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After watching self-help YouTuber Rowena Tsai’s recent video on “how to reset for 2021 challenge: reflect & celebrate small wins (week 1)“, she has inspired me to also take part in this challenge and begin my journey of reflecting the year 2020 to reset for 20201!
One of the biggest lesson I learnt in the year of 2020 is to celebrate our small wins. I am sure I am not alone when I say this year has been one of the most challenging year yet. There have been many times where I felt so easily defeated in my general direction of life, relationships and my overall self-confidence.
In order to pick ourselves back up every time we have to remind ourselves of our worth no matter how big or small theses wins are. So Rowena has laid out 5 questions in her challenge that will guide us through our journey on celebrating our small wins starting with:
Question 1: 3 Things that went well
1- Relaunching this blog: In May 2020, I wanted to challenge myself with a mini project where I would pick up writing again and post at least once a week. I wrote about topics such as travelling, music to book reviews which looking back now really helped a lot in diverting all my anxious thoughts that I had to something a lot more positive and fulfilling.
2- Reconnecting with myself: This year through discovering the practice of Mindfulness, it taught me ways of managing my own emotions that I’ve never tried before. Just by attempting to be more present and acknowledging my feelings whether they are good, bad or neutral really helped me to put things into perspective and to not act out of impulse although this is definitely still a learning curve.
3- Job Hunting: Since graduating in July 2020 I don’t even know how many jobs I have applied to and there were many times where I was losing all hope and faith in my post-grad journey because it was either rejection after rejection or just simply no response at all. For some this may not seem like a win but I would like to celebrate the fact that throughout all this I continued to keep applying and that I am still trying to achieve what I want. This is already a win for me no matter the outcome of the job applications. If you have been through or is going through a similar thing, please give yourself a pat on the back and don’t give up, we’ll get through this!
Question 2: 3 Things you learned
1- Perseverance: For me in 2020 it was all about perseverance. I learned that having perseverance is probably one of the best quality one can have. Especially this year where we were constantly hit with obstacles after obstacles and it is through perseverance that we are all still here doing what we are doing.
2- Human connection: Reconnecting with close friends and family had been very important to me this year and I am constantly challenging myself to being more open with my thoughts and feelings because the more I keep my worries and doubts inside the more damaging it will be, mentally and physically. I learned that we are simply not born to be lone wolves and that it is okay to seek for human connection.
3- Fulfilment = Happiness: In the last couple of months of this year I learned what truly brings me happiness is the sense of fulfilment. Happiness isn’t simply about lounging around, watching Netflix and playing video games but true happiness comes from doing something that brings meaning and purpose into your life. Some of the things that I have found fulfilling this year include: completing my dissertation project, picking back up my workout routine, painting, reading, writing, applying for jobs and going on walks in the nature.
Question 3: 3 Things you overcame
1- The feeling of uncertainty: Whatever that is uncertain, it is out of my control and what is out of my control should not be something I stress or be upset about. Once I came into such realisation I was able to let go and focus on the things that I can currently do and make progress with.
2- Fear of conflict: This is still something thats a working progress but throughout this year there were times were difficult conversations had to be made and even finding the courage to speak up can be hard at times but I have realised this is something I want to work on and build on because if I want to be heard I need to start building my courage to speak out.
3- Fear of change: Just simply understanding that not all changes are bad and that when a change comes along it does not have to be detrimental as long as we let ourselves adapt and let go of whatever is holding us back in the first place.
Question 4: 3 Things I’m proud of
1- Graduating: If you are also a class of 2020, well done and congratulations! We did it!
2- Being kind to myself: Reassuring myself that it’s okay no matter what I was going through at the time.
3- Blogging: As mentioned before picking up writing and posting on the blog again has been one of the most fulfilling things for me this year and I am so glad I had done it and stuck with it.
Question 5: 3 Thing I did for myself
1- Health journey: In the middle of 2020 I decided to go on a mini healthy journey where I tried to keep a workout diary and to hold myself accountable in eating healthier than before. Going into this I was determined to lose weight due to body image issues but soon after a month of establishing a routine I realised how important it was for my overall mental well-being and it is definitely one of the things that I am proud to have kept up with because it truly kept me sane throughout lockdown.
2- Picked up new hobbies: This year I picked up some new hobbies such as watercolour painting, learning a new language as well as reconnecting with my old hobbies like playing the guitar and singing. It is so easy to get caught up in our everyday lives whether that is with work or studies. So when I took even an hour to do something creative it helped me to find myself again and see that my world is not just the cycle of work and sleep and repeat.
3- Being okay with where I am currently at: Out of all the small wins of 2020 I have to say this is probably one of the most significant win for me. This year has really taught me the importance of accepting and appreciating where we are at now whether that is our location, our life goals, our career or just a certain time of the day. Honestly nothing else matters more than how we treat our present moment. To be okay with where we are at now can offer a sense of peace and solitude like no other. In the end whatever has happened has happened and whatever will happen will happen. What we can control is how we treat NOW so we can live and feel the best that we can. Most of all it’s important to practice gratitude when we can and to appreciate where we are now is to be grateful for all the thing we already have.
So these are some of my small wins that I have reflected on for the year of 2020. I highly suggest you to also take on this challenge so we can be ready to take on 2021. In the end I truly believe this year has been one of the most challenging ones so far and it is so important for us to reflect on how we have all managed to pull through in our own personal ways. Please remember any wins are worth celebrating no matter how small or big or how significant you may think it is, this is the time for reflection and appreciation for ourselves!
PS. I wonder how many banana breads were baked in this year alone? Comment below if you have any wild guesses!
Just a lil reminder, please take care of yourselves and stay safe!