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VOICES: Dr. Dara Bushman // Preparing to make the most of 2021

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Dr. Dara Bushman is a psychologist and author who appears on numerous media outlets sharing expertise on COVID counseling, trauma, and wellness. She lives in Asheville, NC. This is a contributor-submitted Voices piece. Want to join the conversation? We invite you to write for us. Learn how to share your voice here.

Dear everyone thinking they still have a week of crumbiness to happen to them before 2021 rings in a miraculous year of amazingness, 

Here we are at mile 26 with .2 left to go in the marathon that is 2020. We made it this far in a race we never consented to or signed up for! Yet, all the training we did before 2020 got us this far! When this race started, there were 2 options: piss or get off the pot!  A.K.A. either shrivel up, crawl in a hole, and quit or keep showing up.  If you are reading this you are about to cross the finish line. You are the show-er upper– The survivor! The winner! We are the ones that no matter what kept getting thrown at us, we kept putting one foot in front of the other. The race is almost over. This last 2/10ths of a mile is to celebrate and track your feats, identify your survival tactics and declare the amazingness you will bring from this race into the next– The new year!

Every social media post and ad, or tv commercial is about making New Year’s resolutions and how to not make this year worse! Constant gibberish about how 2020 has been a wash and how everyone can’t wait to wake up in a week when it is 2021 hoping our lives and global health will magically be different. Then there are also these empty goals and New Year’s resolution bullshiFt that basically set us up for failure because they are not realistic. It is nearly impossible not to get completely caught up in  a social media induced coma, left with a flare up of enoughitis and thinking next year will be soooo different as we get preoccupied in everyone else’s perfect looking perception of life.

Enough!!! News flash: Nothing is going to happen next week or next year if I am not doing it today, NOW. Nothing will change if I don’t change it. I have to get out of my own way!

Maybe you, like me, have been thinking in order to make change,

    -you need to have it together

    -you have to feel ready

    -thinking you have to have a better mindset

    -you’re afraid to do something new

    -you have to say yes to everything and everyone

    -you can’t be successful

    -you should have everyone’s approval

    -there isn’t enough time

    -you are not good enough…….

I get it, it has been rough, or maybe your thinking has been that the whole year sucked. But, are you blocking your own destiny? Are you heading down the same old track where you think you should be going and not where you want to be going?

What if this year we set intentions instead of goals? What if the intentions that we put out to the universe specify what we want to happen. Just like when we put the address in our GPS that we want to arrive at. Sometimes we don’t know how long it will take or what will be the most direct route. But, we do know that we will end up at our destination. An intention puts you in forward motion for possibilities to show up. An intention is a manifestation of an idea or a vision for energy to grow where energy flows.

A goal is limiting because it has an end point and interest is lost because the goals set are unrealistic or too general. Goals are often not individualized to your schedule or lifestyle. You know like the goal to lose 5 pounds… if you only lose 4 you quit because you think the “diet” is not working or your new virtual trainer sucks. The goal feels overwhelming or impossible, you don’t feel successful at it and you quit. If the intention is to lose 5 pounds there are possibilities to lose 4, 5 or possibly more because the intention did not have a specific stopping point, end date or rigidity of how to accomplish it (If you don’t like the trainer, get another one!).

Let’s get this straight… 2021 is the year to say no to shame and YES TO US.

So what if today… you did what you want to be doing tomorrow, next week or next year? What if today you created a bridge to do more of what you want?

So what if today… you put on your big girl panties to G.Y.S.T. (get your s.h.i.F.t. together):

-Set clear intentions of your s.h.i.F.t.

    -spirituality

    -health

    -interpersonal relationships

    -finances

    -trade or enterprise

-Set intentions that are realistic and practical for your lifestyle (not everyone else’s)

-Prioritize your intentions to do them one at a time

-Invite a partner or be part of a team for accountability and camaraderie

What if right now you congratulate yourself for all the great things you made happen for 2021 as if it already happened? Here we are a year from now– happy, healthy, shameless, liberated, and showing up as our best badass selves.

I am excited for what is in store for us and all the ways we will continue to connect with each other on this journey we call life in 2021. Drop me a note if there is anything we can collaborate on to get you exactly where you see yourself.

Warmly,

Your no bull-shiFt, advice giving, shame-abolishing, 2021 crushing, Mom, Psychologist and wife,

Dr. Dara