I always end the year by writing about my accomplishments, failure, regrets, and resolutions. I love this time of year because the calendar naturally moves me to reflect and take action. This post is all about 2020 accomplishments.

This year, I’ve got some options. First, my book is about to go live. Also, I didn’t die of COVID-19. Those are two significant 2020 accomplishments right there. But I think my most important achievement is the continued investment in my wellbeing when it would’ve been easier to avoid it. 

What, exactly, is wellbeing? Some people define it by the way they spend their time or money. Examples include exercise, detox diets, yoga, meditation, talk therapy, crystals, cold showers, running marathons, dry needling, sauna treatments or even weird massages that don’t feel good but supposedly improve your overall wellness.

And, yes, I did some of those things in 2020. I’m back on my exercise bandwagon. I’ve never stopped going to therapy — both mental and physical — and I spent money on something called dry needling for the chronic pain in my hip. Then I blew a wad of cash on cryotherapy in the pandemic’s early stages, making my hip and lower back feel better for about 20 minutes but doing nothing for my mood. 

Here’s what I know: Wellbeing isn’t something you can buy. It’s an approach to life and a series of choices you make to reinforce your commitments. So instead of chasing fixes in 2020, I spent time thinking about the choices I make daily. Then, I leaned into a willingness to forgive myself for my mistakes. Finally, I committed to change without beating myself up in the process.

Did I nail it? Heck no. 

I’m naturally tough on myself. It’s easy to look back and forgive the younger version of yourself who made mistakes and was a victim of shoddy circumstances. Did your parents do a terrible job? Were you bullied at school? It’s natural to grow older and absolve ourselves of shame and embarrassment. But to forgive yourself in real-time when you blow it? That’s the challenge of a lifetime. 

So here’s to my biggest 2020 accomplishment: investing in my wellbeing by starting with self-forgiveness. This year, I learned that giving yourself grace doesn’t make you lazy. It gives you space for self-improvement. 

That was my biggest 2020 accomplishment, and it’s the lesson I hope you learn in 2021.