This was a crazy year, and while your student (and you!) may be ready to leave it behind and never look back, it's important to take time to reflect on what it all meant.
In 2020, your student was faced with challenges they'd never before encountered. They experienced triumphs but also failures; loss and disappointment but also unexpected joys.
Before they dive into 2021, encourage your student to ask themselves...
15 Questions Reflecting on 2020
What was the most important lesson you learned this year?
What did you let go of?
What skills did you gain?
What challenges did you overcome and what techniques did you use to overcome them?
What did you do for your physical and mental health this year?
What did you learn about yourself?
Who or what had the biggest impact on your life this year? (Besides the pandemic of course.)
What new good and bad habits did you start?
What were the best and worst things that happened?
How kind were you to yourself?
How did you grow as an individual? (Consider who you were at the beginning of 2020; I'm sure that seems like a completely different person!)
What energized you?
What drained you?
How did your relationships (family, friends, college, work) evolve?
What are you thankful for?
Reflecting on how far they've come will help your student prepare for the journey ahead. They should pat themselves on the back because they adapted, grew — and made it through 2020!
Next, encourage them to take these insights and set intentions and goals for 2021. We don't know how the new year will unfold, needless to say, but that's okay! Adapting is a huge part of life, and they've done a great job so far.
Here's a list of...
15 Questions to Help Set 2021 Goals and Intentions
What is your top overall goal for 2021?
What are you going to continue doing?
What will you change completely?
What will you say "no" to?
What will you try your best to say "yes" to?
What will you do to step out of your comfort zone?
What existing relationships do you want to focus on?
How will you take care of yourself?
What personal qualities do you want to strengthen?
What new skills would you like to acquire? (You can also consider what existing skills you want to improve!)
How do you intend to be different at the end of 2021?
How will you improve your environment?
How will you declutter in 2021? (This can be removing physical clutter, but it can also be mental clutter i.e., focusing on what's important and ignoring things that don't serve you.)
How will you learn from your mistakes?
What new practices will you adopt to keep you motivated and as content as possible?
These are big questions but they don't have to be scary. I took out a notebook and wrote a list of responses for each of them to help me evaluate my thoughts more easily and it was really helpful.
Even if you or your student don't end up sticking the paper on the fridge, try writing out answers to all of these questions; it may ease your mind and you'll be able to look back at them throughout the year.
To that end, I encourage you to check in with yourself and your goals and intentions once a month. It's easy to let this sort of thing get lost in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, but regular self-reflection really helps me stay grounded and on track with my goals!
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Morgan Keegan is a Marketing Intern and Content Creator for CollegiateParent. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating with a degree in Creative Writing, Journalism, and Communications. She grew up in Bronx, NY and enjoys painting, hanging out with her three cats, and taking care of her many plants.