New Year, New Adventures
In 2020, I felt that my life was placed on hold as the world (who would have thought that was even possible) shut down for a while. We were all told to stay at home and to not gather with others unless they were in our “bubble”. Some of the key goals I had aimed to achieve in 2021, such as doing my first 50-mile race, was scrapped as races were cancelled and I lost all motivation to train as I found running outside a bit depressing when I often had to actively dodge others and others had to dodge me along the sidewalk, as if we all had our own strains of contagious leprosy.
I told myself that 2020 was just a lost year and was certain that life would resume back to normal, albeit a new normal, in 2021, especially with the availability of vaccines for everyone. Life did get better in some ways, as I was able to socialize with many friends who were outside my “bubble”, eat at my favorite restaurants again, shop at stores other than just grocery stores, go back to working out at my gym, and embark on limited plane travel to visit others. I am grateful for the ability to do all that in 2021. But 2021 was still challenging in many ways. There’s the arrival of the highly contagious Omicron variant strain after an already devastating Delta variant strain, which recently caused a number of people I know to contract the COVID-19 virus, despite the many precautions they had taken. I also had to cancel my travel plans to see family members this year for Christmas when they came down unexpectedly with COVID-19 a week before I got on that plane. Fortunately, all of them have been vaccinated and had much milder symptoms which lasted for only a few days. Some members of The Koa Club have told me that 2021 had, in fact, turned out to be even a harder year for them than 2020 for a variety of reasons. So much for regaining normalcy in 2021!
Even though I was not able to accomplish all my desired pursuits and goals in 2020 and 2021, I did learn a very valuable lesson during this time, which is, to be kind to myself. It goes without saying that we should always be kind to others, but many of us are often focused on staying strong in order to take care of others and to give our best in all we do despite the circumstances, sometimes sacrificing our own emotional and physical well-being in the meantime. In fact, in our interviews with successful women on The Koa Club TV Channel, many of them said that they take the time on a daily basis to meditate, workout, journal or undertake other activities to help them with stress relief, to get re-centered and to feel good about themselves, before jumping in to tackle work and any crisis occurring in their lives. Some even said that they would never sacrifice these “non-negotiable” activities no matter how busy their lives may become and that we should never feel guilty about taking the time for ourselves. Great advice, ladies!
It is also important to remember that when we do not meet our goals or successfully overcome a challenge, instead of being hard on ourselves for failing as we normally would, we should give ourselves kudos for trying the best we could under the circumstances, grace for any failure and even forgiveness for giving up on any goals we have set up for ourselves. It does not mean we would use this as an excuse to slack off on our goals or to give up easily when there is a challenge. Rather, we learn to trust our own instincts, to know what may be best for ourselves, whether it means pushing ahead to achieve our goals or placing our goals in hiatus for the time being, and definitely, never to regret the choices we have made.
Marie Curie once said: “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” As we begin 2022, I want to share the message that no matter what setbacks each of us may have faced in 2020 and 2021, we must hold strongly onto the belief that we have the perseverance and confidence in ourselves to take on anything life throws at us in 2022 and in future years to come, provided that we do not forget to take the time to care for ourselves along the way.
I leave you with these parting thoughts:
Look to 2022 with hope and optimism. Be kind to others and to yourself. Be the best you can be. Inspire others and let others inspire you. Do what you love. Don’t let fear stop you in your tracks. Don’t worry about what others think. Every adversity leads to new opportunities.
My favorite advice – Say yes to new adventures.
And finally, the mantra I always try to live by, and I hope you all do too – Believe in yourself.
Happy New Year and I look forward to an awesome 2022 with all of you.
Founder & CEO, The Koa Club
Be Brave. Be Koa