Until recently in preparation for New Year I used to set goals and resolutions – a lot of them as well. Some were more specific and some less so, but it was always the excitement of a clean slate, new beginning, forgetting about the year I was leaving behind that spurred all those resolutions.
However, a couple of years ago I discovered a New Year’s Resolutions List in one of my old notebooks and realised that I could only ticked off a couple of things on that list that I achieved. I’m also sure, that back then, in 2018 I didn’t even look more than twice at that list, so how was I supposed to even make those things happen?
There are various studies conducted over the years, saying that people won’t even stick with their new year resolutions beyond 19th January or that they forget what their goals were by the second week of February. I probably, was part of that statistics until recently….
This made me realise that I needed to be a bit more mindful and strategic with my resolutions and start earlier than 1st January to plan, so that I can set myself up for a successful and joyful year ahead.
The process is very personal and it will be different from person to person, but it is all about transitioning from the old into the new year with intention. I found that last year, despite pandemic, I have managed to achieve more things from my list than when I didn’t go through this process a couple of years ago.
I thought I would share a bit about my New Year preparations to give you some ideas for your own New Year prep.
For me, it is all about taking stock of the old year and what went well, what I have been grateful for, what were the proud moments of the year, what I’ve learned and what were the challenges. Let’s be honest, 2020 has been very challenging and when I sat down to write all of those things down I thought there were hardly any positives but once I started there have been a few and it is great to remind myself about them.
I also look back at the habits or behaviours I don’t want to repeat in 2021 as well as areas where I need to let go of or lower my expectations moving forward.
I learned to take time out at the end of December to figure out what I want in the coming year. I jot down all the usual important dates as well as school breaks, holidays and plan some of our holidays around it. What helps with that also is journaling and jotting down some of my work/personal goals and then breaking them down into smaller chunks. For me this is a work in progress document as I like to go back to it over the course of the year and tick things off or add to it. Also, having a big goal broken down into smaller goals makes it less scary and more achievable. This can be done in digital form also (notes on your phone), but I am a pen & paper person 🙂
WORD OF THE YEAR AND “MY VISION”
One Little Word was a project created by Ali Edwards – it’s all about picking a word each year, to focus on, reflect upon and go about your daily life. I’ve done it twice now and last year my word was Balance. For 2021 I picked two words – COURAGE and ENJOY. This is all to do with the fact that I would like to step out of my comfort zone in order to pursue some projects, which will lead to (hopefully) enjoyment in personal and professional life.
Also, alongside the goals and plans for 2021, I write my vision for the new year. It’s very simple. I sit down with a big cup of coffee and start with “By the end of 2021….” – at the beginning it seems hard but then the words just flow and it’s a brilliant thing to come back to every quarter at least.
DELETE AND DECLUTTER
I find that time between Christmas and New Year is perfect for getting rid of clutter. I wrote a post about all the THINGS I GOT RID OF BEFORE 2018 in order to start the new year without unnecessary junk. Apart from getting rid of physical objects, I also go through my emails and delete the ones that clog the mailboxes as well as unsubscribe from all the newsletters that I don’t read anymore / tempt me too much to spend on stuff I don’t need and clean up the folders on my personal and work laptops.
SELF – CARE AND RELAXING
Autumn/Winter months in the UK are glum and wet. We do get occasional snow but where we live it happens very rarely. It certainly affects how I feel and even with best plans and intentions, it is hard to remain totally focused on your goals. Some days, I just don’t stick to certain plans or routine with the kids and we do things that make us feel good. It will mean a long Netflix movie with some treats, long, muddy walks or just a walk all by myself with a podcast or a call to a friend. Sometimes, that’s all I need to re-set and get back on track.
So, that’s me. I’d love to know how you will be preparing yourself for the new year.
Here’s to a better 2021!