It’s that time of year when we all start reflecting on the past 12 months and quietly observe what we have or haven’t managed to achieve. I generally don’t make New Year's resolutions - but I do set personal goals for the coming year. Looking back at the goals I set for 2018 was interesting to say the least!
I have a tendency be very hard on myself. As I started reflecting on the past year, I instantly starting thinking of all the things I didn’t achieve. My immediate thoughts were things like, ‘I didn’t save enough money’, ‘I didn’t spend enough time on XYZ’ and ‘I didn’t do enough towards my goal of helping the world’. Is it just me who puts so much emphasis on my perceived failures?! I realised quickly that I shouldn’t be focusing on what I didn’t achieve, but on what I did achieve. So here’s an honest and open review of my year and some things I think are worth celebrating.
I did my first public speaking event
This is a huge one for me and I know I haven’t celebrated it enough. Public speaking is my single biggest fear and I experience a lot of anxiety when I have to talk in front of people, even in a small group. I was invited to talk on a panel about sustainable living and I knew I couldn’t pass up the option - it was time to face my fear! It went smoothly and I felt surprisingly relaxed on stage (despite the fact it was a 30-something degree summer evening in Berlin!). Overall, it was a huge confidence booster. I hope 2019 will bring more opportunities to work on my public speaking.
I grew my online platform
I’m so happy that my online platform is being well-received and that I’m constantly connecting with likeminded people from all over the world. It was thrilling to see my blog readership increase, and realise there are thousands of people who have read my words, and hopefully gained something from them. I also continued to grow my modest following on Instagram and had my first experience working with conscious brands.
I made new friends
2016 was a very tough year for me. I lost friends who I thought were going to be in my life for a long time and losing them lead me to a very low point in my life. It took a time for me to realise that it was less about me, and more about the fact that friends come and go - sometimes for good. In 2018, I made lots of new meaningful connections with amazing people, but I also learnt friendships don’t need to be forced, they tend to just happen. While I am still rebuilding my confidence in this area - I made huge improvements in 2018 that I should be proud of.
I quit my job
I’ve been thinking about leaving the corporate world behind for a long time, and finally this year I worked up the courage to bite the bullet and do it. I decided living my values needs to extend to my career, too. I am leaving behind a very comfortable, secure job and salary to follow my dream of owning my own business while helping the world. I’m anxious, but I’m excited for what 2019 will bring in this regard.
I booked my first solo trip
So admittedly the actual trip isn’t until January 2019, but since I booked it in 2018 I thought I would mention it here. I have never travelled solo - always with my partner or friends. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do as I know it’s a unique and formative experience. I knew I wanted to escape Berlin winter and my partner is not in a position to take time off, so I decided this was my chance. I seized the opportunity and booked a return flight to Mexico - I’ll be travelling by myself for 4 out of 6 weeks of my trip. Needless to say, I am very excited!
So there you have it - I managed to come up with five things I achieved in 2018 and some of the things I learnt along the way. Next time you catch yourself thinking negatively, or focusing on all the things you didn’t do - try and switch your mindset and reflect on the things you have achieved. I think we could all do more to be kind to ourselves and this is an important step in self-acceptance and improved mental health.