Here’s an exercise my partner told me he’s been working on and I thought it would be a good idea for me to do as well. There are three things to focus on: 1) something that you felt went well during the year, 2) what didn’t work so well and 3) what you want to be working on for the new year ahead. Seems like a simple task but it actually takes a bit of honest self-reflection to get any benefit from it.
2019 – The Good Stuff
Personally and professionally, I felt that this was a huge year of growth. I was presented and grabbed onto many new opportunities. Alongside this, there were some extremely steep learning curves and times where I felt I was barely keeping my head above water. But I survived. Through this experience, I think I learned more about my own resilience, limitations and the importance of balancing my life.
Amidst everything, I am proud of the way I have consistently kept up with my exercise routine for most part of the year. Exercise plays such an important role for me in de-stressing and diabetes management and its effects became really pronounced when I dropped the ball. Despite this, I managed to pick myself up and find some sort of routine again, even if it wasn’t at a level I was previously at.
2019 – The Struggles
Apart from what I talked about in my last blog post, an underlying doubt that creeped in the background was my place and identity in the diabetes community and advocacy space. Since I’ve finished my PhD and started my job, it feels that some people within the community have been treating me differently. I’m certainly not your average person with diabetes when it comes to consumer representation. However, my personal experiences are certainly important when it comes to research and teaching. Maybe this is something I still need to reflect and explore on in the new year.
2020 – Moving Forward
Sustainability, consistency and continuous self-reflection are key words that jump out for me. Rather than thinking that taking a holiday will fix all my problems, I should try and incorporate strategies to my everyday routine to make sure I get regular time to decompress and relax. The same also applies to ensure that Beta Change continues and the voices of diabetes advocates around the world continues to be heard. While I sort out my identity within the diabetes community, I know there’s so much I can be doing in the background to set things up. And perhaps it is this shift in the way I participate in the diabetes community that I need to adjust to, which is where the self-reflection will help to guide me along.
Overall, there are many good habits and lesson learned that I hope to carry through to the new year. At the same time, there’s still much to work on, new adventures to be had and uncharted waters to explore. I’m confident and excited that I have the right support and resources around me to make 2020 an exciting and awesome year ahead!