Some of us have been counting down to next year since March.
Others have already put up the Christmas tree.
Some of us have detoxed from social media.
Others bought a Peloton.
We’ve all found coping methods this year, and if it works (and it’s relatively healthy), stay the course.
But if you’re thinking ahead to 2021 and long for a better future, let’s try a weekend reset.
On Saturday, Forgive
When you grieve this year (and if you haven’t yet done that, it’s probably time), try to face what hurts the most. Maybe it’s the trips you didn’t take, the friends your children didn’t make, or the missed milestones that you looked forward to (for years). Perhaps you’re mourning the routines you relied upon, collective cynicism, your sense of security, or your job.
Choose three things to forgive — we all have at least three, even if we escaped 2020’s turmoil relatively unscathed. Forgive the hurt, forgive the intent, forgive the animosity, forgive the situation, forgive the outcome.
It’s no easy feat, and it’s not a one-and-done, but the headway you can make in one weekend can be life-changing. You’ll feel lighter, your shoulders will drop, your face will soften, and you’ll breathe deeper. And, over time, you’ll heal, find gratitude, see possibilities, and be more open to the present moment.
It’s not perfect, but it’s a start. Complete the process by journaling to strengthen your resolve, burning a candle to envision what you let go (watch it symbolically float away in the smoke), or clean, rearrange, and smudge your house to encourage new energy.
On Sunday, Prepare
What three things do you most want before year-end? Not what would be nice, but what would notably turn this year around and is also within your control?
It might help to make an exhaustive list, then theme or prioritize what comes up before deciding. Or, if what you want is so big or significant that you can’t achieve it by year-end, consider where you want to kickstart 2021.
When you’ve narrowed it down to three, evaluate each one by asking the following seven questions:
- How can I get there faster?
- What has to change?
- Who has already done this?
- What do I need to know?
- What is standing in my way?
- What beliefs are incompatible with this?
- What milestones will confirm that I’m on track?
It helps to write down your answers or capture key phrases. It’s important to organize your thoughts and measure progress over time.
Have you ever found a journal entry dated a few months before? When you read it, you remember how lost or uncertain you felt at the time, but those feelings turn to pride as you realize how far you’ve come? It can be inspiring to track your development.
It seems like a lot, 21 questions, but planning is essential. You know that old adage that says Average Americans plan their vacations more thoughtfully than their futures? Don’t be average. Or how about the quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln, Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.
The takeaway is, of course, that planning is the most requisite ingredient to success. The clearer you are about what you want and where you’re going, the easier it will be to capitalize on opportunities, stay motivated for the long haul, and understand how to proceed no matter what comes (ahem, pandemic).
Take time to plan your Top 3 by using the seven questions listed above to build clarity and enthusiasm. Let go of your desire to control how to make it happen and instead focus on your answers. They will guide you to where you need to be.