At the end of the weirdest of years, I’ve been reflecting on some of the things that 2020 has taught me. On New Year’s Eve, I shared this little list on social media and, to my surprise, it received a lot of likes, comments and shares. So I thought I’d post it here too, as many people seem to be finding it helpful.

1. Learn to let go.
If you think you’re in control of your life, it’s actually an illusion.

2. Make the most of every opportunity.
Campfires. Picnics. Hugs. Pub drinks. Movie nights. Live music. Meals in friends’ houses. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just seize the moment when you have it – or you could be waiting a long while until the next time.

3. Choose to live one day at a time.
When you do, it’s possible to find purpose in every single day. When you don’t, you’ll look too far ahead and end up disappointed if plans get cancelled.

4. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
Whether big or small, there is always, always, always something to be thankful for, even when you’re not feeling it.

5. Don’t take anyone for granted.
Affirm. Bless. Encourage. Tell your loved ones you love them. Pick up the phone. Send a quick text. Pop a card in the post. Too many people have been taken too soon in 2020. Make sure you don’t leave it too late.

6. Meaningful friendships matter most.
Old friends who’ve been in your life for as long as you can remember. New friends who you’ve gained, thanks to life in lockdown. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known them. What counts is that they are kindred spirit friends, who know you inside-out-and-back-to-front – and you them.

7. Give thanks for family.
Even when they are far away, they are still there for you. All the generations. No matter what.

8. Invest in local community.
If you don’t have it, reach out and initiate it. Be intentional. Nearby neighbours have been placed around you. Get to know them, because you never know when you will need them, or when they will need you.

9. Keep active.
A short walk, run or bike ride can make a huge difference to your physical and mental wellbeing. Even if you have to force yourself outside of the house to do it – in the cold, the damp or the dark.

10. Appreciate income as a gift.
Spend some. Save some. Give some away. Be generous. If you have a home, running water, sanitation, waste disposal, food to eat, and clothes to wear, you already have far more than the vast majority of the world’s population.

As we face into the fog of a New Year, full of unknowns, here’s hoping that we’ll be able to carry some of 2020’s life lessons with us … and, if you have any more to add to this little list, I’d love to hear what they are in the comments below.

Happy 2021!

Photo the author’s own, taken on New Year’s Day, a few years ago, in Rowsley, in the Peak District, England.



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