Noticing the Good in 2020

Noticing the Good in 2020

by: Emily Thomas

2020 is more than halfway over, friends. While quarantine ticked by, time has flown! 

It’s easy to look back at the months in this year and call the whole thing bad, or a failure, even. Our brains naturally focus on negative things! According to this article in Psychology Today, the brain “reacts more strongly to stimuli it deems negative...[as a result of] a great surge in electrical activity” whenever we see or think about negative things.

But the negative doesn’t have to outweigh the positive. The outsize importance we assign to negative events, things, or feelings might make you miss out on the things that were really good! Even in a year like this one, there’s so much joy to be found along the way, not just at the finish line.

You’ve learned a lot in 2020. 

You’ve learned the value of strong community and friendships and the importance of taking time to refresh yourself and your goals. You’ve learned to count the smallest of steps towards your goals as progress, and to focus on the things that will make a lasting impact. 

This year, right now, let's pause and count the goodtogether! You might be surprised at what you uncover.

Here’s how to start:

  • Flip to the “Month in Review” sections in your PowerSheets. Look back through your answers and remind yourself of the good that happened each month. Who were you grateful for each month? What progress did you make on your goals? How many times did you choose grace over guilt?
  • Look back at your Tending Lists. Read your encouraging words out loud and let them sink in. What progress did you make on daily, weekly, and monthly goals? Whether you took a small or big step towards reaching a goal, give yourself a high five.
  • Look through your calendar spread. Take a mini trip down memory lane and refresh yourself on the past months. While your beach vacation might have been cancelled, what adventures did you have in your own backyard? How many Zoom calls with friends or family members? How many takeout picnics? How did you make the best of quarantine?
  • Scroll through photos you’ve taken since the start of 2020. What fun memories have you made? Any dance parties, family movie nights, or nature walks? Did you try a new food or a new skill? 
  • Phone a friend! Ask people you're close to so they can refresh your memory. What have they learned from this time? How do they want to move forward? Are there any ways they want to live differently now?

As a team, we took time to look back this month and were shocked at the good things we had forgotten, even just in our business.

Here’s some good things that we’ve loved during 2020 on a personal level:

Meg says, "More time at home in our backyard! We’re gardening more, setting up our tent for campouts, and enjoying sitting on our back deck at the end of each day. Typically we have places to go and more things to do in the evenings and the slower pace and desire to get out of the house (and outside!) has been super refreshing."

Mackenzie says, "I've always known I love being at home, but during this time I've realized how much I need community."

Julie says, "Definitely more time with family, a deeper appreciation for our home, forced need to be more creative with our activities, life is a little slower paced."

Emily says, "We connected with dear high school friends in ways we'd never thought to before. We ate lunch together every day (usually not possible with work and preschool!) and I made unexpected progress on every one of my goals thanks in part to eliminating commute time!"

What are some good things you're counting as joy during 2020? We've love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is Cultivate What Matters' Content Strategist and Writer. With over a decade at Cultivate, Emily loves helping women uncover what matters, set good goals, and live them out with joy. Her free time is spent with her high-school-sweetheart husband and three young kiddos.

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