Despite it being the year that no one was expecting, we can all learn a lot from 2020. The end of the year, and especially this challenging year, is always a good moment to pause and consider what has been lost, gained and discovered thus far – and where to go from here.
It is important to take care of ourselves holistically, including our mental/spiritual, physical and social well-being aspects. Achieving optimal well-being is not only good for your health, it also affects your ability to achieve your other goals. By becoming the best version of yourself, you will be setting yourself up for success in everything you do. And isn´t that exactly what you want for 2021?!
To ensure a fresh new start for the New Year, you should make sure you have no unfinished business. To start 2021 the right way, let´s finish 2020 with a positive outlook. These 5 exercises to end 2020 in a great way will help you to do just that!
Evaluate your year for the good
Last year I wrote a similar blog, but it is useful repeating these exercises every year, evaluate last year’s exercises, see what you have achieved and what there is left to do. You will learn a lot by evaluating your year using the exercises below. With each one you will learn something about yourself, making it easier to be positive and happier.
So, grab a notebook, a cup of tea or coffee and write down what the last 12 months have brought you.
1. What have you achieved this year?
What have you achieved today, this week, this month, this year, throughout your life? Sometimes it is very difficult to answer this question. However, it can be very helpful to really focus on what you’ve accomplished.
If you don’t really acknowledge these things, you can feel disappointed with your life. Yet when you do reflect on what you’ve already achieved in your life, a shift starts to happen, and you soon start to believe in your ability to achieve more.
So, I would like to encourage you to really focus on what you’ve accomplished this year. When you focus on your achievements, you naturally become eager to achieve more and more of the things you want!
One of the goals I wrote down on my last year’s list was spending more real quality time with my children. In previous years I have been so busy that there never seemed enough time to do this, so my goal for 2020 was to try harder to achieve this. And I succeeded! Maybe not completely thanks to my own efforts ;-), but more so because we were forced to stay at home due to lock down. This meant home schooling, doing lots of crafts, playing games, making Tic Toc´s, reading stories, watching movies, doing yoga together… I thoroughly enjoyed this time with the children and I will try to keep doing this in 2021, lock down or not!
2. What did you not achieve this year?
Maybe a less fun exercise, but also relevant and very useful, ask yourself what you did not achieve over the past year. Which of your 2020 resolutions have you failed to achieve? Maybe you wanted to lose weight, but you have gained weight instead, or you wanted to start your own company, but you are still working for your boss?
The purpose of this exercise is not to punish yourself for the things you have not achieved. That´s life. However, you can learn from it. Why have you not achieved these goals? What factors have prevented you from reaching these goals? Do you still want to achieve these goals? If so, what can you do this year to make sure they really happen? Maybe now is the right time to really get started!
One of my goals last year was finding new opportunities for the business; expanding, establishing our own wellness retreat or maybe even a concept lifestyle shop dedicated to wellness. Unfortunately this has not worked out quite as planned. The company I have together with my sister has suffered greatly from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our company is dedicated to offering wellness holidays and travel has become quite impossible this past year. We had to put our two lovely colleagues Christian and Marta on furlough, we had to quite the rent of our office; everything to keep the costs as low as possible to be able to survive this crisis. Keeping the enthusiasm and motivation and faith has been quite a struggle…. But we do not want the company to go under. We have had it for 10 years and worked very hard to get where we are. So, my sister and I will do everything in our power to keep SIS alive in 2021!
3. What have you learned?
I think it’s so important to take note of what you’ve learned over the past 12 months in order to move forward properly. You have probably experienced some ups and downs, especially in this challenging and weird year, and what you have learned from this can prepare you for the future.
If you had to write down 3 things that you have learned over the past year, what would they be?
Maybe, this past year has shown you how little you need – or, rather, how much you have. When lock down started, we were all wrapped up in this big toilet paper buying debacle. Creating the fear that we would get stuck without some of our life essentials with panic buying as a consequence. Empty shelves in the super markets taught us to live with what we have. To share what we have with others, to donate when and where we can to charity and animal rescue centres, to buy local – whenever we can – in a bid to support small and local businesses.
Or maybe the past year and because of Corona and your limited freedom (no more parties, no social appointments and no events), has taught you how nice it was that you didn’t have to go out. And that happiness is not (only) in the outside world. You might have felt how much happiness there is within your home, and within yourself. Has your life not become much richer and freer by realizing this? The choices of your old life might have been alluring, but an excess of options can sometimes also be paralyzing.
Personally, I have learned that real-life connection is the essence of wellbeing. And, while WhatsApp messaging and virtual meetings with friends via Zoom is better than no contact at all, this past year has made me realise that there’s no comparison for time spent together IN REAL LIFE. To hug my loved ones, to be there for one another, present and in the moment.
Also I had to accept that dreaming about future plans is, suddenly uncertain because I have no idea what the world will look like in a few months. What have I learned from his? To take it one day at a time, living in the now. Make plans for today, and at most for tomorrow. Don´t look forward to something that might or might not take place in the future, but enjoy what is here and now.
Now write down some learning points unique to yourself. You might discover something interesting. It´s fun evaluating your life this way, because from these ´learning points´ you will discover new things. You will start to recognize these learning points in your daily life, making it possible to digest even more.
4. What would you have done differently?
There´s a good chance that not everything went according to plan over the year. Which things would you have done differently? Maybe you let someone steal your dreams by listening to their ‘meaningful’ advice, and now you wished you followed your own path? Maybe you had a fight with someone you love and did not see that person again, but you do want this person back in your life? Maybe you feel you have performed poorly at work and now you wished you had worked a bit harder?
Don´t put yourself down for all of the ´mistakes´ you´ve made. The purpose of this exercise is to face these energy-consuming things in your life and then park them. Write down what you would have liked to have done differently. Then be creative and think how you can still make up for your ´mistakes´. Contact your loved one and settle the argument, you can explain to your boss why you have not been so effective at work and that you regret it. And you can still chase your dreams, don´t listen to ´sensible´ others, but trust your own inner voice!
In my case I noticed that home schooling and keeping the children entertained is very satisfying but also costs a lot of energy, energy I lacked to put in 100% at work. But, now I am all back on track, I am going for it again, for the full 100%!
5. What would you like the New Year to bring you?
I give every New Year a ´theme´. This year my theme was ´being grateful for my new life and spending more time with my loved ones ´, for the coming year my theme will be ´not to worry about what the future will bring and enjoying what is here and now with my nearest and dearest.´
What will your theme be? What do you want to achieve and what do you want to experience? Will your theme be love, independence, freedom, success or something else? Find out for yourself what you really need for the coming year and focus your strategy on that.
Then develop a list of three goals. One related to your job or work, one related to your loved ones or friends and one related to your body and health. Make sure that these ´resolutions´ fit in with your annual theme. Make these three goals your mission for the New Year.
My three goals will be:
I am so grateful for the company I have together with my sister now for 10 years already and for working with her and some other wonderful ladies. I will do everything I can to make SIS survive and would like to find a new challenge within the work field and company.
I will try not to worry about what the future will bring and enjoy all the time I can spend with my partner, children and family in the here and now. Seize the day!
I will look after my own and my loved ones’ health. A healthy diet is very important, I will try to make as many home cooked meals as possible to provide my family with healthy yet delicious meals! Another important aspect of a healthy lifestyle is spending time outdoors being active. I love doing this together with my family and friends; hiking, cycling, swimming, camping whilst enjoying the beautiful coast or countryside.
Good luck and enjoy doing your 5 exercises to end 2020 in a great way, if you think about it a little you will realize it is not that difficult 😉
All that is left is to wish you a great New Year!
I, together with all of your SISters in Wellness, would like to wish you a beautiful and exciting New Year. It will be a great year! Whatever will happen to you and whatever you will experience, you know you will learn from it and you will grow from it. We also hope that over the coming year we can inspire you to become a better and happier you!
Written by your SISter in Wellness Femke