Reflections on 2021 and Welcoming in 2022

Hi friends!

It’s been a minute on the blog! I’ve been posting a lot more to Instagram in the last few months (follow me here), and I admit, I have been terrible about keeping this blog up to date. Part of that is because life gets so busy at certain parts of the year that its near impossible to manage all the activities I’ve got on the go. So at the risk of burning myself out, I usually let some things slide and focus on others. Towards the end of the year, from about September onwards, work gets pretty hectic with external audits and that takes a large amount of my time and attention. I also spent quite a lot of time during the second half of last year writing academic books (which essentially allowed me to save up for my new car, so no regrets there), and then just back and forth between my parents home and Hillcrest. My sister recently moved to Johannesburg as well so that’s been a fun few months.  

So, I really want to ask, how has your 2021 been? When you sit back and reflect, what are some of the good, bad, sad and joyful times you had? Did you achieve all your goals and dreams you set out at the start of the year?

Last year was a whirlwind for me. I started the year off with a bang and for the first time tried my hand at creating a vision board. Here’s the post if you’d like to read it.

Now that it’s a year later and I can truly reflect on what’s past, I can say that creating a vision board was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. It started with a way to be creative and intentional about my goals. I’m a very visual and hands on person so having something that I created with my own bare hands holds a lot more meaning for me. More than that, having something that is visually beautiful and displayed meant that I was going to constantly look at it.

And I did.

My vision board for 2021 focused on my personal life and career goals. Here is a list of my 2021 goals:

  • Learn and use my DSLR camera more
  • Travel more for work
  • Learn how to play chess
  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise more
  • Be out in nature more
  • Revamp the look of my blog
  • Post more regularly on social media
  • Create an art studio
  • Buy a new car
  • Buy a house
  • Read more
  • Be more confident at work

I really wanted to focus on learning to use my DSLR camera, working on the theme and look of my blog and start posting more on social media. I definitely used my camera more but not as much as I would have liked to, so I’m taking this one with me into 2022.

If you’ve been following Life of Shal for the last few years (and I truly thank you if you have!) then you will know that my blog has changed quite a lot in its look and feel. It started out as a travel blog to document all my travels. If you dig through some of my older posts on my adventuring through China, you’ll get a sense for how much the blog and me have changed. More recently though, I’ve been focusing on lifestyle blogging with specific focus on wellness, books, food and home-related posts. This is probably a reflection of the state of my life as I transition into full adulthood, living on my own and a more steady and stable job. This year, I’ll be focusing on the same.

I’ve always wanted to have a home with my own art studio and that was one of the images I put on my vision board for 2021. When I moved into my 2-bedroom apartment up in Hillcrest, I knew that I was going to convert the second room into an art studio. But what I found was that while I had finally created the art studio of my dreams, I hadn’t really spent much time in it being creative. So for 2022, I’m focusing on creating more.

I definitely read more books, exercised more and ate healthier. Again, not as much as I would have liked to, but definitely more than I am used to, so I’m taking that as a win.

I didn’t travel as much as I wanted because of the pandemic but my year was filled with lots of local travel between Johannesburg and Durban as my sister moved across country to start a new job.

Lastly, I’ve been wanting a new car for close to two years now. I spent a lot of time last year visualizing and manifesting this. It’s funny how the universe works, but in the very last week of the year (unintentionally I might add and while on holiday at my parents’ home) I found the perfect car! It wasn’t the car I had originally manifested – and I guess this is where you need to be open to the signs of the universe because sometimes you think you want one thing…. until the universe shows you something else that you didn’t even know you wanted in the first place.

We’re now well into the first month of the New Year and while I have a list of goals and intentions going, I’m taking it slow in officially setting these up. The reason for this is that this year, I want to be more intentional and present in all that I do. I don’t want to just rush through life and miss out on the peaceful moments for the sake of just ticking a box.

What are some of the posts you’d like to see this year?

I’d also love to hear what are your 2022 goals and intentions so please leave a comment below and share them with me as well.

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I'm Shalinee - a Geminian scientist who loves to travel, write, draw and eat chocolate. I've visited over twenty countries, published a Environmental Science encyclopaedia and somewhere along the way started a science communication company to help students and corporates translate that hard-to-read data generated in a lab. Other than that, I'm just searching for the magic still hidden in the world.

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