I usually find New Years to be a disappointment. There’s something about being crammed shoulder to shoulder whilst you jostle near the bar that is totally unfulfilling for what is meant to be a magical night. Especially when you’re paying extortionate prices for drinks that will just get spilt on an already sticky floor.
There’s always been a moment in the evening when I feel a deep sense of loneliness amongst the large sea of people. I find myself being pushed around as I ask myself why I’m even there.
So, over the years I’ve left clubs, bars and pubs behind me and opted for the comfort of home with one or two friends.
This year, as I consider New Year, I look back at it all. Not just the sticky floors but the occasional gems of an evening. I admit that there have been one or two rare evenings where everything fell into place perfectly. A New Year’s celebration where every person I came into contact with helped align my evening into something like a beautifully orchestrated play where every act was seamless. These are probably the years where I’ve had one too many cocktails. Even so, there’s something magical about having that sense of warmth and connection as you sway next to a stranger in a pub, holding their hand and singing Auld Lang Syne loudly before stumbling into a star-filled sky for a cold walk home.
But it’s 2020 and I wouldn’t even hold my Mum’s hand let alone a strangers’.
This year, I’m expecting New Year’s Eve to be a surreal experience. Most of us will be relieved to put 2020 behind us.
As a worldwide community, we have more in common to celebrate than ever before and yet there won’t be a celebration. There will be no parties. No streamers or confetti. No glittery dresses or rounds of drinks.
Maybe we’ll stay up late and clink a glass of bubbly at midnight, but it will be with a select one or few that we’ve given the privilege of sharing our 2020 bubble with. Part of me envisions a worldwide sobbing session as the clock strikes midnight and we say good riddance to the year that we still can’t explain.
But regardless of how the evening goes, the new year gives us an opportunity to evaluate our life. To set goals. To re-set our course if needed. Of course, this happens every year but this year it feels like there’s more poignancy to it all.
We’ve all questioned our lives in 2020. Whether it’s the job we do, the hobbies we commit to or the people we share our time with, we’ve all considered if there’s something more important. For some of us, we’ve made real change already. For others, we’ve been scared to take action.
For all of us, the new year is a golden opportunity. What is it that you want to achieve? What thoughts cycle over and over in your head? Where do you need to make change?
I think back on all the goals I’ve set for myself over the years and question which ones I’ve actually succeeded at.
Right away, I see a trend to my past goals. If I kept the goal to myself, it’s because I never had the true intention to commit to it. These tended to be goals which I’d get around to if I found the time. In other words, I had already made the excuses not to commit.
But for the goals that I shared aloud with a loved one, there was instantly more commitment. I had thought these goals through more thoroughly and I was more determined from the start that I really wanted to achieve them. Naturally, this meant I shared them with people.
So which goals did I share with people? Which ones stuck?
Wanting to take up sports again, wanting to drink more water (I spent most of 2011 going to the toilet) and wanting to run a half marathon were amongst the most memorable.
All of these had another common thread. There was intention behind them. I really wanted them and there was a deeper meaning attached.
When I wanted to take up sports again, I was fed up with feeling like a slob and having no energy. I needed exercise but I wanted to enjoy it. Finding fulfilling exercise really meant something to me.
When I wanted to drink more water, I was coming off of a decade of over-drinking alcohol and I desperately wanted to cleanse my body. I needed this.
When I wanted to run a half-marathon, I had been stuck in a cycle of thoughts that told me I was stuck in my life. I couldn’t change anything, and I had no control. Well, I felt that there was no better way to disprove these thoughts than to achieve something through hard work and determination. To really take control and prove to myself that I could do anything if I really wanted to. So, I signed up for a half marathon and I trained my ass off. I wanted it badly.
The common thread in all of my goals was intention. A real meaning behind why I wanted to make change. If you can find the why for your goal, I believe you have a much better chance of success.
After all, it’s your why which will keep you going when you have to run 12 miles in the pouring rain. It’s your why which will tell you to shake off the ankle pain when you’re nearing mile 9. It’s your why which will remind you of everything that you’re capable of.
Your intention is what will motivate you when things are tough. Find this and you are setting yourself up for greatness.
So many of us will be considering new goals for 2021. So what is your goal? What is your intention?