New Beginnings.

At the end of 2019 many people I talked to were happy to see the end of the year and looking for a fresh start with 2020. I didn’t find 2019 to be a horrible year. I actually thought it was a good year. It was the year I completed my Master Practitioner training as a Neuro-Linguistic Programming Coach and my vision for my business was born.

2020 however, has been a challenging year. It has challenged the way we do things, it has stretched us as people and really made us reflect and be thankful for what we have. It has made us look at the strength of supporting local and grounded us at home. I can’t say I have loved 2020 but it sure has changed us.

It’s the end of the year. The next new year is just days away. I don’t know about anyone else but regardless of how bad 2020 has been, I’m not sure I’m optimistic that 2021 will be different. That’s not right… it will be different. it will be different from 2020. However, I think 2021 will be as challenging as 2020.

As I look to the new year and reflect on the past year; I am once again presented with the idea that January 1st is a clean slate, a fresh start. Why do we see the new year like this? Actually, I see each quarter as a fresh start but there is something special about the first quarter of a new year. It just has a fresher, cleaner feel. It’s all in my head. I know that but I can’t deny that is how it feels for me. Do you feel it too?

I digress… As I look to the new year and reflect, I think about some of the things I learned this year. I learned that I need to keep my batteries recharged. I learned that the hard way in 2020. I learned that I can recharge without taking an away vacation. Although I learned that I still needed vacation. I learned that I can’t care about people more than they care about themselves. Meaning that I can’t help them if they don’t want to help themselves. Or I can only support them to the extent and the way they are willing to help themselves. I’ve learned that it’s better to just get something done and out than wait for perfection. I’ve learned… so much more.

As I look at the new year and reflect, I wonder what changes I will make in 2021 that will help me move a lesson noted to a lesson learned. I then remember a couple of articles and books that had concepts that I noted but didn’t learn until 2020. I must make time and space to keep my 5 batteries charged. I need to rest, to play, to socialize and to plan alone time. I also must ensure I am doing what I can to stay healthy.

I remember the book “The Happiness Equation” by Neil Pasricha. He talks about creating space. He describes space as what you get when you do nothing and you let your mind go. It’s like a vacation without a packed itinerary. It’s sitting on a beach, journaling, hiking or even working out. It is what happens when we do something different. When we do something different, we activate a different part of our brain, we start to see things in a different context and maybe even allow solutions to appear where they couldn’t before. An example of this is when you are taking a shower and suddenly you can see something new about that problem you were struggling with earlier. In my early days as an accountant, I would see a different connection to data I was analyzing while I slept or when getting ready in the morning. It was strange.

An article from Joshua Becker called “The Lost Practice of Resting One Day Each Week”, reminds us that we should be consciously planning rest. He tells us that rest is good for our body, our minds, our relationships and will increase our overall production. With the research I’ve done this year about rest and the other 5 batteries, I know he is right. Much of my research, as does Joshua Becker, encourages us to turn off our electronics to get the rest we needed.

Both Pasricha and Becker encourage us to schedule rest because if we don’t schedule it, it just won’t happen. They recommend planning activities/tasks that are creative, refreshing and/or nourishing to relationships. They recommend turning off TV, email and social media, avoiding housework and planning meals in advance to help alleviate cooking.

As I look back on 2020 and look towards 2021, I know that this is the biggest and best change I can make. By planning, scheduling and taking space to recharge my batteries, I know I will improve my mental health and in turn increase my productivity, my creativity and my overall health.

This is my commitment to myself. Not a new year’s resolution because we know they don’t work. I’m making a commitment to myself to create space!

What are you committing to for 2021?

“Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.”

Proverbs 4:23