There is no disputing it, 2020 has been one hell of a year. It has been a year that nobody expected or could have planned for in any way possible. And since the year took a drastic turn so early, many people were already wishing for 2021 as early as April. The easiest answer was to get into a new year. Or was it?

Here we are, tomorrow brings in 2021. Is this new year going to be any better than 2020? Nobody has that answer. Yes, there will be big changes in 2021 that will hopefully help make it a better year, but nobody can guarantee that 2021 will bring about everything that is needed to get back to what we thought was normal or what really should be normal.

A few months ago I wrote about not needing a new year to have a better outlook on life. I still mean that today. You do not need a new year to make changes. Even though you don’t need it, you have finally come to the new year. 2021 has arrived.

So, what are you going to do with your new year? Are you going to change anything? 

Are you expecting the world to make all of the changes that everyone wants? Are you expecting the world to return to the way it was prior to the pandemic?

I can tell you that, in my opinion, there is a one hundred percent chance that the world will not return to the way it was prior to the pandemic. Too much has happened. And do we honestly want it to go back? I don’t. I want progress. I want change. We most definitely won’t have all of the change that is needed put into action in 2021, but hopefully, there will be progress.

No matter what the world does, you have to take control of your life and your year. Your 2020 may have brought you some shitty hands. You may have lost your job or lost family members. You may have experienced depression or anxiety. You may feel isolated and alone. You may be at the lowest place in your life. Or you may be cruising around life trying to figure out what is next. 

The first step is to take responsibility and if you need to, get some assistance. Ask for help, talk to somebody. Once you get to a steady-state, then you need to put in work. You need to figure out what you want and what you think is holding you back. What is bothering you about making positive change in your life? Do you know?

To start your new year off right and take control, journal on the following questions. Don’t force anything, but give yourself uninterrupted time to dig deep and write out anything and everything that comes to mind. I’m not going to give you examples because this is about you, not me or anybody else.

What made 2020 such a bad year for me? A good year? Yes, there are probably answers to both of these.

If I could do 2020 over again, what would I have done differently that was in my control (in other words, you cannot control the pandemic so that would not be an answer)?

What/how do I feel right now about life?

If life was perfect, 2021 would bring me…

My goals and dreams for 2020 were…

I accomplished ______ in 2020. List absolutely everything regardless of whether it is a big thing or something you may see as minuscule. 

The person I want to be in 2021 is…

I want to accomplish ______ in 2021.

Now, for every individual thing you want to accomplish, answer these questions:

My attitude needs to be ______ to accomplish ______. 

My efforts needed to accomplish ______ needs to be ______. Now break it down more. What efforts do you need to make to accomplish the bigger efforts you just listed? Keep going. What efforts do you need to make to accomplish those efforts? Break it down until you can’t get any smaller tasks.

If I don’t accomplish ______, my year will end up ______.

If I accomplish ______, my year will end up ______.

This exercise isn’t meant to overwhelm you. It is meant to break down what you want and who you want to be into small, achievable pieces. It is meant to show you all of the work that it takes to get to where you want to be. It is meant to show you that you can take control of yourself and your actions to give yourself the best 2021 possible.

Yes, there will be outside factors that influence your actions. Yes, there will be ups and downs. No, 2021 won’t be perfect. No year ever will. 

The actions you take in early 2021 can and will determine how your entire 2021 ends up. You can have an amazing year. There are so many opportunities to take control and starting a new day is just one of them. Make the decision now to be in control of your life, your actions, and your reactions.

Happy New Year!

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