I usually love annual recaps but this time I don’t even need to explain to myself why I didn’t feel like making one. However, I do want to focus on the good, so here’s a list of tiny things that brought me joy in 2020 and beyond. I baked no sourdough and made zero ounces of dolgana coffee, nor did I start a YouTube channel (I did start a podcast though!) but there are the little things that made a big difference.
The Five-Minute Journal
My friend Aman and I talk about this one a lot on our podcast, and started using one on January 4, 2020. Honestly, I am still shocked to say it’s been life-changing. Whenever I hear people say anything like that, I roll my eyes, but in this case, I’m one of the dramatic ones.
Essentially, The Five-Minute Journal provides you with a daily prompt to log the three things you’re grateful for, what would make today great and your daily affirmation (this one I’m not the biggest fan of, but why not). Surprisingly, this simple daily reminder goes a long way because it reminds you that you’re in charge of your day and you get to decide what you focus on. It truly helps me stay in a better mood!
Weekend morning walks are my all-time faves but those are tough in the winter months. To keep my moods up November through March, I’ve been scheduling a (rarely negotiable) after-lunch walks. First, it helps to break up the day and fit in a proper break. Second, especially when you don’t have a commute, it helps to remember that there’s an outside world. If you’re lucky to be somewhere like California, seeing some greenery tremendously helps with winter blues.
Lol. This is another one I talk about everywhere with everyone, but it’s a total game-changer in the way you view and live life. Our society hasn’t talked enough about therapy and emotional intelligence, so no wonder there’s a stigma around it. Truth be told, therapy is just one way of self-improvement, just like working out, eating healthy, doing a Skillshare course and such. You don’t have to go through a specific traumatic experience to get the benefit, you don’t need to be depressed and it is definitely not a sign of weakness when you go see a trained professional. Therapy is awesome because it makes internal processes more efficient and it gives you the inspiration to do more with your life, and it allows you to have more meaningful and balanced relationships. 10/10.
Acorns / Robinhood App
This might sound random but just like nobody teaches us emotional intelligence, nobody teaches us about money! As we got into some hardcore Capricorn situation last year, I took it as an opportunity to learn more about personal financing. I’ve been tracking my expenses here and there over the last few years, but in 2020 I committed to a good ol’ Excel spreadsheet and it paints a way more accurate picture than automated apps (hit me up if you want to see the template I use). As I familiarized myself with my money habits, I felt brave enough to dip my toes into investments. Acorns and Robinhood (use my referral links if you want to get some free stocks or moneys when you sign up) are so simple and allow you to invest as little as you want, so I love these apps for contributing to my financial confidence.
Goats are GOAT
Okay, this one is completely irrelevant but it coming home from a mini-vacation to a backyard full of goats was, no exaggeration, my favorite moment of 2020. Like, hundreds of goats.
Ahh, to travel again! I opted for an easy domestic trip to Seattle for my birthday and it’s crazy to think that was my first and last plane ride of the year. I wrote this post of all my favorite things in Seattle, if it’s on your post-pandemic travel plans.
I was also able to take a drive down to LA to work from my friend’s house for a week because I was hitting the quarantine wall by October, and it was probably the most “normal” fun I’ve had all year. So grateful to have friends that you can have the most epic time with while having a picnic at the front of an apartment building.
And what a kitchen sink post this is! What were your favorite things of 2020?