Reflections & Intentions

General Check In: 2020 Reflection & 2021 Intentions

It wouldn’t be a self-care blog if I didn’t talk about my plans/intentions/resolutions for the new year, would it?

Moreso than usual, it seems people are debating the purpose and efficacy of the ever-popular New Year’s Resolution. As 2020 brought many of our plans to a grinding halt, it feels a bit strange, perhaps even like tempting fate, to make any big plans for 2021.
And yet… I, for one, cannot resist the feeling of turning over a new leaf, however manufactured something like the shift in calendar year may be. I love a reset, a fresh month or year in the planner, the chance to imagine new possibilities. And while it doesn’t need  to be a new year to make some meaningful changes, I continue to feel drawn to the invitation to reflect.
This year, I’m calling them intentions, not resolutions. It’s semantics, mainly, but I think bringing an intention into a new year sounds a bit less like something doomed to fail, in a world where resolutions bring to mind swells in gym memberships and buy-ins to dieting programs that taper off by February.
As I reflect on 2020, it’s been a year of great stillness and great sorrow, and yet… for me personally, there have been some bright moments. We have all moved through this year differently, and I have been rather fortunate in maintaining employment and the relative health of myself and those dearest to me. I reflect on this year and invite you to skip this part if you’re not feeling like reading about someone else’s bright spots in a year that sucked for you. Full permission, ahead.But me… I’m going to celebrate the bright spots because that’s what keeps hope alive for me personally. And so, in 2020, I…

  • Moved in with my boyfriend of two years (a little earlier than expected)
  • Kept two new houseplants alive in addition to my tried and true lil cactus
  • Launched a new blog project that’s kept me writing fairly consistently
  • Ran my first half-marathon
  • Went backpacking for the first time
  • Got engaged (Andy definitely took me by surprise on that one!)
  • Hiked Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River
  • Learned to bake sourdough bread and kept a starter alive
  • Adopted a puppy
In all, 2020 was not a total wash for me. When I started the year, the half-marathon was the large and looming goal in my mind. And, though it wasn’t the Flying Pig and it wasn’t in Cincinnati, I managed it. Not going to forget that any time soon!
Looking ahead to the new year, I feel a bit more of an inward pull, a tug to ground down and think mindfully about intentions. And so, I plan to…
  • Work on my relationship with my body
  • Cultivate mindfulness & meditate more often
  • Complete Breath, the 30 Day Yoga with Adriene journey of the year (an annual tradition)
  • Complete PB21 with Bad Yogi (a new one–strength training and yoga rolled together… nervous and excited!)
  • Resume serious work on the manuscript I started in graduate school, with the goal of writing 3x a week and hopefully finishing a draft of the manuscript by year’s end
  • Continue the Great British Blog Off project
  • Join a college friend in tackling Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge
  • Be more intentional in cultivating my relationships
  • Begin planning a wedding (?!?!?!)
I’m bringing in a mix of general vibes/intentions and some concrete goals, which is how I like to approach my personal growth. It feels good to check things off the list as completed, but it’s also important to work on things that are less tangible, like maintaining relationships with the self and others.
It is my hope that, while the turning of the year doesn’t change anything, the vaccine and our continued mitigation efforts will eventually see us turning a corner. We may be in many ways irrevocably changed by this experience, which has impacted us all at different levels and ways, but I remain hopeful that a path forward is within reach… at least, I feel this most days, when I am at my best.
May you and yours be safe and be well going in to the new year. I hope you find time to running into joy as we usher in a new year. I’d love to hear whether you are setting intentions/resolutions and hear a bit about them, if you’re willing to share!
All my best and a happy new year to you all, internet people!

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