Happy New Year everybody! Welcome to my first blog post for 2021. I’ll be reflecting on the most important lessons I learnt in 2020; then following with my top five 2021 goals that I hope to achieve this year.
Lessons from 2020
I can spend time alone
Turns out I am able to spend time on my own, and I actually quite like it. Back in March when we first went into lockdown, I really struggled. Especially when I moved in with my boyfriend at the start of April, as he was still working from home full-time. This meant that I had to find ways to keep myself occupied during the weekdays.
It was originally quite lonely as I’ve always been someone who loves spending time with other people and conversing over cups of tea. But as time went on I realised that the time I spent by myself was really important and really good for me. I had 8 hours a day to do whatever I wanted, and I only had to worry about myself and keeping myself happy.
Don’t let others make you doubt your worth
People may not like you standing up for yourself, but that’s their problem, not yours. This is something I experienced at my former job. It just so happened that as a senior member of staff, I was being paid less than colleagues below me, just because of my age. I expressed that I thought this was unfair and didn’t make sense. However, I was dismissed by management who hoped I’d just let it go. So instead I left the company. I wasn’t going to settle for less than I deserved, especially because of something so ridiculous as my age; despite my qualifications, experience, and dedication to the role.
It’s fun to be spontaneous
You can’t be too disappointed if the plan was only made a few days in advance. In early-February this year, my sister Jess and I booked five nights in New York City for September 2020. For obvious reasons this trip didn’t go ahead. However, we decided that we didn’t want the annual leave and the built up excitement we’d had go to waste.
We got in touch with our older sister and arranged a two-night getaway to the Cotswolds, only about a week in advance. It was such a relaxing few days just wondering around, and enjoying each other’s company. No one had any expectations for the trip, we just knew we wanted to have fun.
You have to put yourself first
I feel like many of us are conditioned to believe that putting ourselves first is an act of selfishness and immaturity. However, with the complications of this year affecting so many of us in different ways, I learnt that I had to think of myself before I could think of anyone else. After all, if you’re not put together yourself, what good are you to other people?
This is especially true when it comes to mental health. Taking time out for your mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. Whether that is just an hour or two of me-time, or needing a few days off work to just give your mind a rest. I got to the point this year where I was completely burnt out. Nothing excited me, I was exhausted all the time, and I dreaded going to work. I’m not saying this is necessarily because of my work-place in particular, but that emotional overload definitely highlighted to me that I hadn’t been taking care of my mental wellbeing at all. I spoke to my doctor and they actually gave me three weeks sick leave from work; and this was probably one of the best decisions I made for myself all year! I went back to work feeling so much better.
How lucky I actually am
This would have to be the most important of all the lessons I’ve learnt this year. I definitely did not appreciate just how fortunate I really am before now. Even just down to having supportive friends and family, because I know that so many people have struggled so much this year in feeling isolated and alone. Never once in 2020 did I have to worry about my job security, having enough food, making rent, or taking care of anyone other than myself. So for that I am incredibly grateful.
My 2021 Goals
Go somewhere new
I had quite a few new places on my list for 2020 that I didn’t get the chance to visit. Now I don’t exactly know how travel is going to look in 2021 just yet; but if I can get to at least one new destination in the New Year then I’ll be happy.
Next on my list of 2021 goals is to make the time to read more. Partly because I’m hoping it’ll improve my sleep, but also because there are so many benefits of reading. Some of these benefits include:
- Increased concentration
- Improved brain connectivity
- Expanding your knowledge and understanding of a variety of topics
- Reducing stress and symptoms of depression
Get back to a weight that I’m happy with
One of the most cliché New Year’s resolutions ever, but still one of my 2021 goals. I’m not talking about anything drastic, but I definitely want to work on getting into better shape. Back to a point where I feel happy and confident again.
Create a more minimalistic wardrobe
This year has given me countless opportunities to wear the clothes I’ve always held onto ‘just in case’. But what I’ve come to realise is despite this, I still haven’t touched over half of my clothing items. Therefore, I’ve decided I want to do a mega clear-out of my wardrobe.
Receive 5,000 blog views in 2021
Since returning to work in July, I’ve realised just how much work goes into maintaining and promoting a blog. Especially since going solo with the website, it’s been a bit of a balancing act. I know this is such a baby figure, but for me, I’d be so proud if I managed to get this many views in 2021.
Well there you have it! My 2021 goals and the top lessons I learnt in 2020. What are your goals for the new year? I’d love to know so leave a comment below!
To see my 2020 highlights, click here: https://www.emgoingplaces.com/2020/12/12-months-and-12-pictures-my-best-2020-highlights/