December has always been the month I take stock of my year: What did I do right? What did I do wrong? How do I improve on my weaknesses? I do this in various aspects of my life like my job, relationships, Christian faith etc. Naturally, I plan to do this for 2020 as well, but really, how does one take stock of a year as tumultuous and uncertain as 2020? Like someone said on Twitter, we should all just be thanking God for life. #Sigh. On a more serious note though, an unusual year like 2020 deserves an unusual stock taking. Here are a few ideas that come to mind.
First, throw out whatever to-do list, resolutions, goals or plans you had for 2020. Because if you insist on looking back at those goals you had at the start of the year, you may just end up sad. It is not your fault, the virus snuck up on everybody too. Instead of sadness, why not focus on gratitude? The year was difficult and tough, but you made it through.
After throwing out your goals, reflect on yourself. The pandemic forced a lot of us to spend time with ourselves for months. What did you learn about yourself this year? What did you learn about your character? Do you really like your job? Are you in the right profession? What do you really want right now? What frustrates you about yourself? Answering these questions will require you to find quiet time to think and to reflect. From my experience the answers to these questions may not be pleasant either. But the good thing I am discovering is that finding these answers about yourself, will lead you to seek solutions on self-improvement or professional help where you need it. Take out time to reflect and think
After the personal reflection, look at your immediate environment, then declutter. During the lockdown, I realized I had too many stuff I didn’t use. Before, because of how busy I was, I didn’t have time to see these things that were just there, things that other people need. From clothes, shoes, to books, and kitchen appliances. During lockdown, I discovered I had two hair dryers!
Decluttering isn’t limited to physical things, what about inside? What are the things you need to let go of? Who is that person you need to forgive? Or what did you do that you can’t forgive yourself for? Those people you know you shouldn’t have any relationship with, why are you still in contact with them? By decluttering your environment and your mind, you make way for new things and experiences in the coming year. No need to carry 2020 issues into 2021
Finally, make plans for the new year. I know we had to throw away the ones we made this year but that doesn’t mean we should start a new year without any goals or aspirations. Starting a year goal-less will be like entering a race without directions. Make plans, make goals, and dream. We’ll all keep our fingers crossed that 2021 will be a year of recovering.