2020 simply sounds epic. From the invocation of a new decade to the cadence of the syllables side by side, there is something in the nature of the year itself that implies it is somehow supposed to be far larger than all the rest. While all new years carry a certain weight, whether ascribed to it by society or not, that is weight is only increased by the beginning of a decade. Yet for the first time, I am going into a new year absolutely blind.
This time last year, I was packing my bags to start my first contract with Disney Cruise Line, and while I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, I knew where I would be living, how much I would be making, and all those logistical details that sometimes keep us up at night. The previous year I had accepted my first internship working on a political campaign for a candidate I deeply believed in, a coveted position as a college freshman. The year before that, I had just been accepted to my dream school on scholarship. You get the picture, dreams coming true left and right, plans falling into place because of the plans I had put into place before those plans.
Clearly, I really like plans, yet 2020 lies before me dotted with question marks, like bread crumbs on a path to a hazy destination. Questions about where I’ll live, what I’ll do, what my time will go to. Yet if there is one thing I’ve learned in the past few years, where every turn seemed to hold a new dream, is that dreams can only be reached in the balance between planning and seizing. As much as I’d like to believe that everything in my life has been a continuation of my carefully laid-out plans, the reality is that I have achieved far more by simply seizing opportunities as they come. By seeking help from those that offered, by capitalizing on the potential they saw in me, and by being flexible enough to change my plan when a new opportunity came along.
Although I am prone to let the question marks spin around my head, banging around like an annoying set of clanging keys in a purse, I have also learned to re-focus on the possibility that these questions may hold. I have learned to push my natural tendencies for planning aside with the simple acceptance that they will most likely change for the better in ways I cannot foresee. So I am walking into 2020 blind, planning meticulously what I can, whether that be the month, the week, or even the day that lies in front of me, and trusting the rest will be revealed when the haze clears. I am planning trips, goals, and that which lies near for now.
With that in mind, I thought it fitting to share my goals, resolutions, rituals or whatever it is that people are calling them now to get past how cheesy yet effective the idea is:
- Establish a Morning/Night Routine
As a college student, an enneagream three, and someone far too passionate to only devote myself to one career, I often find that my night routine consists of falling asleep with my laptop on my chest mid-essay, and my morning routine of mobile ordering Dunkin’ as I struggle to find my brain ten minutes before my 8am class. Simply not sustainable. I really see that as the key to this being effective for me. While rolling out of bed ten minutes before class isn’t sustainable, neither is fooling myself into thinking I’m going to consistently wake up at 5am and fit in a workout, homework, and every other conjunction of the word work into the morning hours before my class. I’m still trying to figure out what these sustainable routines look like and how to distribute the balance of productivity and self-care into both ends of my day.
2. Creative Journaling
I’ve always processed through writing, and despite the fact I’m an English major, I actually do very little non-curricular writing. I always find myself reflecting on things I read, people I see walking down the street, or experiences I have. . Then, I promptly get caught up in all the work I should be doing and let the words slip through my fingers.
Enter the journal, an everlasting and elastic medium. Lately, I’ve seen more and more journals that combine writing and reflection with scrapbooking, There is something about the tangibility of that, of taking the extra time to cut, paste and arrange, that further allows me to process the things I see and feel. So 2020 is the year to invest in some more crafting supplies and invest some time in myself to effectively and creatively processing everything around me.
3. Rebuild My Relationship With My Body
Many of the factors that led to my crumbling morning and evening routines have also eroded away at my relationship with my body. Food, exercise and sleep fall to the wayside for many, myself included, when we are faced with deadlines and demands from others. In 2020 I am re-commiting to being kind to my body, in action, in word, and in thought. I am re-commiting to dance classes, yoga classes, long walks, not only because they will help my body perform better, but because they make me happy, simply happy. They will remind me of the wonders of my body, of what it means to grow and stretch.