Updated: Apr 30
It’s no secret that this new year is unlike others. We’re saying goodbye to one of the most difficult years of our lifetime, so the usual New Year’s resolutions seem more important than ever before.
We want to face 2021 with an open mind and a willingness to implement any necessary changes in our lives. So, how would you like to step into the new year as the best version of you?
One of the best ways to do this is to reflect on the past year.
It’s easy to get caught up in the present moment and the future, but at this time of year, I’m reminded to take a step back and reflect on exactly how far I’ve come.
For example, a year ago, I didn’t have my online course, The Collection Advantage, up and running, and I didn’t have any clients to take the course yet. Now, I have a functioning course portal, a new milestone coming out, and multiple clients who have used the program and have seen amazing results.
Now, it’s your turn: What have you accomplished this year?
Due to the tumultuous nature of 2020, maybe your accomplishments look different from previous years. I’m here to tell you that it’s OK if they do. You’re definitely not alone.
You can count all of your wins—both big and small—to truly embrace your growth over the past year. Let’s dive into a few ways you can reflect on 2020 and enter 2021 with a better grasp on your goals.
List Your Milestones — Both Big and Small
I encourage you to make a list of all of your milestones from the previous year. Maybe something big happened like a promotion at work that you’ve been working diligently to get. Or maybe something smaller scale happened, like the successful completion of a work project that you were anxious about finishing. Maybe you made strides in your personal development. Every milestone is worth celebrating. Write down whatever comes to mind.
Once you have a list of milestones, ask yourself the following question:
How did the biggest of these milestones have an impact on your life?
Even if you think your milestones this year were small, they still had an impact on your life in some way. Unpack what that impact may be, and think about how these achievements may affect your future in the short term and the long term.
For example, if you got promoted this year, you might consider how that will impact your income, hours spent at work, etc.
These effects may be minuscule, or they may be massive. Either way, reflect on them to frame the past year better.
Reflect on Your Relationships
Relationships are an important part of everyday life. The people we surround ourselves with directly influence us. That’s why it’s important to reflect on relationships built in 2020 as we move into the new year.
I want you to think about anyone who came into your life this year. What do they mean to you? Will they stay in your life long-term? Have you learned anything from them? Have they enriched your life in some way? Can you imagine the past year without them?
Take some time to answer these questions and write down your thoughts about the relationships you’ve built in 2020. Think about how these people will fit into your life in 2021. These questions will help you come up with some goals for your relationships over the next year.
Maybe you want to develop more professional relationships. Maybe you want to focus more on personal relationships. Maybe you want to create new friendships. Or, maybe you’re happy with the relationships you have now, and you want to work on nurturing them.
Coming up with some tangible goals that are based on what you accomplished in your relationships in 2020 will be helpful as you develop your 2021 plans.
Diving into What You’ve Learned in 2020
Next, let’s talk about learning. Learning can manifest in many ways, so really slow down to think here. List anything you can think of that you learned in 2020. Because of the pandemic, many people learned invaluable life lessons about resilience and community. Some people may have learned new software for work. Some people may have completed degree or certificate programs.
Whatever the case may be, simply reflecting on what you’ve learned will be essential in preparing for the new year. It will allow you to notice any gaps or strengths in learning that you may have, and it will allow you to decide what you’d like to learn in the next year.
Let’s Talk about Cleanses and Clogs
2020 has been a hard year for most people. In a way, it’s been a year of loss—both intentional and non-intentional. So, let’s talk about those intentional losses.
What did you let go of this year? Try to think of something a year ago that was taking up a lot of space in your brain—something you were wasting energy on trying to fix, avoid or cope with. This could have been a negative mindset or a job position you held that just wasn’t working out. Take yourself back to how you felt before you let go of it, for just a moment, and compare how you felt then to how you feel now that you’re liberated.
Let me explain something that I like to live by: Everything in life from what we eat to what we say and do will either cleanse or clog us. For instance, if you eat an apple, will it cleanse or clog you? Will listening to your friend complain for an hour about the same things she has always complained about cleanse or clog you?
Inevitably, there are things in our lives that are clogs. By eliminating 8 out of 10 clogs, we can drastically increase our well-being.
What is still hanging around from 2020 that you do not want to clog up 2021?
Write down as many clogs as you can think of in each area of your life. Now, I'm not suggesting you have to be perfect. Perfection is actually a clog in itself because it lacks balance. So what I do is link my cleanse-or-clog method with the “80/20 rule.” 80% of my choices are cleanses and 20% are clogs. That means I give myself quite a bit of leeway for clogs while still having mostly cleanses.
Imagine in your career if you made cleansing, connected choices at least 80% of the time? And you did that for at least 45 days? How different would your life be after 45 days?
As you we enter 2021, what situations do you need to let go of? Who are some people in your life that you need to distance yourself from? What beliefs are no longer serving you that you need to let go of?
Your life is a menu and you are the only one that makes the decisions about what items are available to you.
Now You’re Ready Once you’ve completed these exercises, you will be more than ready for the new year. You’ve let yourself truly reflect on what you’ve accomplished over the last year, which will help you understand what goals will best serve you in 2021.
Do you want to learn more about thriving in the new year? Or maybe you just want a leg up on your personal development? Order my book, Conscious Communications, on Amazon. If you’re interested in working with me in 2021 to learn how to embrace empathetic communication at your business, book a call with me today.