• Alisa

Unpack 2020 before the Holidays (Exercise)

Updated: Dec 18, 2020


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2020 has been a confronting year for each of us, in a multitude of ways. We’ve all been stretched, challenged and exhausted along the way, but there have also been great moments of kindness, awareness, resilience, learning and support.

Many of us are carrying deep emotions connected to our 2020 experiences, and so it’s important for our overall wellbeing that we make an effort to process and unpack this. By reflecting on the light and dark of 2020, we can take forward what we have gained and leave behind the rest. By investing in ourselves in this way, we will be more ready to maximise the holiday period for rejuvenation and joy, and transition more positively into 2021.


How to Unpack 2020 and Prepare for the Holidays

This is a 30- to 40-minute exercise that can be done on your own or in a group — both can be equally powerful. We recently did this as a LIVE group activity in our Alisa Camplin Facebook Elevate Community and everyone found it personally cathartic and incredibly connecting to learn from the insights and experiences of others. I personally do this activity on my own every year, and find it really helps me to gain clarity, heal, appreciate and prepare for the year ahead. Just give yourself some time and a quiet, safe space in which to do it. If you’d prefer a worksheet approach, then feel free to download and print this blog here.

Whether you are using a pen and paper, typing or sharing verbally with others, try to sit in each question for a while. Use stream of consciousness to hear and feel what’s in your head and heart, and let one response lead you to your next, then circle back and reflect in different directions. Look for the light and shade, think about you as well as others in your family, workplace and community. Remember there is no right or wrong in this, so put judgement aside and be gentle and honest with yourself. Challenge yourself to think more deeply and reflect more broadly on your experiences, your actions, your feelings and your learnings. You don’t need to analyse, just let your thoughts meander and come forward. OK, let’s do it!

  • Reflect back on your life prior to 2020 — How would you describe it, were you happy, who were you and what was your life about?


  • How would you describe 2020 in general, and for you?


  • What words would you use to describe your emotions about 2020, and how you felt navigating through 2020?


  • What were your 3 lowlights in 2020?


  • What were your 3 highlights in 2020?


  • What have you've learned about yourself, and what YOU need, through your experiences of 2020?


  • What are you most proud of when reflecting on 2020?


  • What do you want to take forward from 2020, into 2021?


  • How can you make sure you don't let go of your learnings, insights and progressions made during 2020?


  • How will you make 2021 different/better/more of what you want it to be? Less is more here, so please just pick a few tangible things that you can do. Perhaps look back on your notes about life prior to 2020 and consider what small goals or actions you want and will commit to.

Now, let’s think about the upcoming holiday period, as this is your time to recharge your batteries, fill your cup and enjoy life in a way that makes your life worth living. It's been a long and intense year, and we all need and deserve an energising break. The key to a good holiday period is a little planning . Ready? Here goes...

  • What are 3 things you'd like to do over the holiday period?


  • What are 3 things you do not want to do over the holidays?


  • What have you learned from 2020 that can assist you in setting up your holiday season to deliver you these 6 outcomes?


  • What is one ‘soulful’ thing you can commit to doing over the holidays?


  • What is one challenge you can set yourself for the holidays?


  • How can you make these things happen?

How to maximise this self-reflection exercise

I usually recommend that you go for a quiet walk after an activity like this, to allow your reflections to cultivate or settle, and to give your subconscious a little time to absorb your quiet repair. I also highly encourage you to share what you feel comfortable sharing with someone close to you, to either further explore specific things and/or to ask for support in taking forward learnings and help in achieving what you’ve identified as important to you.

Finally, come back to your notes before the new year begins. Many people hit a restless point in the holidays, and this is the perfect time to reconnect with your reflections and then look forward to 2021. Maybe you double down to ensure you achieve your holiday goals, begin some personal 2021 planning or start taking action in a priority area you’ve identified!

Before you go...

Your reflections are your learnings and motivation to guide you forward with clarity, purpose and perhaps even lightness. Of course, 2021 won’t be in any way perfect and managing our expectations is key, but with renewed energy and our learned wisdom, we will each be in a better position to unlock the opportunities ahead.

I wish you a safe and peaceful end to 2020.


Alisa XxxxX


Unpacking 2020 & Preparing for Holidays
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If you enjoyed this article please pay it forward by sharing it with someone who would benefit! You might also like to grab my FREE Performance Starter Kit to utilise some powerful resilience, wellbeing and performance resources, and if you'd like more support in the year ahead then the Alisa Camplin Facebook ELEVATE Community is where you want to be!


— Alisa XxxxX