Updated: Feb 6
Creating a plan for how to approach the year ahead
With a few days into February, I have come to the realization that I still have not started my plans for 2021. Maybe it’s because of the riots at the Capitol, the ongoing pandemic, or maybe it’s the placement of the moon; I’m not sure. All I know is that my brain has short-circuited with the constant bombardment of monumental events and I feel the urge to plan ahead. For anyone who can relate, read on for helpful questions to ponder when considering how you want to mark 2021.
What is within your control?
2020 was the perfect demonstration of how life is not always in our control; sickness changed the course of many lives, has taken others, tension burst within the political atmosphere, and the weather continues to showcase symptoms of capitalistic abuse. Every update I got from the news felt as random as Bitlife, and 2021 seems to be living up to that reputation so far. The year was truly a testament to how well people adapt to change and the cards they have been dealt with. Assess what is within your immediate control; the content you consume, how you spend your day today, the situations you choose to focus on, how you present yourself, etc. What things can you personally change in 2021 to bring you closer to your ideal version of yourself?
What personal goals do you have for yourself? What goal can I set for myself to meet by the end of the year to ensure I stay on track?
Consider what long term goals you have; do not be shy to include personal dreams! With time and patience, dreams can become a reality. It's just about setting smaller goals on the way. This may include reading a set amount of books by the end of the year or learning a new language. What milestone can you hit by the end of 2021?
Further questions to ask when considering this:
What skills do I want to build this year?
What things do I want to learn?
This can be as simple as learning how to do a split! My goal is to flex on everyone when the club opens by dropping into a split. For the time being, I am working towards actually being able to open my legs that wide.
What behaviors would you like to see change about yourself?
If you’re anything like me, this prolonged period of social isolation has probably served as a revelation to personal quirks or behaviors that you do not like. It’s okay, we are all human, prone to mistakes and problematic behavior. It does not make you a bad person (as I’ve had to frequently remind myself during many self-deprecating bouts), it’s just character development. Our favorite protagonists would not have the reserve they have had it not been for all mishaps on their journey. What small changes can you make to recognize and eventually change undesirable behaviors?
What habits do you want to get rid of? What habits do you want to gain?
They usually say it takes about 3 weeks to create a new habit, and about 3 months to make it a lifestyle change. Taking that into consideration, you can start about 17 new habits this year!
Only if you’re a robot.
The reality is we may only have the capacity to drop one or two habits and gain a couple. These are still indicators of progress, however, and celebrating the small gains serves as a motivation to keep moving forward.
How can you love yourself better this year?
Most importantly, what activities help replenish your energy? How can you balance your days so you’re not overexerting yourself, in relationships, at work, school, etc.? It is important to remember that we are not machines made to complete tasks on autopilot; that will take a giant toll on your mental health. Take it easy and be patient with your journey. Implement daily self-care practices to reinforce that extension of self-love and state your intentions everyday.
Creating the Vision
Now that you have asked the most important questions, create a visual board for all your personal goals this year. Get creative and use magazine cutouts, stickers, paints, or any other medium you can think of to outline how you want your year to go. Invite friends or family during this activity and encourage them to think about how they can make this year a bit better than 2020. Make sure this is an activity you enjoy! Your life is something to get excited about!
Every time you look at your vision board, you will be reminded of your intentions for the year. Even if you find you aren't working towards your goals every day, it will remain a theme running in the back of your mind. With time and practice, you will get closer to creating the reality you once envisioned in your imagination.
What goals are you currently working towards? How can you bring that closer to a reality in 2021?