What’s Your 20? Making Plans for The New Year

29 December 2012, by A. Cedilla

Well, hey there! We’re well into the last week before the new year starts, and we hope that you and your loved ones are doing okay, and hope you have an even better year coming in. This is just the last, short check-in for 2012 before we get to start anew in 2013. Here we go!

“What’s your 20?” is CB-radio-speak for, “Where are you?” Checking in with yourself, when you ask yourself, ” What’s my 20?” it becomes an open ended question, and opens up other questions:

  • Human nature being what it is, naturally we’d segue into, “Where do I want to be?” You dream, you wish, you hope.
  • This is followed by,”How can I get there?” You plot, you plan, you prepare.
  • And then — this is the important part, so pay attention–you act.

Where’s your 20?
Throwing in the 80/20 principle and the delightful laziness and anticipation that’s so prevalent around this time (“Oooh, a whole new year is coming up! Hang on, lemme get the eggnog before I plot to dazzle the world…”) in the coming year what do you think will make up the 20% that will give you the biggest difference? *Here is the time you go nuts writing down stuff, without self-censorship or shame. Dream big, plan small, steady steps.*

Any areas where you want to make a ripple-effect change? You know, start small, pebble by pebble? Throw those in as well.

It’s the time for reflection and joyful planning. You survived another year, and the next one’s a blank screen. You can project the broad strokes of your dreams on it and then plan out how to fill in the details. That’s how our minds work. We see the big picture right off the bat, and yet the more time we spend on it, we notice the small details coming out.

Where do you want to be?
Where do you want to be?
Where do you want to be?

There’s a paradox here: You can’t predict the future, and you can’t control everything in your life. The future is uncertain, and things change so fast, why try so hard?

  • You can’t predict the future, so you do your best with what you have, where and when you are. As Oprah said once. “Know better, do better.”
  • You can’t control what happens to you, that’s why you prepare by making the best of what you can affect and change, here. Now.
  • You can’t predict the future, so do what you can, and leave room for surprises and things to just happen.
  • Imagine what you can do with all that space.

Enjoy your time. Live like you mean it. Look around and appreciate all the blessing you can count.

Think of breaking things down into milestones and important events:

  • You will move to a new apartment or a new city or job. Or a new country.
  • Your kids goes to preschool, back to school or off to college. You go back to school, or graduate.
  • Your adoption pushes through, finally.
  • You turn a year older. You’re officially in remission.
  • You get your annual work-up at the doctor’s and decide what to do from there.

Sprinkle in the boring but important stuff:

  • Spring-cleaning, tax time. Dental appointments. Grocery shopping. Backing up data. Changing filters in the conditioning.
  • Getting school supplies. Updating your wardrobe. Getting your financial files in order for your accountant.
  • Preparing the house for the weather, like storm seasons, the aftermath of winter. Checking things out before setting up the barbeque grill in the back yard come summer. Finally getting rid of the stuff stored in the atiic/basement/garage that you meant to donate.

This doesn’t guarantee everything will fall into place –planning too far ahead or in too exact detail can make you play head-games on yourself. In trying so hard to see the future, your brain can trick you into registering things aren’t there yet. You make your own phantoms, and you can really stress yourself out that way, not to mention set yourself up for disappointment.

Set in the broad strokes, paint in a little of the details every day. Don’t forget, all the stories we read and watch have the boring bits cut out. It’s called editing. We don’t have that function in real life. If you expect your life to be anything like you see onscreen or read in books, prepare to be disappointed.

You can only live one day at a time, and do what you can in that day, so no use in shoving things in willy-nilly. You give yourself enough time to breathe, you give yourself time to be in the moment.

What’s the theme for the new year?
Like in music — symphonies have movements in them: suites, melodies…what’s your overarching theme for next year? Don’t laugh, some people really do things like this. Maybe it’s due to reaching a certain stage in their lives: a marriage, a divorce, the last child goes off to college, retirement, getting fired or laid-off, getting your heart broken.

Maybe you’re more comfortable with a literary theme. What’s the story you’re writing for yourself about next year? What about a mental gallery of images you want to realize? You have something in mind, a set of feelings to shoot for: more relaxed, content, happy, loved, secure, confident…

You have ideas you want to happen in real life, and you fill in the moments by being present for what you’re doing. Leave some space for improv — and for providence to come in. Happy New Year!

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