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Setting Intentions for 2021: How Can We Plan for an Uncertain Year?

We Made It!

2020, the year that simultaneously felt like an entire decade and only a few weeks, is over. We all made it through a lot of challenges – physically, mentally, and financially. We stayed home. We wore our masks. We sanitized. We socially distanced. We homeschooled. We cared for loved ones. We grieved. We worried (a lot). We watched businesses close. We explored our own backyards. We tried to plan, and then changed our plans, and then maybe even changed them again. But we made it and now we’re at the start of a brand new year!

Now What?

While 2021 brings new optimism, it will surely bring new challenges we can’t yet imagine. We’re moving in the right direction with vaccines beginning to roll out, but life is not yet back to ‘normal’. Many of us struggled with the uncertainty that 2020 handed us and now we’re looking forward to another year that we can’t really plan. It’s hard to be optimistic and accept that and despite our best efforts our plans might be changed or cancelled at any minute.

I recently found the paper planner I started at the beginning of 2020 – filled with unrealized plans to travel, visit with loved ones, and attend concerts. It was blank from mid-March onward and I laughed at my old self as I tossed it into the trash.

So, how can we set intentions and make plans for the year ahead when many things are out of our control? For this reason, our team is setting goals for things we CAN control that will help us get through the next twelve months with our sanity intact.

Here are some of our team’s do-able intentions for 2021. We hope they might inspire you to plan your own year ahead:

Be kind to yourself and others
It’s been a tough year for everyone in different ways. Remember to treat yourself and others with care because we’re all doing our best. Check in on your friends and family or treat yourself to a cheerful bouquet of flowers.

Exercise regularly
We all know that physical exercise helps our mental health and with the plethora of new online fitness programs, there’s something for everyone at every price point. An option for all ability levels is Yoga With Adriene where you’ll find a huge library of free yoga classes and zero judgement. Getting out for a walk is another great free option! 

Feed your body right
After a year of stress-eating and a few too many cocktails, we’re going to focus on fueling our bodies in the right way. In order to feel our best we’re going to try to eat more whole foods and drink more water. 

Spend more time outside
Being outside in nature instantly helps boost our mood. You’ll find us exploring new trails and camping spots this year. 

Meditate
Even a few minutes of mindfulness practice can help reduce anxiety and help you focus on what’s really important. There are many apps and podcasts to help you get started, but we love Ten Percent Happier, Headspace, and Insight Timer.

Simplify and reduce clutter at home
After spending the past nine months at home, we’re looking forward to making space by cleaning our closets and getting rid of stuff we don’t need.

Listen to music or read a book instead of watching TV or scrolling social media
Choose the activities that fill your tank. Watching the news every night or scrolling through negative things online won’t make you feel as good as listening to a new record or getting into a great book. 

Learn something new 
There are lots of new things you can learn from the comfort and safety of home. Some of the things our team wants to learn this year include speaking French, playing crib, and two-finger whistling. 

Stay in touch with family and friends
We can’t be together physically right now but we can still stay connected with loved ones through phone calls, emails, video chats, and letters. 

Travel if, when, and where it’s safe to do so
Hopefully we’ll be able to get out into the world and explore this year, even if it’s just a getaway close to home. With the flexible cancellation policies and insurance options available these days, it’s easy to cancel if your plans have to change.

We wish you health, peace, and joy in the year ahead. When the unexpected occurs (as it surely will at some point) just remember the wise words of Dory from Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” We’ll all get through this together.