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The year that was

Well, well, well. What a year we’ve (almost) made it through. Do you think anyone, sitting back in 2019 with a glass of champagne in hand, waiting for the clock to strike midnight, thought that this was the year lying ahead? Many of us had exciting holidays booked, weddings planned, new jobs, apartments, and homes waiting in the near distance. And then 2020 happened.

Instead of all the exciting plans, we got a year filled with strange things like lockdowns, hand sanitizer, elbow-bumps, fashionable face masks and Zoom parties. It’s safe to say things did not go as planned. You, like most people, probably lost something important to you. Whether that was a job, a planned holiday or even a loved one.

It’s natural to feel disappointed, sad or frustrated when faced with adversity. But the most important thing is recognizing that some things are out of our control. And sometimes the only thing we can do is find a positive mindset to get us through.

There are always lessons to be learned or wisdom to be taken from any situation. So although this was a tough year, it was also an important one! After all, it’s usually the tougher moments in life that teach us the most. And that’s how we can rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

Considering this is the last month of this rollercoaster of a year, we want to focus on reflecting over the year that was — how it shaped us, what we learnt and what we’re going to take with us to 2021 — and revisiting tips on how to maintain a positive mindset, despite all odds! One of the best ways to do that is journaling. So to really reflect on the year we’re ending and make sure we’re ready to start fresh in January, let’s look at what 2020 meant to us.

To do this exercise, we recommend sitting down in a quiet place with no distractions. You’ll need a pen and a notebook (our limited edition golden-foil notebook works best!) — and a warm cup of tea! Jot down your answers either in sentences or bullet points:

What are some of your biggest accomplishments?
What is your favorite memory?
What are you most grateful for?
What challenges are you proud of overcoming?
What do you want to leave behind in 2020?

You can answer these alone or with a friend. It’s a great idea to talk about your answers and discuss your feelings about 2020 with someone you love. This exercise will help to empty your mind and let go of anything you don’t want to carry into the new year, as well as build an understanding of what you achieved in one of the toughest years in modern history!