Y'all it's January 1, 2021. This year is unprecedented in my personal history, but I also want to acknowledge my privilege in being able to say that. There are many folks living in countries impacted by war, genocide, slavery, meddling by the Global North, dictatorships, etc. where COVID was probably just another shitty thing in a long list of shitty things already impacting their lives. Looking at the big picture, my year was pretty decent. It was pretty great in fact.
REFLECTING ON 2020 AND BELONGING
My 2020 word was Belonging, and I created four “feelings goals” and actions to go along with those to further guide my year. I used a simple photo album to document these goals and my year, which fell apart once I ran out of pre-printed cards, and COVID picked up speed. And I wrote more about this whole process here.
One of the most important parts about setting goals or intentions is reflecting on the results. I am shit at that part. But this year, I created a whole club - with other people and everything - to help me do that. And it worked! Having that accountability and space each month to talk about goals and plans and what worked or didn’t work, and next steps, was super important. I feel like this was the first year in my life where I was able to give myself the space and time to reflect on the big goals and smaller action items. It made it much easier to move forward with successes, and cut off the things that weren’t working, or stopped making sense.
It’s been fun to look back at those goals, especially through the lens of a pandemic. In fact, the upheaval of this year has really shown me the importance of setting goals, or aspirations, or whatever you want to call them, with a flexible attitude. Having rigid goals or expectations would have resulted in big disappointment this year, but I was more than able to adjust to the reality of our new covid normal, while still maintaining the overall goal/themes I wanted to see for my year. I have added some time in my calendar to reflect more on 2020 before I jump head first into 2021, so I won’t be diving into that here. But I am always open for questions about my process!
2021 WILL BE RADICAL
Y’all, I 100% put way more time and effort and thought into choosing a word than probably most people. I see folks write out “Believe, I will believe in myself”. And here I have 30 google tabs open with all current and historical definitions of the word, quotes by famous people, images that are inspiring, and scratch pads filled with synonyms, antonyms, and the unintended negative consequences that may possibly arise from choosing a particular word. If that was exhausting to read, it is even more exhausting to be inside my brain.
A lot of the words I was feeling drawn to had mixed meanings, or were opposites of other words I wrote out. Close meaning “nearby” and also “not open”. Organize my home or organize in my community. I attribute some of this to my Libra nature, but most of it to the feeling of ambivalence that has come with living in (through) 2020. In our final Accountability Club meeting of the year, I told the group that it was absolutely okay to celebrate the big wins we had this year, while also mourning the immense losses. That is a really weird feeling. And it is absolutely okay to feel that weird shit.
I am bringing this weird ass feeling of ambivalence into 2021, because I absolutely do not want to get complacent and forget all the lessons I personally am taking from 2020. I am also being a little bit BOLD with this word selection, and trying to prepare myself mentally for Radical to kick my ass. I learned my lesson years ago that choosing a word is as much about inviting good as it is about navigating the unforeseen.
PLANNING IT OUT
Last year I did feelings words for the year, and then built some actions around them. It worked out really really great. This year, I am not feeling the feelings goals. This feels like an ACTION year, like a doing year. But part of the ambivalence I mentioned earlier is that I recognize more than ever my need to reflect, pause, and slow the fuck down. My plan is to build out some active goals, while also respecting my need for radical rest.
Something specific I have already started to block out time for is a big goal I am calling “12 Projects”. A month is a good amount of time to complete a “larger” project, maybe one requiring a few hours of solid work at a time. Or weekend access to a hardware store. Or drying time in between coats. I started this list with one project around the house, and then I easily added 5 more. I wasn’t intending on it to be a 12 Projects Around The House list, and while it is so far, I still have a few spots left to fill on the list.
Using my Get To Work Book to plan out my time and my goals for the past two - going on three - years has been a huge helper. My anxiety levels go way down just looking at it. It provides a lovely guide, and I never feel guilt or obligation if I don’t check off everything on a given day. There is a calming, self-soothing feeling about adding items here. It has been a great tool for me. I have added another planner to help me out with my long term Not Ladylike Community goals. Having two books feels better for my brain than always being on the computer, but time will tell.
The photo album trend is here to stay, but I am really missing doing the journaling work that used to accompany my words. No magic solution has presented itself yet, so I am still thinking on this one. I also miss creating mini albums, so I might have to see about marrying the two. Will report back, don’t you worry ;-)
My 2021 Pinterest board. (Building a yearly Pinterest board around my Word is a fave tradition.)
All of my musings on my past Words live on the old blog, but don't worry I linked all of that here for you!