acknowledge the progress

Acknowledge the progress- 2020 manifesto reflections

Setting a 2020 manifesto felt so grand and motivating at the beginning of the year. This year was set to be challenging, growing and exciting. It was still all of those things but in unexpected ways. While 2020 brought global unexpected more than we usually experience, a year rarely works out as we intend from the beginning. But that is the point of having these intentions. They are anchoring points to keep us focused on what is important to us and helping us to grow into the people we want to become. We can acknowledge the progress we make. This is the second part of reflecting on how my 2020 manifesto impacted my year. (You can read the first part here.)

(The title of each section will take you to the original blog post if you’re interested in why I chose it.)

Invest in relationships

This year has reminded us all of the importance of connection. We were reminded of how much we take for granted in being able to see people face to face. Our idea of community and what that means was shaken up. It took greater intention to reach out and connect rather than relying on random connections at the places we usually go. 

I find this one difficult to reflect on. On the one hand, I smile at memories of online and in-person times with friends that I have built-in. On the other, I think of those I have neglected to make time for and the regrets that threaten to rise. Maybe the best way to reflect is to acknowledge the progress. Then allow the places that don’t match up to my intention to inform the next steps of growth. 

Create more than consume

The scale is decidedly tipped on the consuming side! I have bursts where I reached for the creative more but this is not consistent. It is easy to allow guilt and frustration to take hold. Instead, I am choosing self-compassion. This year has been filled with decision fatigue, innovating and stretching. I have needed the comfort of allowing my brain to rest and be still. Yes, I can achieve this through creative pursuits too. However, many times the decision on what creative thing to do felt too much. 

I guess I also need to shift my perspective on what ‘creating’ is. I have created weekly blog posts, podcast episodes and a new teen coaching group. New ways of connecting with the leaders I work with have been launched, including a new training program. Parenting has required a lot of creative energy to manage challenges too. Maybe I have created more than I thought! Maybe you have too?

Progress over perfection

This mantra has been on my mind repeatedly in a world of pivoting, experimenting and new endeavours. It has been the permission I have needed to keep moving forward and not get stuck in an endless cycle of waiting for the perfect time, circumstances or product quality. I am allowed to be a learner- trying and messing up and trying again. Maybe it is the phrase you need in your life too.

Press in over numbing out

I am so proud of myself in this area. Am I allowed to say that? While this will always be a work in progress, I can see huge leaps in how I show up. I recognise the urge to numb out quicker. I can choose to allow it for a time or push past it. Sitting with discomfort is feeling a fraction easier. I choose to focus on the progress I have made rather than the times I have lost to hours of numbing out. Remember that you can choose what you focus on in your reflections too!

Do the next right thing

The answer to the overwhelm so often this year. I am so grateful to have this phrase to ground me when my mind starts to spiral over all that I still need or want to get done. It reminds me that I cannot do it all at the same time. I am still working on how to decide what is the next right thing at times. Competing demands sometimes make figuring out what takes priority difficult. My daily practice of setting my top three tasks for the day is growing this skill. I find I can choose these quicker than I used to. 

The beauty of setting a manifesto of intentions is that this is a reflection process rather than an assessment task. I can focus on how I have grown, acknowledge the progress and become more of the person I want to be. I can highlight the areas I have avoided giving full effort to. This isn’t a complete/incomplete situation like reviewing my goals (I do set them too!). As I look ahead to 2021, I think I will only be making one change to this manifesto. I will have a new word for the year that will take the place of ‘courage’. The rest will remain the same. I am a work in progress. 

What are you taking away from this year and carrying forward into 2021?