I’ve been thinking about the number 2020 and to me, it feels bold, big and strong. The number itself feels unwavering, and it inspires me to ask: what is it that I want to create in such a big, bold year?
How do I want to kick off the new decade?
In my last post The Closing of a Year and a Decade I wrote about how to look back thoughtfully at the closing of a year and a decade. I believe that is something important to do before jumping into the magic of intentional planning. But here we are in January, and it’s time to focus on creating our new year — and our new decade!
Alternatives to Resolutions
I’m not a fan of making New Years’ Resolutions. In my mind, they are a surefire way to set yourself up for failure (and in fact, something like 98% of people who make resolutions fail! How crappy does that feel, year after year?)
Instead, I offer two alternatives:
Set an Intention
What is your deepest, most burning desire for the new year? What is it that you want most in your world? What is a positively-worded, future-oriented statement that you can use as your intention for the new year?
Whatever it is, word your intention as though it has already happened, and pinpoint the real heart of what inspires your longing.
For instance: some people may want a new job. But what is it about the new job that is important to you? What calls you to create this change? A client told me that she felt her previous job had no purpose; she even felt her work was meaningless. She is a scientist and was able to find a new position in a research organization where she’s studying issues related to global warming and actively pursuing solutions. Now she feels she has purpose.
So, peel back the layers. Why do you want the new job, house, relationship? What’s missing from your current situation that motivates your intentions for 2020? Your intentional phrase might be, “I am so grateful for my new home, which feels safe, cozy and full of love!”
Not only will this give you clarity, but it will help you make choices as you move through the world and take positive action.
Choose a Word
Select a word that embodies what it is you want to focus your intention on in the new year. My word last year was “space.”
In my previous corporate job, I would frequently have days packed with meetings. Sometimes I had eight meetings in a row. As a result, I had no time to get work done, and wound up working nights and weekends; there was no space.
Now that I run my own business, I always have the idea of “space” front and center. How many meetings can I really handle before feeling run-down? What kind of space and time do I need in order to be fully present and energized during my work day? And when I do have space, what do I do with that time? Sometimes it’s as simple as watching television for 15 minutes to recharge my batteries, and other times I might meditate or go to the gym.
That’s a few ways “space” shows up for me as a theme.
I encourage you to choose a word for yourself in 2020. If you need help, check out the book One Word. It’s a quick read, and you will love it. If you want to share this with your kids, there is a children’s version as well called One Word for Kids.
My word for 2020 will be “flow.” My mentor said to me, “You can’t have flow without space,” which is so powerful because it keeps both words present for me and will help me remember what I learned in 2019 about space while stepping into my new world of flow.
Questions to Get Started
Here are some prompts to get clear on what you want to create in the new year and the new decade:
- Who are you in the future?
- What do you do on a regular basis in that future?
- What does your future self need from you today in order to be successful?