In saying goodbye to 2020, I decided I wanted to choose a one-word theme for 2021. While I haven’t had the spike of “time to get my act together” energy I usually have around the turn of the year, I have been reflecting on what I would like to be different. I prefer intentions to resolutions, and since I can’t change the world, I’ve decide to change my attitude. My plan is to have a sunny 2021.
As 2020 was drawing to a close, social media pounded home the idea that it had been a rotten year that everyone was eager to put behind them. But the belief that 2021 is going to be completely different from 2020 is unrealistic. Yes, we have a vaccine now, but COVID is still here. We’ll be wearing masks for a while yet. And 2021 is sure to have its unpleasant surprises, things we didn’t see coming, just like every year that’s ever been.
Instead of expecting the world around me to behave, I’m focusing on what I can control: my attitude and outlook. We can’t control events, but we can decide how we respond to them. The best thing I could think of to do for the coming year was to set the intention to be more positive, to focus on the good and develop an attitude of gratitude.
In trying to figure out how to make this change happen, I decided I would choose a word for the year as a personal theme, but I was having a hard time getting excited about words like Positive or Gratitude. While these would be pragmatic reminders of my intention, they weren’t very inspiring.
Then I listened to episode 306 of the Happier Podcast in which Elizabeth said her word for the year is Butterfly. She explained that one of her goals is to do some emerging from various metaphorical cocoons, but she didn’t really want to use the word Emerge. She wanted a fun word that would make the process more enjoyable. Plus, every butterfly she sees will be a gentle reminder of her goals.
I loved the idea of choosing a fun word that could be depicted visually and that would constantly remind me of my intention. Sunny describes the outlook I am shooting for. It will also remind me to get outside into the sunshine, something that always improves my mood. And I’m going to pay more attention to the sun and its behavior as one of my nature journal projects for the year. I’m even making a sun ornament for my advent calendar.
I don’t know how successful I will be in changing my attitude, but Sunny has already reminded me to take a breath, be patient with others, and not to let frustration build needlessly.
I’m going to spend 2021 looking for the good in the world.
How about you? Do you have a one-word theme for the year?