Every year around this time I do a reflection of the past year. What worked? What didn’t work? Where were good results produced? What do I need to do better in the next year? I strive to keep the analysis balanced between acknowledgement of success and acknowledgement of improvement. But as I reflected on 2020, I had to admit that my thoughts were heavily skewed towards improvement. Absolutely my perfectionism was coming out. I also realized that I needed to review the year with a greater intention of completion and closure. I needed to discipline and focus my thoughts on what was incomplete so that I could cleanly leave 2020, without leftovers trailing behind me, and be ready for 2021.
We have all adapted to doing things differently this year. But the adaptation can’t be a used as a glop on top of the disappointment, frustration, anger, and sadness of how things were supposed to go. Accepting that we must do things differently doesn’t make those emotions just go away. We must express how we feel to release it. If we don’t, we’ll drag those leftovers into a new year, where they will hold us back and diminish our ability to create something fresh and new.
For me, I had to acknowledge the leftover that I am still sad and angered that I didn’t get to see my new granddaughter more often. At 11 months old, she seems to change daily. And, while I appreciate technology and FaceTime, I am angered that I can’t hold her and play with her the way I had planned to during her first year.
I also had to acknowledge that some of my assumptions about what wouldn’t work virtually were wrong. I knew that my software training would seamlessly transition to a virtual format. I was just as convinced that most of my human skills training would not work virtually. It was very upsetting to me when I was wrong and that much of the human skills training produces the same results as the live face-to-face training. I had to acknowledge that I miss doing the face-to-face trainings. I also had to acknowledge that I was the person who needed to change, shift, and do things differently. Funny how when you are pointing to a change there are always four fingers pointing back at you!
So, as you reflect on this very uncommon year, where do you have leftovers? What still needs to be expressed and acknowledged? What have you adapted to from 2020? Where are you angry at having planned something for 2020 and weren’t able do it? Where do you need to give yourself a break and begin thinking about 2021?
Asdrubal Cabrera, Venezuelan soccer player said, “Everything that happened last year stay in the past.” True – if we consciously complete it. Acknowledge 2020 and how you expected it to go. Forgive yourself for things not accomplished that you had promised yourself. And express how you feel about all of 2020 – even when you adapted and even when it really worked. Leave the leftovers from 2020 in 2020 and create a fresh meal for 2021.
Let us know how we can support you in completing 2020 and creating 2021.