We are halfway through December and inching closer to bringing out the champagne to toast, with some relief, “Hooray, 2021 is finally over!” Let’s be honest, 2021 really wasn’t that much different from 2020. We may have gotten out a little more but mostly we’re still looking at limited opportunities to be “normal” again, whatever our idea of “normal” may be.
Before we know it, New Year’s Eve will be here. Some of us will be taking part in the traditional announcing of our New Year’s Resolutions, planning and strategizing for a fresh start to the fresh year in a positive frame of mind. With the concentration of negative news and events this year, one day of wishing may not be enough. So much negative news may lead to not so positive thoughts, and negative thoughts may lead to not so positive plans. These past two years of living in a pandemic may have instilled so much fear and uncertainty that it’s natural to set negative goals, as in, “I want to avoid…,” “I resolve to stop doing…,” or “I will not….” Fear makes us retract and hide, making it difficult to progress and try new things. But if you took heed of our advice from the previous blog and completed your personal “year in review” you may have discovered a number of moments and events that stood out in 2021 that you want to continue into the new year. Use this time now to reflect on those and mentally prepare for 2022 so when you proclaim your resolutions, yours might start with “I want to continue….”
Here is a challenge: find that one thing from 2021 that was positive for you and resolve to repeat it again in 2022. Perhaps it was a new friendship you started with someone who was once “just a neighbor” when you found yourself spending more time on your front porch trading tales of things you’d rather be doing. Perhaps it was a newfound talent born of 2020’s necessities like baking or a pandemic-boredom-inspired hobby like painting that you missed doing in 2021 because you no longer had to. These are the positives that can become the resolutions to continue.
Talk to my neighbors more than just with a grunted “uh” in passing.
Have a family dinner where everyone helps in the preparation before eating together.
Bake bread once a month even if there is plenty on the store’s shelf.
Read a book that has nothing to do with work, school, or that on-line book club I’ve forgotten about.
Buy a spin bike and work out at home with all the money I saved not paying for the gym membership I never used and then discovered that I really didn’t want after all.
As the month moves on at its typically hurried December pace, slow each day a little and begin the day remembering something that was good, that was a positive for you that happened this year, or in the now infamous 2020 that you let fall aside this year and now miss not doing. You not only may find the resolve to continue good habits next year, but you may also instill moments of peace in the disarray that is so often typical of the end of the year and find yourself mentally smiling and enjoying those memories.
This year may not have been as complete a return to normal as you wished it might have been but there had been good moments, positive moments, moments worth repeating and including in the new, new normal whenever it arrives. When it does, you will be ready. Ready with that one thing because you took the time to sift through the memories of 2021, didn’t succumb to resolving to stop doing things, but instead found the good things worth keeping, worth repeating, worth building new goals on, and will be ready to use in building a positive 2022 from Day One! What is your one thing?