My word for 2020 was clarity.

It was rooted in the experiences and reflections on myself and those around me throughout 2019.

2019 was the year many people spoke little of their real intentions. Politicians, leaders. People I worked with, people I had worked with before that. Family, friends and more. Veiled and coy with little candor.

2019 was also the year I lost a lot of myself, who I was and what I was capable of.

I busted a gut without an understanding of my own intention. I was self-less.

By contrast, the theme I valued most from experiences and relationships in 2019 was clarity. Clarity of intent, of thought, of experience and of self.

2020 was a year where I focused on creating that clarity for myself and my family. In a year that’s been full of perceived uncertainty, turning thoughts inward has helped me immensely.

Overall, I’ve found a balance between investing myself in those around me and what I spend my time on and investing in myself. I’ve been selfish for so many good reasons and I feel proud, excited and grateful that I invested in being ‘me’.

Today, for the first new years eve in over a decade, I’m not feeling mournful or even down about the year that’s passed. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, this year has been one of the most life changing to date and I’m even more proud that it was a conscious, calculated decision to make it that way.

The shift from doing rather than being done too is powerful but it’s also something that I can safely say has only happened because I put the work in. Of course this year has not been all great, there’s been some really shitty bits, we all know that. But on a strictly personal note (and speaking with a deliberately isolated perspective for this post), starting from a place of intent and continuously going back to the simple goal of creating more clarity has given me an anchor. Focusing on creating clarity for myself and those around me has been like one of those retractable leads you use with a dog. Just enough stretch for me to explore, wander off and discover new interesting things but always being able to come back to a fixed point, a base , a…whatever you call the handle bit on a retractable dog lead (?).

Tonight, I’ll work through Year Compass again, as I have done for the past 4 years now (hat-tip to Lauren for the suggestion). In short, it’s a free, downloadable workbook of questions that gives you a chance to close down your year and plan for the next one.

Year Compass lead me to choosing Clarity as my word for 2020 and whilst this a massively over-simplified description, the process of reflection and consolidating my year on to paper in a structured way, pretty much got me through 2020. I highly recommend you do try it. Aside from the fact that it’s an opportunity to turn off Netflix, Disney+ or whatever other crap you’ll be doing, it’s a great experiment to run on yourself.

I encourage you to reflect with purpose on closing down your year, learning from it and setting up to go again. I would also say that if you have a partner or friend that you share a majority of time or your life with, it’s a great way to reflect together and share perspectives on your collective time as well as your own.

If you do decide to give Year Compass a go, don’t feel like you have to do it all in one night either. Last year it took me two weeks over a few different evenings to get to the last page and I was well into January before it was done. It was still absolutely 💯 worth it.

Here’s to all the folks that have supported me this year to bring more clarity in so much merky, grey weirdness. Here’s to doing what works for you in 2021.


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