Happy 2021! One of my favorite things to do at the start of a new year is look back on the last year. As tempting as it might be to quickly turn the page (especially on 2020!), I enjoy finding Stillness to reflect on the previous year and think about the lessons learned.
My intention for 2020 was minimalism. I wanted to reduce the clutter in my house, use products with minimal ingredients, and unsubscribe from anything that didn’t bring me joy. What I didn’t expect was COVID-19 giving me such an opportunity to take a minimalist approach to my schedule and life as well!
Looking back, I’m proud of how consistently I focused on minimalism throughout the year (it’s one of the reasons I love setting annual intentions). I hauled dozens of boxes to charity, remodeled my home office with a simple decor, cut my jewelry in half, and significantly reduced my overwhelming stack of books I’d been accumulating since college.
I also wanted to commit to eating clean food and using chemical-free products. This has been an adventure and a daily choice. I have a solid routine for eating unprocessed foods with minimal ingredients, but finding cosmetics and household products has been more challenging. (I love the shampoo and skin care products I‘ve found. I’m still on the hunt for a conditioner and mascara!)
The Value of Reflection
For me, looking back is not about success or failure, and it’s not about grading myself. (Ok, well it’s a little bit about that. My dad was a principal and superintendent, and my mom was a teacher. I like getting the gold star when I’ve earned it!)
Looking back is about celebrating the effort I made and acknowledging everything that was hard. Every year has obstacles and situations where choices must be made. By learning from those challenges, you can be more intentional about the future. You can’t control everything that happens in a year, but you always control how you respond and you always choose how to move forward.
Thoughtfully Fit Ten-Minute Workout
This one will take more than a minute, so we changed it from a one-minute to ten-minute workout!
Pause. Take a moment to stop the busy.
Think. Reflect on 2020 by considering the following questions:
- What are you most proud of? (Seriously, toot your own horn a bit here! Even if you don’t tell anyone else, give yourself a pat on the back! Though I encourage you to tell at least one other person so they can celebrate you!)
- What obstacles did you encounter this year? How did you handle them? (Everyone has obstacles. Obstacles aren’t a reflection on you, it only means that you are human. Take some time to define what was difficult and how you approached those challenges.)
- How would you describe YOU in 2020? (Don’t describe the year. Describe you. Who were you in 2020?)
- What do you want to keep from 2020? (In other words, what do you want to carry forward into 2021?)
- If you set an intention for the year, what do you want to celebrate? What did you learn? (Your interpretation of your intention might be different from what you pictured at the start of last year. That was certainly the case for me! So give yourself latitude as you think about this!)
Act. Set your intention for this year, using the new awareness you now have.
Intentions for 2021
Curious how to set your intention? Stay tuned, as next week I’ll share my intention for this year as well as some questions you can use to set your annual intention. Until then, find some Stillness to reflect on the last year. Let me know what comes up for you!
Recommended App: I have a different recommendation for you this week! It’s an app that I have on my phone that allows me to scan products (food, cosmetics, shampoos, etc.) in the store and get an immediate score on how it rates in regards to chemical ingredients that could be detrimental to my health. The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. They’re a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment through research and education. I love that they are all about giving consumers factual information about products, so you can make choices.