It’s a classic adage, and one that has been said over and over again – for good reason. Time really does fly fast. But when you’re in the middle of a global pandemic with many countries declaring economic recession, that saying takes on another meaning. Your days blur as you navigate between work and personal life inside the house; you keep your errands to the bare essentials, like supermarkets and banks; and hangouts and gatherings with friends are done in front of your laptop or via your mobile phone.
Yes, time really does fly fast. It seemed only yesterday when you were celebrating the New Year with hints of corona virus occasionally intertwining with your regular newsfeed. Now, you’ve been on lockdown for about three months with the rest of the world grinding to a halt, or at least moving at an excruciatingly slow pace. And with each day that passes, it seems like you’re getting more used to this new normal, more comfortable with this new way of doing things. Before you know it, it’s already the middle of July and you’re left to wonder what happened with your year so far. Of course, it’s hard to answer that when you can hardly recall what happened last week.
So in order to help you evaluate what 2020 has been like for you, here are a few intentional questions to ask yourself.
What did you accomplish?
Now, it’s easy to fall into the trap of waiting for big, dramatic victories before you tell yourself that you did manage to accomplish something. But with the context of COVID-19 throwing a lot of things off course and on the verge of the unfamiliar, doing that will likely spell out frustration on your end. Instead, give yourself a break and think of your small wins. Did you try out new recipes? Did you enroll in a free online course? Finished a book on your list? Finally cleaned your room? Acknowledging your little successes will help you build momentum to go for bigger goals.
How did you handle your personal relationships?
If there’s one thing that the pandemic has taught us (apart from the very obvious health, of course), it’s the importance of relationships. There are many aspects of your lifestyle that, until recently, you probably haven’t realized you can actually do away with. Splurging on new clothes may be a good example. Or going to the movies on Friday nights, or lounging at the mall after work, or taking advantage of a long weekend to go on a trip. Well, there have been at least a couple of long weekends in the past few months, and they probably saw you in your house – just like you’ve been almost every day since the lockdown started.
Going without all these things are definitely an inconvenience, but you’re going to be OK. Relationships, on the other hand, are important. So important, in fact, that they should be given priority. So, what have you done recently to strengthen your bond with your family? To catch up with friends? To meet new people who share your values? Be intentional about building and developing personal relationships – you have more time than ever to do just that.
What mistakes did you make?
This question is not permission to give in to a pity party. Rather, it’s a trigger question to help you acknowledge what went wrong, how you contributed in making it happen, and what you can do to make the situation better. There are many things that are beyond your control, but your choices are not one of them. Sure, you don’t know when a vaccine for COVID-19 will be developed and you don’t have any say about what mandates the government will impose. But you can control what you eat, what you spend time on, how much exercise you get, and whether or not you pull an all-nighter. If you didn’t get the results you wanted, check what you did – or didn’t do – that produced those outcomes. Being honest with yourself will go a long way in helping you develop a healthy learning habit.
Six months has gone by. While you can’t bring back those six months, you can reflect on them to help you make the remaining six months of 2020 better, happier, more productive, and even more fun.