For some of us, 2019 may be one of the roughest years, at least in my inner circle, everyone was ready for it to be over. The transition from one year to the next is often represented by starting a new planner or the ball dropping in Time Square. New year, new me! Sounds familiar? Sounds great, but often then not, many of us tend to carry the same mindset and the same baggage from one year to the next. We’ve all been there, and sometimes it is only the first month of the new year that we are ready for another year to begin. Resolutions are great, but if we are still applying the same habits we had in the previous year, we may not have much success in our resolution.
To be honest, some years could have been better, taking time to wrap up our old year and prepare for the new year can often bring us more joy and positive energy. So here are some of the things I did to get ready for 2020.
For the last month of 2019, I started planning and wrapping up the year rather than waiting until the day before. A whole month may sound a bit overkill, but trust me when you see the different steps.
Week 1: Relax and invest in a whole week of self-care
- Think of all the time that we went on a vacation to a new place, and suddenly we have a great epiphany. It can be a solution in our personal relationships, career moves, and financial moves, etc. Why is that the case? Some of us may think that it is the change of environment, and it could be the case. But I think it is the fact that we are allowing our brain to rest by not doing anything through relaxation.
- We are always striving for the next best thing and making the next moves that we tend to forget that our brains need to rest. An overworking brain cannot have the energy to think clearly and creatively. Giving our brain a rest doesn’t require us to go on an expensive trip, self-care is also us saying no to big gatherings, new projects or social media.
- Allow ourselves time to rest take great discipline, but it is worth it. When you can finally think clearly because you have recharged, you can make better decisions and arrive at great realizations. Which is why it is my first step to planning for 2020.
Week 2: Remember and recall how your year went
- This is the time where I recommend us to break out our journal and write out every important moment that we had in 2019. Sometimes, one rainy day may make us forget that we had a whole month of sunny days. There may be difficult times that we endured and to be honest, some of them can be too painful for us to even want to remember.
- But bad days are here for us to appreciate the good day, so do take time to find your most joyful moments. No matter how small it was! It is sad if we can’t complete such an exercise, learning to choose happiness and joy. Writing them down will help to ground us, get our thoughts onto paper so we can declutter our brains.
Week 3: Refocus, what are your new year priorities?
- When you get to this point, I recommend us to have a whiteboard so we can start to do some brainstorming. We should ask ourselves, what went well last year that I want to bring into the new year? What do we want to accomplish this coming year and how are we going to get there? What are the items that are the most important to us?
- Asking ourselves those questions will help to slowly create our action plan and roadmap for 2020. Rather than simple and generic resolutions, we will have a roadmap to guide us to where we want to be. Also, understand that plans may change, and we can certainly adapt to better fit our priorities and circumstances.
Week 4: Remove and declutter mental wastes
- So from week two, we wrote down a big list of items that we have encountered throughout the year. We should be able to decide whether or not we want to keep that baggage in our lives. We may decide that we want to keep our loved ones’ memories, even though it still causes us pain but it was someone who was dear to us. Which is okay!
- My approach is similar to Marie Kondo’s declutter technique, I choose to declutter 99% of those painful memories, and I only keep the fondest memory of that person, and it was enough for me. Letting someone go can be painful and we find ourselves fighting to keep them, so saving the mental note of them will help us from experiencing withdraws.
- We should also make notes of the mistakes that we’ve made. It may be difficult but we should learn to forgive ourselves and let the pain that came from that mistake can. We don’t have to forget, so note the lessons we’ve learned, and allow ourselves to move on. Setting ourselves free and allowing ourselves to become a better person.
I prepared a new journal to capture my 2020 stories and planned my 2020
- This is the first year that I brought myself a bullet journal. And I know there are so many people who have been obsessed with bullet journals for a while. I hesitant in the beginning because I thought it was too time-consuming. But I realized I can select the layouts that best fits my life and still use the journal to keep track of my thoughts.
- I used the first pages as a mini vision board. I used Google and Pinterest to print pictures that I aspire to achieve and manifest. Since I always carry my journal with me, it is always there every time I open my journal as a reminder. I also included a health log to keep track of my health, finance log for my savings goals, and an overall board for goals, categorizing as Happiness, Health, Wealth and Creativity.
New hair, who’s this?
- One of the most therapeutic activities that I enjoy is changing my hairstyle. Whether it is a small trim or a big change, getting our hair done tends to give us a great sense of stepping into something new. At least from my experience, I always cut my hair whenever I encounter a major event, such as starting a new job or a breakup. Outside of the mental decluttering, having a physical change keeps us excited about what’s to come.
Release Jar, saying goodbye to my 2019
This is a new tradition that I’ve learned from my friend Lauren (thank you Lauren) that my boyfriend and I decided to make it our yearly tradition. The release jar is for us to write down our past mistakes and regrets and burn them as a sense of release. We used a big empty candle jar but you can use anything that is safe to use, please don’t use a plastic or paper box.
I hope you find these tips helpful and will be able to use some of them to get ready for a new beginning. We don’t have to wait a whole new year to commit to a new lifestyle, so you can refer to these tips for a fresh start. I would love to hear more of your personal traditions to get ready for a new year, please share them in our comment section. Check out my Youtube video on how I got ready for the new year.