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New Year sparklers

As we tiptoe toward the New Year, we naturally begin to reflect and contemplate. 2020 has been called many things (terrible, a “dumpster fire,” contentious, divisive) and has been difficult for many people. Even so, we can still take the time to look back, reflect on the year, and think about the lessons we’ve learned throughout the twelve, long months.

Perhaps you’ve learned something about your own resilience?

Many of us have had to endure major, sometimes excruciating, changes. And many of us have had to tap into our inner reserves of strength and resilience. Think about the moments of strength you’ve had this year. How can you call upon that strength again, if you need it? How can you keep up your “grit” AND take a break when necessary?

Perhaps you’ve had to be more flexible this past year?

With mask mandates, working from home, furloughs, sick relatives, kids staying home from school, gatherings cancelled, and a million other little changes, you’ve probably had to roll with the punches more than once this past year. How successful have you been at adapting and adjusting? When have you surprised yourself by your adaptability? When have you fallen short? Looking forward to 2021, think about how you can capitalize on the flexibility you’ve already proven you have AND think about areas in which you could improve and grow.

Perhaps you’ve learned a thing or two about human connections this year?

Even many of the introverts I know have grown weary of social distancing and cancelled events. Humans are naturally social creatures, whether in large groups or simply in intimate gatherings with our closest friends. That togetherness was largely missing this year, and it became difficult for many people to endure. Looking back, what have you learned about friendship and family time? What have you missed? Are there certain connections you used to take for granted? Are there certain people you’re missing and would like to re-establish connections with?

Think about how you can reach out, reconnect, and rekindle friendships and acquaintances this coming year. Even at a distance, there are many things you can do to maintain those bonds.

Perhaps you’ve learned a thing or two about self-care?

We all have our limits. We aren’t superheroes that can just go, go, go without a break. When you hit a wall, LISTEN to yourself, stop, and make an effort to carve out time to simply relax and regroup. It’s healthy to have a little down time when you just read quietly for a while, go for a walk, or do a crossword puzzle with a cup of tea. Have you been good about self-care this year? If not, how can you make a concerted effort to improve? What small steps can you take every day to give yourself a few quiet, meaningful, relaxing moments? How can you take better care of your personal healthy and wellbeing?

It’s true, 2020 was a tough year. Even so, there IS an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and triumphs this year. Take the time to reflect, evaluate what you’ve done well and what you’d like to change, and make a plan for the year to come. Wishing you a happy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year.




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