The fact that 2022 is this weekend is more than a little frightening for me (probably because our wall calendar still says November, oops) and I’m such a planner.
Part of me wants to hide somewhere and ignore all upcoming responsibilities and keep on partying. The other part of me is pushing everyone out of my office so I can sit at my slightly cluttered desk with planner, calendars (paper and Google), and colored pens so I can do all my 2022 planning (because I’m a 0 or 100 MPH kinda person).
Both have their benefits, but neither is really the healthiest nor most sustainable way to entering the new year. Which persona do you tend to take on? The celebrator or the planner? Maybe you’re like me and fluctuate between the two, struggling to find the happy medium.
For those of us that have a hard time celebrating the little things when there are huge glaring things looming ahead, this post is for you (just so you know, I’m speaking to myself too).
For those of us that have a hard time planning ahead and just want the party or celebration to carry on until Jan. 1st (or maybe 10th) hits us in the face, this post is also for you.
I have a three step process that will help both groups of us (and anyone in the middle) navigate ending 2021 and entering into 2022 well. Yes, it’s only three steps. Yes this includes thinking about your new years resolutions and planning for 2022. AND yes, it’ll speak to both groups’ strengths while also challenging us a little too. But it’s the good kind of challenge that might hurt a little initially but will definitely pay off in the long haul.
Are you ready? Let’s do this.
When I was a competitive figure skater (I’ve got opinions on Ice Princess), the first thing my coach always did when I got off the ice post-performance was to encourage me. He would tell me all the things I did well and celebrated those.
He waited a whole day before we would talk about the mistakes I made and what I could do to improve next time. This wasn’t because he was ignoring my mistakes and what could be improved (believe me, he had thoughts), he just knew that if we jumped right into fixing instead of celebrating, it would communicate that the mistakes were more important than what went well.
Meaning, I would be hung up on the mistakes. I would inevitably let them hang over me and my confidence would be defeated. I would be less likely to improve because my confidence was down and any mistake moving forward would feel huge.
However, if we celebrated first, then I would be able to hold onto the things I did do well as encouragement towards the changes that were needed for the next performance. See where I’m going with this?
If we start right into 2022 by evaluating everything that went wrong in 2021, goals we didn’t hit and “have to do better next year,” and generally start plowing ahead without a pause, we’ll start the new year on the wrong foot. We might start off the year with a jolt of energy (as most of us do at the start of every year), but it’ll fizzle as there’s not a foundation to work from. We’ll start to lose confidence and find ourselves saying “well last year didn’t go well, so why would this year?”
So, friend. Celebrate first.
Some questions to help you celebrate:
And all the planners and go-getters and critical thinkers said “YES and amen.” But I don’t want us to analyze with a critical mind yet. I don’t want us to tear apart all that did or didn’t happen well or not well this year. I want us to just take a general pulse of the year before we make changes. So, let’s change that step name.
After a thorough celebration, it’s time to check-in. And because you’ve just spent at least 10 minutes celebrating, we can ask ourselves a little more of the tough questions.
How did 2021 go – on a communal and personal level? What didn’t go as you had hoped or expected? What was hard, were there any losses? What lessons did you learn and what areas of growth did you experience – expected or unexpected? Were there things from the year you would want to change?
The checking in part is essential for helping set you up for 2022 and how you want to live the next year. Without a proper checking in, we can find ourselves setting goals or building up expectations that don’t make sense. Setting goals and expectations that are inconsistent with how 2021 was and left us as.
For example, I had a baby at the beginning of 2021. While I’ve done some great healing since January (shout out to PT), it would be unrealistic for me to say “run a marathon by the end of 2022.” Not only because I am not properly healed (never mind the fact that I don’t like running that much), but because there are other life factors to consider before taking on that goal.
Have I had time to not only rest but train? Have I been able to rest my mind for something as big as a marathon? How has my time been? Have I/would I have time to train amidst work, family, friends, baby, etc.? Have I had the emotional bandwidth (amidst a pandemic) to take on this kind of challenge?
This might seem like a silly example, but many of us make this kind of mistake without realizing it. We set goals that seem good, but are made separate from other factors at play and therefore render them unrealistic. More obvious factors like family circumstances, work expectations, physical status, emotional wellbeing, etc. But less obvious factors too: what’s going on in the world around me and how does that affect me indirectly or directly? A close family friend’s mental and emotional wellbeing and how much of a caretaker role I play in that? Etc.
Sometimes, we will, without thinking, set goals and expectations for ourselves that don’t match the capacity with which we are starting with.
To recap: celebrate first. Check in second. Then we can start to dream for 2022.
This is maybe the most fun part. It’s the part where you get to sit back and wonder at what 2022 and beyond could look like.
But wait. Hold the phone. You might be thinking, “but, didn’t we just check ourselves last step to make sure we weren’t being unrealistic about 2022? Dreaming feels counterintuitive to that.”
Maybe, but I don’t think it is. Two reasons:
See what I mean?
Dream. What do you want to be true for your next year? What growth do you hope to see? What prayers do you have for the year, in your life and in the lives of others? What dreams are you stepping towards? Any and all questions are on the table.
I also say don’t just think about or dream about, but also write about it all. Get it all out there because you never know what may happen and I, personally, love to have things documented for when the unexpected happens. When my husben and I started dating, I 100% wrote down in my journal “this is the may I’m going to marry.” Its a fun thing to look back on.
Plus, all the things you write down will come back around throughout the year. Whether we recognize it or not. That goal I might have to run a 10K will come back around as I start to set my habits for January and again in April. It’ll come around when I check in with how I’m resting or getting fresh air. It’ll come around when I evaluate my mental health and how I’m moving my body.
Now I totally feel like I should write “run a 10K” on my dream list.
That’s it. Celebrate, check-in, dream. Easy peasy. You could take 10 minutes to do it all or a whole weekend. It’s up to you, your time, availability, and space. I will say though, the more time you can take, the better mindset you’ll have for the year.
So now what? You’ve done the process, how does this set you up for the year? How do you actually practically move forward from here?
Those dreams you took can then become bite size pieces of habits and rhythms to track for the year. Those celebrations you wrote down, will become the highlights to look back on and maybe will bring about ideas of things to look forward to in this 2022 year. The check-ins will become reminders to check-in for this 2022 year as well. And more.
We’ve got an upcoming post for you all about how to turn this three step process into something tangible for you to take with you into 2022. So stay tuned and pin the image to the left to save this post for later.
If you’re looking for a tangible way to practice this process and implement it for the 2022 year, our Kindred Planners are all set up for you to do just that, without losing the being of who you are and are becoming in the midst of all this doing. Shop our planners here.
With joy & gratitude,
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