Taking A Look Back At 2020

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Happy New Year, friends! I hope you’re enjoying a fantastic holiday celebration right now, and that the festivities are still going on. I’m making sure to soak up every moment of my year-end holiday vacation by reading as many books as I can and staying away from home projects as much as I can stand, too.

DIY crafting and room tweaking is my passion. There’s no doubt about that. But since it’s my job, I have to make sure I take breaks whenever I can—even if that means I have to force myself to step away from the hammer and nails for a week or two. I’m hoping this hiatus will build my creativity and motivation back up so that I’m ready to hit the ground running when I’m back in the office.

Anyway, it’s time for my annual New Year’s Day manifesto! If you’re a new follower, I take a moment every first of the year to sit down and chat through all of my plans and expectations for the next 12 months, and this year is no different.

Of course, there’s no more cliche phrase on the planet right now than this next sentence, but it’s true: 2020 kicked my butt and made me reevaluate pretty much every single part of my life. Luckily, through all that introspection, I realized I’m exactly where I need to be in life. I love my job, our home, our city, my partner, and all the big life choices I’ve made along the way. I don’t plan on changing any of that. Yes, I have things I’d like to accomplish moving forward, but the core facets of my life all feel right.

So, what about my resolution for 2021? How do I want to change things now that 2020 (also known as “the worst year ever”) is finally behind us? When I started asking myself these questions toward the end of the year, I realized that I’m not interested in making resolutions anymore. First of all, I failed miserably at last year’s resolution since shopping basically turned into a “life or death” activity. I hated feeling like a failure, and it led me to rethink the entire concept of resolutions. Are they even realistic anymore?

Here’s where my mental train of thought led me…

If we aim too high with our New Year’s resolutions, we run the great risk of falling short. Why set ourselves up for that kind of defeat, especially right from the outset of a brand new year? Thinking too far ahead to the future also teaches us to avoid thinking about the present. Instead of wondering about today and what we can accomplish, we waste our time now visualizing a future that might not even be ours to have!

We miss it. We miss being mindful in the moment, and appreciating everything that’s happening right in front of us.

Instead, I want to start practicing the idea of making this moment count, and the next one. I don’t want to live for some hypothetical future anymore. I want to focus on turning today into a success. If I can accomplish something right now today, then my future self will be able to look back on a real tangible moment (not some hypothetical dream, but something that truly happened), and I can feel proud.

So, my point is this. Instead of making resolutions that we have no way of knowing if we can keep, let’s spend the first day of each new year reflecting on what has already come to pass. Let’s spend some quiet time thinking about all the goals we actually managed to cross off our lists the previous year, and celebrate them. Here are mine from 2020 (both big and small) in case you want an example:

Things I Accomplished In 2020:

1. Figured out how to ship entirely from home thanks to Nikki!

2. Admitted that I had failed in what I thought had been a lifelong commitment to fighting racial injustice. I’ve become far more intentional about adding diversity to my life, which has been core-changing in more ways than I can even put into words. I’m so sorry it took me this long, and that I’m still very imperfect. This past year I committed to change.

3. Stepped out of my comport zone by welcoming lots more color into our home.

4. Killed it with selling on Facebook Marketplace! In other words, I diversified my income in a new, exciting way.

5. Was asked to be part of the #CLJxLoloi launch (pinch me!). I also had the humbling opportunity to work with several other brands I genuinely love, like Parachute, Vitruvi, Glade, Purina, Pottery Barn, AllModern, Aleve, and Mrs. Meyers.

6. Didn’t have a panic attach during a worldwide pandemic. This one probably should have been first on the list.

7. I was strong enough to know that it was time to end our precious, beloved dog’s suffering. I’ve never put a pet to sleep before. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through, but I know it was the right thing, and that he’s in a better place. We miss you every day, Rocky…

8. Gained much-needed life perspective, as explained in today’s blog post.

9. Learned how to deposit checks from home—something I’ve been meaning to do for years, and am now kicking myself for not doing sooner because it’s so easy!

10. Finally ripped out the carpet in the basement stairwell!

11. Managed to save more money this year than I ever have before, and I also maintained my 100% debt-free status.

12. Hit 40K followers on Instagram.

What would you say were your biggest achievements in 2020? Go ahead and make your list! I did want to mention, though, that if all you really feel you can put on a list is that you “made it through 2020,” that’s a gigantic accomplishment. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a short list. You’re here, and that’s what counts. That’s worth feeling a sense of pride over.

If you’re a planner by nature and like to think at least a tiny bit ahead, then try this: think about your future self and what you might want to be proud of having accomplished. What completed goals do you hope to feel proud of come New Year’s Day 2022? Then work toward them now so you can celebrate them next January 1.

That said, though, I really encourage you not to dwell too entirely on those types of hypotheticals. Be the absolute best self you can be today, and your future self will inevitably be able to celebrate, regardless of any mental list you have built up.

I’ve heard the quote “make your past self jealous,” and while there’s truth to that, my goal is to make my future self jealous. I want to try to one-up my future hypothetic self every single day so that I’m constantly pushing to get things done.

I’ll leave you with just one question to kick off the brand new year with…What do you want to do today? Not tomorrow, not even next week. What do you want to do today?

Happy New Year! I’ll be back with new content starting January 11.

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