Side Note: The original working title for this blog was 5 Ways on how to recover from the disaster that was 2020 and how to make 2021 your best year yet.  Seemed wordy but hopefully, you catch the message I was trying to convey. 


Believe it or not, I am not going to chat with you about setting goals or creating these lofty resolutions. After the fiasco that 2020 was, I think it is more important to focus on how we can create sources of replenishment instead of trying to reinvent ourselves.  When we have the ability to restore our happiness, joy, and a little bit of normalcy, we are better equipped to create the best year yet. 

On New Year’s Eve, I was in the middle of the grocery store, feeling kinda bad about how I didn’t really spend much time preparing for the coming year. I had no goals in mind, no resolutions to track, and no plans on making that a priority. You can watch my revelation unfold HERE. It occurred to me that perhaps that shouldn’t be the focus. The entire world turned upside down last year. Nearly everything has changed and as I am sure you are well aware, we need to look at how we conduct our lives differently. That also translates into taking a look at how or if we go about setting our goals and resolution. It’s not the same anymore. 

Life can often be a 404 error

My husband works in IT and whenever I get an error message or have problems with my computer I go to him expecting him to have this miracle cure for issues that I simply don’t understand. 

His go-to solution? “Restart the device.” 

I usually walk away annoyed mainly because I didn’t think of that simple fix myself. Sure enough, 90% of the time, stopping all processes and restarting the device solves the issue. There is the other 10% however that requires more attention and sleuthing. Maybe it’s time for a tune-up and you need to clean out any junkware that you accidentally downloaded. Or perhaps your device is not running as smoothly and efficiently as it could be. 

This is where my husband’s stellar IT skills get put to good use. When restarting doesn’t fix the computer’s issues, more dynamic measures need to be taken. They are usually as follows:

  1. In Settings choose Recovery Options
  2. Save what is important
  3. Reset your device

After your device is reset, you can customize your settings, reinstall all of those important apps and bring the most important files back. 

The same can be done in our lives. We can choose to plug along as we have been, feeling depleted and overwhelmed or we can choose to recover, replenish, and reset. 

Recovery Options

So how can we restart our lives? How do we tap into our settings and seek out recovery options? I have determined five ways that when used independently or as a collection of go-to options that they are effective in replenishing “my cup” and giving me the energy I need to push through these unprecedented times. I also find that when I intentionally engage in these activities, I become unstoppable. It feels good. I take that back. It actually feels AMAZING. I feel more like myself again and I want the same for you. 2021 really can be your year! 

Here are some ideas on how to recover, replenish, and reset:

  1. Lower your expectations of yourself and your immediate priorities. Instead of deep cleaning the entire kitchen, celebrate that you cleared the countertops. The less you beat yourself up for not being Martha flipping Stewart and being proud of the fact that you are a badass doing hard stuff – like surviving a PANDEMIC, the happier you will be. 
  2. Create a list of feel-good activities and work on doing more of them, more often. What activities create joy in your life? Write a list of them and then intentionally do them! Schedule them if you have to! The happier you feel, the more rejuvenated you will become. A few that I put on my list are going to my local Public Market, learning a new skill, and trying new recipes. What is on your list?
  3. Purposeful movement and nourishment. We function better, mentally, and physically when we are good for our bodies. So move more and move differently. Change it up. If walking is your thing, maybe try riding a bike or boxing. If moving is difficult for you, stretching creates the same effect. Eating foods that will nourish you instead of feeding your emotional state (don’t worry – I am there with you) will also help give you the best possible mental and physical state to create your best year yet. You don’t have to go all hog wild and eat sprouts daily. I have had much success with the 80/20 rule, allowing me to not have to sacrifice all of the treats that bring me joy…like Heath Bars for example.  Eating one a week or so gives me a little moment of happiness. Eating 2 or 3 a day, however, well you know where that goes.
  4. Self-Study/Journaling. Journaling your actions and thoughts is a unique way to gain insight into habits, thought processes, possible connections, or disconnections. It is important to see where the process of depletion is coming from (if you don’t already know) and studying yourself through journaling is a valuable perspective into how life works for you. With this newfound perspective, you can create necessary opportunities for change and joyful moments. 
  5. Retreat (solo or group). This could potentially be a game-changer for you. A personal or group retreat is meant to be the ultimate recovery and resetting tool. Depending on your comfort level and individual state restrictions, there are plenty of options for in-person or virtual retreats. More Room for Joy is offering a virtual afternoon retreat later this month. (Look for details soon!) This is an excellent opportunity to step away from day to day life for an intentional extended period of time (a few hours to a few days) and learn some recovery and resetting mechanisms that can transfer back into everyday life. 

These are purposely in ascending order from the first attempts to change your trajectory from a goal-oriented path to a rejuvenating one.

2021 doesn’t have to be about trackable goals and lofty resolutions, but about getting a personal “tune-up”, replenishing our resources so we are able to purposefully and effectively reset our lives in a meaningful way. Each of us can recover from the oddest year ever and move forward into 2021, making it our best year yet. 

Bonus tip: Talking to a mental health professional or to your primary care provider is always recommended especially if these tools and tricks have not created a significant change in your day to day life. There is ALWAYS help available. Life is tough and a helping hand is always accessible. Please reach out as needed.  


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