The beginning of the new year is an excellent opportunity to draw a line in the sand and start fresh with a clean slate. Considering that 2020 was a very strange and challenging year for most of us, leaving the past behind sounds like a lovely idea. But what if you cannot look forward to the future because all you can see are the problems of the past? What if the weight of loss, pain, and uncertainty holds you back from entering into the new year with lightness, hope, and positivity?
Creating a clean slate doesn’t mean you need to forget about the past or pretend that nothing had happened. The opposite is true. One of the major reasons for being stuck in the past is that your mind holds on to it until you have learned from and integrated its lessons. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The days come and go, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away.” Isn’t it true that even amid all the problems and difficulties we were facing, there are still some nuggets of wisdom we can take from the last 365 days?
At the beginning of each year, Danielle and I use a writing meditation to complete, integrate, and celebrate what the passing year has brought us. It is like looking down from the mountain top onto the trail that we were marching on, step by step, for the last 365 days. After all, looking back is the best way to appreciate how far we came.
Here are a few questions that can help you get a new and more empowering perspective on 2020 – and this way, start this year with greater confidence and optimism.
- Who and what are you more grateful for than ever? There may be aspects of your life that you may no longer take for granted– your job, your home, your loved ones, your freedom. For example, I am more grateful for our ability to connect and support each other virtually, even if we can’t be together in person.
- What did you learn to appreciate more? Maybe you learned to embrace a more simple way of living, with fewer choices and distractions. Or you realized the gift of being healthy, mentally, and physically, or the importance of having a solid relationship with yourself.
- What have you discovered about yourself? You may have realized that some of the things you used to worry and fret about in the past all of a sudden became small and irrelevant. Or that you have a remarkable ability to prioritize and compartmentalize. Maybe you have discovered a new appreciation for arts and crafts or spending time in nature.
- How have you grown? The last year has undoubtedly pushed us out of our comfort zones. And as the saying goes, the best place to grow is outside of our comfort zone. Think about how the stress and pressures of the last year have matured you or made you stronger. How you may have reevaluated your priorities, deepened your spiritual beliefs, or become more aware and appreciative of staying present in the now.
- What are you proud of? You may have noticed how flexible and resilient you are, how you dealt with constantly changing situations, and absorb an onslaught of new information and guidelines. And how, despite all, you still stayed positive and encouraging towards those you love and care about.
There are, of course, many other questions you may want to ask yourself. Just don’t forget to celebrate yourself because, regardless of what you went through, you are still here, sharing your light with the world.
Join me on Thursday, January 7th at Noon ET / 9AM PT on Empowerment Radio and learn more ways on how you can start the new year with a clean slate and positive momentum.
Wishing you a new year filled with health, hope, peace, prosperity, and happiness.