2020 Was a Year for Learning

 |  24 November 2021

2020 was a year for learning

When I woke up on 1 January 2020 I thought about the things I wanted to achieve that year. I hadn’t gone out the night before so my head was clearer than it had been on New Years Day’s of the past.  


I was still recovering from a serious health burn out as 3 weeks before this day I was walking through Adelaide Airport after coming back from working with a Sydney client and was in intense pain, distress and overwhelm that I thought I was about to have a heart attack. They tell you that a near death experience is a wake up call and thrusts you towards transformation. Although it ended up being just bad panic anxiety attack the message came clear to me.  


“The way you have been living is not working… time for change.” 


On 1 January 2020 I embarked on a year of change. Little did I know that the world would also go through a significant transformation at the same time. 


In my small world I made significant changes in my mindset around work and rest, took back control of my business and vision, and focused my time, money and attention on getting well. I discovered that finding the right health professional and a doctor that cared about my wellness was the key to a successful change in my health. In the big world around me I watched as the Eastern States of Australia burned, I witnessed the spread of a virus that too many underestimated, I watched as the world came to a standstill, friends and family struggle with isolation, black people in USA dying at the hands of people charged with a duty to protect them, I watched in horror the outcome of the fear, division, discrimination and ignorance in Trump’s USA and the ripple effect to other parts of the world – including our own political leaders. 


It was a true year of learning and reframing. Below are the key learnings that I had in 2020.


  1. The people you work with must be on the same page 
      • The difference in the workplace is good. But when your ideas of success and values are different, that’s almost impossible to negotiate and get the success you want. You have to work with people who value the same things you do.   
  2. Health needs to be prioritised  
    • -  I learned the lesson hard when I felt the pain, brain fog and distress of not looking after myself. I had to learn how to prioritise myself – it's still a work in progress, but I’m getting better at this.   
  3. Online meetings are great 
    • A simple one but a good one. I saved so much time and money having Zoom meetings with people. No travel, no extra coffees (and calories) during the day, and effective conversations and outcomes – perfect for one on one meetings.   
  4. Online training works but isn’t as engaging  
    •  Online training has a place and is good for efficiency and virtual teams. But as a facilitator, there’s nothing like the energy that being in a room full of people conversing,      sharing and challenging each other brings. I do online training, and I prefer face-to-face.   
  5. Change quickly 
    •  Adapting to a new way of working can be tricky if you don’t have the technology, but if you do, I encourage you to jump straight into the change you want to make. Experiment along the way. Learn with each other along the way. It's okay to help others find the unmute button.   
  6.  Use your gut more 
    • A number of times when our decisions went pair shaped, we realised that we had a gut feel to say no, but said yes instead. We had a client that we worked with that we knew we shouldn’t have, and yet we said yes, and no surprise, it ended unsatisfactorily. We had people join our business which we shouldn’t – gut said no, brain said yet – and it didn’t work out. We now pay attention to that intuition feeling a lot more.  
  7. Rest when there is an opportunity  
    •   We all have a tendency to push through and want to achieve as much as possible. However, when the world and your body say to slow the Eff down. Listen to it and rest when you have a chance. The emails will still be there tomorrow if you rest today.
  8. 80% is good enough
    • Perfectionism is a killer of productivity. The only people I like perfection from is my hairdresser and my nail technician; everyone else I want productivity.  My big problem is following that myself. We can all fall into the perfectionism trap, but we have to snap ourselves out of it to enable achievement.  

9. Reframe travel and holidays 

    •     This was the big one for me and the one I will continue to struggle with the most. Rest, relaxation, and holidays occur at that first whiff of rocket fuel as you are crossing the tarmac to get on the plane. Well, that’s the way it's always been for me. I’m reframing rest, relaxation and holidays and finding ‘holiday moments’ closer to home.  Saying that… I can’t wait to travel again. 

    Learning, growth and change all happen in discomfort, and there was plenty of that in 2020. We will still feel it in 2021, but I think we’re probably a little more prepared for it.  

    If you want to know more about how we at SynergyIQ learned from 2020 and are looking forward to 2021. Have a listen to our podcast on “Creating Synergy – Looking back and looking forward.” 


Thanks for joining me on this reflection, and stay positive and productive in 2021.

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