Reflections on 2021 and Intentions for 2022

By Tyler Hayes

Lessons Learnt in 2021

It’s evident that everyone is focused on the future right now, but I believe it is critical to reflect on the past to move forward. 2021 was a roller coaster ride for most of us, particularly me. But I want to think of it as a warm-up year for the years to come. Here are four things I learned about myself and life in general in the past year.

  1. Learning to Depend on Myself.

I moved out of my parents’ house during the year.  Such a big move, right? A huge part of living alone I wasn’t prepared for was bills. However, not relying on anyone else to survive has only made me stronger. Living alone teaches you to cope with and adapt to various environments, from noisy neighbors to demanding landlords.

Living alone lets you do some introspection. I discovered a lot about myself, which I will share with you shortly.

  1. The Power of Bonds.

As you go about life, you come across different types of people. Some bonds get decided for you, such as family, but some you get to choose for yourself. This last year taught me a lot about friendship, and that’s an area I still intend to work on this new year. Choosing friends you can depend upon is essential to developing wholesome relationships.

With that said, every bond has its limits. I learned how to know where these limits and boundaries are and how not to break or cross them.

  1. Believe in Yourself

This first month of 2022 has had me assessing myself a lot. I’ve read self-help books and listened to podcasts that I felt may help me achieve my goals. One of the things I learned is that your mind is continuously working against you. It doesn’t care about your goals; its primary objective is keeping you alive. 

As a result, we struggle with procrastination, self-doubt, negative thinking, worry, and other issues. The first step to growth is to believe in yourself. Go for your goals because you have nothing else to lose. You only fail when you stop trying. Your failures are your lessons and stepping stones into success, so learn to count them as learning opportunities.

  1. Forgive More

Learning to let go of people and things that hurt me has been one of my most significant turning points this past year. Turning negative energy such as anger and hurt into healing and harmony through forgiveness has helped me get a more positive outlook on life.  

Letting go of all the pent-up frustration and stress has helped me mentally and emotionally. Making the conscious decision to forgive someone who has wronged you takes a lot of courage, but in the end, you benefit more than the person you forgive.

It doesn’t mean you have to put up with future mistreatment from a boss, a partner, a parent, or a friend. It’s about reclaiming your power and removing yourself from the equation to move forward. 

What I’m Welcoming in 2022

2021 was a huge learning curve for me. I have gained a ton of experience, and I intend to put everything I’ve learned into action this year. Strengthening my bonds between family and friends is one of my resolutions. I need to take time out of my hectic schedule to spend time with my family, and if I can’t be there physically, I will give them a call to let them know I am here for them. 

This will also help me on my mental health journey. Spending time with friends will also help in boosting my self-confidence. I find that my stress levels go down when I am around people I share a connection with, so I guess we’ll be doing a lot more of that this year.

  1. Exercising and watching my diet.

Mental health and physical well-being are directly related, so taking care of my mind and body is something I’m working towards this year. I intend to practice self-care to fix my sleeping schedule, eat a balanced diet, and work out regularly to stay healthy. I will also accommodate some cheat days and not be strict on myself. Acknowledging that I’m human and can’t be perfect is also essential.

  1. Limiting my Social Media Consumption

This year, I want to control how much exposure to social media. I set standards for myself according to what I see other people do online. This, in turn, affects my self-esteem and the quality of my life. This year, I’m only competing with myself, trying to become a better version of myself than I was last year. 

While social media can be fun, educational, and inspiring sometimes, it can become addictive, and too much of it can quickly become toxic.

  1. Financial Management

If there’s something, I wish school should have taught me it is financial management. Sadly, I have had to learn this the hard way as an adult. But better late than never, right? 

Financial discipline will get you out of debt and enable you to invest your money wisely. I want to go on vacation this year, so I need to start saving up as soon as possible.

  1. Learning New Skills

The human body has infinite possibilities. That’s a phrase I’ve heard countless times. One of the most effective methods to develop mentally and physically is to keep learning new skills. I believe no skill is useless. Whether it be changing a flat tire or coding, you will at one point find yourself in a position that will require the skills you’ve accumulated.

I plan to read insightful books, attend seminars and classes, and tutor programs, taking online courses to pick up as many new skills as I can. 

My January 2021 Experience 

So far, I’ve followed through on my New Year’s resolutions. The most challenging one has been maintaining my diet. No one warns you about the experiences of staying alone. I find it hard to cook for myself, mainly because I have to do dishes afterward. So as much as I order out or eat out, I try to keep my diet as clean and as nutritious as possible.

Building and maintaining beneficial bonds has been the easiest resolution to stick to. This is something I wish I had done earlier in my life.


Ultimately, we all wish for growth: physical growth, mental growth, financial growth, and growth in other aspects of our lives. I want to believe I’m on the right path to achieving my goals this year. I want to look back a year from now and say I’m proud of how far I’ve come. What do you want to achieve this year?

Published by mindsetofathlete

I am a mental health professional in love with art, of various expressions. My career focuses on understanding health and fitness, acknowledging when a person has become unbalanced in their obligations, and determining the best customized approach for helping clients recover and heal. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, participating in outdoor activities, and exploring cuisines and cultural elements of my environment.

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