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Hindsight is 2020: Reviewing the Global Pandemic Year

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language

And next year’s words await another voice.

And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

-T.S. Eliot

They say hindsight is 2020…

Cheers to reflecting upon the past year and looking ahead to 2021. 2020 was truly unlike any other year. We have all heard the word “unprecedented” on repeat when describing this year of living through a global pandemic, a very heated election and social justice issues coming to the forefront in our society. For some, this year meant losses in both big and small ways...loss of loved ones, the loss of jobs, and the loss of missed opportunities, social gatherings, and time spent in a pre-COVID-19 lifestyle in general. The year 2020 also meant really slowing down, getting extremely creative with how to spend time, and seeing others in a “socially distant” manner. It allowed many of us to take a good hard look at what matters most. I imagine if you look back on this year, though you will find scary, lonely and traumatic moments, you will ALSO find beauty in the simplicity of what so many of us were forced to alter in our everyday lives. So before we close (or slam) the door on 2020, pause, take a breath and reflect upon what you learned. Open up your journal or simply ask yourself…

1. How would I do 2020 differently if given the opportunity?

2. What is the most important lesson I learned this year?

3. What did I let go of?

4. What am I most thankful for?

Bring these thoughts into your awareness in 2021 with an open mind and heart (and check out this list for many more thought-provoking questions!) As we move ahead into 2021, instead of claiming a resolution that will add more stress to your already stress-filled life, let's do something different. Check out these 8 simple intentions listed below meant to add quality to your life in a way that feels manageable. To set yourself up for success, focus on ONE item at a time.

1. Instead of starting a journaling practice/meditation routine try journaling just one line per day, or meditating for two minutes each morning.

2. Instead of going on a diet or eating “healthier”, try incorporating one new recipe each week.

3. Instead of getting more sleep, try committing to a desired bedtime just two nights a week.

4. Instead of starting an exercise routine, try spending a few minutes each evening planning out how you can move your body the following day (and setting out appropriate workout attire for a visual reminder when you wake up!)

5. Instead of saving more money/getting out of debt, try implementing a given number of no-spend days each month.

6. Instead of traveling more, try creating a list of local activities or social distance-friendly travel that you want to do. Hang the list up and see how many you can do by the end of 2021.

7. Instead of getting more organized, try reading Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” for inspiration.

8. Instead of spending more time with family/friends/loved ones, try simply making a list of people you want to connect or reconnect with this year. Remember to be creative about how you can do so safely- sending an actual letter in the mail or scheduling a face-time date.

When goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound), such as these, we are more likely to achieve them. For more ideas, check out this article on downsizing your resolution.

So, as you ponder your New Year's resolution(s) or ways you would like to begin or improve upon this upcoming year, start small and take it one day at a time, because “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” -Lao Tzu.

new years during the pandemic 2021
Reflect on the unprecedented year of the global pandemic and set manageable intentions for 2021. Start small, stay mindful, and embrace new beginnings.


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