What is a resolution anyway? I decided to look it up and see what the dictionaries actually say. Most definitions say something like the decision to do or not do something. A person might resolve to do something differently, refrain from something, or make a promise to change.
I haven’t made a resolution in years. I’m going to tell you how I head into the new year.
Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021!
That is what a lot of people around the world are thinking right about now. This pandemic has gotten a lot of us in a funk, and there is hope that a new year will promise better things. And while I’m sure it will, I can’t help but spend a little time reflecting on 2020.
First Some Reflection
Reflecting comes naturally for me, but it doesn’t for everyone. I need it in my life. As I get older, if I don’t stop and think, reflect, and write down my thoughts, I feel scatterbrained and unorganized. I start flying around in so many directions, and nothing gets accomplished. I don’t know how to move forward, or I am too scared to.
So, before you head into 2021, spend some time in reflection. To some, reflection means to look back on painful moments, less desirable versions of yourself or of your life, but I’m telling you, there is power in reflection. It moves us forward. It can set us up for more good things rather than bad. We all know we can’t change the past, but we can learn from it or decide to do it differently.
As I write this, I have flashbacks of some of 2020’s events that have turned people’s lives upside down and inside out. However, I know, that even with some of the biggest blows, there is something to reflect on that will push us in a positive direction. It can allow you to clear your mind and help you move into a better space emotionally and physically.
A Few Ways to Start Reflecting
First of all, I need to get in the right headspace to reflect or figure things out. Funnily enough, lately, I find myself doing that in the shower. I don’t get much alone time. Not even in the car. I’ve always noticed I did a lot of thinking in the shower, but I suddenly realized that everything I thought about was forgotten once I got out. And there was some really good thinking going on. I finally bought myself a shower notepad to help with that. As soon as I’d step into the warm running water, my mind would relax and open up. Sometimes my thoughts are literally just about getting clear on what’s on my “to do” list for the day, but that’s ok. It helps me get a good idea of what I need to do and not waste my time on less important tasks.
So, all that shower talk to say, find a place where you can get in the right headspace to give yourself time to think through things.
Reflect with J.S.T. (Just Sit There) or Morning Pages
I’ve talked about J.S.T. and morning pages before in the past. I talk about it a lot because it really helps me carve out a time in my day to reflect, just sit and think, or write out anything that I need to dump out of my brain. I guess that’s where the saying “brain dump” comes from. It helps me get clear on my thoughts, my emotions, and move forward.
This helped me to understand what I want to get out of 2021 and how I’m going to make it happen. Try it. Just sit there in quiet if you can, and let the thoughts flow. It doesn’t have to be journaling or even focused on anything in particular. It is a useful tool to process your thoughts, unclutter your brain, and work things out. Business coach, Lise Cartwright, over at “Hustle and Groove” refers to it as J.S.T. and goes more in-depth about how to do it in this article.
What Did 2020 Bring Me?
While 2020 brought me a lot of nervousness, anxiety, and worry, the uncertainty led me to places I am so glad I went. Despite all the craziness, I was given the gift of time, and that is something we find ourselves often looking for.
At the time of the shutdown when the world seemed at a standstill, I was feeling so busy, too busy. There were so many things I wanted to be doing, but each day was filled with personal commitments, family commitments, and work. It was exhausting. When we got the news that we were to stay home, I welcomed it. I needed the minute to just sit, slow down, and stop.
One day, I wrote down all of the things that were good in 2020 during J.S.T. Here are a few good things that came out of 2020.
✅I was able to finally launch this blog that had taken a backseat for many months. I have so many new skills I never imagined I would learn.
✅ I’ve been able to be more involved in my children’s learning. I know this has been a monumental effort for many parents. It hasn’t been easy, but sometimes as an educator, I don’t feel like I get the chance to be as involved as I’d like to be or should be in my own children’s education. I’m glad to have the opportunity, time, and experience with them. You get to see your child first hand as a student, and how they learn, and where they struggle.
✅ Time with family! It hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows when you’re with the same six people day in and day out, but we have been able to enjoy some good times, good laughs, good cries, and so many more priceless family moments.
✅ I finished writing a children’s book! This was huge for me. This project had been sitting around for at least 2 or 3 years. It isn’t published yet, but if you’d like to know more, you can follow me on Instagram at @creativelybykrista.
There are many more moments I’m sure, and some that I hope to share more about in the new year. I can’t overlook the good that has come from this year.
Welcoming 2021 with Open Arms
Before you start opening yourself up to 2021, I hope you do take some time to reflect. Going back to the title of this post, “Revamping Resolutions,” I told you I haven’t made a resolution in years. There’s a reason for that. I’ve found that within a month, I’ve forgotten about it, or they were not attainable without making any kind of plan to get there. It was just a list. I wish someone would’ve told me years ago, that you can’t reach a goal with a list.
I’ve revamped the way I make resolutions. I set goals. Even then, setting a goal only sort of gets me there. If anything, 2020 has taught me a lot. I started the year off with goals and ended the year with intentions. I’ve already set my goals for the new year. However, it is not only the goals that I’ve set. I’ve set action steps on how I intend to get there. I have known my goals for quite some time but hadn’t thought out how I would make them happen. This is where a lot of reflection started happening, but no action yet. This is where my vision board came in.
A few weeks ago, I sat in a workshop about making a vision board. I thought, “I already know about making vision boards. We will be making ours on New Year’s Day, just like we have been for the last few years. I got this,” but I didn’t. Wow, did I learn a lot! For one, I had never thought of making my own. I knew others did, but I had it in my head that this is our family thing. I’ve also never thought of making one for several areas of my life.
Vision boards display your dreams and it is important to have dreams. So, after the workshop, I got to making my board, and as I did, I began to think more about my goals for the year in all the areas of my life (self-care, family, fun, business, health). My girls even helped me here and there find pictures and words that would create my goals to focus on for the year. They asked me questions about what some of the pictures and words meant on my board. They smiled when they already knew what something represented. And the toddler got in there too, with glue in hand. Even though I was doing this for me, I liked how my kids were also understanding who I am. A mom has dreams too!
This vision board became one massive board, and I know what each picture and word means. It got me thinking that not only should we create one for the family, but each family member should create one for themselves (probably a smaller version for the kids). You can learn a lot from each other. You can learn a lot from your children, especially if they are getting to an age where they may not choose to share as much with you as they used to. It can give you some insight into their thoughts, hopes, and dreams without saying a word.
Bring It to The Next Level
You’ve reflected, created a vision board, or written down your goals, and now you’re wondering how that differs from a resolution. It’s the action you take. Consistent action. Plan what you will do to get you to your goal. Look at your vision board every day. Make a plan and write it down. As I have gone through 2020 learning many new things, I have learned one very important word. Action! Nothing will happen if you don’t take action. And to me, a resolution is only making a decision to change something without any of the thought that goes into it. A resolution doesn’t seem to have much room for changes, pivots, or more time. Some things in life take longer, but if you’re taking action towards your goal it means you can still get there.
So, bring your New Year’s goals or intentions for the year to the next level. You can apply it to anywhere in your life. Write it down, make your plans, and track them. Make changes if you need to, but keep your eye on your vision. Don’t forget to continue to reflect as you go.
I hope you get to revamp your resolutions into meaningful goals. Don’t give up if you don’t reach them by the end of the year. Give yourself grace, and decide if the goal is something you want to keep or change. It’s your goal. You can do whatever you want with it. Just don’t give up if it is truly something you want to achieve. Maybe you just need to approach it differently. I can’t wait! I’m ready now!
Now, let’s say goodbye to 2020 and HELLLLLOOOOOO 2021! I’ve got plans for you, 2021! 🥳 And speaking of plans, check out my new shop page here. There are a few planners just waiting for you to grab and start planning your year. I hope to add more to this page in the future.