This year has been interesting, to say the least, especially on a personal level. I feel we’ve all learnt a lot about ourselves this year through various trials and moments of triumph despite the pandemic we didn’t expect that has fallen upon us. I never thought I would be in this position I am in. I wouldn’t say I’ve changed a whole lot as an individual, but internally and mentally, there have been moments that have forced me to grow, be and do better for myself.
In today’s blog, I want to share things I did this year that have changed my life. It’s nothing magical nor is it “the secret” to any sort of “success” or “freedom” but they are little things that make a difference in various ways and you can also apply to your life.
Writing Things Down
There is something about writing things down that makes a big difference in trying to achieve things or move forward. Whether that would be journaling or writing goals and plans for your life it does help. Writing things down was effective to help me track my progress over time. I wrote in a post a while ago about having different journals for different areas of life. This was a decision I made at the start of the year. It wasn’t something I did with a lot of intent I just knew I needed to organise myself in my thoughts and ideas. Journaling has also been useful to help me unclutter my brain and maintain a clear head. It is hard to lose focus on something or completely forget when it is written down. I watched this video that changed my whole perception and outlook on writing things down. I wrote down everything I wanted in life from the inspiration it gave me. Do you want to see things happen? Write them down.
Choosing To Be Grateful, Regardless of The Curveballs Life Gives
Gratitude is an exercise we can all practice daily. It is so simple even if all you have is one thing to be grateful for, it still counts. It Is something I do religiously. I write down at least ten things I’m grateful for. It can be hard when you look at just positive things but recently, I’ve been practising gratitude for the bad and hard times because of being shown that I could make it through. If you struggle with showing gratitude, I have a post on ways that can help you. Just try it, give it some time and patience and let life do its thing.
Regaining and Maintaining Control of My Finances
I’m no financial guru or money expert, so please do not see this as professional advice. However, I can advise that taking control over your money as opposed to the opposite helps a person sleep better at night. In my few years of adulting, I would say this is the first year I have felt financially in control. It took a lot of discipline and a bit of reality to kick in to get me here. Before this year, my financial priority was to have money to enjoy life and afford travels. After all that was done, I shifted my focus and decided to learn, teach myself and commit to managing my money better.
Finding My Faith
I am someone who believes in God and I’d credit most of that to my Christian upbringing. I’ve had my moments of losing faith in God and not knowing entirely where I stood in terms of my own belief. Religious upbringing or somewhat traditions aside, for some reason I felt moved to explore that faith for myself so that I could have my own true belief in God and not just following a faith because I was told to. To me, that’s not true faith or belief in God at all. I would say this is probably the first time in life I had ever picked up a bible and read it because I felt spiritually moved to do so, but I also learned a lot from it and there were some parts I scrutinised and tried to understand. I’m a long way from expert level, and though I’m not the most consistent at it, it has influenced my outlook on life and the way I see God and I’m grateful for that change. I felt urged to somewhat start again a few months before COVID hit and when it did, it was a season that gave many, including myself, time to think. This led into thinking about exploring and bettering myself spiritually.
Creating a Vision Board
Similar to writing things down, one of the things I did this year was to create a vision board. However, mine is not based on the year it’s a generic life-based vision board of things I want for myself over some time. The great thing about it is that mentally it does something to the mind. It gives a level of focus and creates a desire to be more intentional. At least that’s what it has done so far for me. I believe once you see what you want or should be working towards daily from the minute you wake up, it forces you to move with urgency and do little things at your own pace to change your situation.
Giving Cheerfully Despite My Circumstances
Giving is something that does a lot for the soul. It is somewhat a selfish good deed because it makes us feel good. I have never considered myself a stingy person, but I realised I often think a little too much when it comes to giving. This is because I was narrow-minded to thinking it had to always be money, when that is not the case at all. This year I decided whether it’d be money, time, resources, or wisdom I’d ensure if there is a moment to give, I’d do it cheerfully. One thing to also be sure of is to check your heart before giving no matter the situation. Realistic ally there have been times where I want to give, but I’m not able to at the specific moment. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t feel bad about it. I think the more I made a conscious decision to find my faith, that changed my outlook and perception of giving.
I would say 2020 was the year that I behaved or acted more consciously to the choices I was making instead of just going with the flow of things. Since I started journaling, it has me thinking a lot more about why I do certain things. So whenever there is a choice to make, it had to be calculated in some areas. One area of life I ensured I was intentional with was my blog. When I restarted again in August I had a vision and an idea of where I would want to take it by the end of the year, and thank God with a little bit of thought and planning, creativity and prayers it paid off. I believe when there is a genuine reason for doing something, our actions will align to make it worthwhile.
I will conclude by saying that there are more things that we can all do to better ourselves in various ways and some could be simple such as; making more time for rest, reading more or spending more time with loved ones. Not all my points will relate to you, and that’s okay.
What are some of the ways you tried to better yourself this year? And how has it gone for you so far? I would love to hear from you in the comments below, where we can also share ideas and learn from each other.
Thanks For Reading