Since 2018, I started this culture of ending my year in November before the festivities start and starting my new year in March after the hype ends. I realize that when I do so, I evict myself from having to set new year resolutions because everyone is doing it or give thanks on Dec 31st midnight because "that's culturally when things are done." I hate the pressure that comes with scribbling new year resolutions on December 31st and in my heart, I truly just want the 31st of December to be the 31st and the 1st of January to just be the 1st.
Additionally, I will not be reflecting on the goals I set at the beginning of this year because they somewhat lost relevance along the way. Especially with how the year turned out unexpectedly, my goals consciously or unconsciously had to be changed and revised. And now, at the end of the year, I feel as though they are no longer my measure of a good or successful year. I feel as though, the achievement of those goals have stopped being a measure of God's goodness to me. I have more gratitude about the intrinsic joy of being alive, able, and happy.
December to February is somewhat my "thinking period" where I remember to stay aware of what is relevant to me now and will still be towards the end of the year. Or when I think of what's important to be set as a goal and how I can frame it as a SMART goal - not only asking things of God but including myself in the tasks towards accomplishing the goals.
In addition to the note of thanks you'll find below which somewhat wraps the year for me, here are my ten top milestones this year:
I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree; interned at two top publishing companies in the United States: Simon and Schuster, and Elsevier; got my dream full-time job; published a new chapbook titled Forget It; after helping students to secure over $650,000 in scholarships, I finally started my writing services; moved out of New York; expanded the SprinNG fellowship gaining over 500 application submissions and accepting 50 mentees; established an internship under SprinNG; grew my Instagram account to over 5,000 followers and increased my engagement on it; returned to blogging and increased my views and newsletter subscribers.
Ironically, while these accomplishments were the highlight of my year, none of these things were included in my new year resolutions. Hence, why I am struggling to find reasons to write a new list for next year.
Unlike others who are able to tick a checklist at the end of the year, saying they started the year focused on certain things and were guided by the list all through the year, I always find myself having a different experience. I do not envision my year to be a linear road because - that to me is boring. I am always excited about the branches and corners I don't see coming. In my conversations to God, I say, I am excited for his suprises.
Especially as a multi-dimensional person and a polymath, I struggle to anticipate where my accomplishment or sense of fulfillment will come from when it comes to setting long-term goals. And even when I set long-term goals like new year resolutions, I usually feel a sense of limitation to be guided by specific things when I have my eyes on many activities at once. Since 2018 when I set new year resolutions, I realized that they are more like goals that get me started but they don't keep me going because new things come into the picture that I desire even much more.
We will talk goals again, March next year when all the festivities and hype of the new year moment dies. However, if I'll leave you with an advice to approach the new year, especially if you plan to participate in the festivities, it will be this: "Live everyday of 2021 like it is a new year. When you wake up, give yourself a reason to be grateful, an enthusiasm to be surprised and a chance to be positive that regardless of the circumstances, something good can happen."
Many Reasons to Be Grateful & 2020 Year End Mantra
All the times I was weak and didn’t even feel it, God was my strength.
All the times I was low and didn’t realize it, it was because God lifted me up.
All the harm’s way I’ve been in and didn’t even notice, it was God protecting me.
Even when I lost my grip on life, God didn’t let me go.
Even when I wasn’t wise enough to choose Him, He chose me first.
Even when I failed Him, He won battles for me.
God is always working overtime in the background when I have been exhausted just doing the bare minimum.
God is always going the extra mile when a step seems too difficult for me to take.
God is always pouring all his love into me even when I have not grown big enough to contain it.
Where my might failed me, God's grace proved me wrong.
Where my presence wasn’t good enough representation of God's inheritance, His favor showed up for me.
Where the thought of the world was too burdensome, the thought of God's faithfulness eased my mind.
When I felt buried, God revealed to me that I am a seed and that’s part of the plan.
When the day went by too fast, God reminded me that I am a star and I shine even brighter at night.
When my hands were shoved deep in dirt, God dug deeper with me until we found diamonds.
God is already there; in the future that I believe in, that I hope for, and that I am worried about.
Even before I knew I’ll have to go there, God already arrived.
God isn't surprised by my trials or tribulations because He appointed a victory before they started.
God isn't surprised by my successes because He made them happen.
God isn't surprised by my transformation because He knew me before I was born.
So, I am grateful.
I am thankful.