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2021 Reflections. Hello 2022

There is something special about the turn of a new year. It's that nice, clean slate that makes you feel that anything is possible. I used to set some personal goals at the start of every year but as we eat into the second year of the Covid19 pandemic, I scrapped all of that. I still believe it's important to stretch myself every year however...I find it more important to just appreciate everything that is in front of us now.

2021 Reflections

Life is truly beautiful. Earth is 4.54 billion years old. Just the fact that we are alive here in this moment makes it beautiful. Modern civilization occurs some 20,00 years ago. Read this to put time in perspective. In short, you've only got one life. It's also a short one.

Health - I didn't do a good job in taking care of my mental health. At one point, I was burning out. My immune system got compromised and I got hit by a myriad of stuff at the same time - shingles, splitting headache over days, earache and the piercing pain on my neck. Since then, I learnt to take things at a slower pace. I admit, I'm the epitome of Type A personality (everything should have been done by yesterday!). Taking things slow, being deliberate and mindful would be something I'd like to learn in 2022.

Exercising - Ever since I was a kid, I have been working out regularly. My fitness goal is to just workout three - four times weekly. I have been keeping that well with running and HIIT workouts, so I'm pleased with my fitness goals. Going into 2022, I'd like to incorporate slower pace workouts like walking and yoga.

Learning - This blog was a product of me wanting to learn a new skill, plus me wanting to share with our younger colleagues. It was harder to see everyone during the pandemic, so I figured blogging is a good platform. It was fun for me to learn this.

Books - I read every night before I sleep. On average, I'd finish 26 books every year, so that's one book every two weeks. I could do that if I use part of my weekend to read. 2021 was a really busy year... I burnt out. At some point, I thought it'd be wise not to set a reading goal. Otherwise my Type A personality would be there urging me on, regardless of my state. Overall, I completed only 11 books. My 2021 absolute favorites were two pieces of fiction - "A Dance with Dragons" and "Feast of the Crows" - by George R. R. Martin. In 2022, I hope to go back to my usual average.

Adventures - I'm always grateful to be in a beautiful country like Japan during the pandemic. I did some hiking (Mount Osorezan, Mount Daisen, Mount Kintoki...). There were many new experiences too. On my birthday, I signed up for a snowboarding lesson at Minakami, Gunma. In summer, I gave a go at sand-boarding in Tottori. Climbing Mount Mitoku in straw slippers was surreal. The Okama Crater was one of the most breathtaking view I've seen. When I look back in the year, experiences like these were the most memorable. Going into 2022, I'd like to continue creating many more wonderful memories.

Work - Master something that makes you uncomfortable. Expand your scope. Seek out projects that makes you uncomfortable. That's how you grow. Based on this yardstick, I am very proud of my team and myself in 2021.

Family and Friends - I wish I could see my family but I'm just simply grateful that my family and friends have been well in 2021.

Hello 2022

My biggest goal in 2022 is to take better care of my mental health.

For a start, I will not be setting any lofty milestones to accomplish (like... get a sub 50 minutes for 10 km, read 50 books).

Having resilience is still important. However I'd like to practice better self care. My 2022 resolutions are simple. I'd like to...

  • Be more patient

  • Practice gratitude daily

  • Take frequent breaks

I hope your 2021 has been a fruitful year. I wish you a very wonderful 2022. Let's work hard together to grow (as a person) and stay healthy!

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