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21 Reasons to Welcome 2021

2021 | New Year | Purpose | Hope | New Beginning | Restart | Refresh | Beauty | Ikigai | 21 Reasons

Now is the time to sit back and reflect upon what you have learned in 2020 and to welcome a start to a brand new beginning. A new year, is a time to refresh our values, solidify our intention and to practice maintaining our general health and wellbeing. Here are 21 reasons to calmly take a step forward towards a new start.

21 Reasons to Welcome 2021

1. One year is how long it takes for the Earth to complete its orbit around the sun. When we look outwards towards space, we realise how small we are. Noticing what is outside of our control and paying attention to what's within our control, can help us ruminate less about the past and what we cannot change.

2. Many people opened up about their challenges this year and this helped to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. Let 2021 be the year where you continue to practice self-care and seek support.

3. Saying "Yes" to what aligns with your values and saying "No" to what no longer serves you can help you build healthy boundaries with yourself and others. Having boundaries allows us to intentionally participate in things that truly matters to us and have a voice when something doesn't feel "right." Learning to stand up for yourself and your beliefs, and allowing yourself space for disagreement with others can protect your personal space and time.

4. Amidst all the panic, there was creativity in the air. We learned to be resourceful, and practiced different DIY techniques. People used this time to cook, renovate and clear up their gardens. What kind of creative interests do you want to pursue in 2021?

5. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic many employers in Australia are willing to accept more flexible working arrangements with their employees. If you're thinking about wanting to spend a couple of days working from home next year, now is the time to negotiate a flexible working schedule. For those of you who cannot stand working in your own space, think of ways to diversify your work settings. Is there a local library you can go to? Or can you invest in sharing a creative work space?

6. After processing all the pivots you've made in 2020, think about how much growth you have achieved and write them down. Consciously recall all the things that you have learned and the achievements that you are most proud of.

7. Many people reached out to old friend and family to check in to see if they are okay. This allowed people to feel compassion for one another. Connecting in this way created an opportunity for people to reach out to those who they neglected. Continuing to nourish those relationships will help to create new memories with friends and family in 2021.

8. Many people were not allowed to return home during the pandemic, forcing them to stay in cities for longer periods than they hoped. Though this may have created sadness and nostalgia from not being able to see family and friends, people took this opportunity to make new connections. The new relationships you built in 2020, how can you continue to invest in them in 2021?

9. We realised that the somewhat mundane repetitive cycle of life we lived in was actually protecting us from chaos and unpredictability. When we return to a somewhat "normal" way of life, we can appreciate those seemingly "mundane" routines. After all, with millions of peoples lived being disrupted by the pandemic, being able to live and breathe everyday in itself is a gift.

10. Our home environment should be a place where we feel safe, secure and comfortable. Clearing up our space and donating our possessions can help us minimize clutter and maximize space. Is there anything that doesn't "spark joy?" that you can let go of?

11. Giving ourselves time to unwind and to practice mindfulness can help us cope with difficult thoughts and feelings that will inevitably come our way. Digesting what you usually want to reject and accepting life's challenges allows you to be more engaged with the here and now. This in turn will foster not only growth, but new opportunities for change.

12. Embracing self love can be a difficult act. But gifting yourself the skills of "self-compassion", will help you to be less harsh on yourself and quieten the internal states of your critical mind. Instead of dwelling on your mistakes, why not practice forgiveness by taking a moment to see how hard you have been trying this year?

13. We can easily take for granted the simple things in life, like having a roof over our heads, fresh food to eat and warm water to take a shower. These everyday experiences are what the majority of the world struggles to maintain. Taking a moment to show gratitude by listing the things that you feel grateful for can help you realise what you have, instead of what you are missing out on.

14. Nourishing our body, mind and soul through becoming more conscious of what we consume is an important part of looking after our overall well being. What kind of health routines do you want to create, incorporate and maintain for 2021? Dietician Lisa Carrigg can provide you with healthy advice on how Intuitive Eating practices can help you feel your best self!

15. Realising our triumphs and defeats is about understanding that life is a continuous cycle of beauty and chaos. Seeing both the "good" and the "bad" and having perspective, is the way forward to walking the "Middle Path". Rejoicing ourselves in both the light and darkness can create a sense of calm in this unpredictable world we live in.

16. Holiday planning is almost impossible during a time where borders are closed, interstate and international travel is banned. Though you may feel restricted to make plans, you can still experience the wonders of travel by having different experiences. Why not spend time in nature, read books, engage in art, listen to music and visit places in your neighbourhood that you haven't explored yet?

17. Make 2021 a year to practice using different sides of your brain. The left is for logical/reasonable thinking, the right for emotion and intuition. Are you an analytical thinker, predictor or planner, if so try to engage in more intuitive practices spontaneity and feeling your feelings through dance, music or art. On the other hand if your someone who goes with the flow, feels things intensely and not a fan of structure, maybe organisation and routine is what you need to incorporate more into your life.

18. What is your personal style? This includes not only the clothes that we wear but how we present ourselves to the world. Do you like wearing colourful clothing, or do you prefer more neutral tones. What about your personality? Are you outgoing or reserved? We often categorize ourselves by labels. Through identifying yourself as an introvert, extrovert, flamboyant or simple, feminine or masculine, these categories can sometimes restrict us from expressing our true selves. Accepting that your personal style, personality and even your gender can be fluid can allow you to experiment with how you choose to present yourself to the world. This will give you more freedom to express yourself , instead of feeling confined in rigid labels.

19. There is a lot of scientific evidence to support how trauma is unconsciously stored in our subconscious mind through our body remembering what it had to protect itself from. Moving your body in different ways through dance, martial arts, exercise and yoga can help you release your trauma and create a passages to experience new emotions that you have never felt before.

20. What have you always wanted to try but haven't had an opportunity to yet? Is there a new cousine you would like to taste, what do you want to create? is there an an instrument you've always wanted to play or a language you've wanted to learn? Make a list of skills you want to learn in 2021, and then circle only three. Don't over-commit yourself while you are thinking about what you want to do in 2021. Keep it short, keep it simple and realise all the things you are already doing.

21. Discovering your ikigai is about understanding your values and intentions. Having a reason to live, includes having a voice for your needs, fears and greatest desires. Remember, Ikigai is an internal journey, and you don't need to go anywhere to find it. You just need to practice being right here where you are and listen to your heart when you're feeling "alive".

Tragedy brings communities closer together. Through our shared experience of COVID-19 we became more empathetic towards people's lives. Even with social distancing rules there was rise of human collaboration and many people seeked support during isolation. On the other side of catastrophe there was empathy and so much compassion was experienced this year.

Ikigai Psychology Clinic had many exciting experiences this year including moving from City Cave to a new practice location in New Farm. We partnered with local businesses and medical practices and continued to service our clients to support their mental health.

I have wonderful news to share with you in 2021 as we will be announcing new workshops on Ikigai, Social Identity and Body Image that will spark your curiosity and change your perspective on how you see yourself and the world around you.

I hope that 2021 will be a year of wonder, resilience and hope and i look forward to connecting with you again in the new year.

Thank you all for making 2020 a year to remember.


Tunteeya Yamaoka

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