For the past 2 years, I have chosen one word to guide, inspire, and remind me of how I want to move through the upcoming year. In my last post, I reflected on my 2020 word, create. For 2021, I couldn’t narrow it down to one word, so I decided to change up the rules of this exercise and I picked two words! (I don’t know if there are any actual rules. And if there are rules, sticking to just one word should not be one of them. Do what works for you and all that jazz!).

My words for 2021 are… reflect and celebrate.

These two words are actions that I would like to turn into habits; I want the acts of reflection and celebration to be things that I automatically do. Reflect came to me first. I am already pretty good at practicing reflection, but I would like to find ways to do it more intentionally and more often. I have just wrapped up a year where I experienced a lot of personal change and transformation. It’s exciting because I can’t actually remember the last time that I felt this way as an adult. At the same time, I don’t want to “waste” this feeling; I want to reflect back on the changes that I’ve made, why I made them, which ones have fed my soul, and which ones need to be tossed out.

I would also like to make celebration a regular practice. Sometimes I get so distracted and bogged down by checking things off my list and the general busyness of life, that I forget to stop and celebrate: celebrate others, celebrate events, celebrate life, and celebrate me. I want to reframe how I see celebrating. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a big thing; it can be an internal pat on the back, a thank you, or a virtual high five. My friend, Tara, often asks this question: why do we feel like we need to wait for something big to happen before we let people know how we feel or celebrate a moment? Thanks Tara. You’re so wise.

We are still in a global pandemic. I don’t think that I am alone in feeling like 2020 happened to me. There were many things last year that were not in my control. At the same time, the limits and constraints that happened in 2020 created a great opportunity for me to focus on getting my business off the ground. Basically, the pandemic gave me the gift of time and took away many of the distractions that would have existed before COVID. Don’t get me wrong….I cannot wait for this pandemic to be a thing of the past. At the same time, it has been (and still is) a hugely impactful event on my life. For 2021, I am choosing to reflect on these COVID times because that allows me to reframe these COVID times. What has come out of this time? What are the changes that have happened that I want to hold on to? What parts of this new normal do I want to keep?

Restrictions, mask-wearing, and physical distancing have made it hard to feel celebratory in 2020. And yet, this slower pace of life has given me the chance to stop and notice things, to acknowledge the people and things I am grateful for, and to create time to celebrate. As we move through 2021 and toward the light at the end of this pandemic tunnel, I want to remember to take the time to celebrate all of the good things that are happening around me and in me.

I turn 50 in February 2021. Ack. If I’m honest with myself, this is the main reason for my 2021 word selections. I have not yet come to terms with what being 50 means to me and why I have such mixed feelings about it. Milestone birthdays have always been a time of reflection for me so it makes sense that I am in full-on reflection mode now. In many ways, I am starting this new year feeling like the most authentic and confident version of myself (hooray!). At the same time, I can’t help berating myself for taking this long to get here. I know that I have a lot of years ahead of me (hopefully) and yet, it still feels like time is moving too fast.

I would like to feel great about 50. I want to embrace the awesomeness of this age. Intellectually, I think that I am there but I want to feel it in my heart. I want this to be a celebratory year. It will be interesting to see what that looks like since I won’t be celebrating in ways I would have pre-pandemic (i.e., travelling and with friends). Sigh. Time to get creative and reflective and figure out what celebrating 50 means to me.

What practices guide and inspire you throughout the year? Do you have a word (or words) for 2021?