2020 has been a tough year for all of us. It certainly wasn’t the year most of us expected when we were popping champagne and exchanging kisses to ring in the new year. Instead of living our best lives, we found ourselves trying to survive the strangest year many of us have ever known—one with a contentious election, murder hornets, a global pandemic, and restricted travel.
It hasn’t been a comfortable transition, and the goals I set for myself didn’t quite make it off the ground. I developed new ones instead, ones that could be done without hopping on a plane or attending a crowded event. I adapted—after all, what else could we do?
But as we approach another year with no idea what to expect, it may help to set a few affirmations to guide us through 2021, whatever may come. While we hope the next year will be different, better in some way, we can really only decide how and who we’ll be regardless of what happens. Living our best life might be situational, but it still means we’re trying to do our best despite our outer circumstances. Affirmations could help us do this.
At first, I thought about writing a tough-love motivational message for the coming year, but then I realized we’re already too hard on ourselves. How many of us beat ourselves up for not being better already? We don’t need a lecture series on how we don’t measure up. Instead, what we really need is affirmations that will remind us that we are capable of living the lives we love.
These lives might look different. They may include masks and social distancing and a changing way we view the world, but we can still set the intention to be the humans we want to be—to be better, to love more, to love ourselves more. Sometimes, we just need the reminder of our strength, not another message about how we’re screwing it all up.
1. Today I will not wish my life away by waiting for Friday, for the weekend, for the next day off, for the next vacation, for the dream I want to finally come true, to meet my soul mate, to live where I want, to make the kind of money I think I should be making, or to get the next object I’m coveting because I think it will make me feel better. I will choose to be present in this day, no matter what it brings.
2. I will take full, deep breaths.
3. I will stop complaining about things I am unwilling to change. I will take ownership of my choices rather than blaming others for my life.
4. I will remind myself of my confidence, tenacity, and resourcefulness when challenges arise. I’ve got this!
5. I will tell my children that they are perfect, even in their imperfection, that they have challenges to overcome rather than flaws they should feel ashamed of having. I will remind myself that I am perfect, even in my imperfection, that I have challenges to overcome rather than flaws I should be ashamed of having.
6. I will tell my children I am proud of them and that I love them no matter what. I will remind myself I am proud of myself and will love me no matter what. I will believe it, too.
7. I will be confident and be an encourager to others. I will live in a spirit of collaboration, not competition.
8. I will shift my perspective to allow room for hope and optimism.
9. I will treat my body as a temple. I will make sure I am not treating temples as places to stroke my own ego and judge humanity.
10. I will love humanity. And the Earth. And the creatures that live on the Earth.
11. I will endeavor to perform more random acts of kindness and less random acts of rudeness.
12. I will manifest blessings and joy and every good thing.
13. I will stop believing every negative thing someone else tells me about myself. I will stop believing every negative thing I tell myself.
14. I will not wait for other people to save me, to fix me, or to love me in ways I am not willing to save, fix, or love myself.
15. I will worry more about how I’m living than about how other people choose to live.
16. I will say no to toxic relationships but do it from a place of love and kindness for myself and others.
17. I will start and end each day with gratitude.
18. I will slow down.
19. I will use yes and no intentionally, choosing from a place of authenticity rather than obligation.
20. My life is happening right now, and I am grateful. I will stop living in the past or in the future. I will learn to exist mindfully with full awareness of each of my senses and in the present moment.
21. I will love, even though it means being brave, which means being vulnerable.
Our lives are happening now, and sometimes we forget just how much power we have to make them what we want. We give up our power, and we spend our days feeling defeated sometimes. We don’t need to be reminded of the ways in which we fail to accomplish what we’d hoped. We need to remind ourselves that we are strong, capable, and resilient.
Affirmations can help remind us of who we are, as well as who we want to be. Instead of a tough-love motivational talk with ourselves, maybe we just need to remind ourselves that we are enough, we are loved, we are worthy, and we’ve got this. No matter what happens in the next year—or any of the years to come—we can keep affirming our desire to be healthy humans and doing what it takes to practice that in the days to come.