Do you feel yourself breathing a sigh of relief as you close the chapter on 2021?
Have you already mentally bundled up 2020 with 2021 as you look forward with cautious anticipation for 2022?
Interestingly, the 31st of December in 2020 and 2021 are not the only years I have noticed an influx of "good riddance" posts on social media about the preceding 12 months. Remember in 2019 looking forward to 2020 with "2020 vision"?
Every year has challenges.
Every year is tough. Some more than others.
But every year has good.
I believe building on the good that already exists is the most sustainable way to ensure the best possible path forward.
Here are two simple tips I believe that can make 2022 something to look forward to.
1. Build on a good moment that already fits snugly into your life
You may be thinking about how you can make changes to your day, but creating an entirely new routine is often not sustainable and can cause more stress than is worth it implementing the changes.
Is there a naturally occurring lull in your day? A moment of quiet before work starts? In the morning? Mid-evening?
This is the good moment I'm talking about. Claim it as your own. Give it a name. Call it me-time. Grow it.
Make a cup of your favourite tea. Steal your partner's noise-cancelling headphones. Release yourself from the pressure to do or achieve anything else in that moment.
2. Embrace the Silver Linings
In 2020 and 2021, many of us experienced the anguish of feeling out of control as rules around us changed how we could do life every day.
You may be imagining what life will look like as you plan for the emergence out of two years of uncertainty.
The reality is the future is always uncertain.
You cannot control everything around you and that's ok.
Many of you know the story how our third son was born with an unexpected diagnosis of Down syndrome and other medical challenges that left us displaced hundreds of kilometres from our family home for the first month of his life.
Almost four years later, I reflect that the times I have felt the most anguish are when I focus on what I cannot control.
I cannot control how my son develops in comparison to his peers. I cannot control when he will take his first steps, or speaks more words. Thinking about this can send me into a downward spin.
The times I feel the most joy are when I embrace the good that I see and build on this.
It's when I embrace my son's extra-squishy body and soak up his smiles and giggles which are in plenty supply.
As you approach 2022, I encourage you to move your thoughts away from the things you can't control, and notice what you have. Find those silver linings.
What is it for you?
There is so much good around you, waiting for your heart to embrace.
Indulge in life.