How to Make a Five-Year Plan to Get Unstuck and Take Control of Your Life

A five-year plan is one of those concepts you hear about as you move through life, but no one really takes the time to explain. No one says, “Here’s how to make a five-year plan and why you’d want to. Knock yourself out!” With this post, I hope to do just that!

I’ve gone through a few iterations of my current five-year plan as my life’s changed. I recently started a full-time job I would never have imagined having—that undoubtedly changed my plans! That’s the beauty of this concept, really. When plans change, your five-year plan itself can change.

The first version of my five-year plan, though, was inspired by one of the most influential people I’ve had the chance to “know” (albeit through her blog & podcast!), Natalie BaconNatalie’s take on a five-year plan starts with envisioning your dream life amidst eight primary life categories:

  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Money
  • Career
  • Personal Development
  • Environment
  • Recreation
  • Service

Then, Natalie’s planning process takes you through the transition into becoming your dream self, then implementing massive action to reach your desired results.

My plan started similarly, with a list of life categories. In my case, there are a few more than Natalie’s—if nothing else, I work better envisioning my various businesses separately. So, in my five-year plan, I begin with these categories:

That works out to 14 categories versus Natalie’s eight, meaning mine involves a bit more work. But, in my case, this works best for me—in creating your own five-year plan, your own categories will be completely different, too! Essentially, the key is to consider your life’s main priorities.

From there, I craft the big-picture image of my ideal life (I couldn’t resist that one!). Going through each of these categories, I imagine the best possible state in five years. Typically, I write a few paragraphs per life category. You could craft a page-long imagining or turn to bullet points for a simplified version. Like your categories, your visualisation process is customisable.

Natalie’s initial guide to a five-year plan then focuses on mindset work or becoming the person you aspire to be. I won’t try to combat her expertise here—definitely check out her blog post to understand journalling as the person with your results, overcoming your fear, and consuming media that reflects your goals. I try to implement these methods myself, and I’m sure you could add your own mindset practices.

Then, both Natalie’s process and mine move to practicality—setting goals that move you toward the results you’re dreaming of, then taking action towards those goals. Typically, I try to have one main goal per category at any given time. Natalie’s a proponent of having just one main goal. The two concepts aren’t necessarily incompatible. With more than one goal, the key is to prioritise based on a hierarchy of your goals and categories.

In my experience, these hierarchies change. One week, I may be behind on a particular project and want to focus on catching up. The next, I might be more interested in caring for myself and reaching a healthier balance between work and play. Once again, you can work to figure out what works best for you! This method might mean I progress more slowly than if I were working towards one central goal at a time, but it’s what works best for me at this point in my life.

In practice, I aim to create my big main “impossible” goals, then break those down into smaller goals on shorter timeframes. I ask myself: “What needs to happen between now and then for this goal to become a reality?”

If I want to be settled in my new apartment by the five-year point, for example, I need to save for the upfront costs. I have to research my complex of choice and make sure my finances are in the best possible place before applying. And, of course, I need to figure out the logistics of my first big move! By planning a rough timeline for these milestones, I’ll have a better idea of how I’ll get from here to there.

Finally, I create task lists for the short-term goals set to be reached soonest, usually daily, weekly, or monthly projects. Armed with those to-dos, I can schedule my upcoming time blocks to best move towards my goals! 

By far, what I love most about this take on a five-year plan is its flexibility. When life changes—as it so often does—your plan can change with it. When you hit a roadblock, you can adjust accordingly. And, so long as you reevaluate your priorities and arrange your strategy accordingly, you’ll make incredible progress. 

Five years isn’t very long compared to a lifetime but, nevertheless, you can find yourself living a whole new life in that short time. I hardly consider myself the same person I was five years ago, and that was without a solid five-year plan. With one, the possibilities are pretty limitless. 

Be sure to check out Natalie’s blog and podcast, Design Your Dream Life, as well as her coaching programs, Grow You (at the top of my wish list) and The Creator Program. You just might stumble across the advice you need to skyrocket your own success in creating a five-year plan and beyond! 

Mini - An Ideal Life
Mini - An Ideal Life

The Best Professional & Personal Development Books on my TBR

The Best Professional and Personal Development Books on My TBR

Recently, I had some spare funds to invest in my businesses. My freelance services were my top priority, but I’m hoping to help An Ideal Life, my writing, and Nightingale & Sparrow, too. As a writer and enthusiastic reader, books were, of course, at the top of my wish list! With that in mind, I chose some of the best professional and personal development books on my TBR and ordered quite the book haul.

I’m balancing these reads with my Pencils & Pages reviews and my personal reading, so I’ve only made my way through a few of these so far. But I’m so excited to dive in further!

Some of these have been on my wish list for literal years, through recommendations in podcasts, webinars, YouTube videos, and other books. I came across others while compiling this haul, thanks to their subject matter, author, and/or glowing reviews. There are even a few here that I was previously given a chance to review on NetGalley! My health issues mean digital copies take me much longer to read. So, I decided to indulge in print copies of a few I’ve started to enjoy, both to review them in a more timely manner and to support their authors.

Curious about the other books I’m reading? I’ve got a post for that! 

Rather than presenting a lengthy “best professional and personal development books” list, I’ve separated this post into categories.  Of course, there’s plenty of overlap! First up, we’ve got books focused primarily on productivity. Then, there are some more general personal development books covering topics like creativity and well-being. Next, we have some books targeted to entrepreneurs and freelancers, looking at business, balance, courage, and best practices. Additionally, I ordered an assortment of books targeted to authors and creative writers–perhaps a topic for a future post here or on Pencils & Pages?

I fall into these target audiences and look to these subjects frequently, not just in professional and personal development books but in all mediums. Still, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that books have a special place in my heart! After all, I have a separate blog specifically for book reviews and have written quite a few of my own (with more to come!).

Best Productivity Books

Best Productivity Books

Looking for more Marie Kondo? Read all about my KonMari journey so far!

Best Personal Development Books

Best Personal Development Books (1)

Best Personal Development Books (2)

Best Books for Entrepreneurs & Freelancers

Best Books for Entrepreneurs

Best Books for Freelancers

Of course, there are more professional and personal development books on my wish list and TBR—but I’ve got plenty of reading to do before investing in another haul!

Do you have any other professional or personal development books you’d recommend? Anxiously Awaiting my thoughts on a particular title? Let me know in the comments or at @anideallifeblog!

Mini - An Ideal Life
Mini - An Ideal Life
Mini - An Ideal Life

My Path to Burnout Remission

My Path to Burnout Remission

For my entire adult life, I’ve been working, typically an assortment of jobs simultaneously. In college, for example, I had five jobs and internships at once (on top of my double-major, double-minor course-load). Even now, several years post-grad, I’ve kept the habit, with three online businesses (including this blog!), and my writing career, not to mention my professional/personal development efforts, household tasks, and other requirements of adulthood.

After more than a decade of over-booking my schedule, I’ve gotten pretty good at juggling all these metaphorical balls in the air. But, even still, I know it’s not sustainable. More often than not, I’m flirting with burnout, if not outright wallowing in its depths. I find myself overwhelmed and overworked, skipping meals and workouts to work more but struggling to focus on the task at hand all the more as a result.

Lately, I’ve noticed the tell-tale signs of burnout setting in. I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. I look at my work and hit a mental block. My to-do list has fallen into disarray, causing more stress than it alleviates. It feels like there’s no time to do any of the many tasks that have fallen to the wayside and when I finally convince myself to do one, it’s a grueling process. At best, I make it through one or two of my to-dos. At worst, I find myself scrolling through my phone, beating myself up for my lack of productivity.

Funnily enough, I actually missed posting last week—despite this post being scheduled—because I was feeling the effects of burnout so heavily!

This struggle on top of my existing health issues (both mental & physical) make for a particularly painful combination—and one that I just can’t keep up. So, while I’m not sure burnout can really be cured, I’m working towards burnout remission.

My path to burnout remission, or at least my plan to follow as I try to get there, is based on plenty of research (and some extra time digging through Pinterest). I’m sure it will change over time, but these are the methods I’m implementing upfront. 

Say yes to myself.

I finished Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes a few weeks back and can say without a doubt that it changed my life—and I’m confident it will continue to. The portion that stands out the most to me, in retrospect, is the idea of saying yes to play.

In terms of my path to burnout remission, I’m committing to saying yes to all things fun. One of the animals comes over to snuggle? Cuddling for a while will do us both some good. My sister wants to watch a movie? I can rearrange my schedule and make some time. The opportunity to do something spontaneous presents itself? There’s no reason not to snatch it.

Listen to my body.

Slowly, I’m getting better at the basics, like remembering to take medicine when something hurts or taking time to nap when I can’t keep my eyes open much longer. But I’m determined to tune in even further.

Desperately want a certain food? I’ll enjoy it whenever possible. Ignoring the symptoms of dehydration for far too long? It’s time to drink some water (not just another cup of coffee). Tense or just feeling the need to stretch? There’s a reason I subscribe to Down Dog.

Maintain the simplest habits.

When burnout gets bad, I’ve noticed that the simplest of habits seem to become impossible. I don’t drink water or eat fresh foods. My vitamins go back in their weekly case after a day of neglecting them. I stop meditating and fall behind on my learning efforts, like online courses and Duolingo.

This time, I’m trying to cover these basics before I dive continue down this path to burnout remission. I’ve downloaded a tracking app and inputted some of these simple habits—now I’ve just got to stick to them!

Delegate when I can.

Right now, I’m not able to hire an assistant or bring on others in most of my businesses. As I work to grow the funds I’m bringing in, I hope to hire a VA to help manage some of my tasks (and support a fellow freelancer!).

For the time being, I’ll try to delegate what I can. At Nightingale & Sparrow, I have an incredible team of volunteers working on the literary magazine, and we’ll be adding a few new birds to the nest soon. At home, I’ll work with family to let others tackle tasks I can’t find time to manage. And, when the opportunity arises, I’ll bring on additional help to keep things going and growing.

Create & implement systems.

I’ve been wanting to create & implement systems for various parts of my life for a while. With suspected autism/ADHD and other issues, I think an outlined process for my recurring tasks would save so much time and energy, not to mention mental fatigue!

So far, I’ve struggled to determine the best methods for documenting these systems, much less creating them. But, with some more brainstorming and potential research, I’ll figure it out eventually. Feel free to comment with suggestions if you’ve got them!

Set categorised short-term goals.

I have a detailed five-year plan outlinging my goals in various subsets of my life, similarly to my 101 in 1,001 list. In the past, I broke those down into yearly, quarterly, weekly, and daily mini goals. Lately, though, that breakdown has fallen to the wayside, too.

As I plan ahead, I’m trying out a sort of opposite method this time. I’ll be setting short-term goals outright, with the backdrop of my ultimate milestones. Best of all, I’m starting today, with the start of a fresh, new quarter! Few things motivate me as much as a blank slate, however unimportant that might be in the grand scheme of things.

Raise my rates.

This one is very specific to my businesses (particularly my freelance business), but I’m determined to start charging what I’m worth for products and services. Because I’ve struggled with money so much myself, I tend to undercharge in the hopes of being more accessible to people like me. But, in the process, I’m maintaining my own financial struggle and forcing myself into a perpetual cycle of overworking for underearning.

So, I’ll be raising my rates, researching industry standards and factoring in my skills and experience. If someone approaches me with financial need, and I’m in the position to take on the work at a discounted rate, I’ll work with them. But, if I don’t set myself up for success and self-worth upfront, I’ll just return to burnout with painful regularity.

Learn new tools to beat burnout.

I love personal development work, so I have plenty of background in various tips and methods that could help me combat symptoms of burnout. But, even still, there’s no shortage of new tools to be learned!

Recently, I invested in a massive haul of professional/personal development books (perhaps a future post or series?). As I work through them, I’m determined to take action and implement what I learn to be a happier, healthier version of me.

What’s your best method for reaching burnout remission?

Mini - An Ideal Life
101 in 1,001

101 in 1,001

If you followed my previous blog, For the Sake of Good Taste, you’ll already know about a 101 in 1,001 list. But in case you’re new, or you’ve forgotten, a brief description is in order.

Like a bucket list on a smaller scale, a 101 in 1,001 list details 101 tasks to be completed in 1,001 days, or just under 2.75 years. In my experience, life tends to change enough over those almost-three years that it’s not all relevant anymore. But, in the meantime, it offers a great set of goals to reach for!

Want to look into my self-improvement efforts a little more? Check out my 2021 plans, including my goals for the year, bullet journal, and words for 2021!

I’ll add a strike-through to finished items⁠—I’m hoping to update about once a month or so!

My 101 in 1,001 list

Starting: 1 January 2021
Ending: 29 September 2023


Complete 100k walking/jogging/running

Last autumn, I started C25K and was absolutely loving it⁠—and then I fell and got hurt pretty badly. With injuries on top of my chronic health issues, I’ve struggled to pick it up again. But I’m determined to get through the program, and keep up the habit long-term!

Spend 1500+ minutes doing yoga

Yoga is, by far, the exercise I love most. I’ve been using Down Dog for just under a year now and it’s wonderful! I try to do at least two fifteen-minute sessions per week so, leaving room for migraines, pain flares, and deadline-heavy days, this should be a relatively simple goal to reach.

Sleep for more than 6500 hours

This one might seem too easy but bear with me. Pain flares, late work nights, and the unavoidable draw of endless scrolling all keep me up late. Poor bedding (until just recently!) and a cat fond of jumping on the bed and/or my chest wake me up most nights. Come morning, it’s “drag myself out of bed, get as much coffee in my system as possible, then get back to work.” So this goal is actually one of my most important ones!

Be able to do a push-up

Speaking of “easy” goals…a push-up seems a little too easy, too. But this is one goal I’ve struggled with my entire life! I’m hoping to (finally!) learn the proper form and be able to do push-ups as easily as everyone else seems to!

Be able to do a forward bend (paschimottanasana)

Another exercise-based goal! I have notoriously tight hamstrings (as in, doctors have commented on it) so I struggle with this yoga pose. With lots of stretching, yoga, and other workouts, I’m hoping I can remedy that!

Get an Apple watch

This one could be considered a recreational goal as much as a health goal but, ultimately, I dream of an Apple watch for its fitness features. I love my FitBit but it would be wonderful to sync my stats with Apple Health! Plus, being able to use features of my phone from my wrist would be a productivity godsend.

Get new glasses

As I write this, I haven’t had new glasses since high school. Not only would I love a new look but, as my eyes get worse, I desperately need a new prescription! I’m hoping to make an appointment once the COVID-19 risk lowers, then head to the web to pick out a few pairs. In the meantime, I’m spending plenty of time browsing Quay, Warby Parker, and Zenni!

Get contacts

I’ve only ever worn glasses in the past but would love to try contacts. If nothing else, I love sunglasses far too much⁠—it would be great to not sacrifice sight to wear my favourites! Once I have the proper prescription, I’m excited to give 1-800 Contacts a try.

Maintain my ideal weight range

Rather than a more exact “goal weight,” I have a range of weights that would be ideal and, more importantly, healthy. I’d like to stay within that range as much as possible, to not just look better but to feel better, too.


Go on 3 dates

Believe it or not, I’ve never really done the “dating” thing. At this point in my life, it’s not just a milestone I’d like to check off⁠—it’s one that could alter things longterm!

Write 50 letters

I genuinely love to write letters. I have a few friends who I really only talk to via “snail mail!” But I struggle terribly with finding the time to sit down and actually write them. Combined with a tracker in my bullet journal, I’m hoping this goal sets me up for success.

Take my family tree through the 1800s on at least three branches

Genealogy is a longtime interest of mine, but one that’s really fallen to the wayside lately. I’m planning to pick it back up in the coming months and track my family history further than ever! Looking forward, I’m hoping to talk to spend some time chatting with older relatives and start a fresh Ancestry family tree.

Send someone flowers

There are few things I love as much as flowers. I want to spread that joy to others! I’ve fallen in love with a few arrangements from 1-800 Flowers and I’m sure my mom, grandmother, or a friend would adore a delivery.

Create a family cookbook

Since I’ve been vegan, there are some family recipes I haven’t been able to enjoy. Others we’ve managed to make vegan. But, in either case, I’d love to have copies of the original recipes⁠—and I could veganise further along the way!

Pay for someone’s order

I’ve always loved the idea of “paying it forward,” from the Dunkin’ drive-through to the grocery checkout counter. I’ve never really been in a place to do so financially but, with the financial goals on my 101 in 1,001 list, I hope I finally can!

Hold a baby

There’s a running joke in my family that no one wants me to hold their baby (pre-COVID, of course). It’s purely coincidence and poor timing but I want to break that “curse!”

Meet a llama or alpaca

I adore llamas and alpacas alike. But I’ve never had the chance to meet either!


With the help of my favourite personal finance apps, I’m lucking to crush a quite few money goals.

quadruple my income

At first glance, this goal might seem pretty lofty. But I’ve lived with an almost laughably low income since graduating college. I’m determined that this stretch of time will be the years I change that! Between building my freelance portfolio, expanding my writing efforts, and growing the blog, I’m hoping my income streams will make it happen.

Pay off my credit cards

In the grand scheme of things, my credit card debt isn’t horrific. But, even so, I’m excited to pay it off, improve my credit score, and have the available funds to make a big purchase if the need arises!

Pay off my first student loan

Like far too many other millennials, my student loans are monstrous. As much as I’d love to just pay them off entirely, it’s not exactly reasonable in the immediate future. For now, I’m hoping to pay off the lowest balance, then move on from there!

Build an Emergency fund

I was doing decently with saving a minimum of $5 per month towards an emergency fund but ended up needing some of those funds over the holidays (thanks, COVID complications). But I do want to get it going again, and optimally with a bit more momentum. I’d like to have at least $1,000 saved but 3 or even 6 months’ expenses would be even better!

Have over $300 invested

I’ve been using Stash for a while now to start investing. I’m far from a pro investor but those few pennies in dividends every so often still feel great!

Leave a 100% tip

I actually came close to this one just before COVID hit the States. I had an amazing waiter who truly deserved that and more! But, once restaurants are safe to visit, I want to truly check this one off the list.

Obtain a business checking account

Done! All four of my businesses (my writing, Juliette Sebock Freelance Services, Nightingale & Sparrow, and, of course, An Ideal Life!) each have a business account with either Novo or Wave.

This one is purposefully a bit open-ended. Between the blog, my writing/freelancing, and Nightingale & Sparrow, I want to have at least one of my businesses set up with a formal business account!

Nightingale & Sparrow

Have more than 50 Nightingale & Sparrow Press Titles published

2020 threw our publication schedule for a bit of a loop, as did some health issues in the early part of this year. I’m excited to get my small press back on track! We have some amazing titles lined up and I can hardly wait to bring them into the world.

Publish 15+ issues of Nightingale & Sparrow Literary Magazine

Our quarterly lit mag will be publishing its ninth issue next month, with more to come!

Writing & Publishing

Publish 3 more books

If you didn’t know already, I’ve published six poetry books to date. I have about six more manuscripts finished and looking for homes, with a few more in progress. I can hardly wait to find the best presses to bring each one into the world!

Have 20 manuscripts completed in total

With about a dozen finished already, a total of 20 manuscripts should definitely be doable! I have a few more poetry projects in the works that should help me reach that number, plus I’ve been dreaming up a novel for ages that I’d love to finally draft!

Publish 100 book reviews

I primarily review books on my other blog, Pencils & Pages. Between getting back into publishing reviews there and the other publications I occasionally work through, I’m really excited to get back to regular book reviews!

Print & Frame my published photos

Did you know I’ve published photography, too? I’ve wanted to get prints made and hung on the walls since the first few were accepted. My go-to art seller offered custom prints and I’d been saving to order them. But, just as I got the funds, they temporarily removed that option from their website. I’m checking back regularly to see when that service returns!

Create my “Collected Works”

I’ve been really lucky to have a lot of poems and other pieces published. While I’m hardly noteworthy enough for an actual collection of my work, I’ve been meaning to compile and print off a single copy of my 2017-2020 publications, if only for my own records!

Write 150 creative pieces

Between published work and those I have saved to submit, I have about 300 poems, stories, and other writings completed. But, since I write as my “day job” and here on the blog, I’ve found that the urge is a bit less incessant. But I’m determined to get back to it—creative writing is an incomparable outlet for me and I’m so excited to start doing it more regularly again!

Have 500 total pieces published

Right now, I have more than 200 pieces published. With a bit of work, I’m hoping I can double that, and then some!

Get new headshots taken

I’ve actually just had a mini photoshoot to get some headshots for here on the blog and my writing social media. But I’d like to have them done at least once more through this time frame!


Have 50 pitches accepted

I’ve had a horrible mental block when it comes to pitching for a long time now. I’m fortunate to have long-term gigs where pieces are assigned, but I want to start branching out with more traditional assignments. I have a few ideas and some resources saved to peruse and learn the proper methods. I’m hoping I can get past that block, avoid procrastinating on that research, and get pitching!

Write 2500 articles

I write a lot of articles normally. With the time management efforts I’ve been trying lately, I think I can improve it even more! This will go along with increasing my income, too, which would be a great bonus.

An Ideal Life

Create & Sell 4 products

On my previous blog, I had a few product ideas, but none ever came to fruition. Sickness, family emergencies, and lots of other work stayed between me and making it happen. I’m determined to do things “right” with this new site and one of those things is being able to offer products, like courses, printables, and books, through An Ideal Life.

Work with 25 brands

I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing brands through blogging and social media. With this new blog off to an exciting start, I want to make that list an even longer one! I’m especially hoping to find sponsored post and product review opportunities.

Learn the basics of DSLR

My grandfather’s stoked my love of photography my entire life. But, growing up as digital cameras became more popular, it’s been a long time since I worried about the factors that go into manual photographs. He recently passed his old DSLR on to me and I hope to learn at least the basics for not just the blog but my own interest. I may need to upgrade to a more modern camera but, for now, I just need to find the time to start learning!

Publish 125 blog posts

So far, so good! I’m not counting the posts I’ve transferred from For the Sake of Good Taste but, even so, I’m confident I’ll be able to publish lots of content here on An Ideal Life. I already have about three dozen ideas saved to write!

Complete 3 blogging courses

love, love, love courses and workshops. I honestly just love to learn! But I want to do a better job of working through them, applying what I learn, and completing them as entirely as possible.

Have 1,000 page views on the blog for at least six months

I’ve struggled in the past with driving traffic to my websites, but I’m determined to hone that skill and share An Ideal Life with as many viewers as possible!

Surpass 1,000 Instagram followers

My Instagram account has been stuck at fewer than 500 followers for what feels like forever. But I’ve been posting more consistently and am hoping to build it up soon!

Surpass 1,000,000 monthly views on Pinterest

I’ve been really loving Pinterest lately, and recently surpassed 100k views! I want to keep that momentum growing and get even more views—and drive more traffic here to the blog, of course!

Earn $1,000 from blogging

In the past, I’ve struggled to make even $100 with the blog. But, between affiliate/referral relationships, sponsored posts and product reviews, and products I plan to create and sell myself, I genuinely think I can pull it off.

Personal development

Own a Macbook again

This item could just as easily fall under the blog, freelance, writing, or N&S categories of my 101 in 1,001 list. But it applies here, too! It’s been years since I had an Apple computer but I think about it often. From my own long-term experience with them to the capabilities it has (especially compared to my super low-key current device!), I couldn’t ask for a better device to fuel my various projects. It’s an investment, to say the least (more than a few months’ pay, with my current income) but will definitely pay off immensely.

Get an iPad

Done! And absolutely loving it.

The logic behind this item is pretty similar to that for a MacBook. In the iPad’s case, I’m most hoping for a better tool for digital artwork, from graphics here on the blog to book covers for N&S.

Complete 12 online courses

I listed blogging courses earlier on this list but that’s not the only area of my life where I’d like to learn something new between now and September ’23. I love platforms like Coursera and FutureLearn for learning about whatever topics spark my interest. There are a lot of different classes on my wishlist, so I’m excited to go through a few of them in the coming months.

Finish 10 30-Day Challenges

My track record with completing 30-day challenges is atrocious. I’m planning to pick it up again if I miss a day (or a few), rather than beating myself up for not being more consistent. One of my goals for 2021 is to be more consistent but this is one space where I’ll try to be a little more lenient, at least at first.

Complete my will

A while back, I started working with the Tomorrow app to draft a will. At this point in my life, I don’t have a ton of things to include, but I want to know that what I do have (not to mention Fitz!) will be taken care of in an emergency. And, with the health issues I deal with, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Complete My ICE binder

Speaking of emergencies—in a worst-case scenario, I’d want to be sure that my family could access important information. Putting together a binder with just that information will make it as easy as possible for them.

Work with a coach

I’ve been following a few different coaches for quite a while now and taking in as much information as I can along the way. But I’ve never had the chance to actually hire one of them. I’d love to do just that!

Complete a long-form journal

I’ve been keeping a journal for decades but, as far as I can remember, I don’t think I’ve ever filled in a full journal completely with diary entries. I’ve been working through my current journal for ages and, while I’m not as consistent with it as I’d like to be, I’m determined to make this the one I finally finish up!

Learn 5 new skills

This one may end up being a bit difficult to quantify but, regardless, I’m excited about this part of my 101 in 1,001 list. I’m not sure of just what skills I’ll set out to learn in the next few years, but I’m planning to learn at least a few.

Bypass a year-long streak on Duolingo

I’m just about to hit a 200-day streak in my daily Duolingo practice, so this might just be one of my more achievable goals. I’ve been relearning Spanish between Duo, flashcards, and, more recently, the Drops app. I struggle to make the time to do all three every day but a few minutes keeping that little green owl happy is doable!

Have a 30-Day streak on Codecademy

I was absolutely honoured to receive a short-term Pro subscription to Codecademy in the midst of quarantine last year. Amidst the chaos of the year, I haven’t kept the habit up very well. But one month of daily practice seems like something I can manage, even if life doesn’t become more balanced right away.

Have a 30-Day Streak on Khan Academy

Similarly to Codecademy, I’m working on developing my HTML, CSS, and other skills on Khan Academy, with plans to work on other subjects over time. I don’t normally like video tutorials much but the Intro to HTML/CSS videos are so personable!


Know common tarot meanings

I’ve been reading tarot on and off for years but I’m slowly getting better at doing it regularly. In the process, I’ve started to recall more and more of the meanings behind the cards. With time, I’m hoping I’ll be able to interpret a reading without referring to any explainers.

Identify my mystery crystals

Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite an assortment of crystals. There are a few I buy a pile of because they’re particular favourites. There are some I’ve picked up after an internet recommendation. And then there are some that I purchased along the way but have long since forgotten the names of. The latter group is currently stored apart from my meticulously organised main collection. I’d love to be able to figure out just what those unidentified crystals are!


Move into an apartment of my own again

Fitz & I are currently living with my parents but can’t help dreaming of a little more space. It’s almost funny that an apartment would give us more room, isn’t it? I have the perfect complex picked out, and hopes to move to the city in the long term. Especially in COVID times, this might be one of the last items to be checked off this 101 in 1,001 list but, even if I’m just a lot closer to moving in, I’ll take it as a win.

Have a double bed or larger

I was absolutely blessed this past Christmas (and I don’t use that term lightly!) with a new mattress and some incredibly cosy bedding. I’ve been using a hand-me-down mattress from a cousin for years and, given how much time I end up spending in bed, an upgrade was necessary. My mom picked out the perfect “meantime” mattress for me—it’s nice enough to last until I have the space & funds for a larger, more luxurious option but it’s not so nice that I’ll put off an upgrade longer than necessary.

Purchase & Display 3 original pieces of art

I’ve come across some absolutely beautiful work by indie artists and dream of being able to support them with more than a few social media shares. I’m hoping to buy three prints or other pieces of art to showcase some of the talented folks I’ve come across!

Complete the Kon-Mari Process

I think this one might have been on every iteration of a 101 in 1,001 list I’ve made! I absolutely love Marie Kondō’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and apply plenty of its concepts to my everyday life and organisation. But I’ve yet to get through the entirety of the formal KonMari process. Will this be the one that gets completed? Well, hopefully.

Have 10 bouquets of roses

I love fresh flowers, and roses especially (white and light pink are my favourite varieties, in case anyone’s taking notes!). One of my goals for this 101 in 1,001 list period is to treat myself to flowers more frequently.

Grow cat grass

Speaking of plants…. I tried to grow some cat grass when Fitz was just a kitten and more of it ended up strewn across the floor that able to grow. He’s still rather enthusiastic when it comes to attacking things he shouldn’t but I’m hoping he just might be old enough to appreciate his very own plant (or that I can set it up in a way to keep us both happy).


Read 300 Books

I’ll be tracking the books I read here on the blog! Between the books I pick up for fun or personal development, those I review here or on Pencils & Pages, or those I publish, this should definitely be doable!

Finish one of my “someday” reads

We all have those titles on our TBR that we plan to get to someday. “I’ll eventually read that one,” I think, pushing it aside to reread Breakfast at Tiffany’s for the five-hundredth time. Well, I’m determined to make that “someday” become “sometime in the next 2-ish years.”

Read 5 classic “syllabus” books

I love classic literature. In college, I took as many Victorian Lit classes as possible, just because I enjoyed it so much. But there are plenty of classics I haven’t made my way through—I want to read some of the titles that tend to show up on syllabuses but never appeared on one of mine.

Read three “classic” poetry collections

I’ve been reading a lot of indie lit lately, especially as far as poetry is concerned. And don’t get me wrong, I love it! But more traditional poems are what first drew me to the genre years ago and I really want to expand that knowledge.

See NYC again

I was incredibly lucky through middle and high school in that I got the chance to visit New York City about once a year through the music department. I went a few more times in college and flew out of JFK when I moved to Bath. But, since I’ve been back in the States, I haven’t been to New York since I left the day after my flight landed. With COVID, it hasn’t even been a possibility but, over time, I’m dreaming of a return to NYC—and to Tiffany’s, naturally.

Get a tattoo

I’ve wanted a tattoo for years now and even have a few designs in mind. But, since then, I’ve always had a more important purchase to prioritise, usually something necessary in the grand scheme of this whole “living” thing. Once it’s safe to consider again, I’m determined to save up for the tattoo of my dreams.

Finish 20 hobby projects

I’ve recently rediscovered my love of cross-stitch and other needlework, something I hadn’t spent time on since I was just a kid. I’ve inherited a collection of vintage kits and patterns from my grandmother so I’ve got more than enough material to last the next three years. But it’s not my only hobby. I love papercraft, LEGO, and other projects, so I’m purposefully leaving this one open-ended to make room for whatever hobby strikes my fancy at that moment.

Watch the Godfather trilogy

It took me a quarter of a century to begin watching The Godfather, but I was interrupted before I finished the film. Worse yet, I still haven’t finished it! The plan is to do just that in the near-ish future.

Finish 6 TV series

I keep up with a few TV shows regularly, and rewatch old favourites, like The OfficeBob’s Burger’s, and more. But I’ve got more than my fair share of new-to-me shows queued up to watch—you guessed it—eventually. I’d love to get through at least a few of them!

Watch 12 must-see films

The Godfather isn’t the only classic, must-see movie I’ve yet to see. I haven’t determined the exact films I want to go through, but I’m excited to expand my cinematographic knowledge.

Go on 6 hikes

I don’t often adventure out on a hike but I always enjoy it when I do. Health-permitting, I’d love to find some opportunities to do it more often.

Get a Nintendo Switch

I experienced some serious FOMO when Animal Crossing took the internet by storm a while back. I haven’t had a new console of my own since my first DS! In the past, I’ve resisted calling myself a “gamer.” But, more recently, I’ve realised just how much I enjoy the games I play on my phone and other devices. So, it seems it’s time to embrace it—and I think investing in a “real” gaming tool will help me do that.

Finish a pokemon game

I’ve been a Pokemon fan since I was a small child, yet I’ve never stuck with one game through entirely. I’m not sure which game I’ll aim to play-through—I just might play through a few to start and see which sticks out to me then.

Complete a sims challenge

Right now, I don’t have my own device that’s compatible with The Sims or Steam. If I find a way to upgrade to a Macbook early enough in the 101 in 1,001 timeframe, I’ll download my go-to Sims 3 there and pick a challenge. If not, I may have to borrow my mom’s laptop to play through. Either way, I can hardly wait to dive back into one of my longtime favourite games.

Get a perfect evaluation in Stardew Valley

I only recently download Stardew Valley (I bought the iOS version as a birthday present to myself last fall, and my mom surprised me with the Xbox version [my sister has a console she’ll let me use from time to time] for Christmas) but I’m absolutely in love. I’ve yet to “finish” a game (and I’m still working on that fishing technique) but want to, at some point, make it through a perfect evaluation from Grandpa. If I manage to get a Switch like I’d like to, I’ll be playing there, too!

Finish a major lego set

I love LEGO but haven’t ventured into the larger-scale sets. My mom and sister picked out the LEGO Knight Bus (along with a small set that includes a little Hedwig!), so that will be my first larger LEGO project.

Finish 6 puzzles

Mom & I used to do puzzles all the time when I was little! Like so many others, we started up again at the beginning of quarantine. We’ve since stopped almost completely but I’d love to get back into it.

Reread the Twilight Saga

Twilight‘s been met with a lot of ridicule since its popularity peaked (not least of all from Rob Pattinson himself!) but I genuinely enjoyed it so much back then. It might be a bit less appealing as an adult (and with an English degree under my belt) but I’m honestly looking forward to a reread.

Reread the Underland Chronicles

Suzanne Collins is better-known for The Hunger Games but I first discovered (and fell in love with) her work with an earlier series. The Underland Chronicles have stayed with me since childhood and I actually reread them once in college, when my mom found a boxed set for my birthday. I enjoyed it just as much then so I’m particularly thrilled for another experience with these books.

Try 10 new drinks

I love a warm mug of coffee or tea. A good cocktail is sure to bring a smile to my face. But I tend to keep to the same go-to drinks and want to branch out!

Try 20 new recipes

I’ve already shared quite a few recipes from For the Sake of Good Taste here on An Ideal Life. So it shouldn’t be surprising that I love to try or create new dishes!

Try 10 new restaurants

Recent months haven’t made for many restaurant-visiting opportunities, besides a few local takeout options every so often. As it becomes safer (fingers crossed that time is soon!), I’d love to expand my list of favourites.

Visit 3 museums or points of interest

Living in Bath & Gettysburg, I’ve been spoiled over the years with access to museums and other POIs. But, being in the middle-of-nowhere, PA for now, options are less plentiful. Even so, I want to seek out some new-to-me destinations, whether they’re local or a bit further away.

Get coffee at pressed

A million and one different factors have kept me from trying out this coffee shop/bookstore in my home city. It’s about time I finally make it happen!

Go to eden-a vegan cafe

Speaking of local-ish spots I need to try…. This Scranton/Wilkes-Barre spot is an absolute must-visit for this longtime vegan.

Visit Knoebels again

Growing up, I visited Knoebels Amusement Resort with my family at least once a summer. It’s been a few years since I was last there (they’re even got Dole Whip in the meantime!) so I’m excited to return as soon as I can manage!

Visit Chocolate World Again

While Knoebels has always held the top spot in my heart amusement park-wise, Hershey’s Chocolate World is a different story. An excuse to visit some singing cows and pick up the freshest-possible (vegan-friendly!) Twizzlers and chocolate syrup? Yes, please!

Go to 3 concerts

I don’t go to concerts as often as some more intense fans but I love them each time I do get to one (most recently, I saw Guns ‘N Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, and Better Than Ezra!). There are a few tentatively on the horizon that I’d love to get to, assuming the tours still happen!

Create 3 photo albums

I love to take pictures but I rarely take the time to organise prints in an album. From finding a reasonably-priced book to start with to printing the pictures, it just always seems like too many steps! But, gosh darn it, I’m going to do it.

Subscribe to 5 new magazines

Over the years, I’ve subscribed to a few different magazines but never kept up with them. While I was doing some holiday shopping late last year, Amazon had a whole bunch of great deals on magazine subscriptions. Well, I may have gone into it a little *too* intensely—let’s just say 2021 will be the year of the magazine! Even still, I’d like to expand the titles I read.

Have 3 premium subscriptions

As a rule, my funds tend to be pretty tight. So, besides a few free trials here and there and plans I share with my family, I don’t often subscribe to premium service (the only exception, right now, is Down Dog, my yoga app). As I (hopefully) get to a better place financially, I hope to change that and invest in the more advanced versions of some of my favourite apps and programs!

Shop at tiffany’s

No surprise here, if you’ve been following me a while. I adore all things Tiffany & Co. (my love actually began before seeing Breakfast at Tiffany’s and falling for Audrey Hepburn!). I already have a few pieces, but they’ve been gifts or picked up on Poshmark. I dream of the day I walk into their flagship store and purchase a piece all on my own! And, of course, I’d likely be okay with a Tiffany Harmony® engagement ring, alternatively. *wink*

Doing some Poshmark shopping of your own? Use referral code “JULESSEBOCK” for $10 off your first purchase!


Make 12 eco-friendly swaps

In terms of your average person, I live a pretty eco-friendly life. But, even still, there’s plenty of room for improvement! I’m planning to make as many sustainable swaps as possible.

Donate $200 to charities

I’ve found an assortment of charities and organisations with missions that I’m truly passionate about. But, with little time and money to share, my support tends to be limited to shoutouts on social media from time to time. It might not make a huge impact, but I want to take steps towards helping in more tangible ways, too.

Donate 500 bowls of rice

Just about every day, I try to earn 100 points on a game in Freerice, an app associated with the World Food Programme. Sponsors donate for each question you answer correctly, so you’re making a difference while learning!

Symbolically adopt an animal

World Wildlife Fund’s Symbolic Species Adoptions caught my attention long ago, but I’ve yet to make room in my budget to adopt one of my own. I’m determined to finally do so!

Stay tuned for updates on my 101 in 1,001 progress, and let me know if you’ve created a 101 in 1,001 list of your own!

Inspiring Quotes to Live By

Whether it’s a bad day, a bad year (looking at you, 2020), or you’re just trying to get out of a funk, a little motivation can make a big difference. These inspiring quotes can make your day a bit brighter!

If you’re struggling with depression or another mental health condition, little moments of joy like these can offer a brief respite. But working with a trained professional will make a much bigger difference—check out a program like Talkspace or K Health’s mental health plan to find a treatment option that works for you. 

“Hakuna Matata”

Hakuna Matata - The Lion King

“What’s a motto?”

“Nothin’, what’s a motto with you?”

This one is a given.  It means no worries for the rest of your days…. Easier said than done perhaps, but inspiring nevertheless.

Want a tangible reminder to embrace the spirit hakuna matata? get yourself some lion king merch from the disney store!

“It’s okay to be a glowstick; sometimes we need to break before we shine.”

Glow Stick Inspiring Quotes

Remember the excitement of getting a glowstick as a kid?  Channel that excitement in your everyday.

“She remembered who she was and the game changed.”

She remembered who she was and the game changed. - Lalah Delia

A modern adaptation of “to thine own self be true,” without Polonius’ rambling to detract from its sentiment. Figure out exactly who you are and remember it through thick and thin.

This is something I’m working on myself in 2021–“authenticity” is one my words of the year!

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”

“It’s not selfish... It’s necessary.” - Mandy Hale

Make self-care a priority, not just something you squeeze in once in a while. Perhaps with one of my favourite self-care movies?

“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face - Roald Dahl

Beauty is so much more than skin-deep. Let your inner glow shine through!

“Be the person your dog thinks you are.”

Be the person your dog thinks you are - JW Stephens

Or cat, bird, reptile, fish… No other motivation needed—though you might want to surprise them with something from Chewy in exchange.

What are your go-to inspiring quotes?

2021 Goals

2021 Goals: For Me, An Ideal Life, and More!

I’m a nerd in a lot of ways, but perhaps more than when it comes to goals. At any given time, I have short-term, long-term, and lifetime goals in place, just to name a few potential categories. Here on the blog, you may have already seen my 101 in 1,001 list, which spans from now into autumn 2023. I also have a post in the works discussing my five-year plan and how I go about making it. The latter is where I set my goals for the year, including my 2021 goals, for myself, An Ideal Life, and the aspects of my life.

Want a deeper look at some of my self-improvement goals for 2021? Take a look at my 101 in 1,001 list, 2021 bullet journal, and words of the year!

Personal goals

On a personal level, I’ve got quite a few goals for my health, money, personal development, and recreation.

Settle into my goal weight range.

Instead of a particular goal weight, I have a goal range I aim for. As long as I stay within it, I’ll be satisfied!

Check out some of the healthy lifestyle apps I’ll be using along the way!

Pay off 3 credit cards.

I’m working through a debt avalanche plan for my credit cards and student loan debt. Based on my income right now, paying off the first three is a possible, though intensive, goal for 2021.

These personal finance apps are key to my budgeting and debt payoff strategies.

Double my income.

On a related note, I’m working to double my income. I’ve been getting better at managing some of my health symptoms, which has made me more productive at work. Between this newfound sense of accomplishment and adding new income streams, by building the blog and better marketing my books and writing efforts, I’ll hopefully double my (currently rather limited) income.

Rebuild my emergency fund.

I had been doing pretty well at slowly building my emergency fund, until some of 2020’s tumult threw it into chaos. It wasn’t huge, but it was enough to make a difference. I want to get it back to that place and keep building from there.

Finish 3 courses.

I love online courses! I’m currently working through The Science of Well-Being from Yale University’s Laurie Santos via Coursera. It’s been slow going, solely because life’s gotten in the way (ironic, isn’t it, given the subject of the course?) but I’m determined to take in all that this class to offer, alongside at least two other courses.

Finish 10 recreational projects.

While I didn’t end up choosing words like balancerest, or joy as one of my words of the year for 2021, they’re still concepts I’m focusing on this year. Through 2020 (and, if I’m being honest, most of my adult life), I struggled on the edge and falling deep into burnout. This year, I’m doing as much as possible to avoid getting to that point of stress and exhaustion. One of the tools I’m taking advantage of? Making time for fun! I’ll be creating some needlework projects, LEGO sets, and other bits of fun.

Read 100 books.

Speaking of fun, I plan to read plenty of books this year. Of course, I read plenty through reviews at Pencils & Pages, my work at Nightingale & Sparrow, titles I’m asked to blurb, and in other professional settings. But I’m determined to make sure that some of the books I’m reading in 2021 are simply books I’m reading for reading’s sake. So far, so good, as I just finished my first not-for-work book of the year!

Bypass a 365-day streak on Duolingo.

As I write this, I’m at a 209-day streak in my Duolingo Spanish practice. I have to use a streak freeze from time to time (thanks, migraines, etc.) but, all-in-all, I’m making some great progress! I spoke Spanish well when I was little—

Blogging Goals

Of course, I’ve got plenty of goals for here on An Ideal Life!

Be one quarter ahead on scheduled posts.

With An Ideal Life, one of my long-term goals is to maintain the blog as more of a full-fledged business than a side hustle. As such, I’m looking at many aspects of blogging on a quarterly basis. I’d originally hoped to have our Q1 posts scheduled before the launch but that proved to be a slightly too lofty goal through the holidays. But, now, I’m working to transfer and revamp posts from the old site while getting ahead on new posts through March and beyond.

Work with six brands.

Another goal for the blog? Regularly working with brands on sponsored content and social media posts, product reviews, and other collaborative projects. I’m setting out to work with six brands this year. I’m also hoping to try my hand at pitching brands directly!

Are you a brand who’d like to work with An Ideal Life? Learn More and Reach out!

Bypass 500 monthly views

As I rebuild the new site, one of the challenges is getting ample traffic here. With SEO tactics, social media marketing, and otherwise spreading the word about An Ideal Life, I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with people around the globe—and inspiring them to improve their own lives, too.

Bypass 500 followers on Instagram and Twitter.

Building a larger social media following is something I’ve struggled with for a while. I post regularly, engage and build relationships, but haven’t yet built up more followers. This year, I’m aiming to increase our following (organically) on Instagram and Twitter.

Bypass 500k monthly views on Pinterest.

Since launching An Ideal Life, Pinterest has by far been our most impressive platform. We’ve repeatedly doubled our monthly views, and keep growing! I’ll be working to keep that momentum going.

Make $200 from the blog.

It would be foolish to try to build a business without letting it drive income! I’m setting what I hope is a conservative goal, before we dive into bigger dreams as An Ideal Life grows.

Other Professional Goals

Between my freelance work, writing, and Nightingale & Sparrow (my small press and literary magazine), I’ve got a ton of work on my plate at any given moment. Naturally, this means an assortment of goals is necessary here, too!

Publish another 20 Nightingale & Sparrow Titles

My small press, Nightingale & Sparrow, has about 20 slots a year for publishing a new book (I like to keep busy, can you tell?). 2020 sent things into disarray a bit, but we’re getting back on track quickly!

Receive 100 writing rejections.

Setting a goal to get more rejections might seem silly to anyone outside of the writing field. But, in short, you get more rejections when you send more work into the world! I hadn’t submitted for several months because 2020 (enough said). I recently sent my first few poems out in ages and it feels so good to get back on the horse, so to speak.

Publish 40 book reviews.

Another bit of my life that fell to the wayside last year was my book blog, Pencils & Pages. We’ll be relaunching later this month with a slew of wonderful books in the queue, so I have big plans for that blog to grow, too!

Have 3 major bylines.

If you didn’t know already, my “day job” is as a freelance writer. I’m only just starting to look into pitching publications on my own, rather than working as a freelancer with an agency or other organisation. But I’m hopeful that my skills and experience will lead to opportunities. I have a few major publications in mind that I’d love to have share my work—now it’s a matter of putting in the effort to make it happen!

Have another book in the publication queue.

2020 was horrid in a million different ways, but one bright spot was the chance to have three new books come into the world! I have about a dozen manuscripts completed or in progress and am excited to send them off into the world in search of the perfect home. Even if I don’t publish a book in 2021, I want to have one slotted for publication in the near future.

I’m sure I’ll have some other goals come to mind as we move through the year, and I’ll be sure to share updates on social media, and maybe even in a post or two. Stay tuned for success to come!

What are your 2021 goals for the year? Do you have any suggestions to help me reach mine? Let me know in the comments or tag us on social media @anideallifeblog!

2021 Words of the Year

My 2021 Words of the Year: Authenticity, Discipline, Consistency

You’re probably familiar with the idea of a word of the year already. I’ve set intentions in this way the past few years, with words like progress and resilience setting the stage for the months to come. But, for 2021, I decided that one word just wouldn’t cut it. I’m shooting for major changes and full-fledged transformation! So, with that in mind, I’ve set three words of the year for 2021: authenticity, discipline, and consistency.

Curious about my other self-improvement plans for 2021? Check out my goals for the year, how I’m using my 2021 bullet journal differently, and my 101 in 1,001 list!


I’ve never thought of myself as someone who changed to meet others’ approval. But, recently, I’ve realised that it’s sort of been a constant in my life. I’ve only just started to face the strong likelihood that I’m autistic, a possibility at the back of my family’s minds since I was little. With that in mind, I’ve taken time to learn more about autism, late diagnosis, and ADHD (which presents similar symptoms and is often comorbid—offering another potential diagnosis).

Along the way, a term I’ve often come across is “masking.” This phenomenon is particularly prevalent in autistic women and hits all too close to home. I can’t help but wonder what pieces of myself I’ve pushed aside over the years. And I’m afraid that might just be a lot.

I hide my disabilities, and the limitations they bring with them. Interests get pushed aside. I push for perfection and, in the process, pushed myself to the side.

So, I have a goal for 2021: to be authentically me. A lot of my efforts will center on figuring out who that authentic me is. I’m embracing stims and my many, multi-faceted passions. I’ll be working on being more confident. I’ve got journalling exercises, motivational quotes, and other resources on hand. This authentic awakening will hopefully conclude with me being a more genuine, happier person.

This is going to take some courage. I’ll need to confront a lifelong habit of people-pleasing. It will come with some changes along the way. But, I think, it will truly be all for the best.


I wouldn’t consider myself to be a particularly undisciplined person. But I have no doubt that I could improve my efforts to be more self-disciplined.

I want to be more reliable, despite my illnesses being anything but. I’m dreaming of a world where I can feel like I’m truly in control of my life.

Improving my life, instituting better, more long-lasting habits, and bringing more success into my life? Yes, please!

I’ve saved quite a few resources on improving, building, or mastering self-discipline. I’m already working on maintaining constraints in my life (thanks to some inspiration from the incomparable Natalie Bacon), including cutting off eating late at night and cutting back on social media use. I’ll be diving into more tips and tools to become more motivated, more productive, and more disciplined.


Arguably, consistency and self-discipline go hand-in-hand. In every area of my life, I struggle to be consistent. I have habits I try to complete every day but don’t always stick to those tasks each day. Sure, I might make the bed, scoop the litterbox, and brush my teeth each morning. But can I make sure I keep up with all that and more?

Blogging is one of the areas where I especially want to be more consistent in 2021 and beyond. So far, so good, in terms of weekly blog posts and more. I want to do the same here, in my writing and book review efforts, my work at Nightingale & Sparrow, and in my personal and work life, too.

Consistency is scary. It means putting yourself out there and skipping out on the things that don’t align as well with your goals. Consistency means you keep moving forward. You get serious. And, again, it’s terrifying. But, this year, I’m going to try.

Authenticity. Discipline. Consistency. keep moving forward

Other words could have easily been included in this list. I’m working to take better care of myself this year, avoiding burnout with plenty of rest and balance. I’ve been focusing on bringing more joy into my life. I’m even working to manifest abundance. But, I know I’ll work more effectively with a shorter list to focus on. So, while words like these will be in the background, I’ll be focusing on authenticitydiscipline, and consistency.

Do you have a word or words of the year for 2021? Or tips to help me embrace my words of the year? Share in the comments or tag me on social media @anideallifeblog!

Mini - An Ideal Life

Personal Development

Personal Development

I don’t want to just create An Ideal Life for myself—I want to be the best version of myself I can possibly be. In my experience, that involved a whole lot of self-coaching and personal development work.

I haven’t had the chance to hire coaches of my own yet but I spend time with podcasts, self-help books, workshops, and other offerings available to learn as much as I possibly can from the internet’s most inspirational people. 

No one says, “Here’s how to make a five-year plan and why you’d want to. Knock yourself out!” With this
The Best Professional & Personal Development Books on my TBR
I chose some of the best professional and personal development books on my TBR and ordered quite the book haul—which
My Path to Burnout Remission
I’ve gotten good at managing an overloaded schedule but it’s not sustainable. Instead, I’m working on a path to burnout
101 in 1,001
Like a bucket list on a smaller scale, a 101 in 1,001 list details 101 tasks to be completed in
A little motivation can make a big difference. These inspiring quotes can make your day a bit brighter!
2021 Goals
My 2021 goals encompass my personal and professional life, my efforts here at An Ideal Life, and even more.
2021 Words of the Year
You're likely familiar with the idea of a word of the year. But I have three words of the year: