Every January I begin my new year posts with a sentence that reads “omg I can’t believe it’s already the new year”! 2020, however, is a different story. This year was a lot to process in every way, so I’m glad to put the year behind me. In that same vein, I find it really interesting that it’s been difficult for me to come up with intentions for 2021.
Normally, I am full of energy and excitement at the start of a new year, but this year I hit a bit of an inspiration block. Maybe I’m still trying to process the events of 2020, or maybe it’s just the phase of life I’m in. Either way, every time I tried to come up with goals or even just a word of the year, I came up empty.
Reflecting on 2020
I think the best way to look forward is to reflect on what we put in our past, and 2020 gave me (and the rest of the world) a lot to think about. My yoga teacher this weekend spoke about resilience in our class devoted to setting intentions, and that resonated a lot with me in thinking about 2020. After re-reading my post regarding my goals for 2020, I was amazed to see that I actually accomplished most of the things I set out to accomplish.
I was somehow able to hit my savings goal and read six books (and I rediscovered Goodreads!). I didn’t get to plan a non-family trip (bc pandemic, obviously), but I did get to explore new parts of the midwest when I went to visit Michael in Indiana for our five year anniversary. Finally, I set out to develop more healthy habits. In the wake of my gym closing, I started my Yoga Teacher Training journey! The only goal I didn’t quite meet was my last one regarding blogging and my career. I think that’s one that I will be continually working on throughout the decade.
I’m not trying to brag, but I am really proud of myself for hitting these goals this year. Even though I’m normally much harder on myself, I’m trying to give myself grace. (My friend Caitlyn reminded me in her 2020/2021 blog post that we should be doing this every year!) Celebrating every win is important, no matter the size. Even though I didn’t hit the goals in the way I anticipated, they’re still cause for celebration.
Intentions for 2021
On that note, I felt like I was hitting a wall when it came to setting intentions for 2021. Because 2020 was so unpredictable, it’s increasingly difficult for me to imagine what is happening in the next month, much less what I can accomplish in a whole year! That’s why I’m taking a bit of a different approach. Instead of setting concrete, specific goals (which are normally a trademark of my personality), I’m going into 2021 with this intention in mind:
“I trust life to reveal what is meant for me and remove what is not.”
It might be a little vague, but this resonates with me so much. As I predicted, the 2020s are shaping up to be a decade of self-discovery. Self-discovery means there are still unknowns. And that’s okay. I think school teaches us to search for milestone after milestone, but once we launch into the real world, these milestones don’t really exist as concretely. I’ll be the first to admit that the year saw me feeling a little lost, since I didn’t have a detailed plan laid out for the next five years. I am fortunate enough to have the means to effectively do whatever I want to do (post-pandemic), which is simultaneously exciting and terrifying. And there is so much I want to do, with no real timeline or carved-out path for how to do it. The idea of unlimited choice can be paralyzing, and it was for me this year.
However, if COVID is teaching me anything, it’s that sometimes all you need is a shift in perspective. Like accepting the fact that WFH has an indefinite timeline, I’m accepting that not every milestone will be apparent to me immediately. Sometimes things pop up out of the blue. Good things. Bad things. Things meant to grow and change us. And all we can do is be ready when they come to us.
I’m not saying that setting goals is necessarily bad, or that I’m changing everything about my approach to the new year. I still set a new reading goal for the year, and I’ll be setting a savings goal as well. I will still be working hard at my job, and I will still be doing all I can to deepen my understanding of the world in any way I can. I’m graduating from Yoga Teacher Training this April, and I set a goal of finding some way to teach fully certified before the year is up. (and YES, I am trying to revive my blog this year! Send me post ideas!)
All I’m saying is that this year, I’m setting intentions to just go with the flow, and prepare the best I can to ensure I’m in the best position to tackle whatever comes my way. I may not have big, over-arching goals for 2021 that will redirect my life in a particular direction, but I do have faith that it will turn out the way it should. Like I always say, I’m just happy to be here, and I hope you find that in the new year too.