Reflect, Set Intentions, Take Action, Begin Again
I've spent the last week and a half in deep contemplation about this last year of my life. This is pretty typical for me this time of year. There's something about the changing of numbers from year to year that makes me pause. I'm sure it does for most of us. It's this weird vortex where we often forget what day it is and the week seems to fly by and before we know it, we are here, with the promise of a new year laid out in front of us. What I've been thinking most about this time around, is how do I honor the previous and also create the new? How do I reflect and see and learn from 2020, and then take that reflecting learning and seeing to make something that propels me forward? Below is my process for finishing one year and starting the next.
Step 1: Reflect. Look back on the previous year. What did you celebrate? Build? Learn? Create? Lose? Gain? Suck at? It's important to look at it from all angles.
In 2020 I celebrated:
- 3 new engagements in my family!
-4 new babies born within our close circle of friends
-2 pregnancy announcements from dear friends
- Taking yoga classes ALL OVER the globe!
- Starting 1 Yoga Teaching Collective
In 2020 I failed at:
- getting people to sign up for a program I launched
- reaching my goal of holding a handstand for more then 1/2 a second
- getting veterans to stay here successfully at our property
- apologizing to the people I need to apologize to
- speaking my truth 100% of the time
- being 100% good with social distancing (just being honest)
- listening more than speaking
In 2020 I built:
- 2 creative spaces to do yoga: an outdoor stage and a shipping container
- 1 pull-up bar for working out
- and GREW my business
- a stronger marriage
In 2020 I learned:
- how to do a kipping pullup
- how to do double unders on a jump rope
- how to up my handstand game
- I am more resilient that I knew
- to trust myself on a whole new level
- how to create and send a newsletter
- how to build and manage a website
- how to teach effectively on Zoom
- how to make sourdough bread
- I can teach and practice ANYWHERE.
In 2020 I let go of:
- Working with a business that was no longer serving my best interests
- Controlling people and/or outcomes I have no control over
- fretting over people/relationships that ultimately didn't matter or had no impact on my life
- resentment and guilt
In 2020 1:
- taught 331 classes
- sent 34 newsletters
- read 25 1/2 books
- completed 5 puzzles
Just like any other year, there was a lot of celebration and accomplishment and also a lot of sadness and hard times and letting go. Even amidst a pandemic, I was reminded that the years go on and really we're always in this dance of holding grief and joy, letting go and holding on, creating ease and working our asses off. It just takes different shapes and forms year to year.
Once, I reflect on the year, I move to step 2: Set Intentions for the year ahead.
For me personally, this comes in the form of one word. It's been a tradition now for 5 years, started by a dear mentor of mine. From my reflection, I think and look toward what I want to create. What am I hoping to manifest? What I am hoping to see by the end of the next year? What would make me happy looking back a year from now?
I always say the word chooses me. I might pick it, and yet it always surprises me with the ways it weaves itself into my life. This year, my word is COURAGE. I saw this process of being courageous begin for me this year. Believe it or not, I can be a pretty timid person when it comes to approaching hard conversations or owning up to my stuff. I'm a peacekeeper. I like to keep the peace. I like to keep everybody happy.
This year has shown me that keeping everybody else happy costs me my own happiness.
So I've started toward the waters of courage. I've put my big toe in. This year, I'm diving in fully. I'm dunking my head under. That is my intention this year.
Step 3: Take ACTION
This step, to me, is the key of all keys. I can have all the nice beautiful intentions in the world and if I don't move on these, they go nowhere. They're just nice thoughts. My courageous actions so far this New Year?
1.) Committing to apologizing to the people I've wronged and NOT WAITING to have those conversations
2.) Taking a 30 second cold shower each morning and exploring cold immersion. (this is probably THE most courageous thing I could possible do- and it's already upping my mental game and capacity!)
3.) Owning when I screw up, mess up, fail, lie, gossip, or do anything else out of line with what I stand for.
4.) Speaking my truth. If I don't want to be somewhere, not making an excuse, but speaking straight.
Those are the examples that work for me. The biggest thing I think about when taking action is: what is one thing I can do that would be in the direction of my word/intention (this year: courage) and then I go do it.
Step 4: Begin Again.
Ok, maybe this is the most important. At some point, maybe today, maybe in 5 minutes, maybe in 5 days, I'm going to mess up or fail at one of the above actions. Or I'm going to forget my intentions. It's human nature. This is when I remind myself to begin again. The beauty of a New Year is it is a reminder that we can ALWAYS start over at any time. Don't like the way the conversation is going? Start over.
I do this with my hubby all the time. He is not a morning person and I am, so inevitably, he'll get up, bleary eyed, and I'll try to plan 10 things with him and he's still just processing being awake. The moment I catch the look in his eye, I pause, and I literally say, "let's start over. Good morning, honey! How did you sleep?" Sometimes spinning in a circle helps, too. A literal physical reset.
Beginning again is the best gift you can give yourself and it can happen at ANY time.
There's my process of how I move out of one year and into another. I hope it gave you insight into your own life, what you've learned, and what you're hoping to take with you into 2021.
I think especially with all of us dealing with a hell of a last year and all the darkness and sorrow and hard times it brought, this work can be a good reminder that none of it is really new- it's just magnified right now. We can't forget to also see the good, and to remember- always- no matter what- we can start over wherever we want, whenever we want and as often as needed. Reflect. Set Intentions. Take Action. Begin Again.
Until next week,