It’s Finally the End of 2020!
Today’s post was supposed to be about New Year’s resolutions and was intended to inspire change in your life. I kept trying to record that podcast episode and had to keep stopping myself. But something in me was gravitating more towards the theme of letting go instead of moving forward. It makes sense though, you can’t move forward without first letting go. I mean, you can, but is it really in your best interest to keep plowing forth with all of that extra baggage? Probably not. We all need to stop and unpack the end of 2020 before we can move onto 2021. So, I stopped recording and immediately pivoted. Because this year has taught us all about pivoting right?
Letting Go of 2020
The moment we’ve all been waiting for is almost here, the end of 2020. We all have high hopes for this new year finally bringing change. But now that we are here, do you feel any different? Do you believe your life is going to completely change on January 1st? I hate to be the one to burst your bubble after the year we’ve had, but I’m your friend, so I’m going to give it to you straight. Unless you’re Cinderella on Backwards Day, all of the problems that 2020 brought into our lives will not just magically disappear as the clock strikes 12. We are still going to be left with the discomfort, anger, and loss that 2020 gave us. Honestly, the sooner we get to accepting that, the sooner we can move forward and level up in the new year like we want to.
What a year 2020 was. For a lot of people, it forced us to take a good long look at ourselves. It was a time-out of sorts. Honestly, it was like the whole world was sent to our rooms to reflect. Hopefully, we took that time to think about our actions, behaviors, and habits. To fully appreciate what we have, even though we felt an overwhelming sense of lack.
Our lives were turned upside down, ripped out from underneath us. We were isolated, lonely, and fearful. Bitterness and hate surrounded us. We said final goodbyes to loved ones. Plans were canceled. Monumental moments were missed. Jobs were lost. There is no way to fully express how difficult 2020 was for all of us. But we made it. We’re here. And while our problems don’t just magically disappear as the ball drops in the new year, we can still feel gratitude and find lessons in all that we have overcome.
The new year brings hope. We have a chance at a new beginning. But, if you’ve ever been in any bar at closing time, you know the Semisonic line all too well “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”. We’ve all heard it. It’s etched into our brains. I honestly didn’t even need to google the lines for accuracy. It’s so true, though. With this new beginning, comes an ending. Don’t be too quick to let go of 2020 just yet. In order to move forward, we have to take stock of our lives. Be intentional with how we want to show up in the new year. Taking the time to rid your life of unnecessary baggage will allow more space for all of that goodness you are hoping for.
Moving on Requires Letting Go
You cannot grow if your energy is going towards areas of your life that are not serving you. Think about your favorite houseplants. If you leave dead or dying leaves on your plants, they take energy away from its growth. That energy could be spent forming new leaves or buds. It could allow the plant to reach higher heights or more luscious fullness. You know what I mean, right? Well, you are that plant. And your dead leaves are those toxic relationships, bad habits, and unhealthy behaviors that you are hanging onto. Let’s prune those dead leaves, friend. Leave them behind in the old year and start allowing your energy to go towards the areas that you really want to grow in the new year. This is how you level up in the new year.Grieve
Times of Grief
Of course, there will be parts of your life from 2020 that you will have to let go of that you didn’t want to. This was the year of a pandemic, after all. Many of us are having to let go of loved ones, homes, or jobs. I personally have lost my mother, grandma, and grandpa this year alone. I missed every funeral because I was either pregnant or had a newborn and couldn’t travel, even for emergencies. These situations call for grief. Allow yourself to grieve these losses fully and know that you are not alone. Reach out to others who are experiencing this same pain. I feel comfortable calling us friends, so feel free to reach out to me on social media or from my contact page on this blog, I’m always here for you.
This post isn’t talking about how to move on from those major losses. That’s another post that deserves to be dedicated solely to grief. This post is meant to discuss the dead leaves that you have the choice to trim, not the leaves that fell from you.
Trim those Dead Leaves
With all of that being said, finding the leaves that you need to trim might not be as obvious as you might expect. You’ll have to really dig deep to find some of these energy suckers. Be prepared, getting that real with yourself is uncomfortable. No one likes to turn inward to go searching for all of their faults. But, if we don’t take the time to truly let go of those dead leaves, pick them off one by one, they will linger in our lives. They will take energy from us and our growth will be stifled. That is far more uncomfortable than getting real with yourself. Doing the hard work now will lessen your emotional and mental load later, allowing you to put more of your heart and mind into your true goals.
Leave behind the need to compare yourself to others. The need for perfectionism and unrealistic expectations. You are worthy of complete acceptance of your wonderful self. Rid your life of blurry boundaries and low self-worth. You deserve more than that. What thought patterns are hurting you? Listen to the language that you use when speaking to yourself. Is that language serving you? What excuses are holding you back? Pay attention to the things that make you say “I can’t” or “not right now”. By allowing all this negative energy into your life, you are preventing all of your hopes and dreams from happening. In this way, you can be your worst enemy.
Look Around You
And don’t stop there. Don’t just look at yourself. Look at who you surround yourself with. Take a look at your family, your friends, those you give most of your energy to. Are they lifting you up or bringing you down? Do you notice patterns in these kinds of relationships? I spoke about toxic patterns in relationships in my episode on Friendship Breakups. We don’t need to keep repeating these same traumas. Learn your lesson and say “Thank you, next”.
Assessing your relationships is so important because you become who you surround yourself with. It’s natural to pick up behaviors, patterns, and beliefs from those you spend your most time with. When you look at those people, ask yourself, “Are these people that I admire? Do they inspire me to grow or push me to succeed?” You might be surprised who snuck into your core group before you could even realize that they don’t belong there.
Take it Easy on Yourself
Be gentle with yourself during this entire process. Because it’s so easy to blame yourself for bringing in everything that you are now realizing doesn’t belong in your life. Don’t look at any of this as a mistake. Whenever someone I love makes a mistake, I always ask “Did you learn from it?”. 2020 was one big mistake that none of us intended. So, as your friend, I am here to ask “Did you learn from it?” Because if you did, it wasn’t truly a mistake.
In this way, we can turn 2020 into a year of growth, transformation, and beautiful change. We can find a way to be inspired and empowered by 2020. You survived it. And not only that, you came out of it stronger, wiser, and more aware than ever before. I’m proud of you for that.
After shedding all of these dead leaves, it’s time to start thinking about where you will be directing all of this new energy. So, what do you want in the new year? In what ways do you see yourself growing? Envision this life that you want, these dreams that you are chasing, the visions that have not yet come to fruition, and start breaking it down into actionable steps. These desires are in your mind for a reason. Chase after them!
I believe that new Year’s resolutions should be a promise of continued personal growth and not just a single goal for the entire year. Considering this, start reflecting on the ways that you want to grow. Next, we will talk about New Year’s resolutions. But before we could talk about what we want to cultivate in the new year, I felt it was important to address the ending of 2020 and all that we need to let go of.
I hope you have a happy and safe celebration and I’ll see you in the new year!