Here are 8 ways to make your 2020 beautiful, transformational, and one you’ll want to remember:
1. Celebrate all the goodness you experienced in 2019.
Happy New Year! I hope you woke up this morning feeling refreshed and hopeful.
How was 2019 for you? If you read the news regularly, you likely feel that the world falls somewhere on a scale between a complete mess and total anarchy. I find this way of thinking so disheartening. Every year has its good and bad, its sadness and joy, its low moments and bright spots. It is a very personal thing as well — some people may have had a much harder year than others depending on where they live in the world or their current life situation. But whether we claim the year to have been a good or bad one, we can all say we have learned something. Many things, most likely, but at the very least something life-changing if we pay attention. Rather than dismissing the year which when you think about it, was a whole 365 days of your life, why don’t we instead take some time to reflect on our experiences and lessons learned in 2019 and start planning and dreaming for 2020?
2019 capped off a few years of big transitions for me. This year I stepped away from a business I co-founded and dedicated my life to for over six years, expanded my new business, All You Are with a loungewear collection and started a new full-time role in a very cool emerging company in the cannabis industry.
I travelled on my own, with family and to see dear friends, made an appearance on the Marilyn Dennis Show, and spoke about my experience being a young widow.
My year was jam-packed and full of blessings. Take a few minutes to write down all the happy moments, blessings and gifts you experienced and received this past year. Get specific about recording all the details trips you took, what you accomplished, new things you tried, lessons you learned, etc. It is amazing to see what we actually can do over the course of the year.
These days most of us are on autopilot. We are guided by our inbox, the news and social media feeds. We check our phones first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. We aren’t choosing what to think about or care about…it is being dictated to us by whatever pops up first in our feeds. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to think intentionally about what really matters to us and how we want to live this year. Spend some time thinking about what is most important to you this year. I usually keep this list to five things. Is it spending more mindful time with your family, or going on more adventures, or making a change in your career? Make a shortlist and refer to it frequently through the year.
For a long time, because of struggles in my personal life, I stayed completely away from the news. I couldn’t begin to process what was happening in the world when my life already felt so overwhelming. Over the past few years I’ve crawled out from under my rock and have started paying more attention. The world can be a scary, confusing and complicated place. But it is important not to hide from it and to be informed and open-minded. It is important to question and debate and try to understand (let's emphasize understanding - something I think we could use more of in general). Let's just not drown in the messages designed to make you click and click and click. We can’t make a positive contribution or affect positive change in the world if we're bogged down with the weight of it.
We all have them. What are your excuses for not giving your Most Important Things attention? I’m too busy, I have to clean the house, I’ll start when x,y or z. If something made your Most Important Things list, it deserves to be prioritized. Even if that means you buy a birthday cake instead of making it yourself, let the suitcase stay half unpacked for a few extra days, or are even are a little behind on your taxes (so this is clearly a very personal list - ha!)
Sadly cyber-bullying and trolling is just a thing we’ve all come to accept as part of life online. It is so easy to be mean, hurtful and aggressive when typing at your computer at @anon3460 than when sitting across from someone at a table. Social media is an amazing way to connect with others beyond our immediate vicinity, share ideas and opinions, have healthy debates and learn others points of view. But humans are a social species — we need to belong, to truly connect to one another through a smile, a handshake, a kind word or a deep conversation. Take a minute to ask the barista how their day is going before rushing out with your coffee, agree to even a no-phone hour with your family where you connect with one another or even just be quiet together. Keep your phone in your bag when with a colleague or friend. Find ways to disconnect and more importantly, truly connect every day.
Over this past year, I’ve committed to waking up a full hour earlier than my daughter so I have time to myself before the chaos of the day begins. My daily practice involves reviewing my goals, reading something inspiring, meditating, writing and exercising. I can’t always do all of these things, but 9/10 times I do a combination of them and they keep me focused on how I want to live my life and what I want to accomplish. My daily practice is something that I look forward to and that keeps me grounded every day.
Since having my daughter three years ago, I’ve learned the hard way the true value of a good nights sleep. A good night’s sleep can make you feel superhuman. Learn good sleep hygiene and figure out what works for you - turn the temperature in your home down, don’t look at a screen within at least an hour of going to bed, write down some of your thoughts before closing your eyes at night. All of these simple choices can instantly make you feel more effective, productive and happy through your days.
It is common at the beginning of the new year to feel an itch or a burning desire to make changes. Run with that feeling and give it momentum! Take out a new journal and a good pen and write down all your dreams and desires for yourself, your family, your community, your world. Build working towards those dreams into your daily to do’s and refer back to your original list once a month (set a time in the calendar so you don’t forget!). Our desires and dreams are important. They are worthwhile. Give them the momentum they deserve.
Wishing you a year full of goodness, growth and love.
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. - William Shakespeare