Six lessons from 2020

Christmas is coming in hot–the year is almost over. So many people are eagerly looking forward to the calendar turning… as if the human invention of time will somehow constrain the plagues and social unrest ravaging our world.

Chipper this morning, I know.

Anyway, I’ve seen a lot of people reflecting on their year, and I’ve come to realize how beneficial reflection really is. But I also want to give something, so instead here are six lessons I learned this year: three achievements and what I learned from them, and three lessons that taught me something important.

1. The power of your beliefs

For a while there, I was just paying my bills and just had a bit of a savings account, but for the most part we were living right at or above our means. I believed that things had to be hard. That money was hard to find. Until… my husband and I sat down and really discussed our finances, made our goals, and put a deadline on paying off our debt. Seeing the numbers made me really believe that we could do it. And then, it started slowly, but once we had set our intention and our focus on this…. things began to happen. Those little things accelerated, and now it looks like we’ll be able to pay off our debts way ahead of schedule… maybe even by my birthday in August!

Seeing the miracle that belief has performed on our finances, I’m beginning to apply it to other areas of my life, too. And I expect nothing but great results.

2. The value of stability

As much as I’ve complained about my day job, it’s given me something during this year that all too many people did not have. Stability. Not only did I have structure and a consistent paycheck, I also had other benefits. Insurance is a huge one. They vowed to cover the cost for any Covid-19 tests and any medical bills associated with a positive test. We also were given a special bank of paid time that we can use in the event of a positive diagnosis. I’m incredibly grateful for the stability and peace of mind this affords.. and have learned to see my job as something good, for now. Once I outgrow it, I’ll be happy to go on my way.

3. The need for community

You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time around. I’ve heard this before, and it holds true (more or less). When I surrounded myself with high vibe, boss babes who are authors that are also launching their books and creating side hustles and businesses, you better believe it encouraged me to do the same.

These are online contacts, which is no different than real life contacts. Otherwise I’d probably be an amalgation of my fitness-inclined husband and my three-year-old, lol. Find your tribe. Create your tribe. Always surround yourself with people you look up to, as opposed to people at or below your level. Allow yourself to rise to meet them!

4. The power of doing things yourself

2020 is the year that I self-published my debut novel. I put a lot of work into it, I took courses, worked through programs, and got professional editing and book cover design. I don’t know that I would have done it all at least somewhat correctly without my coach’s guidance and the knowledge that I invested in myself enough to learn. While I didn’t do everything perfectly, I did learn what I did wrong (funny thing, I knew it was wrong at the time and I did it anyway. Limiting beliefs, anyone?) so I can do it right the next time.

5. The importance of discipline

The number one thing (outside of belief) that affects your results is discipline. That is something I have historically have been… sorely lacking. Let’s take my current work in progress as an example. I took ages to write it out but knew I wouldn’t make the deadline for release I’d announced if I didn’t get my self in gear. So I made a goal to finish Order of the Hunt and send it off to the editor by the end of November. I may have gone a bit too hard on that one, as I finished it a week or so early… and in the process, I let other things slip. A lot. So, the lesson I learned from that is to discipline yourself in order achieve goals, but at the same time… remember balance. If you achieve one thing just to lose another, did you still succeed? There’s something for you to ponder!

6. The need to align your priorities

This year I’ve had a lot of back and forth on priorities. Early on I went full blown authorship, disregard everything else. Then I burned out a bit and relaxed too much. Then I eased back in and tried to balance my time a bit better. Throughout none of this was I prioritizing my health. Finally, as the year comes to a close, I’ve been focusing much more on my health, my mindset, my goals, and yes, still on writing. I’m allowing myself time to do everything.. including some play and relaxation time with my family. While I’m making slower progress and updating less on social media now, I feel much more balanced.

I ignored my health long enough that it nearly had to hit me with a brick for me to pay attention. I pushed keeping my house clean to the back burner long enough that it became a nightmare to clean up. I pushed my re-writing back enough that now I might have to struggle to make my self-imposed deadline for April. We’ll see.

What I’m really trying to say is, sort through your priorities. Are you giving time to the things that matter most? Whatever it is that you’re ignoring, just think: What if I didn’t have this? How would that affect my life? If it’s something you need, then now you know to make time.


So, those are my lessons for 2020. I’m going to take them and go into 2021 strong.

Are you with me?

Comment below what lessons you learned this year.. or what of this you can adapt for yourself!

Published by Jo Narayan

Check out my Instagram @AuthorJoNarayan.

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