We are looking at the end of another year, but this year has been unlike anything we’ve ever known before. From political turmoil and social unrest, to the ravaging of the COVID-19 pandemic — 2020 was a year defined by its ups and downs; its give-and-take. If you (like so many others) found themselves getting off track this year, you’re not alone. That’s why it’s time to face forward and look ahead to 2021 with hope and optimism.
It’s time for you to get things back on track. The new year is a great time to give yourself a clean slate and refocus on the action that’s needed for you to achieve happiness. When our lives go off the rails, we’re the only ones responsible for putting them back together. Don’t let next year be as challenging as this year was. Take what you’ve learned and apply it so that you can be a better, happier human being.
It’s time for us to leave this year behind.
There’s hardly anyone on this planet that’s looking back at 2020 as a calendar year for humanity. There were so many ups and downs that it didn’t look like we would make it at times, but we did. Now, we stand on the cusp of a brand new year and we’re looking ahead at all the opportunities that life has in store for us. While some of us will take these chances and run, those who have gotten themselves off the right path will struggle to keep up.
It’s time for us to leave this year behind, and with it all the confusion, heartbreak, and upset. We need to go into 2021 determined to manifest authentic lives that genuinely provide what we need for joy and plenty. We need to go into the new year with our heads held high and our hands clasped together.
First, we have to figure out where our rightful paths lie, though. Have you gotten yourself off track? Are you feeling stuck, frustrated, or otherwise defeated by the life you built for yourself in 2020? It’s not too late to create a vision and start forming a plan that gets you solid results in the new year. We’re not talking resolutions here. We’re talking overhauling your life from the inside out. What do you want and why? Now’s the time to take what’s rightfully yours.
Signs your life has gotten off-track.
Have you gotten lost somewhere along the way this year? Are you feeling constantly frustrated, hopeless, or otherwise empty when it comes to your future? Get your life back on track and start by honestly accepting the following signs of a life that’s gone off in the wrong direction.
If life seems like everything is going wrong or nothing good happens, it’s a common sign that we’ve gone off the rails somewhere. Getting things right for ourselves feels good. We know when we’re with the people and in the places we’re supposed to be. We’re comforted by it. Frustration and general discomfort can show that you’re not in the right place in life, though. The right opportunities aren’t coming your way because you’ve put yourself in the wrong spot on the path.
Big change in mood
Our moods can tell us a lot about what’s going on in our lives. Has your mood gone from okay to bottomed-out? Do you go from hopeful or optimistic to feeling hopeless or as though everything is meaningless? When our mood heads south, it’s usually a reflection of the circumstances in our lives. Attaching yourself to people, places, and things which don’t bring you joy will only shift your mood to a negative place and make it harder to connect with the people around you.
The quality of life we lead is important. We’re on this planet for a long time, and it’s important that we can both enjoy and be comforted through the process by our environments. If life doesn’t feel like it has purpose or meaning, if it doesn’t feel like you “fit” then you may not be on the right path. While nothing may be “wrong” you’re certainly bored and dealing with a feeling of emptiness when it comes to your life and experiences.
What are your friendships like? Do they provide you with a sense of support? Of love and understanding? What about value? Do they bring a lot of value into your life, or provide you with a sense of fulfillment? If you’re not surrounded by people who want the best for you — people who push you to be better — then you aren’t surrounded by the right people. Our friends should bring joy, laughter, and love into our lives. Not misery and regret.
Did your intimate relationships take a hit this year? When we’re dealing with a lot of stress and hardship, these are often some first connections to suffer. We lash out at loved ones as we try to make sense of our complex emotions. We may also distance ourselves from them, or pull away out of a sense of hurt. If you struggled to connect or communicate with your partner this year, you’re not alone. It’s one of the many ways we can get off track.
Loss of self
This year was a whirlwind of chaos and heartbreak. We were confronted with some hard realities, and this led to a lot of retrospection and realizations. We were all changed by 2020, but some of these changes led us further away from who we were supposed to be. Maybe you became detached from who you are and what you want. Perhaps your needs are no longer being prioritized and you’ve stopped understanding who you are.
Controlled by fear
Have you become controlled by your fear? Does it dictate what career you choose? What relationships you build? Does it impact the way you communicate with others (or yourself)? The longer you allow your fear to control you, the more miserable you will become. In order to make bold moves in the name of your fulfillment next year, you’ve got to have more faith in yourself than fear of yourself.
How to put things back on-track in the new year.
Next year doesn’t have to be the nightmare that this one was. You can take steps now to increase the autonomy in your life and start taking action in the name of your future. Figure out where you want to go and aim yourself on getting there by reframing the narrative and taking stock of what matters.
1. Take a personal inventory
Putting our lives back on the right course takes time. As a matter of fact, we have to think of it in terms of starting out on a new journey. Before you can get where you need to go, you first have to figure out where you’re at. You need to look around and assess who you are and what you want. You need to be brutally honest about what it’s going to take to get there. The easiest way to do this is through the use of a personal inventory.
Take a step back and look at your life in full view. Look around at your life, your friends, your family, your career. What are the positives you can take from these things? What do you wish you could improve? Figure out where you’re at, what you have at your disposal, and where you need to be. Take stock of everything you have and everything you still want to conquer.
Consider the full scope of your life and consider too everything you need to put together in order to move on to the next phase. You need to be honest with yourself, and you need to be honest about yourself. What do you want most from your future? What can take you to that point? Take your time and don’t rush the process. The answers won’t all come to you at once. Question everything and listen when you answer.
2. Reframe the narrative
If you are someone who went through a lot of turbulence this year, then it can be easy to develop a negative narrative in your mind. Much like our negative inner-critic, this narrative forces us to believe that our lives will forever be unhappy or otherwise unrewarding. It creates the feeling of hopelessness, which then causes us to lose our motivation and our inspiration. We have to reframe this narrative if we want to get back on track in the new year.
Change the way you talk to yourself and what you expect from yourself. Every day as you get into your morning routine, stand in front of the mirror and name at least 3 physical characteristics you like about yourself. Then move on to the deeper layers. What are 3 skills you possess, or 3 exceptional things you do well?
You need to start seeing yourself as a champion, not as a victim. We were all tossed around by this year. That doesn’t have to be our fate forever. As a matter of fact, the turbulence of this year should serve as a reminder that we must take action for ourselves in order to thrive. Life is not just, and it is not fair. For us to create a life that’s fulfilling, we have to believe in our right to have that life and pursue it.
3. Figure out an action plan
Your life will never change unless you find the courage to take action within it. That’s because life is not a spectator sport. It doesn’t allow us to sit on the sidelines and watch as everyone else makes hard choices and sacrifices. It demands that we engage with it, and it demands that we too make choices and sacrifices. Rather than allowing ourselves to get swept away in those choices, we have to stand strong and figure out our own action plans.
Take what you learned in this year and apply it to your plans for the future. What did you learn about yourself and your strengths? What risks are now necessary? How have you been holding yourself back, or delaying the deserved?
Starting off on the right foot in 2021 is first going to require that you step outside the door. Launch yourself in the direction of your dreams by getting focused on what you need, and breaking down the steps to get there into smaller, more actionable chunks. You should be taking small steps every day, which brings you closer to your happiness. Until you take action, life will just keep handing you the same fickle, random cards.
4. Let go of the person you were
So many of us struggle to make serious changes in our lives, because we fear that it will somehow change us. That’s what life is ultimately all about, though. Change. We are organic and living creatures in a wild garden made for us. We are meant to grow and change shape. We’re meant to extend beyond ourselves and become something better. If you want to get back on track, you have to let go of the person that you were and embrace the person you’re becoming.
Understand that post-traumatic growth is all about changing. You’re not supposed to remain the person that you were — the person that fell for anything and accepted less than they deserved. Changing your life will inherently mean changing yourself for the better. It’s finding new skills and realizing new pieces of self that instill confidence and clearer vision.
All the challenges from this year have equipped you with a greater sense of compassion. The difficulties and the adversities have taught you that you can survive and that you will survive (if only by sheer determination alone). Until you let go of the person that you were, you’ll keep running into the same toxic people and the same toxic habits. Do you want to stay miserable, or do you authentically want to align your future with your joy?
5. Nurture your body and spirit
Taking action and establishing vision is one thing, but it ends up being ultimately meaningless if we don’t have the energy or motivation to follow through. We’re a bit like a battery. Our emotional and physical bodies only come with a finite amount of energy. Unless we take the time to nourish, rest, and recharge them — we can find ourselves running on empty and running into even bigger problems in our lives and relationships.
Make physical and emotional nourishment a part of your 2021 routine. Don’t only rush headlong into action and into new experiences. Give yourself some space and time to rest and recharge when you need it. Commit to taking care of your mind, your body, and your spirit.
We can’t get the best of life until we give the best of ourselves. That best self only happens when we ensure that we get the rest, food, exercise, and encouragement that we need. Take care of your body. Nourish the things that give you energy. Take time to yourself on a regular basis and recenter and re-engage with that authentic spirit inside yourself. If you don’t take care of your body and your mind, they won’t take care of you.
Putting it all together…
The year 2020 is surely one that will go down in the history books for all the wrong reasons. It was a challenging year, and it pushed most of us right to the brink of sanity and happiness. We’ve made it, though, and we’re looking at another year ahead. If we want things to be better, then we have to commit to making them that way. That happens when we take a step back and admit where things went wrong. Then we can take steps to get our lives back on track.
Take a personal inventory right where you’re at. How are you feeling and why? What direction do you want to go in? What skills and materials do you have at your disposal? All of these things matter. Until we know where we are, we can’t efficiently move to where we want to be. Reframe the narrative and know that you’re not the victim of life unless you choose to be. Your happiness depends on you and the action that you take. Consider your inventory and use it to inform the steps you want to take. Getting things back on track requires being proactive. Let go of the person that you were and understand that changing your life requires letting personal growth in. Nurture your body and your spirit. There are no guarantees that next year will go better, but you can guarantee that you find a way to thrive despite it all.