It was 11pm on the 31st Dec 2019 and I was sitting with 4 of my favourite people around a table discussing our words for 2020 (read on to learn more about this!) How naive we were. Like so many we were completely oblivious to the turmoil about to literally turn the entire world upside down. Nonetheless, my word for 2020 kept me anchored me this year and I am truly grateful I took the time to get clear on that last year.
We cannot control what happens around us but we can control how we choose to be and what we would like to attract into our lives. This reduces the chance of feeling like a victim at the mercy of the elements. To make a choice we need to take a moment and in that moment review where we have been, what we learned, what worked, what did not work and, based on all of these, what we want as we move forward. You could just play a wait-and-see game but, given the 2020 turned out, I would suggest having something to anchor yourself to and to guide you back to quieter waters when it all starts to get a bit crazy during 2021.
To support you with this process I’ve put together a workbook to help you get clarity and direction for going forwards. To understand the power of conscious intentions take a look at this post I wrote last year.
I borrowed this practice from a podcast by Kate Northrup (queen of doing less to achieve more) and her husband Mike Watts, where they shared that they have a special book that they pull out at the end of each year to review the past year and set goals for the next (and also review the goals they set for the year that has just ended). They suggest using your Google Calendar or other calendar to review the year and jog your memory. If you have a journal that will be wonderful to help you review the year.
Remember that we need to be clear on what has worked, what hasn’t and what we liked and want more of to really bring about transformation rather than taking a couple of shots in the dark and hope that it will just work out!
Here are a few notes on using the accompanying workbook:
Only answer the areas that feel relevant or adapt as needed to make them relevant.
With regard to the health section, when considering what worked and didn’t work consider what I have shared about how the tendency to hold, do, and be extra self-reliant can lead to depletion. Consider where you have adapted yourself and are not standing in your truth. Look at self-care practices and also practices to help you feel safe, secure and calm that I have shared in the Chronic Exhaustion Facebook Group (e.g. breathing, meditation, visualisation, grounding, talking to your inner child).
Look at what times of the day, the month, the seasons and the year were the hardest and see if you can adapt your routine this year to factor in doing less during these times so you have more energy to do more in the times when you feel good. Consider the lunar cycle, the menstrual cycle and general seasonal and annual patterns to notice your own patterns. Remember that you cannot function the same 24/7/365 so looking back at when you function well helps you to plan your life/goals/activities around these times. Notice when you are more inward and more outward in your energy and plan your schedule and socialising around these times. Ask yourself what had you done differently when you were feeling really good – supplements, diet, mindset, social life, creativity, self-care practices. These are all questions you can consider to review this area of your life.
When I talk about quantifiable goals these are where you can get all SMART about it! (That stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely). These are typical new year resolutions that many people set. Can I encourage you to please try not to set down an entire thesis of how you think you need to be better and set yourself up for failure. Keep these goals realistic and achievable and also remember that these are preferences and not shoulds. Don’t forget to use what you uncover through the workbook so these goals are informed and conscious.
The qualifiable goals are how you would like to feel and what you would like to be e.g. to be more calm with the children and just hold what goes wrong with an attitude of ‘mistakes happen and we can all learn and grow from this!); to experience more ease and relaxation on a daily basis etc.
If this all just feels too much perhaps just go straight to the end and choose your word for 2021. This is an anchoring word to keep you focussed on the one aspect you would like to invite into your life and experience more of in the next year. And be realistic! Last year one of the words around that table on the 31st Dec was “FAITH”. Boy was that one needed this year.
There is no right or wrong way to work with this workbook. You can write a few words or write pages. Make the practice your own and only do it if resonates with you and feels like it will be of value versus feeling you ‘should’ as it seems the ‘right’ thing to do.
How about being more conscious but chucking perfect and drawing on the simplicity that so many of us have been reduced to due to restrictions?
May the biggest challenges of 2020 be your greatest gifts in 2021 and for those who are grieving the loss of loved ones, businesses, ways of life, and more I wish you support, faith and courage for the year ahead.