2020 marked the beginning of a new tradition: 2020 alignment. To kick off the new year I booked a one night stay at a local hotel to reflect on 2019 and set my intentions, life shifts, goals and biggest dreams for the year to come. The 12 hours of complete solitude gave me the space and mental quiet I needed to dive deep into the swirling waves of thoughts and emotions that come with the start of a new year.
Without a doubt, it is a tradition that I hope to maintain for the rest of my life. Although I’d like to expand it to an entire weekend getaway for myself where I have the time to think, explore and indulge in some healing practices to help me rest.
Everyone processes the new year differently, but I wanted to share some of the questions I asked myself to help process the previous year and guide me in choosing strategic and achievable changes that I know will have the most impact for me emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. This post looks more at my 2020 intentions, but you can check out my post “2019 Reflections” for a deeper look at my own journey last year.
For my 2020 Alignment staycation I stayed at a boutique hotel in Laguna Beach and it couldn’t have been a more perfect fit for me. Some of you will roll your eyes, but I am such a presentation person. I absolutely love when a place is esthetically pleasing and has a unique feel to it.
It felt a bit odd checking in to a hotel all by myself and I received more then a few strange looks from the workers. How bizarre that a woman would treat herself to a getaway without someone to keep her company….
Once I was in my space I turned on my piano music station, lit a (clean) candle, threw my pjs on and it was utter bliss. Having learned a thing or two about myself over the years, I know I need complete seclusion sometimes. Sure I get my “alone time” each morning while Omid is still sleeping in the other room, but sometimes I need to be somewhere where I know absolutely no one can interrupt me.
After I made sure I was as cozy as can be, I pulled out my journal and began to process. Below are the some of the questions I went through and the intentions and boundaries I set for 2020.
What feeds my soul?
- Alone time
- Quality time with friends/family
- Clean home
What do I need on a daily, weekly and monthly basis?
- Clean home
- Quality time
- Alone time
- Day of self-love, indulgence
2020 Commitments to Myself
- Sun exposure + grounding
- Reading time
- Journal time
I read a powerful book, Miracle Morning for Millionaires (I link to it on my resources page), that explained just how powerful mornings can be when you use them well. The main concept in the book is that if you start your day off with intention and joy, the rest of your day will follow suit.
I have seen just how true this is in my own life. Now that I have my morning routine that involves everything listed above, I get so excited to wake up each morning because I know I am going to start the day off filling up my self-love tank and energy stores. Along with this, I know that I am not going to start the day off in a mindset of reactivity where I simply respond to the things happening to me.
I notice now that if I do not do my morning routine, I often get swept away with the day, my entire schedule falls to pieces and I let life take over me vs. me having control over my life. But, when I begin my day with these purposeful decisions and activities that fill me with joy and energy, I find that I am more equipped to remain in control throughout the day. I don’t let myself get distracted while working, I don’t randomly check my phone and scroll through social media, etc.
- In bed between 9-10pm
- Dim or low lighting throughout the house after sunset
- Blue light blocking glasses after sunset (read all about blue light here)
- Calming activities before bed vs. social media, podcast, or anything that gets my brain going 100 mph
These are all huge for me because I see the difference getting in bed by 9pm makes vs. even 11pm. Likewise, creating a calming and sleep inducing environment closer to bed time has been so impactful on the quality of my sleep.
I noticed that activities like listening to a podcast or going on social media all light by brain up with energy, questions and information to process. Instead, this year I want to engage in soothing activities before bed that help my brain wind down slowly: a bath with gentle music in the background, stretching and breathing exercises, journaling, coloring (yes, I did go out and buy an adult coloring book and I am stoked), reading poetry, red light bath, gua sha, etc.
- Turn off app notifications
- Timed sessions on social media
- TV shows/movies on weekends only
I can’t even begin to explain how freeing it has been to turn off my app notifications. I don’t know about you, but when I see a notification pop up that I have a new email or message and I am able to read part of it, it is so hard for me not to respond immediately. And even if I don’t respond immediately, if I know what it is about it nags in the back of my mind all day until I finally do respond.
Turning off pop-up notifications may honestly be one of the best decisions I’ll ever make haha. I still see the little numbers over apps so that when I am ready to set aside time to check emails, or check Instagram I know there are things to respond to, but they don’t weigh on me all day in the meantime.
The second best decision was to only go on social media or any other website, app, with a timer set in the background. So now, I will consciously set a timer for 10 minutes, open Instagram and devote my attention to only Instagram. This actually gives me the space to really read posts I am interested in. Before, I was mindlessly scrolling like so many of us do because we are just subconsciously looking for mental stimulation.
The TV on weekends is so critical for me because I just find that I am so much more productive when I set that boundary for myself.
I also wanted to choose three words that would be kind of my mantra for the year which are:
- Conscious (or intentional)
- On fire
Each of these so deeply resonate with the kind of person I want to be in this life. I want to be 100% present in any given moment or activity. If I am in conversation I want that person to have my full attention, if I am driving I want the road to have my full attention, if I am reading, or watching a movie or on social media. I am actually rejecting this idea of multi-tasking because I find it makes me feel pretty anxious inside and prevents me from really absorbing any given moment.
I notice that if I am watching a movie and “relaxing”, but am on my phone during the movie and keep shifting my attention back and forth, I actually end up feeling exhausted and like I didn’t even really have the experience at all. It leaves me still craving another movie and more relaxation. But when I just sit through a movie completely focused on it I feel so satisfied and calm at the end because my brain wasn’t jumping all over the place.
I chose the word “conscious” because I want to be much more conscious of the things I am doing and the words I am saying. I don’t want to just start scrolling through social media or checking messages just because there is nothing else to do.Likewise, I want to be more conscious of the language I am using with others as well as myself. I want to say what I mean and mean what I say.
Finally, I chose “on fire” because I want to be so lit up for life. I want those who interact with me to feel that vibrancy and zest and I hope that it will spill over onto them.
I actually had custom rings made with each of these three words on them written in Latin to act as a daily visual reminder of these goals: praesens (present), conscio (conscious), in igne (on fire).
I could elaborate so much deeper on each of these, but it gets difficult in text. I am actually planning to do a solo episode on my new podcast, The Accrescent Podcast, going over my 2020 Alignment process more in depth and describing. My podcast launches in February and I cannot wait to share it with you!
Each of these goals is so specific to me and what sets me on fire as well as what completely drains me. The journey to growth starts with a deep knowing of yourself. I am so excited to see what these new commitments allow to come through in 2020 and I hope this post has inspired you to look deeper and make some shifts that will help you become your most authentic, healthy self! 🙂