Craft By Zen

Unsplash image from Jen Theodore showing an intention card
Unsplash image from Jen Theodore showing an intention card

4 min read

🔖essay   🔖reflection

Year of Intentions (33)

Yesterday was my 34th birthday. It was a wildly unexpected year, full of twists and turns that I could not have seen coming.

How did the annual theme go?

The thought process behind my annual theme, the Year of Intention, was to make time more intentional. In Four Thousand Weeks, Oliver Burkeman writes about the finite time we have. To balance out my active vs. passive time, in which you need both, I want to guard what little precious time I have. In a way, this is a scarcity mindset and one which I should remind myself of often.

Intentionality is planned focus. Meaning I focused my attention on specific areas of my life. After planning, there’s a phase of reflection, like reviewing the initial plan and how it went, doing goal setting and planning, and reviewing my energy management. In the past, I would like entropy to set in and stop planning altogether, drop my long-term goals, and let the energy demons enter. Demons may include procrastination, burnout, and being overwhelmed.

At the beginning of the year, I put a few things in motion.

  1. Daily Reviews
  2. Weekly Reviews
  3. Monthly Reviews
  4. Quarterly Goals

I thought having a lot of reviews would help me with goal setting, reviewing those goals, and avoiding crashing and burning.

So, the big question is, how did it go?

The short answer is not well. The longer answer is it went partially well. Daily reviews have been great. Weekly and monthly reviews crashed and burned. I did half of my quarterly goals. Let me dive deeper through a short detour on what happened this year.

Family Emergencies

This year will go down as one of the worst years when it comes to family. While I can’t go into too much detail in this area, I can tell you it was a terrible time for my parents. My aunt passed away last January and my father had a terrible accident. Both incidents left us in the hospital far longer than we ever expected.

Needless to say, both incidents left me extremely frazzled. As part of my theme, I wanted to leave my “Hyperactive Hive Mind”, but after half a year, I had it worse than ever. After being at the hospital for a full day, I would come home and crash by being on my phone. Quite the opposite of turning off for the day. And to put matters worse, I almost drove my partner insane by barely making enough time for our big move.

The Rest of the Year

While the family emergencies occupied my mind for a good portion of the year, many other things happened. Here’s a shortlist.

Closing Thoughts

While 2023 will go down as a year to remember, I am hopeful for 2024. I’m going to get married! Also, I’ve taken a lot of lessons learned from a more intentional life and will be taking those with me in the next year. As I make those changes, I’ll reflect and write about them in the future.