Lessons I wish I had known at the start of the year.
2022 was not kind to me.
- I failed to fix my sleep cycle.
- I made some progress on emotional self-regulation, but not as much as I’d have liked.
- I didn’t pitch to new clients and only relied on inbound leads.
- I couldn’t finish the fiction book I’ve been writing since 2020.
- My YouTube channel made no significant progress despite making 320+ videos.
But 2022 was also extremely kind to me in other ways-
- I learned to drive, booked 10+ rental cars to practice, and finally got my first vehicle.
- I pushed the limits of my body and learned a new super challenging dance form.
- I stuck to my goal of exercising for four hours weekly.
- I was selected for India’s first LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program cohort.
- I crossed 100k followers on Medium. 😍
Looking back, I am grateful for all the magic 2022 has brought.
As for the milestones I failed to achieve, there’s always time next year. I’m sure 2023 is going to be better.
In this post, I’m sharing the four mindset shifts that made my life better in 2022. Hope you find some value in the stories and enough motivation to apply the takeaways to your own life. I’ll be looking forward to hearing your insights in the comments.
1. Showing up >>> being perfect
I post stories of my daily workouts on Instagram.
Several followers have messaged me saying they get inspired by my stories but lack my motivation to start working out daily themselves.
This makes me smile. Motivation is an alien word for me.
Every morning, when it’s time to roll out the Yoga mat, my first instinct is to skip for the day.
The excuses in my head are strong-
- I’ve already hit my weekly quota of exercise.
- I worked out non-stop for three days, so I deserve a break.
- I didn’t get enough sleep, so maybe I should skip today.
- I missed two days this week, so I should skip today and start the following Monday.
And the list goes on.
If I had listened to my excuses, I’d never have been able to remain consistent. But I didn’t rely on motivation. I had only one non-negotiable condition: if it wasn’t physically impossible, I’d not skip my workout.
And so, I didn’t.
Relying on motivation or waiting to be perfect rarely brings you closer to your goal. Ditch motivation and bring out your inner discipline. Building a routine and having systems in place will help you stick to your resolutions.
2. Push your limits
I always wanted to try out different forms of working out.
I’ve gotten and given up on a gym membership before. I find lifting weights incredibly dull, and there are very few modifications I can do to make the experience fun.
That’s when I decided to take up some form of dancing.
Zumba was the natural first choice, but it also appeared too difficult. I’m not big on jumping or cardio. So I picked arguably the most challenging dance form out there: pole dancing.
I once saw a meme about pole dancers that said, “Don’t mess with a woman who likes to hang upside down from a pole for fun,” and I couldn’t agree more.
Pole was tough. It demanded a lot from my mind and body.
But the bruises on my thighs and the sore muscles were testaments to my strength. Mastering a new dance form gave me the confidence boost I didn’t know I needed.
I knew that if I could master something as complex as this, I could do just about anything.
If you’re seeking new challenges to make life more interesting, try pushing your body to its limits. You’ll learn many previously undiscovered facts about yourself. The afterglow of the dopamine hit will fuel you for weeks.
3. Seek discomfort
A rule I’ve learned to adhere to in 2022:
Every time you have to make a decision, pick the option that leads to intense discomfort in the short run.
I read somewhere that our brains are hard-wired to seek instant gratification.
When we find ourselves at crossroads, we follow the option that appears safest in the short term.
I’ve always known owning a website can yield incredible results. But I was always skeptical about starting one because of the insane amount of hard work involved. Instead, I chose to publish on Medium because I could get feedback, views, and money immediately after publishing.
In 2022, I trained my brain to think beyond the instant dopamine hits.
I focused on choices that would lead to a better life in the long term. My mantra for 2022 was that this would be a year of building. Rather than obsessing over results, I’d sow seeds and wait for them to sprout.
Thus far, I’ve launched a website as a new business venture. It will be ages before it starts to make me any real money. But now I know I have the systems in place for something big to come later.
Don’t shy away from hard work. No matter how much your brain convinces you to languish in comfort, pick the most difficult option. You’ll thank yourself later.
4. When you want to do it but aren’t sure you can, say “Yes”
One of the highlights of 2022 was getting selected into the first cohort of the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program.
At the end of the ten-week program, there was an in-person graduation ceremony. All 200 cohort members were invited.
The sheer size of the gathering scared me, and my first instinct was to say “No.”
After much self-talk, I finally decided to book the plane ticket.
And I’m so glad I did.
At first, everything was terrifying. I walked into a room where creators were huddled in multiple groups, talking animatedly. I wasn’t sure who I should join or how.
But as I took in more of my surroundings, I realized everyone there was eager for enriching conversations, and all I had to do was approach them. This was insanely difficult for my introverted self, but I persevered.
Ultimately, I ended up among the last few members to leave, when the restaurant owners finally kicked is out at the closing time of 1 AM.
This was the hardest, yet the best decision I took in 2022. Yes, I’m still terrified of networking sessions that promise huge gatherings, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve talked about my experience in detail here-
Your first instinct might be to stay in your bubble and not put yourself in situations that demand courage. But once you go out there, you’ll see the world isn’t as scary as it appears in your head.
Good things happen when you say yes.
What were your highlights of the bygone year, and what lessons did they teach you? Please let me know in the comments.