Lessons from 2019, hopes for 2020

As we all get ready to welcome in the new year and a new decade with family and loved ones, I like to reflect on what I have achieved and what I have learned. So much can happen in that time and I find it useful to spend time doing this before making plans for the new year. So, here is my year in highlights. 

2019 highlights 

I’ve had a great year this year minus a hurdle I had to overcome in the Autumn with my health, but that aside, I am so grateful to a lot of people for giving me some amazing opportunities, helping me to grow as a person and for being by my side throughout it all. 

January – April was dominated by rehearsals and performing with the PwC Pantomime in the Westend, Newcastle and Birr, Ireland alongside work. This was a dream come true and reminded me of how much I love performing and I’d love to find more opportunities to build this into my life. I made some friends for life, have been able to use my choreography skills, and I’m excited to see next year’s performance, Treasure Island, in January. 

2019 was our first full year as a digital marketing team at work and we’ve achieved so much in a short space of time including entering into new partnerships, developing new ways of working, running high profile paid advertising campaigns and we were shortlisted for several industry awards. A great achievement all round! 

We (The Founding 50) officially kicked off the School of Marketing (SoM) with some help from our advisory board and of course the brilliant Ritchie! We devised a strategy for SoM to raise awareness of our purpose and promote a career in marketing to youngsters. We hosted a successful launch event at Saatchi & Saatchi for aspiring marketers and I got to feature in my first ever (Marketing Week) podcast. We ran our first student competition with the Festival of Marketing where I was a mentor for one of the student’s groups and we created and ran our first pilot workshop in schools. This is only the beginning of what we’re hoping to achieve and I’m so excited to see where we can take this in 2020 and beyond. 

I took my fitness to new levels this year, training at my favourite London gym Third Space, and prioritised healthy eating probably more than I ever have (although I still found room for plenty of treats). I probably felt my best and strongest the first half of this year and in 2020 I hope to continue my fitness journey.

This time last year when I was thinking about 2019 I was so excited to plan my dream trip to California. I finally made this happen and in June, took 3 ½ weeks off work to travel the West Coast and had a blast! I was fortunate to visit many places including LA, San Diego, Phoenix, Grand Canyon, Vegas, Yosemite & Bass Lake, San Fran and Monterrey (I might do a post on this in 2020 if anyone’s thinking of planning something similar). I ticked off a few bucket list moments such as a hot air balloon ride in Arizona, a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon and taking in all of the sights in LA. I also met so many amazing people during this trip from all over the world who I can now call friends. 

Then came the hurdle at the end of the summer. I was diagnosed with a collapsed lung. This meant I was out of action for 5 full weeks and have had to ease myself back into work and life over these last few months. It honestly felt like I skipped a season in between summer and winter! Although this was a tough time, I was able to slow right down and take stock of what I was doing and focus more on my health which has also provided me with plenty of lessons to take forward into 2020. 

Lessons to take into 2020 

Slow and steady wins the race

I have a tendency to want to rush ahead and do everything at once which I’m well aware is something I need to be careful of and is something I’ve been working on. This year has proven to me that you don’t have to have everything figured out right now and choosing a few things to focus on will have far better outcomes!

Don’t take your health for granted 

This year has definitely proven to me that you absolutely shouldn’t take your health for granted. Even if you feel ok, make sure you’re giving yourself plenty of time to relax, get enough sleep and if you don’t feel well then take time to get better rather than ploughing through (which I know a lot of us can be guilty of). There is nothing more important than your health – everything else can wait!

Stop putting so much pressure on yourself  

It is so easy to fall into a trap of putting pressure on yourself to excel in every area of your life but this is unnecessary and can do more damage than good. Instead, I’ve learned to relax and give myself a bit of space to do the things that I want to do and to not get worked up if, for example, I haven’t completed my to-do list one day. This also helps me to focus on the things that matter most whether that be in my personal or professional life.  

Looking forward to 2020

A piece of advice that I received this year, that I wholeheartedly agree with and was already living by, is to never live or work the same year twice. Now, of course, that’s not possible if you think about this literally but in essence, this is about trying new things, taking on new challenges and exploring different opportunities so that you can grow as a person and your career. So, although I don’t have any solid plans for 2020 as of yet, I look forward to seeing what adventures I find myself on! 

Wishing you a happy, healthy and successful 2020! x

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