“How is it already the end of the year?”
If you’re thinking that, you’re far from alone.
In this hustle, always-on culture, it’s easier than ever to race through our days, weeks, and even months without taking time to simply stop.
And to think about how we’re feeling and doing as we dash through it all.
The good news: This past year has allowed the majority of us to stop and reflect—and doing so comes with major benefits. Studies show that people who reflect actively strengthen their emotional intelligence, making it easier to cope with new challenges that may come their way.
The end of the year is the perfect time to reflect on your 2020 and pinpoint the lessons you want to take into 2021.
But before you dive into your reflection, be sure to set a tone of self-compassion.
As you look back on the crazy year you’ve had—which, for all of us, has come with highs and lows—be kind to yourself. Treat yourself like a friend, and know the goal of self-reflection isn’t to shame yourself for what happened in the past year but to get curious and gain clarity for the future. By critically examining our experiences it gives us a chance to have a ‘do-better’ in the future.”
Here, we rounded up five questions to help you reflect on your 2020. Grab your journal, a piece of paper, or start a new Notes file on your phone—let’s look back before we move forward.
1. What did you accomplish this year—big and small, planned and unplanned?
So often, we forget to savor our wins. Look back on your year and notice the accomplishments you’ve had.
Think: What’s something big you worked towards and accomplished? Anything small that you mastered? And here’s a fun one: What did you accomplish that you didn’t plan to do? What surprise skill did you build?
Here at Motion Control Dance we never would have thought that we would create an online dance show and turn our skills from dance teachers to filmakers! This was a massive win for us to end 2020.
Studies show it’s also beneficial to celebrate your near wins—it helps you build more motivation. What’s something you almost accomplished that you want to keep tackling in 2021?
Personally, I almost lost the surplus weight that I have gained during lockdown but then lost my will over the festive period so this is a goal I will personally be working towards next year.
2. How did you challenge yourself to grow this year?
As nerve-wracking as it can feel, stepping outside your comfort zone is a chance to learn and grow in a new way. Notice the times you stepped outside of your comfort zone this year, and take pride in how you challenged yourself.
As life turned digital for many of us this year, this was a huge hurdle that I had to face as I hate being filmed. I had to step outside of my comfort zone to hold zoom meetings and dance classes, hold facebook lives and create online content for our members.
Remember: It’s not about whether you succeeded or not, either— FAIL stands for First Attempt in Learning.
3. What new opportunities came out of difficulties you faced?
We have all experienced a hardship in the past year, it’s normal to feel a sense of loss. While nothing can change what happened to you, studies show that reflecting on new doors that have opened may help you move forward and feel a sense of growth.
Think about any new opportunities that have opened or might open in the wake of your difficult experiences. They could be anything from new goals, activities, friends, values, or ideas.
Like most of the country, Motion Control Dance had to rethink in the way we delivered our sessions – staying in touch with our members during lockdown became essential to us and finding new ways to engage with them. Taking our sessions outside during the summer months meant a great deal to our members so they could enjoy dancing together once again.
“A touch of normality in an extremely difficult year, something to look forward to.” was what one participant said our classes meant to her this year.
4. What did you learn you need?
Having needs doesn’t make you needy. We all have needs, and identifying them can lead to better relationships, emotional stability, and more.
What have you learned you need in the past year? It can range from emotional (acceptance, appreciation) to even your physical wellbeing (space, movement).
Something that I personally need and know alot of others have realised that we have missed is being allowed to hug people – this small gesture means so much for our wellbeing as our bodies release “feel good” hormones. These hormones include oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. Once the hormones are released into our bodies we experience feelings of happiness, relaxation,improve mood, and lower levels of depression. Covid restrictions have robbed us all of this simple act which has put strain in our lives and have had to find new ways of showing our affection to others – the elbow pump or foot high five just hasnt been enough to replace the gift of a hug which our bodies release “feel good” hormones. These hormones include oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. Once the hormones are released into our bodies we experience feelings of happiness, relaxation, improve mood, and lower levels of depression
5. What can you let go of that didn’t serve you?
Finally: You don’t have to bring everything with you into 2021.
A New Year is a perfect chance to let go of things that don’t serve you. It could be a limiting story you tell yourself, an Instagram habit, or even a negative mindset about a part of your life.
Think: What do you want to release before you move into 2021? Thank whatever it is for teaching you something about yourself, then see what happens if you commit to letting it go.
By letting go of what doesn’t serve you, you’ll open yourself up to new potential and a new way of seeing things in 2021. Here at Motion Control Dance we have adopted the saying ‘It is what it is” so we have to move with the times and adapt into the new normal by starting the new year on zoom – hopefully we will be able to open our studio doors once again soon and continue to enrich lives through movement. For all our classes please click here and contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to see whether your chosen session will be running this term. Why not adopt a new year and new you approach and see how movement can benefit your life in 2021.
From all of us here at Motion Control Dance we wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year!
Stay Safe xx