Birthday Goals: A Year Older, A Year Wiser

Birthday Goals: A Year Older, A Year Wiser

Every year on my birthday, time is taken to reflect on what has served well, what hasn’t, and what would be ideal to accomplish in the next 365 days. It’s a goal list of sorts. Last summer, I mentioned that “It’s going to be an interesting, productive, and holy-sh@t-is-this-really-my-life kind of year ahead”. Well that turned out to be an understatement.

The last five years have been all hustle with turbulent changes and challenges that somehow were held together with supportive family and friends, community, sheer will (and gum and duck tape it seems). This is not a complaint. It’s been good, damn good, for growth. Hell, it’s been great for all areas of life actually. #perspective That said, this year is focused on ‘building’ versus ‘surviving’. Building up that career, health, finances, spirituality, and yes, this website. What’s on your goal list?


Last Years Goal List

  1. start running (because it was my most loved evening wind down)
  2. replace mercury dental fillings with a non-mercury alternative
  3. clear all debt (except the mortgage, cause really, holy bananas)
  4. complete Elite program and return to having good gut health
  5. handstand (don’t insta pics look better with handstands?!)
  6. use less plastic (all about that ocean health…and mine)
  7. associate girl gone good with a charity (good feels good )
  8. finish the BScN and pass NCLEX (so close to being an RN!)
  9. complete the 52 hike challenge (this year it’ll happen…)
  10. 50 pushups / 15 chin ups / 10 pull ups (chin up bar is still dusty)
  11. get professional pics done for business (mountain top selfie works non?)
  12. emergency fund created (not having one gives me anxiety, eeek!)

A hearty 7 out of 12 goals from last year were accomplished, which I think is decent and it also makes ya think why weren’t they accomplished? Did you really want them in the first place? Are they still goals? Added challenges? Well, it’s a little form column a and a little from column b actually.  Still very happy with what was been scratched off!

Girl Gone Good Goals Accomplished

This little blog of mine, it’s gotten some traction in the last year with more personal posts like the wildly popular Trauma & Growth: My first Mass Casualty and the inclusion of hiking guides (which includes  Ottawa, Rockies, and Norway). Maybe it’s because it’s more authentic to who I am and what I would like to share with the world, who knows. People can sense these things. Funny considering that it all started out as a travel and smoothie blog. Yup. Smoothie recipes. I did that. Ha ha. Oh boy #growth.

The beauty of this year was putting together local area hikes for Ottawa. There is so so much to explore within a two hour radius of the city and it does wonders to swap out the business of the city for a little fresh air on the trails. Newly added hike guides for the last year include;

Rock Dunder

Health Goals Accomplished

Health took on a new look this last year. It was less medical after already successfully bouncing back from burnout and more of a continued focus on lifestyle changes to support a well-rounded and fulfilling life.

  • Alcohol: Whisky and wine and all things fine…are now exiting stage right. No particular reason really, so if I’m kinda feeling ‘meh’ about it…why drink at all? The biggest realization is that there is no need to explain it – you can simply say no thank you and carry on.
  • Sleep: Maintaining a sleep schedule has become paramount. A good night’s sleep makes life soooooo much better. So how is this obtained? With black out curtains, cool room temps, zero electronics, weighted blankets, sometimes a magnesium supplement, and a sunrise alarm. This. This has been everything when it comes to good health!
  • Hiking: Cheers to completing the 52 Hike Challenge in the last year! And then somehow just kept going? Never has hiking been such a staple in life and I think it’s here to stay folks. #wellnessandwilderness
  • Commitments: Wild how much free time you have after no longer attending university full time while working. It’s genius. Gone are the days of scheduling time in 5 minute increments or saying yes to everything.  Hellooooo boundaries
  • Nutrition: Just like alcohol, the taste for red meat has kinda fell by the wayside as well. Actually, most animal protein except fish isn’t as appealing. Not because of trends. Not for the environment. And not for a love for animals. Just because. Tastes change! So up go goes the greens and beans. Ha ha, kidding. I still eat meat, just less. Way less.
healthy eating

Financial Goals Accomplished

It’s a bit bitter sweet but my beautiful city escape of a condo was sold. I absolutely loved that home, it was peaceful, stylish, and comfortable. So why sell? Because the last 5 years post separation (and bad realty decisions) and right into university was killing my finances and debt should be treated like an emergency. Buying the condo in the first place was a strategic move. I bought it as the first owner, in an area that was rapidly developing. It was a bet that paid off in spades. The equity flew through the roof along with the demand. Not only did it sell within 12hrs of listing for over the listing price, but selling means that I am now completely debt free and left with a significant down payment for the next investment. Oh, and that emergency fund from last year’s goals is established as well.

Now thanks to family allowing me to rent a room for the next 6 months, I am living off of 20% of my income. That leaves a whopping 80% to build up savings and investments. Hmmm, and travel. How is this managed? Well, personal spending habits have dropped significantly thanks to reading articles on financial freedom and minimalism.

The Surprise

Moving has prompted another big purge of ‘stuff’…something I found ridiculously therapeutic (why on earth did I still have a jacket from high school?!) The result? I have what I either need or absolutely love, and managed to make an insane 5k+ off of selling the rest in the last year. That’s five thousand dollars just from selling extra ‘stuff’…like who needs 20 pairs of brand name leggings?!? Or five outdoor jackets?!? Kinda wild right? More like ridiculous. I had over 5k sitting right there while hustling to stay afloat financially. Well that’s humbling isn’t it?! A good lesson to a) sell that stuff that’s cluttering your house and mind and b) stop buying shit you actually don’t need. Forget trying to earn more, the real trick is in spending less. Now absolutely everything I owe fits in a little 5 x 7 storage unit.

Next financial goal is be mortgage free by in the next 10 years and to bring back freedom 55 (aka reach financial independence by that age).

Travel Goals Accomplished

What a year for adventures! The biggest of course was a two week camping and hiking trip to Norway. It was awe-inspiring, provoking, and rejuvenating. One of those good-for-the-soul trips. I took a fellow wanderer with me, we met up with some Norwegian friends and enjoyed small towns, mountain roads, alpine adventures, all-the-waterfalls, and learned a more true-to-self way of living.

  • Fannaraken, Jotunheimen National Park (alpine)
  • Voringfesson, Hardangerfjord (waterfalls)
  • Kjeasen, Eidfjord (fjord views)
  • Vettisfossen, Ovre Ardal (waterfalls)
  • Mt Floyen, Bergen (city views)
  • Nigardsbreen (glacier)
  • Norway tips and tricks

New Year, New Goal List!

Here it is, the brand new list of goals.

  1. travel to the UK to visit Eva from NuevaNutrition
  2. handstand (I swear this is just going to be on the list every year <rolling eyes>)
  3. associate girl gone good with a charity (good feels good…but which charity?!)
  4. finish the BScN (one little theory class left!) and pass NCLEX
  5. 50 pushups / 15 chin ups / 10 pull ups (chin up bar is still dusty)
  6. return to Timor Leste to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our military deployment and the mass casualty event that sparked growth and fueled career goals (this might just be a pipe dream, we’ll see).
  7. get professional pics done for business (procrastinating this one!)
  8. reduce total monthly expenses to less than 2k for the year
  9. increase posts on

Take the Wheel

Do you have a goal list? Maybe it’s a new years thing, or something scribbled into your agenda. There’s something about having a goal list every year that is satisfying and keep life in perspective. Grounding even. Maybe it’s just me.

Victoria xo

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