5 things I did in 2021 that had a ripple effect across others areas of my life


5things | OnTalent

Now that we’re on the home stretch towards the end of the year, it’s that time when we typically see a lot of articles recapping the year. Stating that the last two years have been challenging for almost everyone to some degree is no understatement. That said, positives can always arise during hard times and there are always takeaways from every situation.

Throughout my career, I have embraced personal development. I enjoy setting a goal and seeing it through. In 2021, I noticed that setting and committing to the following five personal goals, inevitably had a positive impact across other aspects of my life.

 #1: I doubled my strength training sessions

 I’m a big believer in movement and finding ways to exercise that don’t feel like exercise at all. Prior to 2021, I was getting myself to strength training sessions once a week (this felt achievable at the time). This year, I decided to raise the stakes to two sessions a week and gauge how I feel. It is hard to explain how empowering strength training is to people who don’t strength train. Doubling my strength training sessions to two per week boosted my confidence and made me feel stronger and more capable of coping with anything that may come my way. Having the discipline to commit to something and slowly watch yourself improve, both in terms of form and strength, raises resilience levels. The abs are a work-in-progress :).

 #2: I committed to finishing all books I started

How many of you can relate to the excitement of having a new book to read only to find that after a few days, you are gravitating towards another new book? I used to abide by what I call ‘the two chapter rule’. As in, I’d read the first two chapters of a book and if I wasn’t feeling terribly inspired to continue reading by that point, I’d find a replacement. Almost like I was keen to skip to the end straight away to understand the key takeaways of the book… without journeying through the start and middle chapters. In 2021, I made a commitment to finish any books that I began. Not only did this make me pause and think about whether I was actually interested in a book, completing a book from start to finish, taught me patience. In almost every case, I am so glad I gave myself the opportunity to immerse myself in the book and to think deeply about the subject matter. Much to my surprise, I’ve actually read more books in 2021 than ever before!

#3: I joined a leadership membership club

Anyone who knows me is aware that I love learning. In terms of leadership, one never steps over a line and is ‘done’. We are all a constant work in progress, leaders even more so. I joined this membership club to challenge my leadership ideas and to learn new things. I have valued being able to see different perspectives and embrace various ways of thinking about certain leadership debates that have been around forever. I was also reminded that leadership is very much a ‘learn as you go’ skill — it’s not something one can read about in a textbook and become an ‘expert’ in without any tangible experience.

 #4: I completed a 28 day detox

I can almost see people’s eyes rolling as I type this paragraph! I understand that detoxes aren’t for everyone and they have been a part of way too many fads over the years. However, I like a good challenge and this really engaged my mind and broke my routines. No processed foods, no gluten, no alcohol and no sugar for 28 days wasn’t easy… but it wasn’t too hard either. I seized the opportunity to learn more about the body and biochemistry and I got myself into the kitchen! I am no ‘MasterChef’ but I learned a bunch of new recipes, got creative and spent a good amount of time cooking, which I enjoyed.

#5: I mentored more people than ever before 

In my opinion, mentoring others is one of the most rewarding experiences. Most of the mentoring I engage in is pro bono and informal in nature. I am always happy to give back to others, particularly those who are willing to put in the work. I take mentoring seriously. After all, I am often called on to support people through change and various challenges. Watching people grow and have those ‘lightbulb’ moments is priceless! And as with everything else that I do, I always learn something new with each individual I work with that I can apply in my work and life in general.

What have you done in 2021 that has positively impacted other areas of your life? Are you planning any lofty goals for 2022?

Deborah Wilson is a Thought Leader and a Career Strategist. She takes a personalised approach to strategic career coaching and career transitions, mentoring and leadership development. Deborah provides expert guidance for individuals while supporting organisations through change and connecting people and purpose. Call Deborah on +61 403 779 746.  

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