You did it! You made it through 2020! It has been a trying year for all of us for a multitude of reasons. One of my favorites ways to conclude a year is to reflect on the past year and the lessons learned. This is a great way to help you get focused and centered around what you need to release from this past year so you can accomplish what you want in the months that follow. Here is a practice I complete each year – grab a notebook/journal to complete these writing prompts as you reflect on 2020. This practice will support you in defining the lessons of 2020 so you can manifest your best 2021. First, start with an activity to get you into your body. This could be a progressive muscle relaxation, body scan, movement activity (like yoga or dancing), etc. Feel into that place in your body of the here and now – the beating of your heart, listening to the sound of your breath. Feel into your heart space and ask what was 2020 like for you? Rather than answer with your mind, feel into your heart, what emotion is evoked? Whatever feeling is there, allow it. Now, take a FULL breath in, open the mouth, and let it go. Notice if there is a longing in your heart of something you would like to feel or connect to in 2021. Again, try not to answer with your mind but with your heart. Maybe there is something you want to create, or maybe there is something you want to release. Feel into what this upcoming year may have in store for you. Take another a FULL breath in, open the mouth, and let it go. Now grab a notebook and pen and write “2020 at a glance” at the top of a blank journal page. Take a deep breath and reflect on 2020. What happened this year? What are highlights that stand out? Write down all the things you did, experienced, places you traveled, accomplishments, illnesses, events, etc. Go through month by month and recall all the different experiences you had. We tend to forget all the different moments that took place, it is important to slow down and really reflect back on all the different things that have happened. Maybe there is a limiting belief about yourself that you haven’t done enough, or accomplished enough, etc. Maybe through this practice you are able to contradict that thought. This is a way to get perspective on that story we tell ourselves – it is rarely in-line with reality. So give yourself space and time to reflect on all the things that have happened in 2020 up into this moment here and now. These are the four focus areas to review the year:
Home – (everything relating to family, partner/spouse, pets, home life) Mind – (everything relating to work, studies (if you are in school), finances, intellect) Body – (everything relating to health, wellness, illness, how are you feeling in your body) Spirit – (everything relating to your spirit and your heart, emotions, spirituality, personal development) Focusing on these four areas, write down what you notice: Home – Close your eyes and think about your family and friends, pets, etc. How was this area of your life in 2020? Where did you do really well? Was there any area in home where you felt challenged? Where were you stuck? Where was there growth? What were the highlights? What were the low points? Where did you have breakthroughs? Give yourself space to feel into this area of home and take a FULL breath in, open the mouth, and let it go. Open your eyes and journal on this. Place “home” on a blank page and write about this.
Mind – If you want, close your eyes and feel into the body. Reflecting on this area of mind, this is everything related to work, work life, your studies. What have you learned in your working life? Have you had growth? Did you work hard? Did you have a loss in this area? Do you feel like you accomplished what you set out to accomplish? Maybe you put most of your energy here this year? Maybe you didn’t put as much energy here as you wanted? Give yourself space to feel into this area of mind and take a FULL breath in, open the mouth, and let it go. Open your eyes and journal on this. Place “mind” on a blank page and write about this.
Body – If you want, close your eyes and feel into the body. This area of your life includes health. How do you feel in your body? Level of fitness? Pain/illness? Have you been taking care of your body this year? Have you had any recurring patterns of illness/disease? What was your energy level? Is there anything that is being manifested through the body based on decisions/emotions/thought patterns? Did you have any challenges in this area this past year? Did you grow in this area this year? Any highlights? Any low points? Give yourself space to feel into this area of body and take a FULL breath in, open the mouth, and let it go. Open your eyes and journal on this. Place “body” on a blank page and write about this.
Spirit – If you want, close your eyes and feel into the body. Here we are focusing on your emotional well-being and your personal development. What steps have you taken to learn more about yourself? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about your triggers? What steps did you take to nurture yourself in 2020? Where did you do well? Where were you challenged? Were you connected to your heart this year? Did you allow yourself to feel this year? Did you talk about your feelings this year? Or did you cut yourself off from your feelings this year? Did you allow yourself to be the way you are? Did you bend over backwards to help other people? Did you balance your giving with your receiving? Give yourself space to feel into this area of spirit and take a FULL breath in, open the mouth, and let it go. Open your eyes and journal on this. Place “spirit” on a blank page and write about this. Now we are going to look at overarching themes of 2020. What was the BIGGEST challenge of the year? Maybe a relationship imploded, maybe someone passed away, maybe a pattern of events, maybe it was an illness, maybe you self-sabotaged. Write “My biggest challenge of 2020 was…” Feel into this and journal. Our next question is: how did it help you grow? Write “Thanks to this challenge, I learned…” What was your BIGGEST accomplishment of 2020? – What are the amazing things you pulled off? What great things came your way? Did you have a recurring theme of accomplishments or successes? Write “My biggest accomplishment of 2020 was…” Now let’s answer: how did you get to that accomplishment? Who helped you? How did you pull it off? Acknowledge the resources that are within and outside of you that helped you accomplish it. The next question is: what was a mistake you made in 2020? What was a wise decision you made in 2020? What are you proud of in 2020? What did you set out to do but didn’t complete? What were your unmet goals? It’s important to honor these things as well. In 2020, what are you most grateful for? What did 2020 teach you? Write “This year taught me…” On a new page write “What from 2020 do I need to let go of?” Write all the things that need to be released. Did someone hurt you? Did you feel betrayed? Did you fail at something and you want to let it go? This page will be separate from the rest of intentions and destroyed however you see fit. What is a resource that worked in 2020? What was a tool that helped you during a hard time? What is something that pulls you out of the anxiety of your mind and puts you in the present moment? It could be walking a pet, doing yoga, taking a bath, nature, journaling, music, it can be ANYTHING that brings you back to that feeling of ‘I’m okay.’ Pick the number one most important one. Now, define 2020 in one clear sentence. on a fresh page. Write “2020 was…” Now, define 2020 in one word. The one word that helps you embody this year. It doesn’t have to be positive or negative. “2020:______ ”
Take another full deep breath. Conclude this practice with a breathing exercise, or a spoken intention such as “2020 thank you for all the lessons, what’s done is done, what’s felt is felt, 2020 I release you.”
*adapted from Rachel Brathen