3 Lessons Learned in 2020 That I Hope to Apply in 2021

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Happy New Year! Every January, I like to reflect on all of the things that I learned in the past year. 2020 was definitely a very different and difficult year, but in spite of all of the challenges, I learned many valuable lessons that I hope to take with me into 2021. Read on to see what they are. 

  1. Cherish the People in Our Lives

We are all guilty of taking our loved ones for granted once in a while. If the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that we need to appreciate the moments that we have with the people in our lives. This past year really made me realize how precious life can be—one moment, someone can be here with us, and in the next, they can be taken away.

In 2021, I want to practice gratitude, especially how I express it towards my family and friends. Life is too short, and I want to use every chance I have to cherish the time I have with the people I love.

  1. Have Compassion for Others, But Not as the Expense of Yourself

In the past, I always tried to do everything I could to make others around me happy, even if it made me very unhappy. For instance, at work, I would feel so bad about saying no to my co-workers that I ended up taking on more tasks and projects than I could handle, and at the end, I ended up burnt out and upset. But I also had no one to blame but myself because I put myself in those situations.  

In 2020, I made the decision to go back to school to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, even though a lot of people in my life were skeptical of my choice. I realized that I couldn’t keep living for other people. I had to live for me.

This is one of the most important lessons that I want to take with me into 2021 because I no longer want to let others’ opinions about me dictate how I live my life. While I can continue being compassionate, empathetic, and understanding, I will no longer do so at the expense of myself.

  1. Live in the Moment

Lastly, one of the biggest things that I’ve learned from 2020 is the importance of living in the moment. If nothing else, 2020 has taught us that life is unpredictable. We could have planned 2020 right down to the minute, but the reality is that life doesn’t always go our way. And that’s okay.

We may not know when things will get better, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still appreciate every little moment and live life in the present.

What are some lessons that you learned in 2020 that you hope to apply in 2021?