Things I did This Year To Better Myself

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.

Being Intentional

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

Sincerely Yours

Darren Owen

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15 thoughts on “Things I did This Year To Better Myself

  1. Another great enjoyable read. 2020 has definitely been a year & some. So hopefully we all get a better 2021 filled with lots of great PF blogs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you enjoyed the read and thank you for your comment and your support. It’s been a crazy year to say the least. Indeed, loads more PF blogs on the way 🙏🏿☺️


  2. Great blog post and I am glad you have found ways to better myself! I find that gratitude is so helpful, it helps reframe your thoughts and gives you a positive mindset!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it Niraj and thanks for your comment and support. It was very necessary this year and gratitude is an amazing service to the soul.


      1. Beautiful defently will use that in my daddy to day sometimes just be cheerful
        I started writing things down makes you make it get done great blog 5*.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for your support and your comment. Glad you find these things valuable and you apply them. And yes, being cheerful is also an important thing to do to better ourselves! Bless you for sharing


  3. Honestly, this is a great piece. You are speaking for a lot of us and especially myself. I appreciate your openness, keep it up brother!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comment and feedback my brother, helps a lot! I’m glad you see the value in this post. Will do, bless you for the encouragement and support


  4. The most I did this year was write. I sent in to a number of competitions, got some feedback that I think I am putting to good use. I have also done a lot of reading, not as widely as I would have wanted but I still read.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reading and for your comment. That sounds amazing with what you did this year I’m glad you saw a benefit from putting yourself and your skills out there. Reading is something I’m currently working on too. Keep up the great work ☺️


  5. It’s really good to write lots of things down. I know when I started writing down small tasks it was a good way to unclutter my head as I no longer felt stressed trying to remember everything I needed to do. I also like the idea of the vision board, I did something similiar with people I managed to encourage them to think about how they would like their long term career to progress rather than just thinking a few months ahead.

    Things I’ve done better this year:
    – been my persistent in pursuit of personal fitness sticking to clear and concise goals so I have good measures of progress and embracing my role as a father but having a clear balance of other interests.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most definitely couldn’t agree more it’s a good way to unclog the brain. And vision boards to me just create a centre of focus on a daily basis. Good idea implementing that to the people you did.

      I’m not a father yet but I appreciate that you found motivation in sticking to your fitness goal to add to your betterment in fatherhood. As a man I respect that a lot James. Job well done to you. Followed your blog, look forward to seeing more

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Darren, glad we can connect 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Great Post Darren.
    A grateful heart, living intentional and being a cheerful – fuel for life

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your support and comment Ama. Glad you took some value from this post


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