Happy New Year! It’s that time of year when everyone is setting new goals and hopefully reflecting on the year past. I’ve reflected a couple of times on this blog, and I remember when I started this website off as the Nutrition HR that I took a lot of time mulling over what I wanted to achieve with it. I wasn’t sure about the name, if I’d stick it or get to do the things I set out, and then of course there was that ever looming reality of being unemployed and inexperienced in the nutrition field. But I tried to push myself even when it’s really scary. I invite you to have a listen of MaryMary’s “Can’t Give Up Now” to fully understand what I mean.
While last year was full of ups and downs like many before, it was extra special because of the challenges of COVID-19. Before the world shut down I had travelled to visit my now fiancé, and ended up getting stuck there for months. I must say, it was one of the best things that could have happened to me in 2020. As much as I would have loved to have a job or do shadowing, I think the year presented me with plenty of opportunities for personal and professional growth. It wasn’t until I sat down to recap and update my goals that I realised this*. With all that’s going on, have you taken the time to slow down and focus on what YOU have achieved?
*Just a side note: this isn’t meant to boast or make people feel lesser than. I actually would love to hear about the stuff you’ve done last year and your goals, because I get really happy when I see others thriving and I would love to support you. If you haven’t done all you wanted to last year, have you reflected on why (especially putting aside the big elephant in the room)?
Here’s a quick recap of some of my professional achievements for last year, according to the goals I set at the end of 2019.
- I designed and published this website! I hoped to have weekly content, but I soon realised without fully knowing what I wanted to focus on that would be a real challenge. So I came to accept it and not be a perfectionist about it. I’ve since made changes in October and November and I expect that we will keep evolving as my goals for this space come more into focus!
- I aimed for 12 CPD activities and initially I thought this would be the biggest challenge of the year but…..I undertook 53 hours of CPD from webinars and virtual chats, attended 7 virtual conferences, gained 2 amazing mentors (who I cannot thank enough for their time and advice, even just our lovely catch-ups)! I even made two presentations this year 💃🏽💃🏽. The first one was at the Nutrition Futures Live conference and focused on my dissertation research, while for the other I was invited to speak to future nutritionists and dietitians at my alma mater, London Metropolitan University! 🙃😊
- I wanted to volunteer with a charity or community group and really wasn’t sure how it’d work with me being so far from home and visa restrictions otherwise, but I was able to help out Food For All UK remotely, promote the Angola Hunger Relief project my friend has started and I contributed to the work of an organisation back home in Barbados! It wasn’t as ideal as I hoped for to it I’m still so glad that I was able to do something, even a little thing.
- While finances presented a real challenge to this goal, I wanted to study more and tried to find courses to give me a taste for various nutrition (and social media) areas. There are still courses I’m working through but I’ve completed SIX courses (that I haven’t counted into my CPD hours actually). 🥲
And the unintentional…
- Hosting my own Nutrition education series on Instagram called #NutriChats (14 episodes so far).
- Collaborating with other awesome nutritionists like Blessing and Farihah.
- Starting a nutrition IG page (that was particularly scary😨)
- Composting kitchen wastes and growing spring onions and thyme (key ingredients 😆)
- Joined and contributed to the nutrition graduates community on Facebook!
- Learning more about Intuitive Eating (currently reading: Just Eat It)
- Attending the Nutrition Society’s Winter Conference on Micronutrients malnutrition, Sarcopenia and Frailty, thanks to being sponsored! 🙌🏽🙏🏽
I’ve did way lot more than I initially set out, that’s for sure. And I am eternally grateful for all of the support and kind words I’ve receivedl and the friendships and networks forged during 2020 that I hope will continue for years to come. I must admit I’m still a bit bleh with Facebook and LinkedIn, and balancing keeping up with virtual networking, but I plan on making a bigger effort this year to maintain communication.
Despite what comes this year, I want to remind you that it’s ok to have less expectations, it’s ok to feel a bit down and it’s ok to accept help too. Don’t be like me at the start of 2020, doubting yourself and not asking for help. It’s ok to slow down and enjoy the little things too. Eventually it’ll be easier to see things much clearer.