My intentions for 2021
If there was ever a New Year that all of us were ready for it was this one. In reality we all knew we wouldn’t wake up on January 1st and find the pandemic was over, but there is something about a new year that gives us an exaggerated sense of hope that things might change almost overnight.
It made me think about how many year’s, to a lesser degree, I have imagined I would awake on the first day of a new year and find myself transformed in an instant. Maybe I would have a couple of days where my positive mood alone would make it seem like this was somehow magically the case but it would never be long before the reality would set in. It takes work to change things, it usually also takes time but that’s where the reward lies. The growth happens because of the work, not in spite of it.
For me 2020, with it’s juxtaposition of both daily life pausing and the intensity of discovering how much you are trying to do, was eye-opening. Without the compartmentalisation of work, school, nursery, time for housework etc I think many of us discovered, like never before, how much we are always juggling. For some it might have been a time of clarity, for others mostly stress. I had a bit of both. I didn’t have a major realisation about my current life path (no major changes Chez Rollings) but I did see with greater clarity how much pressure I have been putting on myself for years, and began to see how ridiculous it was. I realised how much the pressure was usually about things that didn’t actually matter, and mostly just made things harder.
Just like at New Year, this sort of habit doesn’t disappear overnight but having gained this fresh perspective, at least I knew what I needed to do.
So this year I am dismantling the habits that I have used to keep all the plates spinning for the last few years. Rather than trying to control everything in order to keep things afloat, I’ll be letting go. Letting go of the control, of the unnecessarily high standards, and remembering how to go with the flow. You see, if you had met me a decade ago, you’d have thought, ‘wow, that lady is really laid-back and fun’. Life was all about seeing where the wind blew me and where the next adventure would be. The fuller my life got and the more responsibilities I had (responsibilities for things I really cared about) the less I knew how to keep it all afloat and so, like many, I decided the only way was to get more organised, more regimented and to not let the standards slip.
It wasn’t really until the lockdown of last Spring that I saw how much this had become the case, how in all the juggling, organising and achieving, I had lost my innate ability to live in the moment and to have fun. So almost two weeks into 2021, and another lockdown, I’m trying to be guided by this intention for the year ahead: Be present. Let go of the control (and the expectations) and focus on enjoying whatever I can in this moment, right now. Seek fun.
At the beginning of The Essential Planner there is a page to record ‘What really matters to me’. I don’t usually share much about the contents of my own planner but I thought it might be helpful to share how I use this page for my yearly intentions. I usually give myself an intention for each major area of my life. I refer back to these often to check in with how I’m doing. I’ll share them below:
Family: Play with and connect with my children
Personal: Have fun
Health Regain my energy (3 pregnancies and babies in 5 years has made a serious dent in my energy levels)
Work: Focus on creating meaning
Please share what you’re focussing on this year and what lessons you learnt in 2020. I’d love to know.
Wishing you all a happy 2021 x