write a list of hard goals regarding my fitness, professional life, relationships, etc., in 2019 I began setting intentions; or themes in which I felt my soul was leaning towards. You can find last year’s intentions in my Failing at New Years Resolutions blogpost, but this year, I’ve decided to do something a little different.

While I did come to find that setting annual intentions was extremely helpful at the start of a year, I also know that I’m more of a 5-10 year planner than a 12-month one. So with something so momentous as the beginning of a decade ringing in 2020, I thought I’d consider crafting my intentions for that of the next ten years, rather than one.

In a post earlier this week, I prefaced how I’m coming into the new year with 3 Things I’m Taking into 2020. In today’s post, I’m sharing more in-depth about how I intend to contextualize some of those learnings.


Identify

I spent much of the last decade learning to trust myself, and listen to my intuition. This led to a massive amount of deconstruction in my faith, identity, and world view; as I allowed myself to ask questions that my soul had been longing to ask for years.

So as I walk into this next year and decade, I’m hoping to reconstruct. And a huge part of reconstructing the things that I’ve questioned, is to identify the values that my soul genuinely aligns with. I want to get to know myself better, and reconstruct my understanding of spirituality, my worldview, and my self-perception. I want to identify what values and goals my partner and I will choose embody as we continue to grow together.

Align

All of the self-doubt from my early and mid-twenties unfortunately compromised a lot of the integrity I hoped to have in my life. Much of my internal thoughts, feelings, and underlying values were not expressed externally. It took a lot of time in therapy and spiritual direction to expose the lack of consistency in my life, but in recent years I’ve recognized that many of my past decisions were simply manifestations of an internalized sense of obligation to live into the expectations of others.

As I start to identify my values and reconstruct my understanding of the world around me, I intend to hold my lifestyle accountable to these values. I want the ways I interact with, and give back to the world around me to authentically express who I was created to be.

Build

The process of identifying and aligning has already started to stir up something deep within me. As I’ve learned to be more honest with myself about the things I lack, the things I embody, and the things I yearn for; exercising agency in addressing those aspects of my life has begun to generate personal passion, excitement, and drive — and I want to build on that in the coming decade.

A couple years ago I found myself back at square one, burnt out from a ministry position that wasn’t the healthiest fit. Having expected I’d be in ministry for the long-haul, I felt entirely bewildered and extremely disappointed. After spending a year or two resting and reconnecting with myself, I started to find new hobbies and uncovering interests that I’d never given the time or space to pursue prior. I began making space to explore my creative side, and before long found myself on entirely new career path.

But this process wasn’t exclusive to my career. I found the same cycles of change happening in my relational, spiritual, and personal life. By the end of 2019, my life looked entirely different than it had in 2010, or even 2015.

So in this upcoming decade, I’d love to build on the new foundations that are being set. I’d like to invest in the life-giving relationships that have just begun, in my marriage, and in a new career. And maybe, just maybe invest in growing a family in the next ten years (no promises though, Mom :P).

Flourish

If I’m honest, 2010-2020 was all about just surviving. And I mean, given the last decade represented most of my 20’s, I’m not entirely shocked. First it was surviving college, then it was surviving my first years on staff (fundraising my income while doing ministry full-time), then it was learning how to leave a toxic relationship, then leaving toxic friendships, then the 2016 election, then leaving ministry and learning how to make sense of life after having burned out of the one thing I could identify I was passionate about. Y’all. My 20’s were a ROUGH time. And I know I’m not the only one who’s experienced this quarter-life crisis of sorts.

But I don’t say all of this to whine about my 20’s being “hard.” Life is hard, and as an Asian American, middle-class, cis-gendered, able-bodied, protestant woman, I’d say I have a heck of a lot of privilege navigating it.

What I’m trying to get at is that much of the last decade put me in survival mode. I didn’t trust my intuition to guide me in making decisions that would’ve put me in otherwise healthy situations and relationships, and instead leaned into a scarcity mindset.

For this next decade however, I’d like to shift that. Rather than scarcity, I’d like to embody a mindset of abundance. And instead of simply surviving, I intend to pursue a life in which I thrive. This means trusting myself in building a lifestyle that embraces a holistic sense of wellness. It means recognizing that who I am, and what I have right now is enough, and I have plenty to give to myself and the world around me. It means embodying both generosity, and joy.


Identify. Align. Build. Flourish.

These are the 4 intentions my soul is leaning into as the decade begins. Though I understand that I can’t control what life throws my way, I am looking forward to this shift in intention, perspective, and lifestyle. I acknowledge and find joy in the growth that is to come, as the small changes made in 2019 have already resulted in much to be celebrated.

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