In 2020, the world saw nature take over its power and tried to reset the balance. I will stop here instead of repeating what everyone has been already saying.
2020 for me was, “When you can’t go outside, go inside”. I couldn’t go around the world to experience new things, I went inside my body to discover the wonderful meditation experiences. I found a safe place inside me to go to when there is turmoil around. This one choice alone has made a huge difference and made 2020 a life changing year for me.
January started with a challenging new job. While I enjoyed my work and constant appreciation from the Product Manager, I always had the doubt that am I doing well. Little did I know that I am going to spend the rest of the year working with the most amazing Manager I ever worked with. It gave me faith in humanity and good people still exist. For the first time in my corporate life, I experienced working with a manager who cared for me as a person and for my personal goals and skill set and always made me feel cared for. The best habit which I picked up this month but became more serious about only in the next month was gratitude. The one thing which set me up for the beautiful day was gratitude diary.
February was the month of my first anniversary and we went to Andamans to celebrate. When we discussed the things we wanted to do better, the point on how I am anxious and stressed out all the time came up. I took the discussion seriously and chalked out a plan to change that. That was the one discussion which changed my 2020.
March was the onset of Covid in India. Given how poor my immunity is, I decided to go through the natural ways to bump it up. I started taking kapalbhati, yoga, ginger-amla-turmeric, meditation quite seriously. It was also the beginning of reading books on spirituality which started with Power of Now.
April was the month when I got into mindfulness. I had a stretch of one week where I felt absolute bliss and I could not replicate that experience again. Another highlight was, I read close to 3000 pages in one month which boosted my reading speed. The tricks I found to read faster were helpful for me in the coming months to read the highest number of books in any year so far. Most of my other goals failed at this point, one of them was learning Kannada. I didn’t have sources to practise so I could not find motivation to stick with it. Another one was I couldn’t publish the book which I finished writing because I didn’t find it upto the mark. But the way I could keep up with photography by finding something to click daily has definitely pushed my creativity to next levels.
May was all about cooking. I learnt a lot of new dishes in a month since I thought it was not safe to order from outside to satisfy my cravings. I went from being a person who cooked to survive to a person who was trying to create the atmosphere of home through food. As far as cooking was concerned, I definitely inherited the genes from my mother who is an excellent cook. Most of the time, I intuitively knew what to add and I created my own recipes. Guess what, the dishes turned out to be amazing on the first time, which gave me confidence to cook more. I went up to the phase of making my own masalas to add for different types of curries. Learning a new skill always gives a different type of confidence to life.
June was for a breakthrough in Kapalbhati. I just increased it by one minute daily by starting it at 3 minutes a day. I initially thought it was an impossible task but definitely learnt a perfect example of moving just a little everyday. I also started hip opening yoga. I really loved the way I was feeling more flexible.
July started with me finally getting into a data science project. All the credit goes to my manager who recognised my skill set and put me into a project where I can prove myself. Since I was getting back to coding after a long time, I had to put in extra hours to speed up my skills. But it was definitely worth every effort I put into my dream. Another highlight was my exposure to Gita classes. The downside is I haven’t started reading Gita yet.
August was all about the black and white grid where I lost and learnt. I always wanted to learn chess and finally my husband agreed to play this with me as a shared leisure activity. When I won, it only boosted my ego and the games I lost taught me the game, just like life does.
September was the month of “Build the skill set, opportunities come on their own”. I started that month by recording a short video of me everyday to practise my public speaking skills and by the end of the month, I was asked to do a small video on managing stakeholders by my company.
October is a special month as I started being a Habits coach. Helping others find their purpose in life brought immense joy in me which in turn made me feel that my purpose was to help others live up to their fullest potential. Moving into a new house, helped me set my sleep cycle and watch the sunrise and do my meditation on time.
November was about getting back to morning pages. I brought out so many of my limiting beliefs just through my morning pages. This in turn helped me cry a little and let go of long held resentments. I liked the joy of healing. Another best thing was buying a piano which I had wanted since ages and I started growing vegetables in my balcony.
December was about forgiving. I religiously did it for the first few days, where I could actually feel my chest go lighter. Later on I felt bogged down by my project and internship work and had to heavily focus on that. I felt really grateful for all the people who contributed to the survey which made my project a success and the wonderful guide who had immense confidence in me.
As the year ended, it felt nothing special. It was just a date which we humans make as special. But it is not a bad thing to make it a milestone, to reflect on the time passed and make new goals for the future. The one regret I have about 2020 is that I could have written more and better.
Plan for 2021
Moving forward to 2021, some of the broad goals I have are
Weight loss has been really tough for me. I have tried a lot of different alternates but nothing worked. But I am grateful for not putting on any new weight. Sometimes, we just need to keep working on what is right and not control the results. That is the exact plan for weight loss this year. I will keep doing what I consider good for my health. Grow my own organic food, eat more raw food, keep doing yoga daily. Sleep on time. Work on limiting beliefs on weight loss.
2020 was excellent for mental health. I need to put in extra efforts and plan well to make 2021 as better than 2020 for mental health. The brief goals I have are
- Spend less time on worrying
- Hold no resentment
- Learn self compassion
- Write about everyday miracles
- Attend vipassana retreat
- Learn to breathe from belly
- Do 30 minutes of kapalbhati daily
- Learn to look at every problem as an opportunity for growth
3.Hobbies and skills – I don’t have a Netflix subscription. Nor do I plan on taking one. I use my free time in getting better at my hobbies.
- Learn piano thoroughly
- Publish one book
- Learn digital marketing
- Learn public speaking
- Launch different counselling programs and workshops
- Write daily
- Learn chess moves
- Read 100 books
- Publish 50 book reviews
- Be an expert at billiards
- Play badminton regularly
I will create time for this through
- Don’t check phone the first thing in morning
- Limit whatsapp and instagram time to 30 minutes a day
- Check whatsapp notifications only twice a day
4.Learning a new language – Learning a new language expands your vocabulary. I want to learn a local language – Kannada, a national language – Bahasa and an international language – Spanish.
5.Academics –I want to publish 2 research papers based on the study I have done this year.
6.Career goals– Most of my work experience in machine learning has been about text mining. I want to work more intensively on this and become a Natural Language Processing expert.
How was your 2020? What are your plans for 2021?