If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t cope very well in 2020.
I fell into feelings of despair on several occasions and waited far too long before asking for help.
I leaned in to the story of fear, the story that was being told all around me and I used it as a way to hide, to run, and to feel sorry for myself.
2020 tested me in so many ways. In the beginning, it caused me to rise and lead, but as the pandemic waned on, so did my motivation, my patience, and my happiness.
If I am being honest, I am still feeling burnout, tired, and somewhat apathetic.
I’m sure this has a lot to do with pregnancy and the surging hormones running through my body.
But I also think it has a lot to do with being isolated, feeling the pressure from my business, and raising a 2-year-old in a pandemic.
I try to give myself grace and compassion, but this is not something that comes easily to me.
I’m sure you can identify with these feelings on some level too.
So for 2021, I have chosen a word that I’ve been trying to use often and attempting to immerse myself in.
This word helps me reframe any situation where I feel powerless, angry, hostile, irritable, or sad into something a little lighter.
My word for 2021 is love.
It goes without saying that 2021 was a hard year for all of us; for some, it was far harder than for others. But we all shared the same common feelings: fear, uncertainty, and isolation.
So, this year I want to focus on the opposite; I want to live my life with as much love as I can and allow love to guide me.
I want to make decisions with love in mind, rather than allowing negative feelings to dictate how I think, feel, and act.
I want to look at the world through a lens of love instead of through a lens of fear and hate (which happen to be my default emotions).
I chose the word love because it encompasses so much.
Love can mean many different things to different people and means different things in different contexts.
To me, learning to look at things from a place of love means I have to begin unlearning hate, fear, and scarcity as my default reactions. This can, and will, be incredibly difficult, but it’s not impossible.
For me, learning to lead with love looks like:
Consciously making an effort to see the best in people.
Challenging old, negative beliefs.
Being generous without expecting anything in return.
Seeing another person’s perspective, even if you disagree with them.
Doing the right thing.
Saying no to honour your needs.
Saying yes to honour your needs.
Knowing your self-worth and respecting it.
Taking a moment to breathe before you respond.
Investing in yourself and your needs because you deserve it.
Letting go of guilt and shame and replacing it with feelings of love and compassion instead.
If we can learn to lead with love, we can see a different world than the one that’s constantly portrayed to us; we can see a world full of possibilities, friendships, celebrations, abundance, and joy.
And I think that’s something a lot of us want, we just have to want to see it.
So how does one learn to lead with love?
By choosing to.
And consciously choosing love over and over again. Just like any habit, it needs to be practiced in order to be maintained.
I chose the word love this year because it signifies hope, happiness, abundance, kindness, resilience, and courage. And these are all things I am looking to find -or rediscover- in myself in 2021.
So this year, I’m going to let go of expectations and let love lead the way.
What word are you going to lead with?
Here are a couple of ways to help you find your word. Write down as many words as you want under each heading, and then choose just one to three words from each question. Here’s some of my answers to get you started:
1. What is one thing you wish you could get better at?
- Keeping boundaries on social media
- Being happy with how far I’ve come
- Slowing down
- Letting things go
- Letting go of guilt
2. What would you regret doing (or not doing) if you died tomorrow?
- Seeing Rachel grow up
- Having real, meaningful conversations
- Helping/impacting more people
- Speaking on stages
- Seeing Mike open his brewery
3. Who do look up to and what traits do you admire most about them?
- They’re good leaders
- They’re a good listener
- They’re empathetic
- They’re driven
- They’re confident
- They’re happy/positive
- They’re encouraging
- They’re approachable
4. What have you been putting off until the “perfect time”?
- I’ll be better with social media/phone boundaries once Rachel is older
- I’ll sign up for that dance class when Covid is over
- I’ll take Fridays off once my business gets a bit more stable
- I’ll hang out more with my friends when Covid is over
- I’ll start meditating when I have more time
5. Who do want to be for your family, friends, and yourself?
- A good listener
Once you’ve answered these questions, you will find a certain theme that comes up again and again. From that theme, find a word that fits and resonates with you and where you’d like to focus your energy next year.
Once you’ve got your word, SHARE IT!! Tell the people closest to you or whoever you want to help keep you accountable and cheer you on. It’s much easier to achieve your goals when you’ve got support from others.
Ask others to do the same! Make 2021 a year you can be proud of; a year where you decide how you want to show up.
Happy New Year!
Ps. If you are looking for some help with your 2021 goals, make sure to sign up for my Goal Setting Workshop – How to Set Realistic Goals and Keep Them taking place Jan 6th, 2021 from 7:30 pm-8:30 pm over zoom!