I have always been a planner. From the little things, like my daily to do’s, to larger goals. I have a plan, an alternative plan, and a back up to the alternative. Yet, if this past year has taught me anything, there is so much out of our control. Control. This is a concept I struggle with. I want to feel in control of my body, of my future, of my world. However, I am learning to let go. I am learning that control is all an illusion. That the only thing we have power over is our mindset.
The only thing we have power over is our mindset.
So as I embark on 2021, I have a new outlook on goals. I cannot plan if I will get a job, if I will fall in love, if I can travel again. My days of planning are beginning to fade as I attempt to leave a fixed mindset in the past. A mindset that is focused on outcome rather than process. I have realized that this is an unfulfilling way to live. Of course we should have aspirations, but if our aspirations are fixed we will never be fulfilled. We will be on a constant quest for what is next. The dopamine rush of success only lasts so long until we look for grass that is greener.
The dopamine rush of success only lasts so long until we look for grass that is greener.
In 2021, I aim to adopt a new mindset. A growth mindset. “Growth mindset” is a buzz word in every interview I have done in the past 6 months. In business it seems to let a recruiter know you are adaptable and willing to learn from the past to forge a better future. But I think that it extends further than success and failure. To me someone with a true growth mindset is grounded in the present. They enjoy the habits, they work to understand the systems, they linger in the process as this is where they find fulfillment. If we can be present, learn each day, and show gratitude for our work and experiences while they are happening we will ultimately be more fulfilled.
To me someone with a true growth mindset is grounded in the present.
This is a practice. Happiness is a practice. Optimization takes time. There is a learning curve and there is a shift that must occur. And while I attempt to leave my days of plans in 2020, my love for lists will persist. But my list for 2021 is different. My goals for 2021 are targeted at my mindset.
Every year for basically as long as I can remember, I would write exercise more or lose weight. (These are goals rooted in societal insecurity that I can go on and on about but that’s for another time). This year however I have shifted this goal. Focus on movement. Appreciate what your body is capable of. While this may not seem monumental, my past goals around exercise are appearance based. Exercise as a form of improvement, but also a form of punishment. A focus on appreciating my strength and ability (sometimes lack thereof) will have a positive effect that ripples through my physical and mental health (or at least I hope so).
Next, I hope to create more than I consume. Less watching, more doing. This can mean a variety of things. More writing, more painting, more organizing. But it means less mindless consumption. Again, this is a goal that is targeted at changing the way I navigate my day to day.
These are just a few examples. And of course, I am not perfect! There are a million things I want that are goal oriented. Graduate uni, get a job, travel. But I think for me personally I want to take what I have learned in 2020 and run with it in 2021. I want to leave the tragedy of this year behind, but acknowledge the growth. I want to capitalize on what I have learned and been through to propel into a better tomorrow. For me that is implementing gratitude, and mindfulness in new and inventive ways.
I want to leave the tragedy of this year behind, but acknowledge the growth.
2021 will be a year. I cannot say that it will be a great year, the best or the worst. But as the calendar flips it is a chance to reset. What do you hope for in 2021?