When I wrote my goals and intentions for 2020, I didn’t realise what I was getting myself into when I declared that it was to be ‘the year of less.’
Little did I know we’d be entering a year of much, much less. Much less living, much less, socialising, much less good news, much less travel, and much less hope, for a long time.
It seems silly to try and put too much expectation and pressure on this new year. After all, we’re mere weeks into January, and already 2021 is keen to follow in the footsteps of 2020.
New Year’s Day, for me, had the consistency of treacle. I found myself despairing and tearful for most of it. In all honesty, 2021 and I didn’t get off to the best start, and it’s sure to be a challenging few months for us all in different ways.
But with the news of vaccines, a new incoming US President (hopefully!), and many lessons learned from last year, I think we still have reason to be hopeful – even if it is tentatively, and from the safety of our homes.
We all know that it’s hope that keeps us going – and hope is what I’m giving myself.
Needless to say, I didn’t really pay attention to the goals I set last January. Spending less time online? Absolutely not. Exploring new places? Nope. Write in my diary regularly? Don’t make me laugh. But the others – being kinder, living slower, and embracing my relationship – seem to have stuck. It’s not a complete lost cause.
So what do I wish for in 2021?
I’ll leave the big, obvious stuff – health, safety, the end of the pandemic – for now. I want to focus on the smaller things, the things I can immediately control or contribute to on a daily basis, the homespun joys; the opportunities on my very doorstep (because let’s face it, I won’t be going further than that for a while. Hello Lockdown 3).
So here’s what I hope to do more of this year.
- Keep writing, when I can – without pressure.
- Redefine myself as a creative, and not just a writer, removing the pressure to work with words all the time. I want to create in other ways – keep sketching, painting, cooking, and singing in the shower.
- Read. But don’t just read books. Get back into magazines and online articles too.
- Move, but gently. No pressure. Yoga once a week, if I’m good; a walk when I can.
- Try to find routine where I can.
- Stop with the doomscrolling.
- Invite more positivity into my excessively negative mindset.
While these lists are all well and good – I’d say they’re more guidelines and reminders than resolutions! – I want to mimic last year’s post and talk about a mantra as well. An idea or an attitude to underscore all I hope for, and something to come back to when I’m feeling lost.
My mantra for 2021 is:
If I’m going to write, then write. If I’m going to read, then I need to try not to get distracted by a screen. Don’t dither so much about decisions that really aren’t a big deal.
In my mind, it’s like this: when you walk forward, you place your foot fully on the ground, and for a brief moment it’s planted there, with purpose, steady, firmly, exactly where you decided it should be – and it’s going to get you to where you need to be.
That’s what I’d like to try and do with each day – to get through the next part of this pandemic, and beyond. Take each day as it comes, and find at least one point in the day where I have planted myself solely in that moment or that movement: to do what I’m doing intentionally, and not half-heartedly.
Some days are sure to be hazy with sadness and uncertainty, wasted in front of a scrolling screen or spent under a blanket – but I hope to at least be intentional with my wallowing, on occasion. If I’m going to be at one with the sofa, I’ll do it well.
Let’s take 2021 one day at a time, just as we have learnt to get through the lockdowns and restrictions of the last year.
Gently does it now – the good stuff is on the horizon.
Do you have any goals or hopes for 2021?
As with any year, there have been lessons learned, events upon which to reflect, and shining moments for which to be thankful; it’s just that this year, the shining moments are ever brighter against the pitch-black of the bad.
Since ringing in the New Year with Pornstar Martinis and city-centre fireworks, I’ve been thinking about what I want to set as my goals and intentions for 2020.