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As we look back, I think we can all agree that it has been a year full of unexpected surprises.
Australian wildfires, pandemic outbreak, travel restrictions, different protests and walks for freedom such as Black live matters, presidential elections, and recently, the new scandal around the integrity of our elections. Just to name a few.
It has been undoubtedly one of the most challenging years for humanity as a collective and on an individual level.
Although it has been one of the most challenging years, it has also been a year full of growth. We have been pushed to embrace uncertainty, to reevaluate and redefine our lives, to slow down and look at our shadows and the shadows of our society.
Many of these shadows are no longer hidden somewhere behind the curtain but staring us right in the face. This gives us an opportunity to face these issues and change them to what we prefer.
I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, but my intuition keeps telling me that 2020 was just a warm-up. There is still so much that needs to be dealt with. It’s usually darkest just before dawn, but overall, I believe things are changing for the better. More people than ever are now asking the right questions about government, civil rights, freedom, community, and health.
With that being said, there is no difference between a pessimist saying, “It’s hopeless so don’t bother to do anything,” and an optimist who says, “Everything is going to turn out fine anyway so no need to do anything.” Either way, nothing happens.
We need to actively participate in co-creating a better future and that starts on an individual level with each one of us.
I came to an understanding that things don’t change by fighting the old but rather by focusing on the new and solutions (without denying where we’re at right now).
We’re going to need resilience, creativity, resourcefulness, and a strong vision for a better future so that we don’t get sidetracked easily by the turmoil that may be happening externally.
We can lead by example and show that it’s possible to thrive despite the crisis or chaos. Every storm has an eye in the centre of it all and so do we. When we’re calm, it’s much easier to see the bigger picture and take the next steps with more clarity.
Even if there are circumstances that are outside of our control, we still have the power to choose how we respond, how we handle our problems and our attitude.
It is not the circumstances but our approach to them that determines the outcome.
Here are some questions to reflect on 2020 and set intentions for 2021:
What was your single biggest challenge in 2020? How did you manage to handle it?
What would you like to take with you to the next year and what would you like to leave behind?
What was your biggest blessing? What gifts have this year brought you?
In what way did you grow?
Before we define our goals for 2021, we need to define our values. And before we define our actions, we need to define our goals. You might ask, “Why is that?”
The answer is simple. Knowing what’s important and true to our hearts makes it easier to create the vision that is in alignment with those principles. Otherwise, we might find ourselves achieving victories that are empty, successes that have come at the expense of things that were far more valuable to us.
We all have values whether we’re fully aware of them or not.
What are your top three values for the year 2021?
Here are some examples of values: Adventure, Balance, Abundance, Achievement, Appreciation, Assertiveness, Authenticity, Awareness, Balance, Beauty, Freedom, Courage, Creativity, Happiness, Health, Peace, Focus, Spirituality, Zest, and so on. You get the picture.
Make your vision and goals aligned with your values.
If you and I are having a conversation this time next year, what are you so excited about that you have manifested? What are you excited to talk about?
What are your health, money, relationship, and spiritual goals?
Who do you need to become in order to fully embody your vision, to achieve your goals?
How does achieving your goals make you feel?
Every transformation starts at the level of our being. There can be no change in our external world if we haven’t changed anything internally—knowing that we can imagine the life we would like to create for ourselves based on our values, based on who we would like to become. Once we have a picture in our minds, we can reverse engineer the process of how to get there with the help of our imagination. Another option is finding someone who’s already done something similar and ask them how they achieved that which we’re aspiring toward. Once we have clarity on our vision, the action steps become more apparent.
Today’s behaviour, tomorrow’s behaviour, next week’s behaviour, next month’s behaviour can be examined in the context of the whole, of what really matters most to us—in the context of our values. By keeping that end clearly in mind, we can make certain that whatever we do on any particular day doesn’t violate our priorities, and that each day of our lives contributes in a meaningful way to the vision we have of our life as a whole.
To begin with the end in mind means to know where we’re going so that we better understand where we are now and so that the steps we take are in the right direction.
This is the power of setting the intention, maintaining focus, and taking aligned action.