20/20 Vision in 2020

January 1, 2020 | by jamie beeson

The house is perfectly cleaned, last year's trash is taken out with the dried-out Christmas tree, and your beautiful new calendar looks fresh and full of hope…or not. I crave this at the beginning of a New Year. It's like my soul is thirsty for some white space, empty evenings, and a little boredom sounds nice.

It seems people fall into one of two categories in regards to how we approach the New Year. One group is cased with a little cynicism of resolutions or new beginnings. They see it just like any other day of the year, except their energy is hungover from the holidays and their wallets are empty. The other category finds excitement in starting over: clearing the clutter, setting goals, and committing to making steps of progress over the 12 months that follow. Whether your vision is blurry from the dizzy spinning of the holidays, you feel like your eyes are crossed from over-commitment, or you are dialing in with a razor-sharp focus in 2020, there is one thing I need to ask… what lenses are you looking through?

When you visit the optometrist you put your face up against the odd mask and they ask, "Is 1 or 2 better?" Once you answer, you hear a few more clicks, and they ask again, "Is 3 or 4 better?" Each time you are looking through the lenses, determining the clarity, and deciding what allows you to see most clearly. Just like that, this time of year is the perfect time to ask yourself about the lenses you are wearing to be sure that you see 20/20 in 2020.

How you see your life will determine how you live your life. Or maybe I could say it this way, what you believe determines what you think. What you think determines what you say and what you do. What you say and do are the behaviors that define where you end up. If you have a desired destination in mind, it would be prudent to check your eyesight, …like the mind's eyesight…your inner vision.

One of the best ways to practically check your vision is to determine what things you can control and influence versus what things you have no control over. We start seeing double and feel like our eyes are crossing when we spend too much time and focus on things that we wish we could control but cannot. We confuse our influence with certain desired outcomes. While we can influence many things, this doesn’t guarantee a result. It is rare to have full control of an outcome. But how many of us find ourselves frustrated and defeated when, three months down the road, we’re looking at less than desirable outcomes? We blame, excuse, and then we give up in disappointment. Or maybe it was outcomes you desired in the past that never came to fruition that stifle you in the first place and keep your feet from getting in motion.

Let’s clean our lenses and get really clear on all of the things we CAN control. That will help us focus on all of the right places as we move towards the best version of ourselves and living our best life in 2020.

1.       Your effort
  • How much you put in has a huge impact on how much you get out. You get to choose just how much you put into things. Your effort is in your control.
2.      How offendable you are
  • You get to choose how personally you take things. Someone’s bad day, sassy words, criticism, or complaint does not have to be worn like a cloak. You have full control over your response. Being offended is a response to feeling hurt, rejected, betrayed, being overlooked, etc.… While we can't control feelings, we can control the reaction.
3.      What you believe
  • Not every source of information is truth-telling. Check the sources.
4.      Your promises
  • Pretty simple, really.
5.      How kind you are
  • No one else or nothing else can be blamed for our level of kindness. We control that.
6.      What you eat
  • I don’t think any of us suffer from being force-fed. We can choose foods that support the desired direction.
7.      What you talk about
  • Our tongue is tamable.
8.      What you think about
  • You can’t control all of the thoughts that come in, but you can control the thoughts you invite to stay.
9.      How open-minded you are
  • You decide if you’ve learned all there is to learn, or if there’s the possibility that you don’t know everything.
10.  Your happiness
  • This one is tough. I’m not talking about controlling feelings. I’m talking about the perspective you have in spite of feelings. Joy can be experienced and found anywhere at any time. I've seen joy in dark places.
11.  How seriously you take life
  • Is it worth it? You decide.
12.  Who you hang out with
  • I don’t mean the people you have to work next to or the neighbors you live by. I’m talking about the ones you choose, who you do life with, and whose company you keep. We can choose most of those relationships, and if not the relationship, we can decide how much time we give to them. This choice has big impact.

Originally printed in the January 2020 issue of Simply Local Magazine

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