‘The beautiful rests on the foundations of the necessary.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Twenty years ago, we eagerly awaited the dawn of a new millennium. Bands released albums themed around this new age and Prince promised that we would all ‘party like it’s 1999!’ The Y2K bug predicted that aeroplanes might fall out of the sky, banks would lose all our money and any digital products would fail to work as midnight struck on 1 January. Despite the hype, paranoia and fear, the midnight hour came and went with little disruption, and none of the predicted disaster. This allowed us to welcome in the 21st century and look to the new possibilities and opportunities which lay ahead of us.
The promise of a new millennium, decade and year can be an enticing prospect. It gives us hope for the future, space to dream and scope to look beyond our current circumstances towards the life we wish to have. And as the year turns from 2019 to 2020, we all look to the horizon, chasing our futures.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail
I spent a few hours last night cleaning and tidying my house. I prepare for the new year with a clean house, and a clean mind, because having my home environment sparkly helps me to clear out my thoughts, leaving room for the newness arriving at midnight.
This ritual helps me to get myself in gear, gives me time to focus on the present moment and it’s often when my best ideas come into life. Changing my perspective and giving myself over to tidying and hoovering gives me the focus I need and stops me from getting caught up in reliving the past or projecting into the future. These are all too common hobbies at this time of year – nothing wrong with a little bit of reflection and dreaming, but when we become so consumed in regrets of the past and wishes for the future, it can be hard to live in the here and now.
New year – new you
And that’s what new year is like for a lot of people? We still party like it’s 1999, allowing the consequences of our choices to dictate our resolutions for 2020. ‘The diet starts on Monday!’ is the battle cry we hear as we eat another After Eight mint. Each new year we’re inundated by the media encouraging us to improve ourselves by loosing weight, toning up and dieting. After the extravagance of the festive season, many of us are looking for ways to lose a bit of extra weight, start a new exercise regime and make some positive changes in our lives. But like any new venture it’s important to take time to plan and prepare before undertaking any big changes. This includes planning for the new you and getting clear on what your goals are and why they are important to you.
It’s not enough to simply want to ‘get fit’ or ‘lose weight,’ it’s important that we get clear on why these things are important for us. Do you want to be fit so that you can run a marathon, take your dog a longer walk or maybe you’d like to play with your kids without feeling out of breath? These are all motivating factors which could keep you encouraged through the tough times when it’s raining outside, and you don’t want to go to the gym.
Foundations are the key
When you have your goal and your ‘why’ that’s when it’s time to start building the foundations for the ‘new you,’ this gives you a solid basis to create the life you want and reach the goals you’ve set in for 2020.
Our foundations are the unshakeable aspects of our personality, those parts that make us who we are. My foundations are made up of being fearless, stubborn and a perfectionist. These all have a mixture of positive and negative sides, but they are the basis on which my personality and my life choices have been made. I use these as the cornerstones to help me work towards my goals, to draw strength when I need it to get through tough times and to define myself when I lose my way. If one of these aspects isn’t working as well as it could/should then I know that it’s time to make some changes.
The start of something new
But foundations are also the start, the first part of your house to be constructed and they are the beginning point of any new journey. When starting a new hobby, we learn the basics first, and it’s useful to revisit these even when we consider ourselves to be experts. Having a ‘beginner’s mindset’ allows us to see things we are familiar with, from a brand-new perspective which can open us up to new possibilities. The old and familiar can easily become new and undiscovered.
It doesn’t matter if you chose to not make a resolution or if you decide to create a massive list of 2020 goals. Take time to consider what you want from this year, why this is important to you and then take it back to basics. But try to remember that no goal is worth obsessing over, take it seriously but be kind to yourself along the way – the journey is quite often more important than the destination, so sit back and enjoy the ride through 2020.