I risk being trite when I say WHAT A YEAR… but it really has been. The only thing I’m certain of these days is that 2020 will be mentioned in the history books.
Not to re-hash what you already know (social unrest, a President acting quite un-Presidential, a global pandemic, civil war, femicide, and genocide, the Brexit that still hasn’t been, a general sense of restlessness, and the untenable desire to just work out of a coffee shop, dammit), this year is not like the others, especially for those affected by all of the above.
Usually, at this time of the year, we’re talking about the highlights and lowlights of the year, planning for our year-end performance reviews, watching Uncle Gary get drunk at the family Christmas party, and trying to not get too tipsy ourselves at the annual company holiday party. More than anything, we’re usually talking about our New Years’ Resolutions.
This year, I invite you to do none of that.
Not to say that reflection isn’t necessary (it is), or that goals are bad (they aren’t), just that this isn’t the time to do our annual goal-setting. There’s too much unknown out there that are preventing us from becoming crystal-clear on our goals. And if goals need to be one thing in order to succeed, it’s crystal clear.
About 80% of all New Year’s Resolutions fail because we ideate so much. When it comes to execution, we fail – mostly because humans are routine-driven, and all of our routines have already been disrupted. In the place of more self-improvement or more home-improvement projects, I invite you instead to focus on self-love and being graceful with yourself, without heaping even more responsibility on top of our already existing high-stress levels, limited sunlight, and overall lack of motivation.
Change is hard, and the events of this year have in some ways made change very easy and simple, or very difficult.
Instead of thinking of new resolutions or goals, I instead urge you to reflect on:
- Your connections and support. Do you feel supported in your daily life? If so, how? If not, what would that support look like (more phone calls with your mom, with friends, or finding a mentor)?
- Your routine. How much does your routine serve you? Is it possible to have 2-5 minutes of mindful calm in your day: whether it’s a steaming hot shower, a good book, journaling, or sitting still with a hot mug of coffee or tea?
- Your creative outlets. How much of what you do requires creativity? I believe humans are meant to create, whether that’s stories around the fire, baked goodies for yourself or loved ones, poems, or songs. Perhaps that spark you’re looking for within your goals is actually just a yearning for more creativity.
There’s a time and place for all of our ideas, goals, and money. Yet if there’s one thing 2020 has made me become, it’s more mindful: being mindful of what I say, what I think, where I spend my money, and what values I support. There’s a time and place for lofty goal-setting, creating management-approved SMART goals, and dreaming of a better life for yourself: but let’s just let the dust settle from 2020 first, eh?