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Beacon Senior News

End 2020 intentionally, celebrating the good

Nov 23, 2020 11:04AM ● By Melanie Wiseman
new year resolutions, ending 2020 intentionally

The beginning of a new year is exciting, offering a fresh start, new goals and future plans. 

Now that we’re on the cusp of 2021, it’s time to end the current year intentionally. You can accomplish this by looking back and celebrating the year’s “wins,” journaling about what you’re grateful for, and making peace with yourself through self-forgiveness.

There’s an old saying: “We live two lives, and the second begins the moment we realize we only have one life to give.” Living our best life is critical. Releasing your white knuckle grip of trying to be in control will allow new opportunities to appear sooner than you think. We may not have control, but we do have choices.

End your year intentionally by asking yourself important questions, such as: Did I carry any unnecessary burdens this past year? Did I waste time worrying about what other people thought? Did I have a hard time saying no because I want to be liked and needed, yet saying yes to everything left me exhausted and resentful?

“People need to learn not just to say no, but that no is a complete sentence!” a good friend told me recently. 

Which brings up another good point. Did you surround yourself with friends this past year who were good for you—supportive, patient, understanding, honest, kind? Or do you need to shed some negative relationships that zapped your time and energy?

In contrast, ask yourself who, in spite of COVID, you’ve connected with or befriended in 2020. Personally, I witnessed my neighborhood transform and bond through acts of compassion, caring and concern as we all sought to overcome the pandemic’s isolation.

What brought you joy in 2020? The year’s challenges made many Boomers grateful for living on the Western Slope, including our ability to explore and enjoy so many wonderful outdoor experiences. We also found creative ways to stay in touch, like FaceTiming with my 95-year-old father or participating in small, well-spaced outdoor book clubs and dinner gatherings.

What’s one thing you changed about yourself? There’s freedom in knowing we have the ability to change. Maybe you decided to care more about recycling and the environment, or became more patient with people. Maybe you admitted your mistakes, learned from them, grew in the process and moved on.

New Year’s resolutions work for some. But I’ve always believed that the only constant in our lives is change, and that baby steps are more realistic and promising than giant leaps. 

It may be difficult to look forward to a new year with so many uncertainties. Yet, if we can cut through the “noise,” end this year intentionally and look ahead guided by our values and gratitude, the coming year will be filled with purpose and hope.

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