2020 has been a tough year for many people, leading to increased “hope” for the new year. The reality is COVID-19 will be with us for some time, so I wanted to share 3 lessons from 2020 to help you have greater success in 2021.
Here are 3 lessons from 2020:
Lesson 1: Ensure your Self Care Practice is Effective
I knew my self care practice needed a boost early in the pandemic given my life was now confined within a tiny apartment. That included sleep, meals, work, date night, family time and even some exercise.
I amped up my exercise routine to get those happy endorphins flowing, spent more time cooking ayurvedic meals, and did home facials and hair treatments weekly. Yet within a few months I was completely burnt out.
From the outside I had increased my self care. However I was missing the most important rule, which is to adapt your self care practice based on your circumstances to ensure it is effective.
Prior to the pandemic, things like HIIT workouts, and facials would reignite me. However when suffering burnout these two practices led me to feel more exhausted.
So going into 2021, whilst the pandemic is still very real, I will be balancing HIIT workouts and facials with things like meditation, and connecting with my soul sisters or family. That also means that each day, or week could look very different.
Lesson 2: Your Personal Brand is one of your Greatest Assets
Having a strong personal brand is beneficial for getting a promotion (or a new job), and salary increase. The reality is personal branding is even more important in a crisis.
In early 2020 I changed divisions and started a new role. A lot of my focus and energy was building my personal brand, both within my new team, as well as the wider organisation. I felt being the newest person in the team left me at risk of being made redundant (in the event they needed to reduce staff costs).
Thankfully I was never in that position but I wanted a Plan B just in case. I strategically got involved with departments from across the globe to establish strong networks and relationships, as well led a number of initiatives outside my day-to-day role.
Whilst my internal brand grew, I somewhat neglected my external brand. So 2021 is establishing more of a balance between internal and external personal branding.
Lesson 3: Use the “Third Door” to Overcome Working from Home Burnout
In Episode 24 of The Females in Tech Show with Dr Adam Fraser (Habits of High Performers), he spoke about the importance of creating a “third door”. This concept was a saving grace for me during lockdown and is definitely a practice I will leverage in 2021.
The “third door” is an event or action that an individual undertakes to create a mental or physical separation between starting and finishing work whilst working from home.
For example, dressing for work and adding a morning “commute” to work by walking around the block, and then at the end of the day walking around the block again, and changing your clothes when you “get home” to signify the end of the working day.
You can add further distinction on the weekends as well. It's so easy to walk past your laptop and start working, which leads to all the days blurring into one.
Here are some actions I will be implementing to provide greater separate between weekdays and weekends during lock down:
- Different breakfast. Make the effort to cook something special as if you were going to your fav local cafe.
- Practice “Rounding”. A combination of yoga, meditation, breathing and savasana to reduce stress.
- Time with My Soul Sisters. Preferable a walking date, or a Zoom call if required.
- Learn a New Skill. I want to learn to surf in 2021 🙂
- More Weekends Away. Once the current lockdown restrictions ease, of course.
What are your lessons from 2020?
Let’s not wish another year away like many people have been doing in the closing stages of 2020.
Let’s focus on what we can control by finding the good, identifying the lessons and maintaining a growth mindset to the obstacles life throws at us.
2021 will be challenging and it's up to you what you make of it.
Everyone has the opportunity to leverage this time to redesign what a meaningful life means to them. It may take time, but life is all about taking small steps to achieve the bigger picture.
What are your lessons from 2020? Comment below.
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