What’s in a Name? // Why I Started This Blog

I umm’d and ahh’d about the title of this blog.

You see, sloth renovations started as a hashtag for my personal Insta posts after buying my first home. It was an inside joke between myself and my parents, that we would eventually complete the renovations, just at a sloth-like pace. The simple #slothrenovations, changed to a Insta page after realising a few people were interested in the transformation. On the Insta page, I’d made began to make note of the debts I managed and the goals I had set, but predominately tried to stick renovations, despite long periods of time between small renovation projects. The problem is minimalism, personal finance and goal setting are all things I love TALKING about, they aren’t something you can always photograph. I was on the wrong platform, so I moved to Facebook. However, something about Facebook still didn’t feel quite right… so the day after I created the Facebook page, I created this blog.

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2020 | The Highs & Lows

I said it in this week’s earlier post: 2021 Goals | Life Update, 2020 was a wild one.

As I think back to the year that was 2020, something that resonated with me and kept me pushing through was the following mantra: It’s not the year I wanted, however, it is the year I needed. The whole year felt bittersweet, as with the rest of the world – there were some less than ideal moments, however there were a lot of valuable lessons learned.

The year started off rather odd, perhaps it should have been a sign of the year to come. I counted the 2021 year in at a music festival, alone. Odd choice of words to say alone granted that I was surrounded and squished up with what was thousands of strangers. It was no hard feelings to the people I had chosen to take the trip with, everyone needs to make decisions for themselves and what brings them happiness. There was a strong sense of sadness, however, it did provide a sense of feeling empowered – that 2020 could be the year for me, the year that I priortise myself and my needs, because I am strong enough – on my own. (Hint, I’m not, no one is – I need to learn to speak up and ask for help).

So I took that stance for the year, to make 2020 an ambitious one, full of everything I wanted to do: I booked music gigs, overseas holidays to Thailand were booked, I was online dating and I had planned to be a boss accountant and do my CPA (finally). Fast forward to March, oh wow, what an oblivious, or optimistic, idiot I had been. The global pandemic was starting to show presence in Australia, I had dealt with a loss of a family member, medical issues arose and cracks in my new found relationship were starting to show quick.

As the pandemic worsened, I had to make some calls on my mental health – taking the plunge to ask my employer if I could work from my home town to ensure I wouldn’t be left alone in a lock down, and they said yes. Still to this day, it will be one of the greatest career highlights of my working life, to have such support given at a time of need for myself, will never be forgotten (if my previous bosses ever read this – thank you, thank you, thank you, a life time of thank you). I packed my place up, packed up the car and took the 12 hour drive back home.

I spent two months back home. It was with this time that I began to question where I was happy and what brought me happiness. I began to question if maybe a capital city wasn’t the right fit for me and that maybe psychology was a field I wanted to look further into. I priortised spending majority of my time ‘nursing’ a really close friend, someone I care for dearly, which in hindsight, they probably didn’t need or even appreciate looking back – however, I have no regrets. I did what I thought was right in my heart at the time.

I went back to Brisbane late June with Covid-19 starting to subside substantially in Queensland. I knew I had a lot to think about being back, however, I new that I needed to give Brisbane more of a chance that I previously had. I through myself into improving my life again, trying to make life less stressful and spend more time with friends. September hit, and I was becoming less and less okay. My cousin’s engagement party back home was approaching and I knew it was time to really assess where I needed to be.

The weekend passed me by, and I had a decision and a plan. I went into work the week I returned, told my employer and so the planning begin of how to get me back home. Admittedly, the time between October and when I arrived back home mid-December, I had not felt that low in a long time. I was really struggling. Everything had me angry, crying or making bad decisions. I just wanted to be home and curl up for a few weeks. This pretty much leads me to where I am now, a planned break, taking a new direction in life with the help of professionals.

So why am I calling 2020 the year I needed? It proved to me that I am so much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. It showed me that family is the most important thing to me and no amount of ‘life plan’ or needing to get me out of my comfort zone can change that.

Here are the things I did achieve:

  • I stopped a life time habit of biting my nails!
  • I read 6 books – as insignificant as that sounds, I am a terrible reader – so that really was an achievement for me!
  • I made the tough decision to come back home for good, knowing that I was giving up on an incredible career opportunity and moving away from my best friend.
  • I paid out all personal debt (ZipPay, Credit Cards & Personal Loans). I had the opportunity to sell my car and go car-less for a few months.
  • I went two months without alcohol and raised $1,000 for Dry July – this was donated to Black Dog Institute.
  • At one very short period, I did get down to my goal weight, thanks to the no drinking.

I know 2020 was a rough year for a lot of people and that many people really did suffer in many ways that I can not even begin to comprehend. I am no way trying to cry poor me or even brag about the good that I did find in the year, I am merely trying to share my experiences with people, let them know how I am navigating through my own life experiences as someone that is often anxious and in their own head.

How did your 2020 go? I’d love to hear about it! Drop a comment, contact me or connect with me if you know me personally.

Much Love,
Baby Sloth xx

2021 Goals | Life Update

I think we can all agree – 2020 was wild.

The year made me question who I was, what I valued and where I wanted to be. It made me question my intense need for planning, goal setting and living with so called ‘intention’. Truth is, I had never felt such a disconnect from life as I did in 2020. Each day feeling more meaningless than the last, it was like an outer body experience just watching the time pass by me.

I live life with intention to avoid spiraling into a bad mental health state. To avoid feeling like a failure, or to avoid feeling like I’m wasting the one life I was blessed with. To many, having goals and a greater plan, is often seen as a fantastic thing – something to be envious about. However, when it turns to obsession and it takes away from being able to live in content with who you are and what you have, it’s very problematic.

With all that being said, the last year taught me that goals do not need to be momentous.. they need to be meaningful, to you. Not good for social media, dating profiles or family dinner bragging rights.

Therefore, for 2021 the goals for myself ring a somewhat different tune – learning to live with gratitude for the present moment. In 2020, I spent a lot more time learning about health & wellbeing, as did the rest of the world. In particular, I looked into the dimensions of wellness. To summarise, there are eight areas of wellness – and this is how I structure my goals, with the continued use of the different goal types: short term, long term, stretch goals and to-do (for tasks I’ve put off due to fear, laziness, anxiety, etc.). I created a personal dashboard to track this. Here’s a blanked out version of it for inspo:

If you want an electronic version, please contact me!

A Handful of 2021 Goals

  • Emotional Goal – Phone use under 3.5 hours a day – Short Term Goal
  • Physical Goal – Rectify medical issues – Long Term Goal
  • Financial Goal – Mortgage paid by 35 – Stretch Goal
  • Social Goal – Say Yes More! – Short Term Goal
  • Intellectual Goal – Complete Graduate Certificate in Positive Psychology – Long Term Goal
  • Vocational Goal – Secure part-time employment – Short Term Goal
  • Environmental Goal – Complete small renovations – Long Term Goal
  • Spiritual Goal – Practice Meditation – Short Term Goal

This is only a handful from the sheet, I have a multiple of other goals to keep myself accountable for my bigger picture. Most of my goals this year focus mainly of self-improvement, being kind to myself and learning to live in the moment. I will do a wrap up post for what was my 2020 and what I did end up achieving or well, learning – in the meantime things you need to know:

  • I moved back to my much smaller home town.
  • I am living with my parents (if you read this, thank you for being the most incredible support network, I hope to always make you happy & proud).
  • I’m unemployed and have been since mid-December, this was a planned and budgeted break.
  • I admitted something wasn’t right to myself and others, that this could not continue, and I sought professional help… again.

It’s been a long overdue catch-up and in all honesty, I’m not sorry, not even a little bit. I think it’s been over a year since I’ve posted. Blogging is therapeutic, however, it’s a sometimes thing, when I’m in a slump, or previously ‘busy’ period, it’s not something I put pressure on myself to do. I now have a lot of time, this keeps me accountable and I hope I can get back to helping others with navigating their life through their 20’s (30’s, 40’s, whatever time you feel this resonates with you, there is no right way and this is certainly not a race).

I hope you’re all well, and will drop comments about how you’ve been or the lessons 2020 taught you for this coming year.

Much Love,
Baby Sloth xx

January 2020 Goals Review

And just like that… the first month of 2020 is done! Was it a successful one?

  1. Read a Book
    I may have mentioned previously that I am not the greatest of readers. For this reason, in 2020, I wanted to make an effort to improve. I didn’t exactly start with the easiest of books, HOWEVER, I can confirm I finished the book within the month of January (yes, I did finish it on the 31st, still counts!). I read The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley. To help motivate me to read more, I have been using the GoodReads app. I am very much a person of needing to measure progress.
    Book reviews haven’t previously been my thing, but perhaps this is something I could get into? Book reviews by someone who doesn’t like reading… it’s a concept right?
  2. Book Thailand
    It’s booked! October 2020, Thailand, it is happening. As soon as my leave was approved, I contacted my travel agent and put the deposit down within a few hours.
  3. Plan out Blog Posts
    Yes, I did that thing again. I committed to blogging very intensely for about two weeks… and then life happened and I wasn’t feeling it. However, I did plan my blog posts and I did stick to what I said I would post for January. I only planned two posts a month, because I didn’t want to put so much pressure on myself like I had done in the past.
  4. Find a Gym
    I did not achieve this. Not even close. I barely even tried to achieve it. Why? Here’s my list of bad excuses: money, lack of routine, lack of commitment.
  5. Donate Blood
    I tried, again. I really did. The booking was made, I went in, my veins looked good. However, the were unsure if it was best for me to donate at 7am. Quick backstory: I fainted after the first time I gave blood at 16, and they’ve been hesitant since. I WILL GIVE BLOOD THIS YEAR. They’ve advised to try for an afternoon or evening appointment after a big meal and lots of water.

Other wins for January:

  • I’ve 95% completed a banking restructure that I will share with the blog after I’ve trialed it over a few months.
  • I’ve made an effort to eat better by cooking at home and eating less takeaway (and as a result, I’ve started to lose weight).

THE MINOR FIVE (FEBRUARY):

  1. Walk 200,000 steps for the month.
  2. Buy Thailand flights, travel insurance and make another payment.
  3. Donate Blood (told you I’m not giving up).
  4. Find a Gym (also is something I want to achieve)
  5. Mediate 1x a week.

How has the start of the new year treated you? Are you working towards the year you wanted for 2020? I would love to hear from you!

Much Love,
Baby Sloth xx