2021 – A Year Of Change, With More On The Way
Last year I wrote several blogs summing up 2020 and looking forward to 2021; 2020 Video Game Review and New Year, New Mentality and I will be honest, I had no idea what 2021 held for me. Starting the year I was cooking waffles and pancakes and washing dishes in a dessert restaurant so my year could have gone literally anywhere. I was fortunate enough to start a new job in Supply Chain in March however this year has been a tough year in that industry due to a myriad of issues which reinforced my need for a change. In the last month of 2021 I have changed roles again with a most drastic move but its shaping out to be the better move in the long run.
However, I had set myself expectations for this year and I think its time for me to evaluate how I have done against my own aims and expectations. Think of this as my own end of year review…
How Did I Do?
So for me to see how I have done, here are the aims I had for 2021 in the New Year, New Mentality and next to it I have put a comment to see how I have done…
Health and Wellbeing
Feel better about myself – This means getting my head in the right place, building my confidence up and making sure I am happier in myself. Basically, shelve miserable Ryan for a few hours a day.
This is a tough one to start with as it has gone up and down through-out the year as jobs and situations have changed. I won’t lie it was getting rough after turning 30 and working a job that was draining me and, although I am in a job that I am enjoying and that offers a change of pace from before, I think I still need some more work to be done on this aspect of my aims. However closing out the year with a job and feeling happier in myself means that this has come some way.
Get healthier – No weight goals here because if I start exercising and get stronger technically I would get heavier for example (already with the excuses see). No, this one is simply about shifting the beer belly and getting ahead of some of the bad genes I have in my future.
Haha I will be honest, this one and the next one has been pretty much a fail. I think partly due to me feeling lethargic and stressed a lot of the year, I have never made time or the effort to sustain any of my plans across the year. My belly remains and I feel as unfit as I did before. This one will need to be top priority moving into 2022 lest I lose myself to unhealthiness forever.
Consume sensibly – Probably the vaguest one of the lot, but its basically drink less and eat less shit. I don’t want to feel bad for indulging myself, but I need to ensure that these are treats and not routine.
This ties into the ‘Get Healthier’ aspect of 2021 and this was a point I also failed pretty spectacularly. It has become very apparent to me that if I am stressed or unhappy I don’t exactly treat my body in the best way. Food hasn’t always been the challenge but working for a beer company for the majority of 2021 came with perks that contradicted this aim. My willpower wasn’t as robust as it should be, as shown by the lack of exercise, so this needs to be reigned in into 2022 otherwise I will continue to remain unhealthy and barrel-like.
In conclusion – 2021 hasn’t been my finest year for health and wellbeing driven by a combination of me taking my focus off of this aspect of my life and a relatively stressful year. Although I am ending the year not much better than I started it in terms of health and wellbeing various circumstances are looking up that can factor into hopefully a more positive 2022.
Career and Development
Have a more flexible career plan and be open to new opportunities – I have always thought about where I want to be in two/five/ten years and that has seemed to change every year. I need to reset my priorities and be realistic with what I can achieve while also being open minded to what opportunities are in front of me.
In a stark difference to Health and Wellbeing, Career and Development has seen a lot of changes across this year. In March I was able to join a beer company again, doing a role similar to what I had done before – supply chain, forecasting and customer service. I had a lot of experience in that area and although it wasn’t something I had been doing recently I took the job as there were a lot of opportunities that came out of it. It isn’t a decision I regret because it helped reinforce the fact that this was not the role I wanted to continue to do and for me to make the change I needed, I would need to be more drastic about it. As a result, I took the decision in October to start a new job in December that allowed me to retrain and reskill in the digital industry, working with SEO, PPC and Social campaigns. It comes with a risk as it was a noticeable pay-cut but it allows me to consider the longer term aspirations I have in mind. I wouldn’t say I have picked the ‘safest’ time to make such a change but in response to this aim, I have certainly taken a flexible approach and remained open to new opportunities!
I will never know the future, all I can do is best prepare myself for uncertainties – I was fortunate enough to have put some money aside last year and if I hadn’t the end of 2020/start of 2021 would have been much tighter than it has been. It’s okay to have dreams but I think its sensible to have something to fall back on.
As mentioned the recent career change has presented a financial challenge going into 2022 however my prep during 2021 has mitigated some of this risk. There have been a lot of uncertainties over recent weeks, one involving a pricey new boiler, as well as the uncertainties going into 2022 with the expected rise in the cost of living etc however we have made this decision as a family and, hopefully, we can weather it. Personally as well, I am have revisited my spending to ensure that we are in the best position we can be going into 2022. This diligence in 2020 helped in 2021 and the same level of focus helped in 2021 to put us where we are at this moment. Now, the next step is to make sure we can apply this approach to get through 2022.
Understand my skillset and experience better & own it – In the spirit of embracing new opportunities, I need to be realistic with what I can do, what I can’t do and what I can learn to do and own it. I also need to come to terms with my mistakes in the past and any missed opportunities and instead simply move forward, knowing I am who I am now and to grow from there.
I think that my various roles this year suggest that I have flexed my experience. For most of the year, I have fallen back on a lot of the experience that I developed at AB Inbev within the beer industry as well as supply chain and customer service. While doing that I completed by Google Garage qualification with aim to jump back into the Digital Industry. By using my current skillset as well as new lessons learnt along the way, I think I am in the best place to utilise my current experience and really build on it into 2022.
In conclusion – Unlike my Health and Wellbeing aspirations, from a professional standpoint I think I have done okay. I have got through the year and found a job that I can grow in and develop a new career path from. It has been a stressful year but I am optimistic that 2022 will be a great professional year for me, although not without it’s challenges.
2022 – Take 2?
I think a lot has to be said about my no clear cut goal plan back at the start of 2021… with a lot of that being that it didn’t really work. The priorities were right but the lack of focus meant that it was easy for me to lose focus on the actual actions, instead making it easy for me to not hold myself accountable any time things went awry. That isn’t to say things are all marked as failed or bad but I have to recognise I could have done more, especially in terms of managing my health. 2022 will require me to put more focus on my aims with actual tangible targets to hold myself to. Its an important year for me professionally and everything is changing at a time when there is a lot of national uncertainty so I can’t afford to lose focus over the next 12 months. I plan to drop another post on New Year’s day talking about what 2022 looks like for Checkpoint but that all feeds into my wider plan for 2022 which you can see below:
- At least 52 blogs – so for you budding mathematicians that’s once a week…
- Stream at least 104 times – so a minimum of twice a week…
- Some sort of exercise daily – be it a run, weights or a walk, I need to have done some level of activity…
- Drink less – beer has been my vice and has contributed a lot to my unhealthy lifestyle. If I can reduce this then my health is likely to improve anyway. Not sure how to quantify this but TBC!
- Learn something new every week – I’m not talking a random fact, I am talking more improving on my SEO knowledge or continuing my German, things that will push me forward and require me to work for the knowledge.
I’ve been told that I often try to take too much on at once and as such I often overwhelm myself and do none of it. After seeing my performance in 2021 I think this is true so the aim for 2022 is simple; get the routine in place and stick to it. Stream, write and exercise and just don’t drink… how hard can that be…