Sunday, 29 December 2019

My 2019 and goals for 2020: Lessons of self-acceptance, facing loneliness and the unknown

Hand holding a sparkler
Photo by Rathnahar Sriom on Pexels
The end of the year is the best time for self-reflection right? It's all about thinking about what you have achieved and setting new goals for the year ahead. I have actually done one of these posts last year, where I reflected on 2018 and ended up with a bunch of 'SMART' goals to work on. As always, I am critical of the whole 'new year - new me' mindset. 

For me, setting goals for 2020 acts as a structure or guidance for my actions. I think it's more important to dedicate our lives to self-acceptance rather than constantly working on change. 

If you take anything from this subjective account of my year and future objectives, let it be this - let go of this idea that you are not good enough as you are. We are all unique individuals, living our lives, depending on our personal circumstances.

I know that you will be bombarded with countless posts to inspire you. The media will be packed with motivational ideas, screaming into your face that you need to work on yourself. 

There is nothing wrong with self-improvement but this cycle of not being satisfied never ends, without self-compassion, you will always be chasing for so-called perfection. It's a difficult thing to get your head around, I get it. It starts with appreciating yourself as you are. This is one of the main things that I have learned in 2019. You should learn this lesson as well, to have a great 2020.

2019 in a nutshell 

Engagement and graduation 

My year started on a high note, on January 10th, my partner proposed to me, on his birthday. Funnily enough, we also had an advanced statistics exam that day, how romantic! 

I've also graduated from my Master's course with a distinction. During my Psychology research course, I researched self-compassion and body compassion concepts and fell in love with this research area.

Dealing with a new life chapter, the unknown and loneliness 

My joys of independent living in my own little flat eventually ended in September, when our rent contract finished. I moved with my partner to live with his family, as a temporary step until we save up for our own place. 

This meant that I also needed to leave my support worker role. I worked as a support worker for 2+ years and made some great connections. However, I knew that support work is not a job for me. I am definitely driven to pursue research and psychology. I don't want to waste my qualifications. This period of my life is all about having patience, it's a new chapter and who knows what things await me in the future. 

For months, I was unemployed (I'm currently waiting to start this temporary admin role in January). I spent a lot of time looking for jobs, had to deal with tons of rejections, which made me feel like I'm not good enough. 

Moving to a different county, leaving my university and work friends behind also resulted in a lot of loneliness and other negative feelings. I kept questioning my purpose in life and whether life has any meaning. It felt like I was experiencing a personal crisis, I'm still getting through it. 

Related post: It's completely normal to feel lost in life: Learning to embrace the crisis of your 20s 

Self-improvement, happy memories, and opportunities 

On a happier note, as I've had a lot of free time, I tried to work on my hobbies. I got into digital art. philosophy and even dabbled with some coding. I also went to see Devin Townsend with my partner, who put an incredible show that highlighted the importance of facing your fears in order to grow. 

In March, I went to Cyprus. In October, I thought I will take an opportunity to do some more networking with fellow bloggers and attended a fantastic meetup in Cambridge. In November, I had an impromptu autumnal couples' photoshoot by the wonderful Jodie Mitchell (she's got a splendid new website!) 

Last but not least, I am still learning to drive, but at least I have my own car now, I am sure 2020 will be the time when I pass my driving test. Fingers crossed! 

Couples photoshoot walking into the distance holding hands with my partner

How did I do with my 2019 goals? 

Goal 1  - Reach 12,000 views on my blog 

I'm currently at over 30,000 views, so I think I have definitely smashed this goal!

Goal 2 - Graduate Masters' course

Done, and with Distinction!

Goal 3 -  Pass my driving test

Not yet. Moving into new town, meant that I had to change my driving instructor, so that was a bit of an obstacle in my way. Getting there though!

Goal 4 -  Make my first affiliate sale 

Nope. That didn't happen.

Goal 5 - Read at least 10 books 

Managed to read 13 books. This doesn't sound like much, but I'm such a slow reader!

Goal 6 - Release some t-shirt designs 

No way! This was a bit of an unattainable goal. Maybe in the future!

Goal 7 - Embrace new opportunities and form new friendships 

I have tried my best with embracing new opportunities and even tried to reach out to find them. In terms of forming new friendships, I did not do well at all. 

Goal 8 - Go on a nice holiday 

Indeed, I have had a lovely time in Cyprus.

Goals for 2020

I don't want to run into the new decade with unrealistic expectations and perfectionism, it's not healthy. I will try my best to keep positive and stop wasting my energy on negative thoughts and emotions because they don't benefit me. I will try my best to connect with people and open myself to them, instead of shutting myself away from everyone. Here are some sensible goals for 2020: 

Goal 1 -  Pass my driving test.

Goal 2 -  Make more connections and friendships.

Goal 3 -  Take blogging a bit more seriously, get self-hosted!

Goal 4 -  Read 30+ books.

Goal 5 - Open up a digital art illustration service. 

Goal 6 - Engage in research volunteering.

Goal 7 - Visit Norwich, Bath or both!

This is my 2019 in a nutshell and goals for next year! Try not to be hard on yourself in 2020, you don't have to change everything about yourself. Acceptance is far more important than goals. Set your goals to guide yourself and to add more clarity to your life. What do you want to achieve in 2020? How was 2019 for you? What did you learn? 

Pinterest graphic that says the lesson you should learn for a great 2020


  1. With many people saying that the rate of failure to meet goals is shockingly high, I loved seeing that you met many of your goals from last year! Very belated congratulations on your engagement and graduation, and good luck with the goals ahead in the New Year!

  2. I think that such lessons will be useful for everyone and for this we need to be able to critically look at ourselves and our achievements in order to understand where we made a mistake.

  3. These lessons are brilliant and really nice. Going through them Academic paper proofreading, you were able to accomplish everything you wanted to.


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