As we leave 2020 behind I think a lot of people will be glad to see the back of it. Personally I will view 2020 with bitter-sweet memories. It started off well, got better even with the pandemic and then descended into disaster. I know some of the reasons why and others not and will probably never know.
So onto 2021....
My aim is to become a better person and a much better version of myself. I’m not perfect and will never claim to be so. I have many faults and realise this. The aim is to work on the faults I’ve identified.
There is a lot I want to achieve in 2021, and I will achieve all those things I’ve listed. I sat down a couple of nights ago and made a list of 10 things that were important to me, that will help to improve me both personally and professionally.
A couple of months ago I entered the Serpent Trail 50k run – the training is going well. The training is consistent, and I am as focused as I have been in years. I won’t be taking my eye off the ball with this one for certain. I feel I put a decent base down in 2020, I completed the virtual challenge I entered (and have now entered another with a few others planned to keep the motivation and drive going).
I’ll also be returning to study as well for another professional qualification. I gave it some thought mid-2020 but didn’t feel it was the right thing to do at the time, didn’t feel that it was the right time professionally to take this on. Things are different now, and I feel prepared to undertake this. The people in work I’ve spoken to have highlighted that I have an amazing work ethic and a very positive attitude – nice to hear that sometimes though I don’t always see it myself. I’m guessing that is the difference between how we appear and the internal dialogue we have with ourselves.
Over the last few months I’ve been doing a lot of reading and have rediscovered my love of literature – I’ve earmarked some books I really need to read in over the next few months, some have been sat on the bookshelf for a while and others I need to purchase.
Over the last few months I’ve had to really make sure I’m looking after my mental health. Like many I’m still working from home, I live on my own, and like many I feel isolated a lot of the time. Sometimes I really enjoy the solitude. Other times not so much – it is these times when I need to be very mindful and not be too hard on myself – this is something I really need to address in 2021. I am my harshest critic, always have been, always will be. However, I do need to give myself a pat on the back a bit more, be more realistic about the things I have achieved rather than focusing on what I could have done better when I’ve achieved something (I think as long as I’ve put my best effort and best version of myself into it then that should be celebrated). Yes, there is always room for improvement, but it is how we evaluate that. Again it is the internal dialogue. How many times do I tell myself something I’ve done is not good enough?
I sometimes think a lot about the impact I make and the impact I can make. One person is not going to the change the world – that is totally unrealistic. I do believe that small actions can make a difference and small actions can provide a positive influence on others to change to make a difference as well. If enough people do this, then maybe the world can change to become a better place. I’ve already started taking those small actions and hope in 2021 to influence others to do the same. Changes take time and are sometimes not instant.
No year is ever going to be perfect, that is impossible, and we are all going to have regrets on things that have happened, been said, not done, not said, or even missed opportunities. As I reflect on this I realise this more than most. I think 2020 has taught me a lot both about myself, how I view the world, and how I view other people. 2020 has highlighted many things to me on many levels. I’m certain that in 12 months time I will view the year based on what I have achieved and how much impact I have made personally, professionally and the impact that this has had. Like 2020 there will be things I would like to be different, some of those things may be out of my influence or control and I need to accept that and focus on those things where I became a better version of myself – not perfect just a better version.
Richard Guy, 47 years of age, born and grew up in London and have lived in Portsmouth since 2017.