In this last week of the year, I have done many things. So many things. I have looked at other people’s holiday cards. I have eaten an entire veggie tray of veggies. I have worn Christmas jammies.
I have not taken down the Christmas tree, I have not taken down the Christmas lights (who are we kidding? I have not asked Dane to take down the Christmas lights), and I have not come up with a Genius New Year Plan To Accomplish All The Things.
That is partly because I am unlikely to accomplish all the things anyway. But it’s also because I want to look back before I look ahead. I want to look for the good things from the last year. I want to think about what went well (and, okay, what didn’t). That way I know what needs to change—and what doesn’t—before I ever start making plans.
Less Doing, More Being
And now it’s time to look ahead.
Before I think about everything I plan to do in the new year, I am asking myself about how I want to be in the new year. How do I want to show up? What kind of presence do I want to be in the world?
Doing is good, doing is important, but if I don’t think about how I want to be in the doing, I’ll end up doing a whole bunch of things that aren’t mine to do. And if I know how I want to show up, I can be present as myself no matter what I’m doing.
If you want to think about how to be, too, here’s a starting place.
Five Questions for the New Year
How do I want to be with my people?
How do I want to be with my partner? With my kids? What will I bring to those relationships? Where do I want my focus to be?
How do I want to be in my home?
How do I want home to feel, and how will I be in my own space? How will I be a grounded, peaceful presence at home?
How do I want to be with my wider community?
How do I want to be present with my friends? How do I want to be in my church? How do I want to be as I run errands, go to appointments, do my daily things?
How do I want to be in my work?
Whether that’s creative work or work that feeds your family: how do you want to be in your work? How will you make it your own?
How will you put your self—your personality, your presence, your vulnerable self—into the things you do?
How do I want to be in my online spaces?
How—and how often—do I want to be online? What do I want my presence to bring? How and where do I want to show up as myself?
The YOU that you are is enough for the year ahead.
I don’t know what the year holds, I don’t know what will be asked of us, but I do want to decide right now how I am going to be—what kind of presence I will bring, how I will pay attention—in all of it. I hope you will, too.