At the end of January last year, I started a thing. And I had no idea just how grateful I’d be for that very thing just a few months down the line.
I shared 20 things that I’d achieved in the month of January in an Instagram caption. It was an attempt to stop doing what so many of us are guilty of – not recognising or giving myself credit for my achievements, big or small.
It made such a huge difference to the way I felt about myself that I decided to make it a monthly thing, and encourage other people to join me.
Here’s the post I shared in February about it all. It’s weird reading things you wrote BC, isn’t it? Oh, the innocence.
#20things2020 and lockdown
In February lots of lovely freelance people joined in and shared their 20 things, which was wonderful to see.
But by the end of March, I wasn’t sure whether it would be right to carry on with it.
Should I really be trying to look for the positives when we were in the midst of a pandemic?
But all my travel clients had cancelled overnight, work was really slow and everything was more than a bit scary and disorientating. Time was already starting to do weird things.
And I realised that if I gave up, I’d be in danger of completely ignoring everything I was managing to get done and the silver linings I was privileged enough to be experiencing (when for so many people in the world it’s just clouds as far as the eye can see).
So on I went, as did a handful of other lovely people who I think felt very much the same way.
There were, of course, times when finding 20 things to celebrate seemed highly unrealistic, particularly in April and November. But it forced me to recognise all the tiny things I was achieving, and stopped all the days blurring together quite so much.
To appreciate all the freedom I was lucky enough to enjoy during the year and all the things I’d never have done if it weren’t for the world being turned on its head.
And by the end of December, I ended up with 240 whole things.
That’s kept me going when I’ve been beating myself up about not working hard enough. It’s given me something to look back on in low moments when I need a boost, and has helped keep things firmly in perspective.
I’ve also loved celebrating the achievements of the wonderful women who’ve kept me company along the way, admiring their beautiful graphics and seeing #20things2020 posts pop up in French and Spanish.
So, what’s next?
#21things2021. What else?
(I keep writing 2121 by mistake and then realising I’m getting slightly ahead of myself.)
I’d love you to join us. Check out the launch post on Instagram and let me know you’re up for it, and then share your January #21things2021 whenever you’re ready in February.
No matter how this year unfolds, I can’t wait to see all the things you achieve.