None of us have survived the year that is 2020 without learning some important life lessons, maybe the most important being to be grateful for what you have. Everyone can point to one thing we are thankful for. I can’t remember a time in my life when people were more excited to see a year end and another one begin. 2020 has reminded us to expect the unexpected. No one could have predicted all the crazy turmoil this unprecedented year has delivered. It would be a collective wish to start 2021 and put all the chaos and crazy of 2020 behind us, but we know that isn’t possible. We are aware that a lot of 2020’s problems will not vanish at midnight on New Year’s Eve, they will still be there in 2021, but all we have learned from what we have seen, experienced and lived through can give us hope for 2021. How do you try and start a new year with positive expectations after living through a turmoil filled year that is still spinning off a crazy axis? As you take a look back through history, ours isn’t the first or only generation to go through hard times in our world. If you look at it with shapes in mind, history itself seems to be one ever-spinning circle. What helps people get through tough times? Hope does. The generations that came before us survived their darkest hours because they never lost their hope in better days to come. We can look ahead with hope too.
If you want to look to the new year ahead with hope, it will depend on your outlook. Outlook itself is defined as a person’s way of looking at things or attitude toward life. I can see how my outlook affects my own life. When I walk into things with a negative attitude, usually negative things happen. When I choose to focus on being grateful and look at life with a positive attitude, most things turn out positively (where it’s within my control). What can you do to flip your outlook and turn your thoughts toward the positive?
- Don’t make so many assumptions about the future. Instead of assuming 2021 will be the best year of your life or assuming it will be terrible like 2020 was, look forward to the new year with hope. Assumptions will hinder your outlook.
- Learn to be flexible. Being flexible can help you adapt when circumstances change and will empower you to keep a positive outlook. Circumstances will ALWAYS change, it’s just a part of life, but being flexible helps your positive outlook on life NOT to change.
- Spend your time and mental energy thinking about the things that you have control over. Our time is better served thinking on how we can improve the things within our own reach, making our life better which maintains our positive outlook.
- Set goals for you that aren’t going to be affected by the situation of the world.
- Focus on what you are thankful for and make a habit of sharing that with the people in your circle. Your positive energy and feelings will spark a fire for others to do the same.
Before Covid-19 came along no one really knew or used the terms “social distance” or “face coverings.” These are just 2 of many new ideas that needed to be introduced to our society to protect us, creating new habits that become a new way of life. As things beyond our control change how we must do things, new ideas and new resources are needed to help us adjust and better survive the circumstances in which we find ourselves. How can we choose to be positive when we are facing a new year that will be full of unknowns?
- New ideas – Continue looking for new ways to accomplish necessary things.
- Look at new ideas in positive ways – Don’t look at why something might not work, figure out all the ways how it CAN work.
- Teamwork – Some of the best ideas you will ever hear always come from a group of people working together with the same goals and interests. Keep a conversation going with your “circle.” You are always better together than alone.
- Try it and find out! – Give your new ideas a try. If they don’t work the first time, learn from your failure and keep trying until you succeed.
- Learn new things you’ve never tried before in new activities that grow your knowledge with new resources.
- Find opportunities to share your ideas -When your new ideas really start to take off, share them with someone else who can benefit from your success. You will find they can do the same for you.
Having expectations for 2021 is a scary thought, especially any positive expectations. In order to set our eyes to the future in the best way possible, come up with some! After the trainwreck of a year that has been 2020, how do we look to the new year ahead and create (and practice) positive expectations?
- Acknowledge the negative expectations that are already looming around in your brain. And make an effort to flip those to the positive side. No, you may not be able to take that trip to Italy in 2021, but you CAN go visit that state park you always wanted to see and take that hike you’ve always wanted to take.
- Choose to make positive expectations that you know will absolutely be able to happen. Finding some positive things to look forward to in the new year will create some excitement, and we could all use some positive excitement.
- Share what your positive expectations for the future are with someone you care about. Look for opportunities to help, support, and encourage people. You might be the inspiration they need to come up with some of their own good expectations, and maybe together you can have some positive expectations to share in 2021.
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