“Death, incurable disease, rumor of wars, protests, food and home insecurity, overwhelmed hospitalizations, …many of the issues that we will face in 2020.” If this were a statement presented to me three years ago, I don’t think I would have believed it. 2020 has been described with mostly negative attributes by many people. Although the past year brought about a host of mixed emotions, it is important to find a way to move forward with a positive mindset. How do you move forward after facing so many challenges, heartbreak, and uncertainty? My favorite course of action is to put the past in the past and find perspective by evaluating and learning from the challenges. It is important to reset by gaining clarity through lessons learned and setting SMART goals. Many people set “resolutions” or yearly goals in January. Personally, the first month of the new year is when I unplug from all social outlets to spend time evaluating the previous year end, meditate, and create a updated vision. A reset for me includes setting physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual goals for the year. January ends with the creation, organization, and displaying of my goals for the new year. I think its more important to share how I gain perspective for the new year through revising and extending goals for my life. The steps taken are as following:
- Spend a significant amount of time meditating, and fasting for the purpose of clarity. Over the past five years, I have incorporated fasting and meditation as a blended tool to continue spiritual growth and to set my mind and focus when needed. Fasting is a biblical process that assists one in limiting distractions for the purpose of drawing closer to God and spiritual focus. Meditation is about becoming aware of your thoughts and feeling without judgment. This mindfulness technique is similar to the biblical process of renewing your mind as they both help us to change our perspective. Fasting and meditation are two tools that I use to settle and focus my mind as I think about important topics and make decisions. (Philippians 4:8; Romans 12:2)
- Evaluate the previous year, including any vision and goals that were developed. This is not the time to judge yourself for any missteps or failures. Evaluation is essential to gain a healthy perception of all experiences from the previous year. Two questions to ask yourself are: What did I learn? & How can I bring those lessons into this year?
- Revisit my “purpose statement”. The word purpose can easily be exchanged for “mission” as you create your identity driven goals for your life. Having a solid identity driven statement is essential in developing your goals for the year and beyond. Ask yourself: Who am I? The answer to this question should include your important roles, passions, talents, learned skills, and service goals (needs of others, spiritual, community, and world).
- Create SMART goals for the year. How do I maintain my purpose this year? SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based, which are the criteria for the goals. Using this tool will ensure that specific steps are taken to reach your goals for this year.
- Create a vision board for the year. Vision boards are a visual reminder of the long-term goals for the year. Read my 2019 blog for ideas to create your own vision board.
I can not end this post without acknowledg the thousands of people who have loss jobs, loved ones, and are still dealing with residual circumstances of the dual pandemics. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the strength to move forward but you must find a way. I hope that this post inspires you to pick up the pieces, no matter how small they are and move forward.
For more information about the tools and resources discussed, visit the links below: