Looking back at 2020
As we approach the end of the year, it is a great time to take some time to pause and reflect. The year 2020 no doubt has been eventful and no one could have imagined what lay ahead.
This will certainly be one for the history books.
So much has happened, a pandemic hit the globe early March. Governments officially advised to work from home if possible. We all knew this would be the future or at least many strived to accomplish this sort of lifestyle. Having achieved this many have then realised that not having a boundary between your personal life and work might create different challenges all together.
Many have lost loved ones, unable to say good bye. Others have lost their jobs, not knowing when the next paycheck might arrive. While some have been fortunate to have kept their jobs, but are suffering from loneliness. Bottom line is that it has not been a normal year for anyone.
However, it is important to not get lost in negative thoughts and anxiety. No matter the situation, remember there is always something to be grateful for so focus on that. This might sound easier said than done, but trust me I've been there. Yes, there are things that make no sense and are extremely hard to deal with. Focus on what you can do and the things you can change rather than feel sad about things that are out of your control. Here are a few things you could try:
- List out 3 things you are grateful for every morning, no matter how small. Don't take anything for granted as nothing is guaranteed.
- Make sure to do at least one activity you love each day, no matter how busy you might be.
- Add some sports into your day, something as simple as walking will do
- Set a healthy routine to follow daily, go to bed early and get a good amount of sleep. There is a great sense of accomplishment in the simple act of waking up early.
Have a look at this blog post I wrote on self care and productivity for more ideas on what you could do to improve your well-being.
I know it is hard to keep going sometimes when you don't know when the turning point will happen, but nothing lasts forever so stay strong you've got this.
Looking ahead at 2021
The Big Question!
What are your goals for 2021? How many times might you have heard this sentence recently? What do you feel when you think about this? Excitement or Overwhelmed?
Let's be honest, not everyone has absolute clarity about the things they want to achieve and that is ok. I've always been a hardcore goal setter. I would set goals that required extreme hard work, dedication and determination. However goals don't always have to be about achieving the impossible. I do believe it is good to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but if you've been dealing with a lot of stress then maybe what you need to focus on first is self care. We are all different and go through different phases in life so just make sure you listen to yourself and your needs.
What makes you happy? Goals should be a map to help you accomplish things that will make you happy in the long term that require more time. It has been proven over time that we as humans seek purpose, and that having purpose brings happiness. This is why many times it is said that it is not about the destination but rather the journey. If we think about a job as an example: working somewhere you dislike until retirement just because you earn more doesn't make sense as by then you would have had most of your life flash by you. Was it really worth it?
Have you heard about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. A Theory of the Human Motivation?
This might help understanding "happiness" a bit better and at what stage of pursuit of happiness you might be at. What seems to be evident is that after some time you begin to require more than just the basic needs, and having more of those will not make you happier. Research has shown that after someone earns $95k earning more does not bring more joy, in fact it could be quite the opposite as you might have less time and more stress.
Therefore it becomes important to think about once you have satisfied your basic needs and reach the "Self-fulfillment" stage and are therefore living comfortably perhaps it is worth thinking about what motivates us? What are your values? What is meaningful and action worthy? Maybe think more about meaningfulness rather than happiness? Meaningfulness is something we invest energy in without expecting a return or reward. Volunteering at a charity that supports a cause you strongly believe in a helping make a difference that might be selfless could be a great example of this. You would feel fulfilled even when spending long hours and energy.
The point is setting goals should be exciting, not stressful. If you'd like a little guide to help you structure your goals, I've put together an easy Printable Goal Planner which you can download for FREE here.
It breaks down the goal planning into different sections: Personal, Professional and Financial aspects of your life, and also breaks down each goal by asking questions following the SMART goals system.
No matter what you do, do it for you. Do what you love, do what motivates, find your happiness. No matter where you are in life, trust that it is for a reason and you have the power to get to where you want to be in life. Wishing you a fantastic 2021 ahead :)