New Year – New You
Whew! 2020 was a challenge, to say the least.
As the ball dropped to ring in 2021 you could almost hear a collective sigh of relief. The start of a new year is always a time of hope and especially so after enduring what was arguably the most difficult year in modern history. Moving into the new year, there is hope that 2021 will take us on a slow journey back to ‘normal’, and with it comes a laundry list of plans, intentions, and dreams for what lies ahead.
Honestly, I wanted this whole article to be focused on positivity and hope (don’t worry, we will get to that too) but it seems impossible not to reflect first on the challenges we all faced during 2020.
2020 was the year that forced us to learn many things that we never thought we’d have to (or wanted) to learn:
We had to learn to not touch our face and wear a mask (and even harder- remembering to always have one with you!)
We had to learn how to change our routines: cook at home, exercise at home, budget and prioritize
We had to learn how to share birthdays, anniversaries, and events from a distance and accept space from the ones we love
We had to learn how to navigate zoom and work remotely (okay, maybe some of us were happy about that one)
We had to learn to adapt.
2020 was a time of suffering for many. COVID took a drastic toll. Almost 2 million people lost their lives. So many of our friends and loved ones significantly struggled throughout the year. The toll on mental health was felt around the world, from isolation related depression, substance abuse, and extreme financial hardship. Personally, we struggled. Our doors were closed for over 6 months while we faced the uncertainty of months upon months of border closures and travel restrictions. Yet we are among the lucky ones, we were able to endure and are now offering retreats once again but many small businesses were less fortunate and forced to permanently close while unemployment reached historic levels.
Outside of COVID, 2020 also brought the Black Lives Matter movement into the spotlight as we mourned over the senseless murders of so many innocent lives. There were protests, riots, and destruction. Political turmoil and the US election had everyone on edge. We watched helplessly as fires tore through California, Australia, the Amazon.
I think it's safe to say 2020 took a dramatic toll on humanity as a whole, but 2020 also helped highlight the importance of self-care, mental health, touch, support, community, and love. It has paved the way for radical change in the way we live moving forward.
And with 2020 finally in the rearview, all eyes are on what potential 2021 can bring.
Now on to the positivity and hope: Fresh year, a fresh start. What can we do to get the most out of 2021?
First, Scrap the usual resolutions and focus on intention-based living.
New Year’s resolutions tend to set us up for failure and right now we could all use a win so instead of repeating the same resolutions that get played out year after year, let’s use this momentum of hope to set intentions for 2021.
What are Intentions?
Intentions are positive energy that you put into the universe to help manifest peace, health, happiness, and self-love. They go beyond the conventional idea of goal setting and are free from expectations. Intentions come from the heart and are not concerned with tangible outcomes (a job promotion, quitting bad habits, weight loss, etc.) An intention is something that you want to align your life with.
Put simply, a goal is the destination, an intention is the journey.
So, what kind of intentions do we want to bring with us into 2021 and why is it important? If 2020 taught us anything is that things can change dramatically and quickly. Our most valuable tool is being able to find peace among the chaos. True serenity does not come from materialistic acquisitions but by knowing we already have everything we need if we can only align with it. A new year is a great time to start an intention practice, but Intentions can and should be used often: at the start of each day, week, or month. Set them at new moons full moons, birthdays, or anniversaries. Intentions can be useful anytime, but it’s helpful if you have some kind of ritual to accompany and reinforce them.
Your intuition and the unique circumstances in your own life with guide you toward an intention that you resonates with you, but here some examples we can use going into the new year:
Intentions for 2021
I intend to be gentle with myself
I intend to stop taking things personally
I intend to love myself and others unconditionally
I intend to spread joy
I intend to release control and let the universe guide me
I intend to attract abundance and success
I intend to offer forgiveness for myself and others
I intend to release judgment against myself and others
I intend to invite peace and calm into my life
I intend to embrace and appreciate nature
I intend to embrace gratitude in my life
Habits for 2021
We're not talking about your typical resolutions here. Habits are simple practices that can have a lasting effect on overall physical and mental health. Our lives are shaped by the little decisions we make every day, so if we can shed the light of awareness onto our daily habits, we can achieve long-term benefits. Here are a few examples of habits that you can begin to implement on a daily or weekly basis to help you manifest your intention and, in the long term, reach your goals.