I’ve been sitting here thinking about how to start this post for a while and, honestly, I think I should just give up and start it already because, let’s be honest, I’m not going to think of anything unique or interesting to say about how horrible of a year 2020 was.
There have been spots of hope, definitely, and moments of joy, but I keep coming back to the tragedies and the loss and my heart breaks (and, let’s be really honest, my temper flares) when I think about 2020. Or, more accurately, the people (especially those in power) that allowed 2020 to unfold the way that it did for so many people.
I don’t think I’ve really processed all of it yet. Just know that my heart goes out to you (you reading this but also just collectively, you, us, because we need a little extra heart after this year).
A few weeks ago, during the creativity group I participate in at work, our session leaders brought a few questions to the group so that we could reflect on our year and project into the next, and I thought that thinking about those questions was helpful, so I wanted to bring them here in case you, reading this, might find them useful, too.
- Look through your photo stream from the past year — what 1-3 photos represent your year or feel the most poignant?
- What is something you’ve done this last year that your past self would be amazed at?
- What goal or plan did you have to put on the back burner this year? How do you feel about that goal now?
- How do you see the world differently now to a year ago?
- What would you like to carry forward into 2021? What are your goals for yourself?
- What would you like to leave behind in 2020?
That last question — what would you like to leave behind in 2020 — is one that, honestly, I’m still sort of thinking about (because the answer everything isn’t quite detailed enough), because I do tend to think about the things I want to cultivate and work towards rather than deciding what I want to take off my plate or off my back. It’s not a bad perspective, thinking forward, but I do think that only adding on, only projecting forward, means that I’m not really unpacking the things that I’ve been carrying and discarding the things that no longer serve.
Still, I do have some goals I’ve decided to work on this year and I thought it might be nice to share them here in case you’re thinking about what your upcoming year might look like (also I just love talking about goals and I love the extra bit of accountability). I’ve also gone and made vision boards this year — like last year, I made a “personal growth” vision board (like the areas I want to grow in/improve on this year) and a “taking care of my damn self” vision board (mostly just reminding me to breath and take care of myself and make healthy choices re: my feelings). I’ve put a few pictures below in case you’d like to see how they turned out. I say this every year, but honestly, I think these are my favourite boards ever.
In terms of my goals themselves, over the last few years, I’ve started breaking them out into two categories: personal and professional goals. Some of them, at this point, I should probably just stop adding to the list because I do them every year anyway (like reading 100 books and the 30-day yoga journey), but I’ve left them there this year because I still think there’s something to be said about re-articulating those goals for myself.
- Professional Goals:
- Get a literary agent
- Get another novel up to querying standard
- Do first round edits on all novels drafted over the last three years
- Personal Goals:
- Read 100 books
- Do a 30-day yoga challenge (I always do Yoga with Adriene’s annual January journey, but I still like to add this to my list because it seems important to hold this space. If you’re interested in checking it out, Day 0 is here)
- Be able to write a whole page about my day in French
- Focus on building and maintaining community
I always feel like these lists look so long when I write them out like that.
Overall, I think my biggest goals for this year are going back to edit all the novels I’ve drafted (because, as I talked about last night, editing is something I need to focus on more in my writing life) and really consciously working on cultivating community. I am someone who does not like to feel dependent on people and who really resists vulnerability, but I think that I need to start letting some of that go. It’s going to be a process (especially because we have a big move planned for later in 2021, fingers crossed it still happens), but I think that working towards opening up and putting myself out there more will only help me be the person I am while out in the wider world.
Is that making sense? I sure hope so.
If you feel comfortable, tell me about what things you’d like to grow into or towards this year! I’m sending you an enormous hug through the internet (if hugs are your thing) and I hope that this first day of 2021 has been treating you well.