Ahhhh, the Great Pause of 2020.
It’s completely accurate to suggest that the connotation of the word “great” is completely locked and loaded with implications here.
Good ol’ Webster likens this term to others such as substantial, serious, massive, mammoth, thumping, whacking… all accurate descriptors (particularly thumping and whacking), in my opinion.
Even into the new year, the ramifications of 2020 seem to be what consumes our hearts and minds and what sits on the tip of our tongues.
For some, it’s the only topic for conversation. Yet others (like yours truly), are so done talking about all things COVID, 2020 and everything in between.
The Great Pause of 2020 was a necessary interruption that forced everyone to stop, take a breath, and re-evaluate life.
It gave most of us the opportunity to slow down and spend more time at home with our families. It also gave us a chance to really think about our lives.
For some, it was a time for rest and healing. For others, it brought loneliness, heartache, loss and anxiety. In some cases, it served up a little bit of all the above. It certainly brought a season of change to us all.
Sister, regardless of your position on this journey, I hope that you experienced a sense of pause in some areas of your life that create unnecessary busyness and stress for you.
At some point, we must create a plan to move on from the Great Pause.
The topics of our conversations must shift with anticipation of when the masks will come off and we will breathe fresh air again. Let’s start talking about being able to greet one another again with a handshake or a hug and about continuing the tradition of family Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house.
It’s time for us to start re-engaging and communicating with people… lots of people… again, even if it means you have to get a little creative with the process.
Life as we know it is not over… it’s just different.
If you are ready to turn the page and move forward into this new year (I sure hope that’s a firm heck yeah because I love you too much to leave you where you are), I have a question for you to consider.
Now, I don’t mean just casually “think about”. I want you to examine it, chew it over, toss it around, reckon with it.
What are you going to start doing in 2021?
As you prepare to move on from the Great Pause, what specific steps are you planning to take? What are your goals? What does the “escape plan” look like for you?
I get it. The idea of considering the big picture can be overwhelming and the energy you assume it will require can be intimidating.
So, let me help you. We’ll keep it simple… promise.
Turn on your favorite music and put on your comfy britches… or don’t… britches aren’t necessarily required. Unless, of course, you’re doing this exercise away from home. BUT, if one of your 2021 ambitions is to take more risks, then you do you, sis.
Whew. That was awkward.
Ok, now find a pen and a piece of paper. You’re gonna need more than a sticky note for this exercise, so make sure your paper has room for multiple lists.
Are you ready to get clear on what you want?
Ok, good. Let’s get started.
LIST #1: Write down everything you want to do in 2021 that will create experiences.
LIST #2: Make a list of material things you would like to have.
LIST #3: Think about the elements of life that bring you peace and help you sleep at night. What do you want your future to look like? Does it include health, wealth, financial, or relational goals?
LIST #4: What ways would you like to contribute to others? Is it with time, money, or both?
LIST #5: How much “fun” money would you like to have on hand, and what do you want to do with it?
LIST #6: What (or who) do you need to bring into your life to give you more time? (i.e. delegate more responsibilities to your family, carpool for your kids, made-for-you-meals, house cleaner, robot vacuum, etc.)
And there you have it, my friend… goals for 6 different categories: Experiences, Stuff, Treasure Chest, Contributions, Fun, Buying back your time.
The next thing I want you to do is assign appropriate tasks to each one of those goals. For example, if you want Christmas of 2021 to be a cash only event, determine now what your gift budget is and decide how much money you need to set aside each month… and do it.
If you want to ensure that quality family time is a priority each week, then schedule it on your calendar… no really, write it on the calendar like you do everything else you’re committed to showing up for.
Once you have assigned realistic tasks to each goal you have listed, then pick the top four as your targets for 2021.
Or, if this exercise ignited a fire in your belly that has you feeling uber ambitious all up in here, then choose a goal from each category and leave 2020 standing in your dust with nothin’ but it’s big ol’ eyes buggin’ out.
Regardless of the approach you decide to take, the point is that you just freakin’ take one. Get clear on what you want… and then move in that direction.
Let’s start steppin’, sister.
Because I don’t ask anyone to do something I’m not willing to do myself, I worked through this exercise, too (with pants on, by the way).
If you want to see what steps I’ll be taking toward my sweet spot this year, I have shared them in our fabulous Facebook community. Come on over and take a peek.