Have you ever been so incredibly excited to watch a movie? You’ve seen the trailers, you love the people starring in it, and everything about it just gets you going.
Finally, the movie is out, you get ready and hit up the cinema, you’ve got your popcorn and drink on hand, and you’re ready to rock n’ roll. Plot twist! Turns out that you find yourself quickly growing disappointed because this movie just isn’t what it was hyped up to be. After all this much-awaited anticipation, your excitement melts into sheer disappointment.
In some ways, this is what the lead up to 2020 has been like. With social media more prominent now than ever, there has been a big build-up of what the new year has in store for us along with all the promises that we make to ourselves. I hate to say it, but, plot twist! 2020 has taken us by surprise, and not in a good way.
This is quite challenging, especially at this time of the year. After betting on 2020 being your year, and taking on actions such as making promises to yourself, committing to new activities, or even making changes in your life, it may feel as though you have been cornered with very little wiggle room. Right? Not necessarily.
The true tragedy would be if you were to raise a white flag and give up. Yes, the circumstances are dire. Yes, this is a scary time. And yes, there is a whole lot of uncertainty.
At the end of the day, there will always be elements that you simply cannot control. Today, there are more of those elements than ever, which is a scary thing. Understandably so, this may bring on feelings of hopelessness and helplessness and that’s A-Okay. However, what matters is not losing sight of your goals and also not spending excessive amounts of time in that world of powerlessness, because there is so much more to you.
So, what do you do about it?
Here are a few pointers that can help you stay on track, and maybe even make 2020 your year:
One of my favorite things to say to myself (and sometimes others) is: “Here’s the problem, what’s the solution?”
If you can get yourself to say this at least once a day, then you’re well on your way to achieving your goals. I know it may sound like a mundane thing to say or do; however, it does shape your state of mind.
Even if you are applying this question to things that may feel small or insignificant, it still counts! When you allow yourself to focus on exploring the solutions, rather than fixating on the problem, you are setting yourself up for success.
Leading up to the new year, it’s not uncommon to take this time to reflect on yourself and set up a vision of what you want to do or where you would like to go. It is important to have a vision to give you something to work towards, and often, it will instill motivation when you need an extra dose of drive.
You may have already spent some time visualizing what you would like your future to look like. Now more than ever, you want to hold onto that vision because it truly is as valuable as it can be. If you haven’t set up a vision for yourself, that’s totally fine. Just take some time and allow yourself to be curious about what you would like to work towards – you owe it to yourself!
A few things to keep in mind:
- You want to try to make your vision as vivid as possible. Go the extra mile, and think of all the little details. That way, it will start to feel even more tangible for you.
- Flexibility is key. Your vision will always evolve, and that’s okay, in fact, it’s really important. Whether or not we realize it, we also change constantly over time, so it only makes sense that our vision will also shift. This will allow you to get creative while also being flexible and adapting to whatever life throws your way.
It is important to pave the way for your ideas and your creativity. What better way to do that than by putting them into action.
Now that we’ve talked about self-awareness and vision, I do recognize that it can feel daunting putting those things in action, especially considering that they are so abstract. However it is still very manageable, and here’s how you can do it:
- Break things down into small goals. If it still feels like too much, go ahead and break them down into even smaller goals. Often, thinking of a goal can feel overwhelming, and that is understandable. It can be helpful to take a bottom-up approach, strategically taking little steps until you have hit your end goal.
- Write things down. When you have a plan floating around in your head, that’s all it is – just thoughts floating in your head! Try to physically write down the small steps you plan on taking – you could do this on a day-to-day basis or even a week-to-week basis, whatever seems more practical. Additionally, I would recommend always trying to do this the night prior, rather than the day-of. That way you wake up with a solid plan for the day, and there’s less room for that cheeky thing called procrastination.
With a proactive state of mind, you can empower yourself with the flexibility to do the things you want, despite the difficult events happening around us. It’s not always about the circumstances, but rather how you respond to them.