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How to plan for a better 2021 with ease

Are you relieved 2020 is over?

Most of us set ourselves some form of New Year’s Resolutions at the start of a New Year.

But 2021 is different.

2020 was a year like no other before. And we can expect more of the same in 2021 before we can create a new normal. Making long-term plans will still not be straight forward.

Reviewing the crazy year of 2020

2020 was not an easy one. On the contrary, it stretched us to our limits. We experienced a global situation that none of us could have imagined.

It challenged one of our most basic human values - our freedom. We heard and experienced words like ‘lockdown’. Our movements became limited.

With constantly changing rules we often had to change or cancel our plans.

Your unexpected deep-seated feelings popped up to the surface

Suddenly you had to hit “Pause”. You had time to think. This led to over-thinking and over-worrying, which caused increased anxiety and fear.

Maybe you felt grief for what you’d lost and what you need to change.

You might already have felt the loss of sparkle in your life. You’ve missed your passion; you might have felt low and found it difficult to motivate yourself.

A sense of ‘’What’s the point?’’ or a feeling of numbness has been dominant, more than ever before.

What are the lessons learned from this unusual year?

What 2020 has been all about is change and adaptability. And it has been quite a challenge.

Change is constant. We’ve all just noticed it more in 2020.

We tend to fear and dislike change. Sometimes we act like it‘s avoidable.

So, moving forward, how do you respond to change?

If you fight against change, you only end up hurting yourself. Accepting change helps you let go of control and allow life to flow. But letting go of control is scary.

It is important to remember the quote by the American author Tony Robbins:

“Life doesn't happen to you; it happens for you.”

And how can you learn to adapt to change?

Your ability to respond to change is your responsibility and something you have control over. You have the power to change your mindset to embrace change.

The trick is to remain who you are and not be a reaction to what is happening around you.

It’s to remain resourceful and maintain an open mindset approach. Be open to opportunities during these intense times of uncertainty and constant change.

Build your resilience to learn how to adapt to change better.

This resourcefulness builds your resilience to create a new life pattern. It gives you courage and boosts your confidence.

The more resilient you become, the better you are at getting through the curveballs life throws at you.

It’s easier to stop anticipating the ''new normal'' and accept life how it is, with the element of the unknown.

2020 was a lesson in not taking things for granted. To live through life’s different moments more passionately and to be more present.

Dealing with what 2021 has to offer with ease

Having these insights from last year, puts you in a strong position for 2021.

The ever-changing challenges and new situations will continue for a little while longer.

So how do you handle it?

You work on the values that anchor you, that connect you with hope and keep you faithful to life.

Here are 5 ways to help you do just that:

1. Find Comfort & Joy

Find comfort and joy in basic daily things.

  • Feel the soft comfort of the sheepskin rug under your feet when you step out of bed in the morning.

  • Drink coffee from your favourite mug which was a gift from a good friend. And feel it filling you with good memories.

  • Wrap your grandma’s knitted scarf around you and remember her comforting words.

  • Say your daily affirmation or take time for your daily meditation to ground you.

  • Do a little dance while brushing your teeth and feel the joy in the movement.

2. Have Faith

Trust that there is a plan.

  • Trust that the Universe works for you when you allow it to do so.

  • Believe that things will be alright. This type of faith brings warmth and positivity.

  • Journal to bring you closer to your true self and soothe your worrying mind. It helps you to take the drama out of your life.

  • Meditate and listen to music to create a sense of calm and trust.

  • Do more of what you love and connect with your spirit and your heart.

As American professor, Brené Brown, describes in her book, “The gifts of imperfection”:

‘’Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.’’

3. Spend time in Nature

Use the unique calming power of Nature.

  • Take a walk among trees in a forest, by a river, or on a mountain and feel grounded.

  • If you are in a city, take a walk in the park to connect with nature.

  • Find a tree that you find beautiful, touch its bark and feel grateful for its beauty.

  • Bring nature inside your home. Buy a plant that you connect with and feel the joy it brings you.

  • Put up pictures of landscapes or have nature as a screensaver to soothe your soul.

Nature is a great healer throughout periods of personal and global pressure.

4. Nurture your Connections

When the world around you gets miserable, humour and laughter are medicinal. It can alleviate your stress and nervousness.

Get in touch with the friends that fill you with joy and make you laugh.

  • Attend online events to learn new skills and meet new people.

  • Connect with friends and family who listen to you as much as you listen to them.

  • Re-evaluate your friendships and prioritise the ones that lift you up.

  • Pick up the phone, get on a video call or take a socially distanced walk (within what is allowed!) to deepen your friendships.

5. Be Compassionate and Kind

Invite more love into your life and remove judgement.

  • Each person has a unique journey, so don’t jump to conclusions. Instead ask yourself: “How can I respond from a place of love?”

  • When someone tells a story, listen, acknowledge, validate and pay attention to make them feel better.

  • Feel uplifted with love instead of feeling down with negative judgement.

  • Be a better person and feel proud of yourself by showing kindness and compassion.

  • Become an inspiration for yourself and others when you are kind and compassionate.

What can you focus on in 2021?

So, for 2021 pay attention to the values that make you feel fulfilled and grateful.

This year is not about the big goals.

It's about the short-term ones that keep you going and make everything more realistic and tangible.

Let simple, daily or weekly tasks that bring you joy and comfort, help you get your mojo back and keep it going, no matter how this year unravels.

But even if planning for 2021 is still difficult, dream of things to look forward to and to making a brighter future.

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