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Finding Your Purpose in 2024

Goal-setting... an activity that many of us do at the start of each year as we reflect on the previous one and get ready for what lies ahead. Goal-setting isn't just a one-time activity though. When we are discovering what it means to live out our purpose, goals shift, grow, and evolve. I had some pretty insane personal goals in 2023, most of them I never predicted would’ve come about when the year started.  


I continued my work from anywhere nomadic lifestyle, hitting the road for a year of focusing on my well-being while continuing to explore all that the country had to offer. I was genuinely terrified that it could be the year when I potentially pushed it too far with all my shenanigans I do while I working, schooling, and traveling.   

If there was a place to work, I found it… libraries, co-working spaces, a renovated canoe shop, a greenhouse turned into a coffee shop, a shipping container, and even a treehouse… all positioned near parks and mountains to hike, reservoirs to swim in, or trails to bike/run after the day ended. I was amazed at how my personal goals could coincide with my professional goals.   

After last year, I realized there were two super important things I needed to do to live this wild and crazy, dream life of mine:  

1) Find purpose IN a 9-5  

2) Find purpose WITH a 9-5   

I spent the early years of my career working on the first… ditching my supply chain degree to pursue my passion in working on the people side, doing anything possible to elevate the employee experience in the workplace. Once I found purpose in the thing that took up the greatest chunk of most of my days, I started to take control of the hours I wasn’t working. If I removed every label, who was I? What was important to me? I crafted my ‘why’ that drives me in everything I do, and reminded myself that work is just one slice of the pie that makes up my life.  

When my personal goals seemed to conflict with work, I realized that the worst thing that could happen would be hearing “no” by simply asking for a shift. I would maintain east coast working hours no matter where I was, taking advantage of the extra daylight when out west to explore. I would log on “late” a couple days a week and flex my hours to get morning triathlon training in while there was daylight. I ended Deloitte’s 2023 well-being week by crossing the finish line of my first 70.3, but it was the firm’s flexibility and "yes" responses all throughout the year that allowed that to be the way I celebrated the week. 

I sometimes feel like I live a double life, which was made especially clear when I packed up for a business trip from a campground in the Grand Tetons, swapping my grungy Patagonia, athletic shorts, Darn Tough socks, and trail runners for real clothes and heels. But really, I’ve just found a way to live out my ‘why’ each and every day. It does look a little bizarre when I show up to a meeting with a questionable background or hair in braids before I jump in my wetsuit, but it’s what allows me to show up at my best every day.   

I share all of this because I think we focus so much on finding our purpose. Maybe we just need to separate work and life, and see how we can have a purpose that gives us the means (i.e., salary and benefits) to fuel our personal purpose.  

So as we are working towards all our crazy 2024 goals and resolutions, maybe the best thing we can do is to find how to marry our purpose in a 9-5 and our purpose with a 9-5 to create a life we never thought possible.  

About Ally:

Ally graduated from the Villanova HRD program in 2023, and continues to apply her learnings to her role as an Employee Experience Senior Consultant at Deloitte. Outside of work, you’ll either find her enjoying living at the beach in Maryland or exploring all that this country has to offer. An avid adventurer and National Park enthusiast, she’s on a mission to explore more while learning more about the human experience from folks she meets along the way. As part of this, she launched (un)explore, LLC to enable others to adventure on the roads less traveled and tap into the highest version of themselves.  Learn more about the Ally on her LinkedIn!


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