2020 really taught me a few valuable things. A year ago I made a long list of goals around the New Year. I’d cry if I wasn’t already laughing at how many of my plans went downhill, but I guess that was the overall theme of that year. Here’s what I learned about goals, outgrowing your plans and changing your mind.

About goals

After reaching only half of the goals on my list, I realized the point isn’t really the length of your goal list but more like the quality of your intentions. It’s about the determined aim to be better, focusing on where you are and what changes you would like to make.

It’s about realizing that no, you can’t always reach your every goal, sometimes a pandemic hits without a warning. Sometimes your mental health puts you down or something acute happens and it takes your focus away for a long time. However, I do think that goals are still very important: when you have something personally important to work on, it can bring meaning into your life and help you get back on track. 

About outgrowing plans

Sometimes you may realize that the goals you set for yourself at some point, simply do not fit the person you are nowadays. Oh how valuable those moments are – yet again you have learned more about who you are and where you are going… at least right now, haha.

Last April I was planning on becoming an au pair, but it took a lot of time to find a good family, and when it was somewhat a done deal, we didn’t see eye to eye after all. I was sad for a second, but also surprised how relieved I felt. I realized I’ve kinda grown past that point already. I need a lot of space and freedom to live happily, so living according to someone else’s rules wouldn’t sit well with me anymore, and that’s ok. Not everything that sounds amazing is meant for you, sometimes the timing is just off.

About changing my mind

Another real thing that really surprised me was that after moving to the Netherlands in October, I missed home a lot. After years of dreaming about moving far away, it made me see how beautifully right many things were back home. Most importantly: family. 

It’s difficult to come to terms with when you realize you’re doing something you wanted, but now it feels very wrong. Like, should you still do it? Should you ignore how you feel inside, hoping that it will change, hoping you will grow? Or should you ignore the embarrassment and just go back to figure out a new path? So real, honest and scary. 

It made me think of how many things in society are based on decisions. In many ways, we are not supposed to change our minds. You need to pick a career and stick to it. Pick a partner and stick to it. It is often seen as a sign of weakness, a failure, if you happen to change your mind. I’m just confused by how we’re supposed to stick to our old plans while still always evolving and growing. It’s only natural that we change our minds about things. It’s life. And we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for it.

About listening to myself

This was also the year when I learned to listen to myself, and see that as the answer. After years of wanting to go somewhere, I’m realizing where I am right now, feels good right now. I’m back in Finland writing and doing art my way, dreaming about new things, and I don’t want to go anywhere else. Sometimes life really makes you question yourself and your decisions, like why couldn’t I just see that simplicity was my key to inner peace all along? And more importantly, why couldn’t I listen when my intuition told me that the first time? 

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But then again, maybe it took all that struggle to see it. Maybe we need to go far away in order to appreciate what has been right under our noses. And it’s okay if where you are is good for you. There’s a lot of beauty in valuing where you are right now in your journey, not hurrying to be somewhere else, just appreciating the simple and quiet beauty of everyday life.

I guess that could be called growth.

And so what that I didn’t reach most of my goals? I received so many new awesome things in return. I think in all this mess that LIFE is, it’s a very essential skill to know how to see things in a bigger perspective: oftentimes when there’s a storm, when something gets ruined, when one door closes, it brings up dozens of new opportunities whenever one is ready to look for them with an open, grateful heart. I know I’m such a true believer that things happen for a reason. Don’t know how, don’t know why, but somehow they always do. 

Cheers for…

new goals, new plans, and more growth and gratitude, whenever the first ones are changed or outgrown. Cheers to a brand new year on this planet, exploring all the ideas and possibilities while enjoying the moment, right here, right now. 💛

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