I wonder if like me, your family and friends are hoping that 2021 will be a far better year than 2020.
Many want to forget the year that has just passed and move on quickly.
However making use of my learning as an Officer in the British Army we always need to have an after action review (AAR) of what has passed.What did you learn from 2020 from the setbacks disappointments shocks surprises from being thrown into a global pandemic and a global recession the likes of which we have not seen for over 100 years?
Here are some of my lessons – I hope they resonate:
- What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Sadly we like others have had a number of deaths of those close to us during 2020 and those will be hard to forget. After something as harrowing as that, many of our other complaints pale into insignificance. The blunt question to ask ourselves when we worry about something is “has anybody died?”
- Resilience. This year has been a hard teacher for resilience and coping with adversity setbacks and disappointments. There are many lessons we can learn from this. read the Daily Stoic
- Financial wisdom. Saving for a rainy day or a pandemic. I wonder if you like me wished you’d put aside some/ more money to cope with the financial crisis that resulted from the pandemic. I know for the future that I intend to build up a financial buffer to cope with surprising events.
- Physical health and fitness. As I approach 60, I work very hard on keeping physically fit and that is allowed me to build my mental resilience when times were tough. Physical exercise is crucial whether it be in your own garage with some dumbbells press ups situps and Burpees. Equally go out for a walk or a run – that made a huge difference for handling the unusually high levels of stress and anxiety and depression that people have suffered from.
- Mental health and well-being. Both in our charity the Inspiring Leadership Trust for vulnerable girls and in our own lives we have seen a rise in levels of mental health problems. People had mental breakdowns got depressed felt suicidal and lost the will to go on. Learning lessons to give mental health first-aid and resilience is crucial.
- Nutrition. I read widely and deeply around healthy eating, nutrition and the occasional glass of red wine. We are what we eat and therefore looking after ourselves through our nutrition and healthy food choices has become even more important than ever.
- Socialisation and friends. Humans are social animals and we have needed our relationships, our partners, our friends, our children or parents more than ever. The isolation that we have faced has really brought home how key it is to look after those closest to us. Our own new Puppy Archie – Photo attached has been a great comfort in tough times. Have a pet!
Warmest regards Jonathan