A toast to 2020! I am not “happy” to be done with this year. No “good riddance” coming from me. The challenges of the year gave us the gift of learning, if we choose to accept the gift.
2020 was a year of growth and change, complete with the pains that come with growth.
This year did not “slip by” with a lack of awareness like other years. We will never forget the March shut down, birthday Zooms, and even that first masked and gloved trip to the grocery store. These experiences are etched permanently in our minds.
2020 was alive and vital, tragic and painful. And filled with small, unexpected and deeply meaningful joys. We experienced deep losses and extraordinary moments of love.
Here are some of my takeaways from 2020:
- My self-proclaimed Type A clients found themselves less anxious and less obligated, returning to their core. They are calmer, steadier, focused and physically and mentally healthier.
- Those who have experienced great loss have found unprecedented social support in grieving. Corporations have hired therapists, instituted regular meditation times, and been generous in their flexibility. We have grieved together, and found more support while processing loss. Although we are in different boats, we are in the same storm, increasing our awareness and demonstration of empathy. For more on supporting others through loss, please see my piece on Ring Theory.
- Those who were contemplating big change made it happen. I, who contemplated moving for years, moved! Clients who were thinking about marriage got engaged (and yes, some even enjoyed town hall marriages). There was significant job loss which led to people reevaluating the kind of work they want to do. Students rethought school, college (and how they learn). We are in change.
- We are talking about race and gender in a way we have never done before, shifting policy, staff and systems accordingly. More people are engaging in the conversation about bias, institutional racism and creating change. There is work to be done and important steps have been taken and we will continue to walk down this path.
- More US citizens voted than ever before, and are actively involved in civics. The issues are out in plain sight and we will collectively choose how we emerge from the chaos.
- Additional “hidden” issues that the pandemic revealed included a lack of prioritization for public education for children, and the gender inequity evident in homes across the US and the world. 2021 will bring more conversation on these topics, I believe. I will be kicking off the year with a chat in partnership with NJMom.com where I plan to work with moms, Wolfpack style, to reevaluate the gender normative systems that have been set up in their home.
And for you, here are some of my favorite New Year’s tools for self-evaluation:–
- This is the time to complete your Whole Life Assessment. Determine which areas of your life (1 or 2) you will focus on changing in the first quarter of 2021. And which areas (2 or 3) can you rely upon on as these areas fill your cup.
- Collaborate with a close friend, family member or your partner to Create Resolutions for Each Other.
- Create a calendar for 2020, month by month, and flesh it out with significant events. Moves, birthdays, trips, work achievements or losses; anything memorable that happened. By taking stock of the year you’ll be in a better place to set goals for the coming year.
As always, I’m here to serve, support, strengthen and empower you. Happy New Year!
PS: The Greater Good Science Center has shared some of the new research on what makes life meaningful, and has found that “varied and rich experiences” are an important, and unfortunately overlooked, component of the good life. Consider ways to add this to your life this year.
PPS: In the spirit of “the only thing you can count on is change”, many of my clients are pursuing alternative pathways to improving their health. In fact, after negative experiences with traditional medicine one client is advocating for alternative approaches like these recommended in Heal, the Netflix documentary. Check it out.