2020…the year. Who visualized this?
It’s been something….how’s that vision board holding up?
Last year I wrote an article about designing your vision board for 2020. Touting its propensity to propel us into the future with subconscious thoughts of our goals, vision boards actually have science on their side and honestly, creating them is just fun.
Using a vision (or action) board to focus your ideas/challenges/growth areas for future gives your brain–both the conscious and subconscious–something to focus on. You are readying yourself to grasp opportunities that you would otherwise ignore or not see.
So, now what?
I’m here to look you in your beautiful, hope-filled eyes and say, “it’s going to be okay.” You readied yourself, you put your dreams and aspirations out there, and the year no one ever imagined happened. Thankfully dreams never die and we always have another day. Hopefully, we were able to take the adversities and stress of this past year and grow into a better understanding of who we are and what we want.
Time to reframe your vision board.
Here are five handy ideas to take a look at your past year and prepare for 2021. I’m envisioning the idea of making apple pie out of the bruised apples I was given.
1. Talk about your vision with others.
With this year’s quarantine-in-place protocol, we have had the opportunity or necessity to see who our community really is. Who was the most supportive person in your life? Who listened to you cry over Zoom? Reach out to these ride-or-die friends and have conversations about your goals. If they have seen you ugly-cry, then they are worthy of cheering you forward.
2. Gratitude for your vision.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how the year ends. October feeds my spooky side with ghost stories, early nights, and trees losing their leaves. November feeds my joyful side with my favorite colors, hot beverages, and focus on thankfulness. It’s difficult to move forward if you don’t know where you have been and to learn the lessons that your past taught you. Expressing gratitude to people and places and ideas that have brought you this far helps push you forward. Think of all the lessons 2020 has taught us or made us aware of. Finding and sharing space with people who do not look or think like me has been one of my greatest blessings of this year. Having the freedom to have difficult conversations has changed our society.
3. Retrain your negative talk.
Do you ever just get sick of yourself? Okay, maybe it’s just me. I have an extremely active inner monologue that I revealed in my March 2020 blog. I’m not exactly my own cheerleader. Our own thoughts can be our worst enemy. That’s why having a good community who speaks loveliness into your life in important. And we also have to learn to quiet our own inner critic.
However, toxic positivity can be harmful too. Suffering is unfortunately a part of our human experience. Acknowledging our heartache and our struggles connects us as humans. Being unable or unwilling to “even go there” can cause depression, shame, and fake friendships. Do we need to “mask” our true feelings this year?
4. Exercise your mind and your brain.
When my yoga studio closed down and I was unable to run due to a back injury, I felt my mood and my goals plummet. Half of my 2020 goals involved me teaching yoga classes and reigniting my love of running…yep, nope. Thankfully after a time of couch-planting, I found yoga classes on YouTube and Amazon and NetFlix (who knew?) and I decided to get back to basics and walk a lot.
As we have all learned from Legally Blonde, exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Endorphins help you to focus on tasks at hand, think more clearly, and calms your central nervous system. Exercise can also help with the COVID 19 pounds. Re-introduce what movement makes you happy or find a new love…it’s important to just keep moving.
5. Re-evaluate and renew your vision.
If you made a vision board with me or not, look at those 2020 goals. Did you really not reach them? Is there a different way to look at them? One of my big goals is to always create an environment where my kids are comfortable to be themselves. I can’t say if I achieved that totally, but we spent a lot of more time together this year and we had some great conversations. I feel like I got to know them more on a heart-level than I ever have.
“Live with intention” and “rediscovering my voice” are prominent phrases on my 2020 vision board. In retrospect, I don’t ever think I have lived with more intention. We’ve all had to re-evaluate our steps and make our days more intentional. With all the fluff of life suddenly gone due to lockdowns and quarantining, I found the root of my voice and what’s truly important to me. I definitely wouldn’t have imagined that 2020 could have brought those positives into my life.
My 2021 vision board is probably going to look pretty much the same as my 2020 board. Not so much because of what I didn’t get done, but because I was unaware of the depth it needed to be done. “Resilience” was a character trait I wanted to grow in and I never imagined the ways a resilient attitude was brought out in me…I’m keeping it for 2021.
2020 has been a year that has collectively made us stop, look around, and re-assess our lives and our communities. Take the time and the grace to look at your 2020 goals, throw those aside that no longer serve you or your people, laugh, smile, cry, and look forward to what new adventures unfold in 2021.