It’s my birthday!
It’s hard to believe that I’ve made it 33 years on this planet, and I wanted to celebrate with a reflective article exploring my past, present, and future.
Unfortunately, I have no idea where to begin. So, in an attempt to keep this article from becoming a jumbled mess, I found this article from Cosmo (of all places) that introduced me to the idea of a Birthday Check-In.
A Birthday Check-In is exactly what it sounds like- You take time to check in with yourself, reflect on your life, answer a few questions, and plan for the future.
And that’s what I wanted to do today.
So, without further ado, here are a few starter questions from the Cosmo article (along with some from Brit+Co that I enjoyed). May they grant you insight into my life, my ambitions, and my joys!
What do I like about my life?
I’m fortunate enough to write for a living while being a stay-at-home mom, and it gives me the freedom to be in my space and do what I enjoy. It’s also less rigid than most careers, so I can work whenever I feel like it (as long as I meet the deadlines). I can also travel and visit friends and family at will, take myself to lunch or for a coffee, and annoy my husband on his lunch break.
It also lets me spend time with my daughter, and it was a huge privilege to stay home and bond with her over the summer.
I know I’m one of the lucky ones, and I’m grateful for every moment of freedom that my lifestyle brings.
What are some things I want to change by next year?
I have to think about this one!
Personally, I’d like to be better at managing my money, but that’s a struggle I don’t think I’ll ever win.
Professionally, I’d like an increase in copywriting clients. I’d also like to publish my two upcoming books and attend more book fairs/ conferences so I can meet more like-minded individuals!
What is a habit I’d like to add (or subtract) from day-to-day living?
I’d love to get more exercise.
I admit that I’m lazy when it comes to physical health, but relying on household chores or the occasional trip to the gym isn’t working for me anymore.
It’s time to commit and start taking better care of my body.
I’d also like to quit biting my nails.
I’ve been a nail-biter my entire life, and while I can usually go a month or two without chewing them to nubs, I’d really like to stop permanently.
How would I rate my life in the realms of career, finances, health, relationships, growth, fun, and lifestyle?
Career: 7/10 (would like more clients/success)
Finances: 6/10 (I’m terrible with budgeting)
Health: 5/10 (It’s been a LONG 33 years)
Relationships: 100/10 (I have the BEST people!)
Growth: 8/10 (slowly but surely)
Fun: 8/10 (would like to travel more)
Lifestyle: 9/10 (it’s not bad!)
What is something I can do to fix the lagging areas of my life?
Honestly, creative writing is the only part of my life that feels laggy right now. I’m so close to the end of my fantasy book that I can taste it, and I have two other books lined up behind it.
However, I haven’t been as diligent (or disciplined) about the process as I should be, so I will be taking the step to complete at least one of the books before the year’s out.
How can I remember my plan throughout the year?
I like to pretend that I’m the kind of person who enjoys planners and regularly uses them. I like the IDEA of planners, but I’m terrible at keeping up with them.
The truth is, I’ll probably download an app to keep track of my goals.
If there’s a gap between where I am now and where I want to be, what’s one step I can take now to close that gap?
I can write!
I can finish my fantasy story and send it to an editor, and I can keep working on my non-fiction book until it’s finished.
It’s a long road, but I’m ready for it!
What made me feel alive over the last year? When have I felt most like myself?
I felt alive when I faced my fears and put myself out there.
I went to conferences alone, set up at festivals, started a podcast (which comes out in September), and passed out business cards like candy.
Writing is my business, my life, and I feel most like myself when I get out of my comfort zone and actively work toward my dream!
What was the best advice I received this year?
To use an active voice when speaking about myself.
For example: “I am a writer.” “I am successful.” “I am valuable.”
It’s a trick I learned from my therapist, and it’s done wonders for my self-esteem and confidence.
Another one is, “If you use the word “try,” you’re setting yourself up to fail.”
“Try” gives us an out, and we like to use that out instead of putting in the work.
So, instead of “I’ll try to get my book done by December,” say “I will get my book done by December” and repeat as necessary.
Honestly, the change in my overall mental health after switching to active voice (and eliminating “try” when I can) have been amazing. I’m less anxious, less worried about impostor syndrome, and more likely to leap head-first into new experiences.
10/10 would recommend it!
There we go! Some birthday musings to kick off my 33rd year of life. I hope it was as insightful for you as it was for me, and I look forward to educating and entertaining you with more articles in the future!