Finally, we turn the page on 2020 and welcome 2021. And there is no doubt that 2020 was a very challenging year, even brutal for so many people. We spent our days at home, in isolation and that was the best thing we could do to avoid catching coronavirus or spreading it to others. We couldn’t see our loved ones as often as we wish, we couldn’t travel overseas or even walk down the street in front of our homes with ease of mind. Our plans to get here or there turned into a collective goal of staying at home so that soon enough we can be free again.
What we had in 2020 was a lot of time to sit down and reflect on our lives. So, that is what I did, I took the inner trip. And once again I’ve realized that there is a chance to grow and learn a great deal about myself in every situation even though the situation seems to be bad or out of my control. I can simply let go of the aspects that I have no control over and work on the ones that I can change. But of course, change is hard. Whenever I try to change a habit, I find myself going back to my old ways a couple months later. It was not enough to step outside of the comfort zone, I needed to find a way to stick to being outside of it.
So, I’ve decided to go small, so small that I won’t even notice that I’m changing anything. Later on, as I search the internet, I found out that there is already a concept about this which is called KAIZEN. It is a Japanese concept and it means continuous improvement. The idea is that small but ongoing changes may add up and lead to big improvements and extraordinary results. This sounds very fitting to my approach cause I already feel like the circumstances are challenging and I’m left with a small amount of energy to make a change in my life. So, in an effort to make 2021 a better year, I picked the following small steps to take. And I call them small according to my current situation. They might seem bigger in the following months. I guess I will figure out that better during the process.
Be more present: I actually believe that it is impossible to not be present. Whether we’re thinking about the past or the future, we do it now and it is being present in the moment. By being present, I mean focusing on the moment I’m in and feeling it more rather than thinking and worrying about the future, about what will come next. Feeling the moment more is about becoming aware of the senses, focusing on what we see, taste, touch, and hear. And to achieve this, I came up with a couple of solutions which are:
- Doing a social media detox
- Limiting up the hours I spend watching videos or movies
- Sparing some time to read and drink coffee every day
- Writing more
- Starting to exercise
For every item I’ve listed above, I’ve decided to go small but consistent. And if my appetite for any of them increase over time, I can expand the time I spend on that specific activity.
Be grateful: Sometimes we get so caught up in our own world, we forget to see what others are going through, especially during the pandemic. As a reminder to appreciate the good things I had in my life, I’ve decided to take a moment every week to write down the things that I’m grateful about my life. For sure, my top item will be about the nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals who are on the frontlines of battling COVID-19. I hope that this also reminds me to be more kind and giving towards others.