8 Tips for reaching new year’s goals & reflecting upon 2020

Before I share my tips for reaching your new year’s goals, I want to first reflect on the past year. Boy, what a whirlwind of a year 2020 was. I don’t know if it is just me, but the older I get, the quicker each year seems to pass. This past year, a few life changing events took place in my life.

My mom

My mom is a serious diabetic and due to severe inflammation in her foot which eventually spread to her leg, she had four amputations over the short course of two months and eventually ended up losing her leg.

It was a very difficult time for us. We are only two siblings, my brother and I. Between the two of us we tried to keep motivating my mom and re-assuring her while we were both so worried about her health. I know she was scared. I was scared for her. How does one learn to cope after losing a limb? But she did, and she’s doing an amazing job!

One thing that I realized more than ever is that my mom is an incredibly strong woman. I never knew how strong and positive she is until I’ve experienced it firsthand during the past three years since my Dad passed away. If I told you about everything that she’s been through, you would think I am exaggerating. She is a true inspiration and I’ve never met anyone that faced this many obstacles, managed to overcome them, and remained positive with a smile on her face.

COVID-19

Need I say more? So many people have lost so much because of the pandemic. I am so grateful to report that my family and friends stayed safe and that I haven’t lost anyone due to the virus. I did however lose my biggest content writing gig that I’ve had. But with the grace of God and some amazing blogger friends of mine, I survived financially and we have pulled through.

On the one hand it was a blessing in disguise. I used to work all the time and subsequently missed out on spending precious time with my little boy and family. I was always under pressure, not knowing whether I would finish in time. I still write and do content work but my time management is a whole lot better, plus I have most weekends and nights free, which used to be a luxury in my world.

Moving twice in two months

We have been staying at the same address for almost twelve years. And amidst the COVID-19 lockdown we were given notice due to personal circumstances of our landlord that changed. We finally found a great flat which we loved. Due to the lockdown regulations we had no help and all of the moving was done by my husband and I. After staying at our new place for a month and a half, we received notice again.

Honestly, I didn’t want to move again, but I had no choice. You might not believe me, but yet again it was due to personal circumstances of our landlord that changed. So after two months, we found ourselves in yet another new flat. Thankfully, we are still here and I am not planning on moving soon unless I have no other choice.

Losing loved ones

In the beginning of July, my father in law passed away unexpectedly. He was very dear to me and a wonderful person. Many people proclaim that they are Christians but their actions often contradict their words. But with my father in law this was not the case.

When I think of him, the things I remember most fondly is his sense of humor, his sms messages and phone calls just to check in on us and ask us how we were doing, his straightforwardness, and his unchanging devotion to God. This was the only time ever that I saw my husband cry, on the day of his funeral. It broke my heart because I understood his loss. I felt it too…

Saying goodbye to my faithful four legged companion

The last big blow I had to endure in 2020 was having to make the decision for my dog to be euthanized. I have had Grietjie since she was a puppy. She’s been my faithful and incredibly loyal companion for more than fifteen years. To be honest I never thought that she would get this old. I was postponing it over the course of a few weeks because every time I thought about it, I started crying because the mere thought of it hurt too much. 

But, in December I could no longer put it off. It was time to let her go. She couldn’t hear or see very well, and she had trouble walking normally. It was unfair to keep her with me when I knew in my heart what the right thing was to do.

Even now, as I am writing this, the tears are flowing and my heart is breaking. When we were kids my parents made hard choices like these and they sometimes had to disguise the truth somewhat to make it easier for us to deal with it. But this time around, I had to make the decision. I was the grown-up and no one else could make the decision for me.

Some words of motivation

Needless to say, that this past year was not an easy one, but here we are. No matter what life throws at us, giving up is not an option. I’m still a true believer that the sad or unpleasant things that happen to us only make us stronger or we learn from it. I am sharing these eight guidelines for reaching your new year’s resolutions not just for you but also for myself. I have three goals for 2021 that I would like to reach:

  • Spending more quality time with the people I love the most.
  • Bettering myself in any way that I can, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally.
  • Working my butt off towards becoming financially independent and not working for a boss for the rest of my life.

8 Tips for reaching your new year’s goals

1. Keep it short

One of the main reasons why people struggle to achieve their new year’s goals is because they make their lists too long. It’s best to pick three resolutions, one professional and two on a more personal level. Also think about why they should be on your list.

2. Choose specific goals and ones that are attainable

Be specific about how you are planning on achieving your goals. For instance, if you want to become a successful blogger, set a goal of writing at least one article a week. Also, don’t make resolutions that seem unreasonable or unattainable. Be realistic about what you can do.

3. Write them down and keep them in sight

Stick them on your fridge or some place where you can see them every day and remind yourself what you are working towards.

4. Establish timeframes for your goals

When you’re choosing resolutions, selecting a timeframe for each one is equally important. Keep track of your progress and stay consistent in reaching your milestones that you’ve chosen for yourself.

5. Tell your partner or someone you trust

The best way of holding yourself accountable for reaching your new year’s goals, is by sharing it with someone. It could be your partner, a colleague, best friend, or anyone else. Ask them to help you stay on track with reaching your new year’s goals and in turn motivate them to achieve theirs.

6. Keeping track of your progress

Use a journal, spreadsheet or calendar to keep tabs on your progress. Choose a specific day every week to check on your progress and highlight the milestones you’ve reached so far.

7. Reward yourself after reaching certain milestones

Each time you’ve reached a milestone that brings you closer to reaching your ultimate goal, reward yourself. This is a great form of motivation.

8. Never give up

Choosing new year’s resolutions is about admitting the changes you would like to see in your life. Any progress towards reaching your new year’s goals is better than not making any progress at all. Never give up. Keep working at those goals even if it takes longer than expected.

4 thoughts on “8 Tips for reaching new year’s goals & reflecting upon 2020

  1. It’s certainly been one helluva year for everyone due to the pandemic and you’ve had so much more to deal with on top of that. Well done on coping with everything!

    I love your goals and your tips for making goals for the year. I honestly don’t do New Year Resolutions – however I’m always working on some goals!

    1. Yes, indeed Lynne. This year had its ups and downs. I haven’t really noticed how many “downs” my year had until I started to reflect on the past year. But, we’ve made it through and despite the COVID-19 pandemic that has now reached the second wave, I still try to be positive and convince myself that this year is going to be a good year. I never make too many new year’s resolutions. I try to stick to two or three goals that are achieveable.

  2. You and your family have been through so much in such a short space of time! Im sorry for your loss with your father in law and your beautiful dog, may they rest in peace and be in a place of love. And your mom sounds like an amazingly strong woman! I have so much admiration for her even though I dont know her.
    I love the 8 tips you’ve noted for the new year, they make a lot of sense and I think Im going to adapt my goals for this year to suit – thank you for sharing your insight and may all your goals come into fruition in 2021.

    1. Thanks so much for reading my post Anthea and your kind words. It brings me incredibly joy when an article of mine is useful. My mom is an amazing person and the last three years have shown me just how strong she really is. Happy new year to you and I hope you will reach a few of your new year’s goals too.

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