I love the energy of a new year in the same way I love Mondays. Fresh starts. Purposeful focus. Renewed energy.
2020 was a challenging year for us all. Personally I feel like there were several months of 2020 I struggled to just keep my head above water, something that I often don’t notice while I’m going through it, only in retrospect. I said goodbye to both my dad and my grandma, and had two contracts on our house fall through. Those are life altering events on their own, so on top of a global pandemic, it was heavier to carry than I let myself know at times.
While a new year does not rid us of challenging situations or emotions, it’s still a fresh start, a chance to take control of my focus and redirect my energy.
2020 was one of the biggest growth years of my life. I learned a lot about myself, about boundaries, and life in general. I gained more compassion, perspective, and confidence. I am taking those, tucking them in my heart, and moving forward.
Ironically my first step in moving forward is spending some time contemplating the past year. Where did I thrive? Living out my priority of family time. Consistency with exercise. Where did I struggle? Setting boundaries on social media. People pleasing. With a thorough picture of strength, weaknesses, and lessons learned, I feel I can launch into the new year with purpose and intention.
So, 2021. Here are my thoughts.
Daily delete. Someone help me and tell me who came up with the concept, because I heard it somewhere on the internet. The original concept is to go through your camera roll once every single day and delete pictures that aren’t worth keeping. Some suggest even filing the ones you want to keep into categories. Personally, I will delete the ones I don’t want, then upload the family album contenders to Dropbox.
I plan to take the concept a step further and remove one thing from the house every single day. Clutter drives me insane, so everyday one item will either be donated or tossed. I have a huge bin of kids clothes waiting for me to post on Kidizen. I’m starting with that, even if it means posting only one per day.
Reading. For me. For the kids. For David. I was inspired by this Wellness Mama podcast in which she talks about how their book budget is the only budget line that doesn’t have a limit. Every single year I want to read more but this year I’m going to make it happen by joining the girls daily for 30 minutes of reading (built into our daily charts), keeping the living room coffee table littered with books, keeping a book with me at all times so I pick it up instead of my phone, and tracking them on Goodreads. I’ve already finished my first book of the year- The New Rules of Aging Well– an easy read with solid and actionable tips on how to live healthier and age gracefully. Yesterday I began my second book – The Lazy Genius Way – a book I’m finding to be a great one to start the year with!
In-person community. I know we are all probably aching for this on one level or another; I’m no different. While things certainly aren’t back to normal, a group of girlfriends and I are talking about implementing a monthly coffee date in the driveway, complete with hot coffee and camping chairs. Another girlfriend and I went on a long walk yesterday and I hope to do much more of that. It’s never easy to coordinate getting together with friends, but I it is always worth it.
Time blocking. The concept of budgeting your day like you do your money, and giving every hour a name is a habit that worked for me in the past. I fell off the wagon and never got back on, until now. While it sounds intense, it actually is really freeing for me and allows me to prioritize and fit in the things that are important to me. It does not mean every hour is jam-packed; as sometimes I budget an hour for folding laundry and listening to a podcast. Time blocking just guarantees I make it happen.
Less stuff; more experiences. In our State of the Family members Facebook group we talked about how lack of experiences in 2020 led David and I to spend money on things that are not important to us. Call it retail therapy, but buying things to try and fill the experience gap left us feeling incredibly unsatisfied and annoyed at our wasting of money. This year we are bringing experiences back. On the books we have a ski trip, a camping trip, a family girls’ mountain getaway, and hopefully our first dude ranch experience with my family.
Develop a new hands-on skill. Contenders include sewing (now that I have my Nannie’s sewing machine serviced and ready to go), gardening, crocheting, or canning. Maybe all of them, but I’m not going to set my expectations too high.
Part of me wants to continue listing stuff I want to bring into my life (like meditation, journaling, etc), but I don’t have concrete plans to include those, so I’ll keep them floating around in my mind as options to pull into my life, but I don’t want to overwhelm myself in the first month of the year (something I have a tendency to do).
And with all of it written out, I feel like I’m ready to step forward into this new year! We started homeschool back yesterday and was really pleased with the girls’ overall positive attitude with it- maybe I wasn’t the only one ready to get back to a routine?
Share with me- do you an intention, a goal, or a word for 2021?