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2020 Learnings & Then, The Pandemic

I debated back and forth what the best learnings have been for the year that was 2020. Do I even need some learnings? I’ve joked about it with friends, attended meditation workshops and have summarised it into one word on a few occasions. There’s been a lot of lessons and then, there was a pandemic and we’ve all had to stay home for a bit.

We click onto the news and the numbers are rising each day and it comes as a welcome distraction to the work we need to do and reflections that are inevitable as we approach the end of a new year.

As we close off 2020 with a full moon, another lockdown (in Ireland) and a call to sit with ourselves some more, I ventured out of my usual journals to share my learnings from the year that I will for sure carry into 2021 with me. Note that Rome wasn’t built in a day and so, if you’re having trouble putting your finger on your reflections from the year – that’s okay too. Taking a breath to celebrate how freaking far we’ve come is needed too.

  1. It’s a cliche, I say it all the time and it’s been more true than ever this year that indeed, you become like the people you spend the most time with. This applies to work, friendships, family, romance & hobbies. Naturally, you will be impacted by their beliefs, mannerisms, talk and world views. Thankfully, I’ve experienced more time and connection with those I love this year AND have recognised the toxic influences around me and cut them loose. Your energy is valuable and easily influenced so be clear on what that looks like.
  2. Slowing down is a good thing. Two weeks ago, after cutting my finger open on a brass edge, I wrapped it up and carried on with my work that day. To quote my sister ‘that’s so June’ meaning I don’t naturally stop to take things in and so, I’ve continued to be mindful of 2020’s need to stop and just be (with pain or not). Sit and be okay with it.
  3. People are accountable for their own behaviour. With so much going on, it can feel acceptable to make excuses for other people and their poor actions. Actually, whatever is happening, those around us are responsible for their ways and you’re allowed to set a standard of what that should be in your life and brought to your doorstep. If it doesn’t work, boundary-up.
  4. It’s okay to do a U-turn on what you thought you wanted and admit that to those around you. Vulnerability is a scary feel and indeed, leaves you open to a lot of criticism. You know what’s worse though? Sitting in a situation you’re unhappy with just because you said you’d do it. Be clear on your intentions for 2021 as you allow yourself to be guided.
  5. It’s okay not to be okay. Again, we know this and I’ve posted about it quite a bit. Our mental health is going to have its ups and downs on a normal year – nevermind a weird year like 2020. Show up for yourself, your emotions and be yourself in whatever situation that might be. I promise it will pass faster if you allow it to just be.

There’s so much more I could post about and that you could add to the list, right? My advice to you is to look back and celebrate your growth and allow that to be a stepping stone into a new year. No, we’re not going to magical have everything solved as we venture into 2021. We are however marking a milestone that won’t be here again.

Tread ever so carefully and mind yourselves this new year.

Five Ways To Start Preparing For 2018 – Now

I’ve said it before. Who cares about new year’s resolutions? If you’re going to make a change, why not now? I’m guilty of it myself. I’ve got a busy couple of months ahead with Christmas in retail and so, it would be easy to throw my fitness plans to the side. However for many reasons, I will push through with them now. I need to get the benefit of it now (not in three months from now) and besides, it’s better to start sooner rather than later. In three months from now, I’ll have wished that I started today.

Considering 2017 as a year, it hasn’t been bad. It also hasn’t been the best year of my life. There have been so many things I’ve said I’d do and they haven’t happened. I wanted to see more of the world – that was limited. Meanwhile, I had some health challenges and had some personal situations pop up that hadn’t been invited around. It all worked out and I feel on track however I can’t help but think that 2018 needs to be better. The way for me to do this is being pro-active and being clear on where I want to be.

As mentioned above, I’ve taken a better stance on my fitness. To be honest, I haven’t had a choice. Visiting a physio again last week brought me and my sore back right down to earth – I need to take care of myself. Other goals have been to grow this blog (yes, again) and thirdly, I want to travel more. Hence why I booked my first holiday of the year for April next year (watch this space). It doesn’t need to be a challenge, it just needs to be organised and realistic.

So there’s a whole new year ahead, have you thought about what you want it to be like for yourself? Are you a planner or do you like to take things as they come?

*Firstly, the reason I got planning for next year was financial. For one, I realise that booking holidays super close to the time means that I spend way more on the trip than I need to. Sometimes, this means I don’t go at all as I don’t want to part ways with lots of cash. So basically, planning for 2018 now will save some cash.

*Being clear on goals means you aren’t flapping about in the dark. I am personally happiest when I know where I stand and where I’m headed. This is why I know what holidays I’ll take, how fit I want to get and how much money I want to save. These are all the areas for me to work on so these are the examples I’m using. For yourself though, perhaps it’s to do with diet, a career move or a hobby you’ve been dreaming about? Get journaling, planning and taking action NOW.

*Is there something you need to put in place now in order to reach a certain goal in 2018? Perhaps, you need to enrol in a course, put down a deposit on a trip somewhere or start researching something that will move you in the direct of your calling.

*How many times have you worked on this before? Did it work out or has it left you at square one? If there’s a goal you want to reach that you’ve failed to reach before, learn from your mistakes. Why didn’t it work out? What can you change this time? You know your self better than anyone.

*Work on yourself and everything else will follow. I’m a huge believer in the self-help movement. I believe if we work on ourselves and how we value ourselves then we’ll be more likely to reach our goals. If you’re not feeling as great or as confident as you could – spend some time on the why. Read some books, watch Ted Talks or discuss with a life coach. I promise you’ll be glad you did – no matter the reason.

Whether it’s for 2018 or right now, being clear of goals and intentions is more likely to move you in a direction that suits you. 

#thelittlethings: Four Small Changes I’ve Made Lately

“We become what we repeatedly do.” – Sean Covey

It’s an ongoing journey and sometimes, a battle. There’s so much to juggle, so many people to stay in touch with and at the same time, an information-rich world bombarding us with the latest ‘must-dos’ to stay on track and be “our best selves”. We want to have it all and, feel it all while at the same time, looking like royalty with the perfect abs under our perfectly ironed shirts.

At this stage, it’s nothing new to read my thoughts on habits and the journey to changing them. Baby steps are of course key and this blog post won’t tell you any different. Lately, I’ve had to remind myself that small changes are going to get me there (wherever there may be) and any action at all is progress.


Over the past few months, I’ve fallen off the wagon when it comes to certain habits. These include my eating habits, exercise and self-development. For a while, routines weren’t the same as before as I started into a new position, got super busy and needed to focus on loads outside of myself.

No regrets as I’ve (as always) done what I needed to do at any given time. The past couple of weeks have seen me getting back to those little daily actions that I know make me feel good and performing at my best.

1)Cutting out caffeine.

I work in retail and so, the end of last year was a mental time for me. Coffee was something I consumed daily and so, I pulled back from the decaf and instead opted for extra shots of whatever the baristas could give me. As 2016 came around, I reconsidered my step back to caffeine and decided to start back on decaf bar a little matcha in the mornings. My presses are empty of coffee and when I go to the coffee shops, I opt for options such as ‘Chai Lattes’ and other fancy stuff.


2) Making exercise more relaxing

I often feel pangs of guilt when I don’t go to the gym. I know I need to exercise and I feel better for having gone to some sort of class or even a jog on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Feeling super busy and tired when I get home from work, the excuses have crept in over the last while. As I started to recognise this, walking has become a priority. I’m between houses (moving next week, yay!) therefore this makes the most sense for me. Literally, baby-steps are being taken in the area near the estate. The gym will come calling again in a couple of weeks again but for now, walking will do.

3) I’ve micro-blogged more

Just because blogging everyday can’t happen, doesn’t mean micro-blogging can’t, right? What do I mean by micro-blogging? Basically, snippets of writing and helpful tips get shared via my social media channels –Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. While I’d love to be writing more and more, I feel like I at least have the chance to connect with readers via those platforms in between posts.

4) I’ve given myself a break

Today, I was off after a busy week. It was super-productive and positive and lovely… but busy. I took the morning today to chill out, watch endless episodes of ‘Girls’ and be lazy. It was something I found a challenge as I love to get loads done on my days off. Of course, I took the afternoon to do some cooking and blog work (after my nap). Knowing when to rest is such a little thing but it’s a little thing that can make all the difference.

Keep an eye on the details that work for you.