10 Reasons Your 2020 Planner Matters to Your 2021Jan 01, 2021
I probably won’t be the first person you follow to share with you ways to put a positive spin on what 2020 has meant or did for you. However, I know you believe, like I do, that no matter how good or bad 2020 was to you that one year is truly a small speck in the grand scheme of things. I know you believe that small specks can also leave lasting effects on our daily lives and some of them may be important or memorable enough to take with you into 2020.
In order to find or remember these grandly, important small specks of light amongst the brashness of 2020, I thought why not take the time to call about your inner list taker. Pull out that 2020 planner that so many are saying was a waste of your money. Grab a pen that has plenty of 2021 hope and gusto, and let’s write yourself a list of the things you LOVED about 2020. Let’s make your 2020 planner a landmark of all those memorable ways you made the best of life when the world seemed crazy but life slowed down.
Here are a few prompts for you to make lemonade out of the lemons of your 2020 planner:
What hobbies did you learn or restart?
If I could see what you write down for this one, I know for sure this will be one of my favorites because it’s the one for us that truly resonates for our entire family. I picked up my sewing again, for the first time in five years. Izzy began crocheting more and D3 spent more time outside and learning digital music. DJ, he learned the art of following an online auction, hence the presence of more equipment in our yard. All of these hobbies ended up adding so much more to our lives. Areas where we were too busy before. I know for all of us, they are things that bring a joy we neglected in the past because of one reason or the other. I’m hoping for you like us, 2021 is a year where you will continue to make time for these joys instead of pushing them aside or excusing them as unnecessary or unproductive.
Were you better at self-care or staying healthy?
Maybe you got one of those Peletons everyone was gushing over at the beginning of the year or you were like me and made getting outdoors and breathing fresh air more of a priority in your day. The beauty for us in 2020 is we all had at least a period of time where we could only think about ourselves in what was available to us to do. So whether it was ordering vitamins off Amazon or taking online zoom yoga, if you did more this year than most years to take care of yourself or stay healthy - write it down. Think about what else you might want to add for 2021 or what you don’t want to neglect ever again.
Who reached out for your help?
This might not be one you see as a memorable mile marker of your 2020 experience but I want you to take a moment to think about it. More than any other year I can recall, I have seen those around me be more willing to rely on or reach out to others whose skills, talents, services, or overall personalities were something they needed in order to make life work somehow in 2020. From my father needing help pulling his art classes from his gallery to online, to one of my girl scouts asking me to do her wedding makeup, to the teachers at the school district I sit on a board of collaborating efforts for how to educate our students virtually - 2020 was a year of not being afraid to ask for help. So who asked you for help and why? Were you surprised to be asked? Is it something you want to continue to offer to others?
Did you learn anything new about your family?
Lots of time with them probably means you learned at least one thing new about them. I can’t think of any better mile markers to put in that dusty 2020 planner than these little tidbits about those who suffered the journey with you this year. Did someone open up about how they were feeling, or did you discover a piece of genealogy you didn’t know before during a midnight binge of archives.com #speakingforafriend, or maybe you finally connected to the estranged family member who broke ties due to politics? All of these are great big landmark pins in this year’s journey. Make note of them.
Any new additions to your family?
Congrats to all of you who brought home a new bundle of joy! We are right there with you, except ours, like a large majority of families in 2020, our new bundle is covered in fur! Whether you gave birth or a four-legged friend brought new life into your home this year. Take a moment to journal the experience or at least stop and scan your phone’s photo app. Isn’t it amazing how one new face can completely change the dynamics of your life?
Any new recipes that made it to the family “Hit List” or “Never Make it Again List”?
With lots of time at home, cooking from home became “on-trend” again. Yes, you supported your share of take-out from small businesses but that new Instant Pot and growing recipe board on Pinterest tells me you did your fair share of grocery deliveries to try some new recipes. Which ones got the gold star ratings? I know two for us are easy baked ziti and beef stroganoff in the Instant Pot. They are going to become 2021 staples for us for sure.
What new places did you explore close to home or in nature?
When the pandemic hit and everyone was told to “shelter in place” you probably didn’t fully connect with what was happening until you were able to go or look outside. Complete quiet, rarely seeing a car, and hearing that people were even being told they couldn’t walk in a local park. Did you feel like you had a greater desire to explore what was right in your backyard? To get out in nature where there were fewer possibilities to see humans but still a possibility to experience and see life? Did these new places make an impact on you enough to make experiencing them a priority in 2021 or will you go back to the “normal” you once had?
If you have a partner or spouse, did you learn anything new about your relationship?
One of the best gifts you can give your partner is going through a season of growth with them, and 2020 gave us so many opportunities to be resilient spouses and partners. Were there moments you had to be self-controlled enough to keep your distance or maybe moments where they showed they needed you to take a heavier load of a burden? Loving 2020 truly comes down to how you loved others, and whoever that person is who does life with you, getting to know them better was an unseen opportunity 2020 delivered right to our doors.
How much money did you spend at big box renovation and hardware store, aka, what did you renovate?
If the coronavirus wasn’t the most used word of 2020, Home Depot or Lowes would be. You made your way to the six-foot distanced check outline with that fresh can of sea breeze blue paint like the rest of us. You sanded and you glued, and you nailed and you Amazon Primed. For the first time in a long time, we took time for making home feel like home again. Make sure to document it on more than your Facebook or Instagram. Use that 2020 planner you crossed out your beach and Disney trips to write in how your home feels more like the 2021 version of you than 1982 you.
When it wasn’t a big box, where did you shop?
You got to admit, 2020 was a blowout for some big box names. Jeff Bezo can thank his 2020 horoscope for making it a bangin’ year. However, you definitely discovered some diamonds in the rough who took #shopsmall to a whole new level. In 2021, how you shop and who you spend your money with could quite possibly mean they make it to 2022. This is where you buckle down and believe the #strongertogether mantra of 2020, so make your list and add a few in the new year too.
Throughout 2020 I’ve thought of you when I’d look at my weekly planner spread and see so many empty spaces or crossed out plans that were no longer possible. I’ve thought of you because I knew you were doing it too and, at first, wondering what would fill the gaps. Now, I hope you’ll look back and see they were being filled in all along by new ideas, spontaneous experiences, and things you once ignored or neglected. I believe your 2020 planner might end up being the most useful planner you’ve ever owned because it was the year we learned to live instead of focusing so hard on what it should look like to live.
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