At the best of times, preparing for a New Year can feel overwhelming, and there’s a lot we can’t control right now. With that in mind, I want to start off this post by saying you really don’t have to wipe the slate clean for January. You don’t have to set resolutions that don’t serve you. This post is all about small things we can do to make the New Year manageable. Looking at how we can thrive with the change, and use the beginning of 2021 to our advantage.
We’ve learnt that life can be unpredictable, but one thing we can do is look after ourselves and focus on what we can control. In this post I’m sharing some tips, journal prompts and small things we can use to prepare and take us into 2021. My goal is to go into the New Year feeling stable and ready for whatever the year has to offer.
Cultivating a positive mindset ahead of the new year
There’s likely to be down days. We’re lacking a lot of the usual things that would perk us up, so now more than ever it’s vital to focus on what we do have. One thing we can do is try to notice our thoughts, if they don’t serve us, instead of getting caught up in them and judging ourselves, try to take a step back and just notice them. Then, try to focus on the things that DO make us feel good. This might be things we’re most grateful for, positive intentions we have for the day, and things that bring us joy.
It’s also accepting how we’re truly feeling and being kind to ourselves on the days we don’t feel great. I’ve spoke about the difference between toxic positivity and helpful positivity before. When we mask how we truly feel with fake positivity it doesn’t make the feelings go away. Acceptance of how we’re feeling and self love can be seriously helpful when a bad day crops up.
It’s also worth remembering that one bad day doesn’t mean you’re not a positive person – not in the slightest. It’s completely normal to have bad days. Without them, we wouldn’t know what a good day feels like.
To sum it up, it’s putting more focus on the things that we can do, and the things that fill us up, and that will help us cultivate a positive mindset as we move into 2021. I wrote more about tips for a positive mindset here. Ultimately it’s things like having a good routine, swapping negative self talk for positive and dedicating time to what makes you feel good!
Here’s a few other things you can do to help you get into a positive frame of mind ahead of 2021
- Write a list of 5 things that bring you joy that you can do at home everyday e.g. reading, cooking, singing, FaceTiming friends, journaling
- Tidy your home/ space. This can really help if you’re feeling overwhelmed
- Start to get back into a routine earlier than the New Year
- Use the 10-10-10 method to write down 10 of your most exciting dreams/ desires, 10 things you’re grateful for and 10 things that bring you joy.
Focus on things we do have control over
Naturally our brains are hardwired to focus on the things that appear as danger to us, most of the time this doesn’t serve us. If you cannot control something, there’s nothing positive that can come from worry or fear. Sometimes, all it takes it accepting and acknowledging that.
The pandemic is the perfect example of this. Everyone’s experience of the crisis is different, but we’ve all been faced with something that we can’t control. It’s normal to dwell on it, spend a few days feeling sad about how it’s impacting your life, but we can’t change it. With any situation that’s similar, make a list of the things that you can control, can change and can do to feel joy and still live in a way that serves you best. Even just realising and having awareness of this helps.
Try to be mindful of comparison
Comparison is natural and completely normal, but with social media it can more often than not creep up on us and make us feel inadequate. Going into the New Year, just to be mindful of comparison. Tune into how seeing other people’s posts on social is making you feel and try to stay in your own lane. If there’s one person to follow online that can help with this it’s Lucy Sheridan, she’s wrote an entire book on comparison!
Create a Vision Board
I have a full blog post on how to make a vision board, so I won’t go into too much detail here. Vision boards are so useful to help you live your life in accordance with your goals. It’s a visual cue that helps you remember that you can achieve what you’ve set out to.
Choose A Defining Word for 2021
Something else I started last year that I found powerful was choosing a word for the year. This could be anything that links to how you want to feel throughout the year, things you want to achieve or an intention that you want to run through most of what you do. It will be completely personal, but to give you an idea here’s some examples of words:
Transformation, gratitude, alignment, joy, rest, strength, connection…
Journal prompts for the New Year
Before jumping into the New Year, reflecting on what’s past can help identify how you want to move forward. The prompts below will help get you started to reflect on 2020…
How would you sum up 2020?
What do you want to take into the New Year?
What do you want to leave behind?
Hopefully answering these three questions will help you have more focus, and tune into how you want 2021 to look for you. Below are some additional prompts to start thinking about the New Year, and how you have the power, regardless of what’s happening externally to tune into how you want to think, feel and act.
I hope this post has given you some inspiration if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed going into the New Year, but wanted to feel a little more positive about it. The main thing is to be kind to yourself and go easy. You’ve got this!