How many times have you said:

Next week, I’ll …
Next month, I’ll …
Next year, I’ll …

Me, I’m a journal addict. I have journals for everything, including goal journals that help me create to-do lists, and to get things done. As I was growing my business and raising a family throughout my thirties and forties, my goal sheets were everything. I was very good at writing out pages on what I would do to move forward every single day of the week.

Then 2020 happened.

Is it just me, or does it feel like the lost year?

I often catch myself saying things like: “When that happened a year ago,” only to be reminded that no, it was two years or more.

It’s like we were all living in a bubble. An insulated place separated from the rest of the world. Me on the inside. The world on the outside. The two were on parallel lanes, but rarely did I form memories of the two together.

One year ago this week, the world shut down. Stay in place orders went into effect. And we all tumbled into a world of the unknown.

I picked up my journals the other day and read my entries for this time period. Wow. The things we went through. The fears I had. The action items we thought we’d all have to take.

Everything is topsy-turvy from what we thought would happen. While some of it was predictable, a lot of it was the great unknown.

I also looked back at my posts from last year. This one, in particular, I found fascinating.

6 Reasons COVID19 Has Me Focusing On The Present

Looking back, it’s those tasks that saved me. It’s those permissions I gave myself led to a very strong mindset, and a somewhat prosperous year. I gave myself permission:

Not to worry about the future. I still don’t. In fact, I’ve barely looked at news sources this year. The biggest headlines find their way to me. The rest is just fear-based antics anyway.

Be creative in new ways. I’ve taken oodles of online courses. I’ve joined some amazing groups that have connected me with like-minded people. I’ve Zoomed with friends and family all over the world. I’ve written and published books and courses. Yep, this past year has been very good for me creatively.

Take care of me. Self care. I do believe this is the one thing that has carried me through. I’m more systematic than ever before. While I may not be able to travel or attend concerts like I used to, I still put a lot of focus on my favorite things. I walk. I visit the beach regularly. I’ve paid particular attention to scent. I’ve got a spa-like regiment complete with serums and masks and moisturizers.

Reimagine how I make my income. Diversification is the key to my life. I’m back to working on passive income sources, and discovering how to invite other business opportunities into my life.

To learn. I have so many new teachers I’m learning from. I know they will be shaping my future for a long, long time.

What’s important now. WIN – that became one of my key words in 2020. In fact, I started many journal entries with my WINs written at the top of the page.

There are so many things I can’t control. Politics. The economy. The vaccine.

But I can control what I do each day. I can learn. I can vote with my wallet. I can make plans for my future.

Here we are in 2021

My word for the year is: Become. I resonated with the word because now more than ever, I’m focused on being present.

I look at where we’ve come as a world over the past few weeks. I look at the behavior of people right here in my own community.

  • We’re tired.
  • We’re exhausted.
  • We want to return to the old ways.
  • We want some sense of normality.

Yet that can never be. We’re here in a new world, whether we like it or not.

There are two ways to look at the future.

  1. Trying to get back to what you used to have.
  2. Planning for the way things may be.

The first is easier. It masks change, which is something few humans like to do. Realistic? I don’t think so. But I get it.

The latter is more realistic. Notice I say “may be” because truly, nothing is ever cast in stone. But there are hints of where we’re going if you watch for them.

And that’s where I am today. Creating an action plan for where I want to be a year from now. What I want my life to look like based on all I’ve experienced in the past year.

I’m changing my living arrangements. Working from home has meant three people under one tiny roof for way too long. So we’re expanding with a new rental in a new location. It’s just for a year – no way do I want to buy. Freedom means being flexible. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your life as good as possible. And right now, that means more space.

I’m morphing my business. What matters most to me is freedom. That’s why I’m creating new parts to my business. Freedom and self care matter to me. I know they do to you too. So you’ll see a few changes in the coming weeks. Watch for more on this soon.

I’m paying attention. It’s too easy to focus on the rhetoric, especially when it’s being touted in the news 24/7. There are a lot of underlying approaches to good health that are being ignored. I’m more focused on that than ever before. If you listen to what the top wants you to hear, you’ll follow in everyone else’s footsteps. Now is the time to break free, move to the sides, and select truth from reputable sources. Think for yourself. Plan. Change.

I’m connecting. I’m never going to agree with everyone all of the time. We never used to have a problem with that. Things change, but I also think it’s time to change things back. I’m open to ideas. I want to hear good thoughts about where we’re going in the future. I want open conversations that make me think.

The only way to move forward in big ways is if you think for yourself. Critically think.

Don’t accept answers that don’t make sense. Keep asking questions. Pave your own road. If you’re not getting the support you need on the path you’re currently on, it’s time to build another road.

I’m creating with the end in mind. I know exactly where I want to be at the end of 2021. I’ve created spreadsheets for income goals. I have goal sheets for the products I’ll be creating. I have marketing plans together for direction. I’ve hired an assistant to help me put some of this action into place.

The very essence of freedom is to be flexible, to live with spontaneity, to be open and go with the flow.

Yet freedom doesn’t come without planning. The more aware you are of what can happen around you, the more you can have things in place to protect against outside influences.

So that’s what I’m doing. I see my end goal. I know what it’ll take to get there. And given the past year we’ve been through, I have a lot of ideas of what can happen around me. I’m building all of that and more into my action plans for the year.

How about you? What are you doing to ensure the rest of 2021 shines?