1As we say farewell to the tumultuous year that we’ve all experienced, we may want to completely forget it and move right into 2021. It’s a tradition to enter the new year with some sort of a resolution list, but let’s not do that this year—instead, lets just get ready for the new year.

Before you completely write off 2020, take a look at all of the things that have happened this year and create a list of the biggest lessons you’ve learned. Think back and see what lessons you want to take with you into the new year, whether it be new perspectives, coping skills, new ways of doing things. Now that you’ve got a list of your lessons, make a list of your accomplishments. This may be a bit harder to do because we find it hard to weed out the good things in the midst of so much chaos. But remember, small accomplishments are still accomplishments!

If you are one of those people who usually say, “I’m going to lose weight next year!” or “I’m going to be more active!”, you probably have a hard time setting that into motion. This is because of the simple fact that your resolution is too big! Life changing events like this are big and require micro-steps. Starting off with very specific goals like exercising three times a week after work or ordering out only twice a week can make your overarching goal so much easier to obtain! An old Chinese proverb says, “It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” Another aspect of micro-steps is doing one small action a day that can help you reach your goal—like drinking green tea every day or walking for 30 minutes.  Research shows that it can take as many as 30 days to create a habit, so if you start now, on December 1st, you’ll have a habit formed by the new year!

Lastly, say goodbye to 2020 by saying goodbye to clutter and old items. Go through your house using these 7 lessons given by Marie Kondo, a famous Japanese organizing consultant:

    1. Embrace change—its okay to feel weary about letting go of certain items, but it is also important to embrace change and learn to let go.
    2. Clutter can affect your relationships more than you think—a cluttered space can create a cluttered mind and can result in a shift in your relationships if not taken care of right away.
    3. Keep what brings you joy—this is one of Marie’s biggest principals! She beliefs that certain items bring up more joy than others and we should be aware of that when going through our closets and dressers.
    4. Be grateful for all of your belongings—when creating a “no” or “donations” pile, take a moment to say thank you and be grateful for those belongings as they have fulfilled their purpose in your home.
    5. Acknowledge that some items may have sentimental value—we sometimes keep things we don’t use because there is some sentimental value attached to it, take a moment to acknowledge that it exists.
    6. Don’t force yourself to get rid of stuff you don’t want to—we sometimes may have a hard time letting go of certain items and that’s ok! You don’t have to force yourself to get rid of things you don’t want to.
    7. Tackle categories, not rooms—focus on categories like organizing all of the books in your home, not just your living room or organizing all of the clothes in your home, not just your master closet.

By: Hilary Paredes, Capital EAP MHC Intern