Discover Yourself

Lessons learned in 2020 to grow in 2021

January 8, 2021
Lessons learned in 2020

I’ve started 2021 with the theme of Review & Reset 2020 both here on the blog and in the Women Living Well After 50 Facebook Group. The idea for this theme, came about when I started a short course called Simple Steps to an Incredible Year with Mel Robbins. I wrote about the course and the intention of Review and Reset in my previous blog post Let’s Review and Reset in 2021.

Sometimes we take a short course and think ‘well, I already know this’. However, it is surprising how beneficial it is to be reminded and to put into practice what you know. The stand-out point so far in the course is that we can’t look or move forward until we have reviewed where we have been and where we are right now.

During the week, I posted the following question in the Facebook Group and I wanted to share some of the answers that members wrote. I selected four which I think resonate with all of us and I would love to hear your answers as well either in the FB group or in the comments below. The answers tied in perfectly with my WOTY, SELF and also the idea of growth from lessons learned, is perfectly aligned with my friend Leanne from Cresting the Hill’s WOTY which is CULTIVATE.

What lesson(s) did you learn in 2020 that you will take into 2021 with you?

To not allow myself to feel overwhelmed. Instead to value the peaceful and quiet moments more than the busy ones.- Judith

Judith’s answer was one I could relate to and I know that you would have read my posts towards the end of last year when life certainly was overwhelming for both my husband and I.  After my MIL passed away at the end of October I felt I really need to step back from life and ‘practice what I preach’. Taking time out to just ‘be’ in the present moment or walking in nature really helps to bring clarity.

I need to be more assertive in my communication so problems don’t build up to a boiling point. Avoiding an issue doesn’t make it go away. -Sonja

Being assertive doesn’t come easily to me either. Not many of us enjoy confrontation and we can let the tension of avoiding problems build up until we feel we want to explode, or as Sonja says ‘to a boiling point’. This is neither good for our physical or or mental well-being but sometimes it is ‘easier said than done.’ Assertive doesn’t mean we have to be confrontational or argumentative. It simply means giving our thoughts and ideas the respect they deserve. It means asking ourselves how the problem or situation affects us and our well-being. This is important for me as my WOTY is ‘SELF’.

That’s putting myself first sometimes is not a luxury but a necessity. Still learning to let go of self inflicted guilt. – Christine

Again, Christine’s answer ties in with my WOTY, Self. As I wrote in my post WOTY 2021 – Have you chosen one? I need to embrace my SELF and live my life with the focus of keeping what SERVES me WELL and LETTING GO of what is holding me back and making me feel trapped in life. So often, we feel guilty doing something for ourselves and again that isn’t an easy lesson to learn.

Many people are hypocrites, and have double standards…. I learned it was time to unfriend many – Deb

Deb’s answer reminded me that part of SELF and living well is the ability to let go even when it might be painful. Some friendships can have a used by date and if that friendship is becoming toxic and pulling you down rather than supporting you, it’s time to dig deep and let it go.

Lessons learned

Being Bold

My friend, Deb from Deb’s World has selected BOLD as her WOTY. I think this also ties in well with the answers given above because to make changes we need to be Bold and that also means having the courage to make the changes to improve our life.

What lesson did I learn from 2020?

I learned that I am stronger than I realise and that being strong doesn’t mean caring less. It is about showing up when the challenges of life come your way and being there when others need you.

I took the lead when my MIL was ill and dying because I needed to support my husband and his family during this difficult time. My MIL and I had a great relationship which lasted 25 years and although I had to comfort and support others and be strong for them, it didn’t mean that I wasn’t also hurting.

I’m taking this lesson of strength into 2021 and applying with my WOTY to be strong in all areas of my life. To do things and make decisions that might be tough at times but will result in me living well.

What was your lesson from 2020 which you will take into 2021? I would love you to share with me.

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Debbie Harris January 8, 2021 at 07:29

    Thanks for mentioning my post about my WOTY Bold Sue! Your post fits in beautifully with all I’ve been thinking about in regards to being bold. I really appreciate your wisdom and thoughts. You are definitely stronger than you realise xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 8, 2021 at 07:42

      Hi Deb, my pleasure. I love your WOTY and it does tie in with mine so well. I also love getting feedback from women in the community on their thoughts. I learn so much from the comments. Have a lovely day and it takes a strong woman to know another one! xx

  • Reply Donna Connolly January 8, 2021 at 13:12

    Hi, Sue – Like the Whos down in Whoville my lesson was that we do not need all the modern trimmings and trappings — but we do need each other. That’s the lesson that I will take with me into 2021. Thank you for being such a good friend who I always know that I can lean on (and you can lean on me right back)!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 9, 2021 at 07:47

      Hi Donna thank you for your friendship which I treasure. Blogging brings richness to my life and part of that has been meeting you. I totally agree with the lesson from Whos down in Whoville – the most important thing is having each other and material possessions come a very poor second. Take care, my friend. xx

  • Reply Jennifer Jones January 9, 2021 at 10:03

    Hi Sue there was so much to learn from 2020. My biggest learning that I taking into 2021 is that it’s ok to slow down and not do everything at top speed. 2020 forced me to slow down. Finally I’ve found peace about this. I’ve been forced to reassess much of what has become normal in my life. I really do like what I see and am looking forward to taking these thoughts into 2021

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 9, 2021 at 16:19

      Sometimes we need to have something happen to make us stop and take stock, don’t we Jen? For me it was losing Luisa at the end of October. I stepped back from the world and am moving into 2021 at a slower pace but finding new enjoyment in my blogging. xx

  • Reply Joanne January 9, 2021 at 10:08

    I have a whole post coming up this week called 10 things I learned in 2020 and while much of what I learned were smaller lessons (and some actual skills) I also learned some big things about myself like asking for help and relying on others. I also learned that my religious & spiritual beliefs are much deeper than I thought as I took a lot of comfort in knowing that while the pandemic was out of my control it wasn’t out of God’s control. I found myself praying daily; something I haven’t done probably since I was in catholic school.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 9, 2021 at 16:17

      Hi Joanne, I think 2020 was the perfect year for learning life lessons. I did some courses so lessons of a different kind but like you I learned more about myself and what I need to change to live a more balanced life. Losing my 94 year old Mother-in-law unexpectedly in October certainly gave me pause to think about many aspects of my life. Lovely to meet you and I forward to reading your 10 things learned in 2020 post when it comes out. x

  • Reply Natalie January 9, 2021 at 10:31

    Hi Sue, I learned to continue being grateful for having good health and good relationships with family and friends, and looking for the positive every day. We’re still in lockdown over here so gratitude and positive thinking help me get through the social isolation. Thank you for joining me at my debut Weekend Coffee Share blog link-up. Have a wonderful weekend! #weekendcoffeeshare

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 9, 2021 at 16:14

      Looks like your debut Weekend Coffee Share is off to a good start. I am enjoying reading everyone’s lessons that they learned in 2020. It is good to reflect and use the lessons to improve our lives and to live well. Have a lovely weekend and thanks for the #weekendcoffeeshare

  • Reply Moumita De Sarkar January 9, 2021 at 19:49

    Your post made me think, Sue. If there is one lesson that I will take in 2021, that would be to execute plans and not just sit on them. After all, planning is nothing without execution.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 11, 2021 at 10:27

      I love this lesson Moumita and welcome to my blog. So often we have plans but for one reason or another they just don’t happen. A great lesson to take into 2021 x

  • Reply Leanne | January 9, 2021 at 20:23

    Hi Sue – thanks for the lovely shout-out for my WOTY – I’m really hoping it inspires me (and others) to keep reaching for our best Self (your WOTY there!) I enjoyed the thoughts you shared from others about what they learnt from 2020 and I think that discovering your inner strength and your ability to grow in new areas was definitely a big one for you. I think I learnt to enjoy my own company, focus on what made me happy, let others do and be whatever they want without taking it on board, and just learning to chill and enjoy this next phase of life. I wonder what 2021 will teach us?! We’ll figure it out together I’m sure. xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 11, 2021 at 10:27

      Hi BBB, you know I always like to promote where I can. I’m slowly coming back at my pace but not worrying that it is much slower than I anticipated. I’m enjoying life and that is what counts. Here’s to a better 2021 despite COVID and it’s challenges. xx

  • Reply suzanne vosbikian January 11, 2021 at 10:08

    Sue, I learned that life doesn’t have to be big and bold to be satisfying and that letting go can be liberating.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 11, 2021 at 10:25

      Hi Suzanne, you know, I’m finally learning that myself. I go at 150% most of the time but after losing my MIL I’ve retreated from the world and now that I emerge I find I only need to do what fulfills me and not prove anything to anyone. Happy 2021. xx

  • Reply Joanne Tracey January 11, 2021 at 10:44

    I learnt so much in 2020…and I’m hoping I can retain that knowledge and put it to use in 2021. I think my biggest is to let what I can’t control just be. I spend so much tummy churning anxious time trying to dictate outcomes.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 11, 2021 at 10:50

      We are so alike Jo!!! I know that tummy churning anxious feeling well and still trying to overcome it. I’m getting better and letting go of what I can’t control otherwise I get myself in quite a state. Here’s to a better 2021 for everyone. It is a time of change for you and your family but exciting times also for Sarah. xx

  • Reply Christina Henry January 11, 2021 at 13:22

    Hi Sue, I learned that even in really awful years there is still something to be grateful for. The most positive outcome of 2020 was that I had the time to nurture some of my relationships with other people. Normally my stressful busy life leaves little time to sit and chat and relax with people. All that extra time on my hands last year did have a positive outcome, and one that I will be mindful of when I do return to work.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 17, 2021 at 09:27

      Hi Christina, 2020 certainly brought you many challenges and not just COVID. I’m wishing you a healthier and happier 2021 and I think your lesson learned is extremely important. We can get too busy and then our relationships suffer. x

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle January 11, 2021 at 13:43

    Hi Sue, I like the theme of review and reset. That is something I tend to do more than once throughout each year. I like your WOTY ‘Self’ as I truly believe that at this stage of our lives we deserve to prioritise our selves and do what is needed to make ourselves feel healthy, well and happy. I understand how the loss of your MIL would trigger a need to re-evaluate everything with a review and reset. When I lost my Dad it changed me in ways I never could’ve imagined. I place far less importance on things that really don’t deserve so much of my attention and I give far more attention to those things that do matter. I think 2020 has taught us all what really is important – health, family, simple things – and that we are stronger than we might have thought! xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 17, 2021 at 09:28

      Yes I like to review and reset every quarter or at the very least six months, Min. There is always a time for this exercise no matter what time of the year it is. We’ve all learned lessons from 2020 and unfortunately sometimes we can only learn when we are tested to the max. Lovely to reconnect and thanks for visiting. Have a great week! xx

  • Reply Deborah Cook January 11, 2021 at 21:28

    2020 was a big year for everyone. I probably struggled a lot less with the restrictions and shut downs because for me it evened out the playing field. I already spent a lot of time at home alone and had minimal people contact so it was like everyone got to experience my life. And I thrived in that environment. My health stuff threw me a bit though and mostly I’m disappointed with myself and and who and what I’ve let myself become.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 17, 2021 at 09:31

      Hi Deb, for Mike and I, the restrictions weren’t too bad apart from not being able to see his Mum in aged care and then her sudden passing in October. Please don’t be disappointed in yourself. I’ve seen that you’ve been exercising, starting a uni degree and they are huge steps for you. Let me know if you would like to chat and work through your thoughts. x

  • Reply Denyse Whelan January 13, 2021 at 16:58

    Your year sure held a lot more than you might have considered at the beginning.

    I like the ways in which you outlined how you can learn more even if you think you already have learned something. Often there is a small nugget that resonates later than at the time.

    I hope you and your work to help others via the facebook group and your other works continue to bring you joy and satisfaction.

    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week the optional prompt is Back To. 3/51 #LifeThisWeek 18 Jan. I hope to see you there. Denyse.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 17, 2021 at 09:36

      Personally, Denyse, apart from losing Luisa, I had a great year despite COVID. I’m always looking to learn and as you say there is always a small nugget that stays with you and that you remember at a later time. Thanks for the link up and see you Monday. x

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