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Three Questions for 2020

Everywhere I look, people are planning for what’s next in 2020.

I’m blessed to be on several global forums where I come together with like-minded thought leaders who have a heart for collective work. Essentially, we’re all in the business of social change in one form or another.

On one of these calls, our facilitator, Luea Ritter, led us into discussion around three brilliant questions. Questions that I know will be extremely useful as you explore what’s next in the New Year.

Question #1: What can you celebrate about this past year?

For those of us engaged in systemic work, this question has less to do with the typical celebrations associated with growth or monetary gain in business. I invite you to reflect on all that’s occurred in your life over the past year, both positive and negative.

What did you learn from those experiences? Where did you grow as a result of transition and pain? What joys changed your perspective on life? How have you shifted into something bigger as a result of these moments?

Rejoice and celebrate it all for it is in acknowledging what has come before that you are now positioned to enjoy the subtle—or maybe not so subtle—shifts of what’s emerging.

Question #2: What can you let go of?

2020 represents a new decade, a new dawn. Think of all that’s changed in the last hundred years.

Where have you been in these last ten? What has held you back? Kept you from realizing your highest potential? What is required of you to shift and change such that you experience a bigger, more robust life?

It’s not about trite New Year’s resolutions. I invite you to deeply reflect on that one part of yourself that still resides in pain and suffering. Whom do you need to forgive? Whom do you need to embrace? What is required of you to be completely whole again.

You know what it is.

Name it. Own it. Do not judge. Just acknowledge.

Then ask yourself what do you need to let go of as you move into 2020?

Do that. Be that.

Love yourself more. Acknowledge both the dark and the light. All that you are and all that you’re not. Both parts are valid and true.

Let go of what doesn’t serve you, but honor all of it, for it is often the darkness that makes us forceful and resilient.

Question #3: What can you lean into in 2020?

Leaning in implies a subtle shift. You don’t have to do it all at once or even perfectly. All you have to do is imagine. Imagine yourself free of the past. Willing to celebrate all of what came before. Having the full capacity to acknowledge the brilliance that lives within even as you accept that this brilliance is sometimes tarnished.

Everything is of use. Nothing is wasted. No need to bask in fear. Fear is merely an indicator that you love something deeply—that there is something to lose—yet even in loss there is transformation.

Lean into something bigger than you ever thought possible.

These are deep questions that go beyond a trivial list of what to do and what to avoid. You’ve started and stopped a hundred New Year’s resolutions. Make this year different.

Make 2020 a year of commitment to something new.

My colleague Luea reminded me that Winter is a time of hibernation. A time of reflection. A time to go inward. A time to slow down, all so difficult in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, family, and friends.

I dare you.

Set aside a specific time each and every day to just be. A cup of hot chocolate before the fire. A glass of wine as you gaze at the stars. Whatever you choose. Make time for you to reflect on 2019 and dream about all that is possible in 2020.

Just do it.

Let each of us truly do our part to make the world a better place.

Published by Sharon Spano, Ph.D. December 5, 2019