In terms of setting goals and achieving them, I cannot think of a more polarizing year I’ve gone through than 2020. The ups and downs that have come with this year have surely made me stronger and more resilient, but it hasn’t been the most productive one ever, either.
Any goals we strive for in life take courage. This year, I had several goals—one, to launch my website, Align, which I did in February. Two, to write, edit, and post two articles every week, and I’ve done that up until this point. It looks like I’ll finish out the year doing so, and I am beyond proud of myself for that accomplishment. It hasn’t been an easy path, as sometimes I don’t feel like writing, but force myself anyway. This method has worked out for me because there are no excuses. Contrarily, one of my fears with writing is that I’ll write just for the sake of writing, and the content won’t be great. However, making myself write even when I don’t feel up to it has helped push me to be consistent, and above all else, I want to be that. I know in my heart that’s how you fine-tune your craft.
Sometimes I get worried and stressed because I think I am running out of ideas until one slaps me in the face out of nowhere, and I must write the concept down before I forget it. Not to mention, some of my best work has come when I don’t feel like writing or believe I am all out of ideas. Just because you don’t feel you are in the mindset to do creative work doesn’t mean you can’t. It’s about getting over the initial hump, which takes time, patience, willingness, and courage to be uncomfortable. If this year has taught me anything, it’s that. On the other side of uncomfortableness are growth, opportunity, and success. Having courage amidst uncertainty is difficult, but nothing worth working for is easy, and typically working for anything easy isn’t worth it.
Not every goal or plan I had for this year has been fulfilled, though. Take, for instance, traveling. Last year, I traveled quite a bit more than this year, due to none other than the coronavirus, which has shaped and continues to shape the way we carry out our everyday lives. This year, I planned to travel even more than last year and make memories that would last a lifetime, but I didn’t. Any scenario is relevant, right? Because my traveling woes pale compared to someone whose loved one was on a ventilator for two weeks after contracting the virus and thankfully, 4 months later, is doing better now. Others haven’t been so lucky, and my thoughts and prayers are with those families and anyone else impacted by this horrible contaminant.
This virus has not only taken countless lives in its wake, but it’s changed, hopefully temporarily, the way we live. No longer can you go to the grocery store, gym, or restaurant without fear of possibly becoming infected with the virus. As a result, my fitness goal for 2020, to get back into the shape I was 4 or 5 years ago, is far from being reached. You know this pandemic has been going on a long time when we refer to earlier this year as the “before times.” Because before the virus, I was exercising 3 or 4 times a week, working towards that goal, but the same can’t be said for the past 9 months. My house is not gym-friendly, I don’t have much equipment, I just got off work, I am tired, there’s no basketball court, etc. If there’s an excuse to be made not to work out, I’ve found it. Sadly, like maybe some of you, I’ve gained a little weight during quarantine and feel pretty out of shape.
Yet, we must always remind ourselves we’re not perfect. As much as we’d like to think we control every facet of our lives, we don’t and never will. Sometimes, the outside forces of this life will impact yours, so be kind to yourself. Not so much as to have no accountability and disregard the goals you’ve set before yourself because that’s only hurting you in the long run. But remember you’re human, and especially considering these times, you need to exude some gentleness towards your mind, body, and spirit, as well as those around you.
With that being said, I reached many of the goals I set before myself this year; I acknowledge them and am proud of the achievements. As mentioned, others are far out of reach, and perhaps the one I am most disappointed with is exercise because I know what I am capable of doing, and instead opted to lay and lounge around a lot this year. You can find reasons not to do anything, and I allowed myself to fall into a virus malaise. There’s no reason I couldn’t find alternate ways to ensure I was receiving adequate physical exercise throughout the week, as it is a vital aspect of mental health, too. Sure, I squeezed some stretching, yoga, jogging, and basketball sessions in here and there, but not as I had anticipated before the start of this year.
Starting now and going into the new year, I already feel I have the courage to begin training again, but I want to take it one step further and remain committed. I’ll use this year’s experiences and all of the inconsistency they brought as lessons to fuel my commitment to being consistent and showing up, even when I don’t feel like it, just as I did with my writing. After all, life is about using your past experiences to propel you to new heights with a better view.