It’s a bit crazy to think that today marks the beginning of an entirely new decade. I can’t help but wonder, what will the 2020s hold for me?
The last decade ushered in a lot of big life events for me: graduating from high school and college, getting married, building our house, starting my career. I entered my twenties and started adulting on a full-time basis. I experienced high highs and low lows and started writing regularly again, both novels and posts on this blog.
Today, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want from the next decade for myself and for our society as a whole.
The last time we saw the 20s, they were personified as “roaring.” The post-war economy was booming, consumerism was on the rise, and flappers were redefining what it meant to be a woman.
As we embark on an entirely new 20s, I find myself wondering how this next decade will be remembered. What word will they choose to signify the next ten years for generations of high schoolers to come? Will it be specific? More general? Will we agree when our grandchildren come home with it stamped on worksheets and in history texts about the 2020s?
I certainly have some opinions about what we should focus on (and therefore be remembered for) next decade. Here are a few suggestions for a word to describe my ideal 2020s:
Potential Titles for the 2020s
- The Green Twenties: the decade we took climate change seriously and made real efforts to save the planet
- The Compassionate Twenties: the decade we practiced empathy as a rule and started focusing on our similarities as human beings instead of our differences
- The Newsworthy Twenties: the decade we stopped shouting “fake news” and remembered the importance of the Fourth Estate to our democracy
- The Tech Ethics Twenties: the decade we demanded our big tech companies consider the ethics of their products, services, and data collection practices
- The Cruelty-Free Twenties: the decade we eradicated animal testing across the beauty industries once and for all
As for my personal word for the decade, I’ve decided to reuse an oldie but goodie. I first started this blog the year I graduated from college and moved to Cincinnati, and it was called Learning to Thrive in 1455.
There were a lot of problems with that name (mostly because I used a piece of our address in it #cybersecurityfail), but one thing that’s always stuck with me is the main word: thrive.
Merriam-Webster has a few different definitions of thrive. It’s an intransitive verb, meaning:
- to grow vigorously : to become increasingly larger and healthier : to physically improve.
- to prosper outstandingly : to gain in wealth or material possessions : to advance successfully.
- to achieve growth or progress toward one’s own goal : to flourish despite or because of circumstances or conditions.
Prosper, grow, flourish, improve. When I look back at the 2020s, I hope I can easily see how I have thrived in all aspects of my life: physical health, relationships, career, and writing.
For the year 2020, I’m setting the following resolutions for my day-to-day life:
- Read for at least 10 minutes each day
- Write for at least 10 minutes each day
- Use the rowing machine on the weekends
- Work toward a daily meditation practice
- Eat vegetarian during breakfast and lunch
- Start composting regularly
Keep reading for my blogging, reading, and writing recaps from 2019 plus goals for 2020 in each area for this year. (You can also check out my 2019 travelogue next week!)
Posts Published: 18
Words Written: 17,794
Most Viewed Post: Kinder Beauty Box Review
A look at my very first of these vegan, cruelty-free makeup and skincare subscription boxes (including an affiliate link for a free gift in your first box!). I adore the Kinder Beauty Box and have since ordered enough boxes to write a six month recap of my favorite products.
Best Viewed Writing Post: 10 Writing Tools to Begin Your Next Novel
I’m always eager to learn about other writers’ routines, and this year I sat down to write a post with the tools I use during my own writing process.
Best Viewed Travel Post: The Best Cincinnati Coffee Shops
I’ve tried to write more posts about my new home, and this definitive ranking of the best coffee shops in Cincinnati includes a variety of places around the city and the drink you should order from each.
Best Viewed Lifestyle Post: Galentine’s Day Gift Ideas
As a rather new fan of Parks and Rec last year, I knew I had to celebrate Galentine’s Day with my coworkers. This list includes some of the best gifts I found during my search for the perfect things, from $5 to $50 in price.
This year, I’d like to get back to publishing a blog post each week. Between work travel and my blog getting hacked, I haven’t been that consistent since my first year of blogging, but I know I can do it! Watch this space in 2020 for new travel posts, more writing resources, all the lifestyle reviews and a monthly favorites post on the final Friday of each month.
Books Read: 26
Pages Read: 9,394
For the first time in years, I didn’t reach my Goodreads goal. To be honest, things just felt off with my reading life this year. I started but didn’t finish way more books than I ever have, and even the ones I ended up loving were a struggle to begin.
Here’s a quick look at a few of my favorites from the year, and you can see my entire Goodreads yearly recap for more reading inspiration.
Favorite Book of the Year: If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
Favorite Children’s Book of the Year: The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
Favorite Nonfiction Book of the Year: Give a Sh*t by Ashlee Piper
Honorable mentions include The Testaments (wow, I needed this long-awaited sequel so much), Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (the second book in my favorite recent children’s series), In Paris With You (a French translation that is truly stunning and so real), and too many Pride and Prejudice adaptations, which I’ll include in a blog post at some point.
This year, I’m not going to be quite so ambitious with my reading goal. I’d like to read 40 books throughout the year, and I’m starting with all the Book of the Month selections that are currently stacked next to my bed. (Interested in Book of the Month? Use my referral link to join for just $5 for your first month!)
Words Written: 11,296+
I did a terrible job of keeping track of my writing progress this year. Since I was half-editing, half-rewriting Imbolc, all I know is that I wrote over 11,000 words during NaNoWriMo and at least that many during my many, many editing sessions. I do most all of my writing and editing in Scrivener, so if anyone knows of a good way to track my word counts while editing, hit me up!
I tend to do better with very time-specific writing goals, so I’m going to get a little more granular with these than I did with my blogging and reading goals for 2020:
Q1: Finish current draft of Imbolc
I am so close to completing my latest draft of Imbolc, which I had hoped to finish during NaNoWriMo this year. I’d like to get it finished, cleaned up, and sent over to beta readers by the end of March.
Q2: Outline the first draft of Wyvern
I’ve had an idea for a story marinating in my brain for a while, and I’d like to finally spit it all out into outline form. This is the busiest time of year for me work-wise, so giving myself a smaller writing goal seems more manageable. Because setting yourself up for success is kind!
Q3: Write the next draft of Imbolc
During July’s Camp NaNoWriMo, I plan to write the next draft of Imbolc with feedback from trusted friends.
Q4: Write the first draft of Wyvern
And finally, during NaNoWriMo, I’ll write the first 50,000 words of Wyvern.