By Kathi Szabo In the last few days, I’ve seen posts and emails galore about sitting down and taking inventory before starting the new year. Some are very structured formats; others are a bit more creative like finding one word to describe 2020. Regardless, I like to think of this as REFLECTIONS. Why reflect on 2020? Reflecting on the past can help us find clarity for the future. It can also help us find the gift where initially we thought there was none.
So how do we reflect with intention? I like to use 3 simple steps:
- What worked out well? What left me feeling excited and inspired? And WHY? Why is important to understand. It’s the need we are trying to fulfill.
- What was untidy about 2020? What situations were challenging, stressful, or just plain aggravating? But now turn it upside down and what was the gift? What did we learn from it? Did we find new direction? Did it set us up for something even greater?
- What is the biggest take-away from 2020? Maybe it’s a new skill, a new learning? Maybe it’s a new thought pattern? Maybe it’s a new organization you joined or a new job? Find at least one thing to celebrate and then actually celebrate it! Write it down. Tell your spouse or partner or kids what you are celebrating from 2020. Make it a big deal! Let it marinate in your mind, finding new neural connections, so it stays with you!
Don’t limit yourself to just the last few months. I like to go through my calendar and recall the appointments, meetings, events that occurred throughout the year. Often when we reflect on the previous year, we think of only the last few months, our most recent memories. Rarely do we go back to January 1 and reflect on all that happened that impacted who we are. So be sure to take your time here. Don’t rush the process. Maybe write down a thing or two from each month first and then go back to the 3 simple steps.
Now, let’s get ready to set INTENTIONS for 2021.
Reviewing your reflections from 2020, what can you expand upon? Can you take what worked out well and find more of it in 2021? Purposely set aside time for those things you love and want more of in your life. Or can you take something that was a little messy in 2020 and make an intention to work through it until you no longer see it as messy. Maybe finding closure or simple peace. Is there one thing you want to do in 2021 no matter what?
As I wrote in my last blog post, most of us set intentions and then forget all about them. For Intentions to stick, we have to have two things: CLARITY and ACCOUNTABILITY.
Let’s start with clarity. Take 2 or 3 of your thoughts about 2021 and write out exactly, describing every detail of what it looks like for this intention to be lived in 2021. How would you feel? How would it make your life better? How would it touch others? Go ahead, write it all down. Write a paragraph, a page. Make a Vision Board! The more clarity you can express, the more likely you will cultivate this intention! I highly recommend no more than 3 intentions for the new year. Just one is fine if it lifts you, inspires you, and creates higher levels of happiness and well-being. Quality, not quantity here.
Now, let’s talk about accountability. If you keep these intentions to yourself, you might as well not make them at all. We all need support. There is no shame in that. So how do you ensure you hold yourself accountable?
- Find an accountability partner or group! There are many out there or organize one yourself. Or join Eclectic Well-Being and we will support you and be your accountability group!
- Share your intentions or vision board with your accountability partner or group. State exactly what you want out of this year, your vision for the year, and how it will come to fruition.
- Keep your intentions or vision board visible. Look at it every day – YES EVERY DAY! Get even more clear on what you actually want and make adjustments!
- Check back in with your accountability partner or group at least monthly if not weekly. The more often you share with others, the more likely you are to keep your intentions!
- SURRENDER. If it doesn’t happen, relax. It’s not the end of the world. Dwight D Eisenhower said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” We have to plan, to make intentions, but then we have to also let go and trust in Universal Intelligence. Revisit your intention with new clarity and continue living the life you desire.
That’s it. Simply, take a moment to reflect on the past, so you can visualize your future, but then surrender to the present moment, finding gratitude in each breath.
I would love to hear about your reflections and intentions! Leave them in the comments and let’s see how changed our lives are a year from now!
Happy New Year Friends! Wishing everyone Love, Joy, Health, and Abundance in 2021!