Bianca Aguglia

The journey of a self thought person

2021 and 2022 – The year(s) of starting over

I named 2021 the year of starting over. It’s an idea I borrowed from entrepreneur Patrick Bet-David. In one of his YouTube videos, I don’t remember which one, Patrick talked about naming each year for something significant you wanted to accomplish in it. In 2021, I wanted to stop being so disorganized, so confused about what to work on, so overwhelmed about not having clear goals for my life. I also wanted to go back in time and prevent myself from doing some of the things I never should have done. I imagined how nice it would be if I could start over and do things right this time1.

Starting over was not going to be easy though.

First, the choices I made in the past made me feel I was damaged goods. Even if I started over and did everything right for the rest of my life, I could never be fully proud of myself. I would always be damaged goods. Since I’m a perfectionist, that thought is demoralizing. Someone who has no past to be ashamed of can at least hope to live a perfect life2. Someone like myself knows that perfection is no longer an option. That hope is gone. When hope is gone, it’s natural to ask, “Why even try?” The short answer is: because it’s better to be damaged goods who tried to do better than it is to be damaged goods who gave up. I don’t have the long answer yet. The short one is good enough for now.

Second, I still had no clue what I wanted in life. Ideas like purpose, inner peace, and joy were too vague to be useful. I was ready to start over, but what exactly was I starting? What did I start with?

After a few of days of half-hearted Google searches for “how to make a life plan” and “what is a good life”, I realized that life plan templates and examples I found online weren’t right for me. In most plans, spirituality was either the focus of the plans, either ignored. Goal categories were either uninspiring, either not worthwhile. Reading all those plans was useful though. It helped me understand what others thought a good life was. After some thinking, I ended up setting for myself the goal of becoming a bettering human. I defined this as a person who tries to make herself and the world better and decided that involved three main things:

  • learn
  • contribute
  • live

I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with that term. It described perfectly what I hoped I would feel about my life going forward. I still had to set up specific goals in each category. That took a while also. Next, I had to come up with action plans for each goal. That was the most time-consuming part not only because it naturally is the most time-consuming part of life planning, but also because I set too many goals for myself. I put some of the goals aside, but still kept too many on the list. I’ll give it my best try. I might surprise myself.

Now, after months and months of pondering and planning, I’m confident enough about my direction and ready to start being a bettering human. The problem is that 2021 is almost over and it seems wrong to call it the year of starting over. I thought of changing its name to the year of prep work, but I don’t want to change year names once I’ve chosen them, so I decided to leave 2021 the year of starting over and name 2022 the year of starting over – take two.

Now it’s time to make 2022 live up to its name. It’s time to start over.



1Doing things right doesn’t mean I won’t make mistakes. It just means I won’t do things that clearly go against my moral standards (e.g. lying, cheating, doing harm, giving into vices, etc).

2 A perfect life is not a life in which you make no mistake and in which no bad things happen. It’s simply a life in which you mostly do your best. When you don’t do your best, you at least choose the better version of yourself.

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