reflection: 3 major life lessons i learned in 2020

3 Major Life Lessons I Learned in 2020

Happy New Year! あけましておめでとうございます!3 major life lessons I learned in 2020 is my way of finding the silver lining in the madness that was 2020. In my case, the year turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I became a homeschooling mama, started a new career as a brand consultant, and in the process made fantastic memories with my mini-me!

In fact, it was when we were eating pizza at illi Nakano that I had a Kylie Jenner-esque level of enlightenment:

For the first time in months, I was content and accepting life with an open heart. Here’s what 2020 taught me!

3 Major Life Lessons I Learned in 2020

1. Diversify Income Streams

One of the most painful lessons learned in 2020 is that anything can change, especially when it comes to your job/career.  That is to say, the situation with your employer can change at any time.

I’m incredibly fortunate that I was working several side hustles by the time I lost my job. After moping about in self-pity, I finally decided it was finally time to commit to doing all those things full-time. (See 5 REAL Ways I Earn Income Online .)

I don’t intend this entry to be a humblebrag and I absolutely do not look down anyone with a “9 to 5.” (Seriously though, what’s “wrong” with having a job that comes with  set working hours, salary and benefits?!)

Rather, I really want to emphasize that my situation last year could have been worse if I didn’t have a side hustle.

To clarify, I am in no position to give financial advice. However, talking strictly from my experience, I’ve since made it my goal to achieve these three income streams in 2021:

  1. Active Income: The “day job”
  2. Passive Income: The “side hustle” (Affiliate marketing, Adsense, Courses, Downloadable Resources, etc. See more here: 5 REAL Ways I Earn Income Online)
  3. Portfolio Income: The earnings from a single portfolio (dividends, interest, capital gains; may include stocks and bonds)

2. Prioritize Self-Care

I try to stay in tune with my feelings in order to be honest with myself. I also try not to differentiate between “good” feelings and “bad” feelings because all feelings are authentic and valid. What matters most to me is how we process those feelings and what we do when we feel those feelings.

As a parent or caretaker, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed when you feel a responsibility to ensure the well-being of others. Add in a global pandemic, lockdowns, and major disruptions to your daily routine, and you’ve got a recipe for burnout. (Which is the background of my post Maternal Mental Health and Self-Care in the Time of COVID.)

 Over the past year, I’ve slowly incorporated #selfcareSunday into my weekly routine.

I even have a collection of bilingual self-care tips in my Instagram highlights that I update regularly because mental health is very important to me.

When I self-care, it’s more than sheet masking and beauty time. It’s a weekly check-in with myself. Even when I’m feeling down or sleepy, (or too lazy to get out of a warm futon), I get up and begin my healing ritual.

I prioritize self-care through skincare, but here are 5 ways you can practice self-care in your daily routine:

  1. Live your truth and trust yourself (take ownership of your life and your decisions)
  2. Be more selfish (by saying “no” and acting in your best interests.)
    *This one is especially hard because I used to be a total people pleaser growing up. Now, I have no trouble with saying “no.” In fact, it’s a little bit too easy for me!
  3. Take mental health days (recharge your mind, refresh your body, and regroup your thoughts)
  4. Set boundaries (block negative people AND toxic positivity)
  5. Practice daily affirmations and mantras (to instill confidence and self-love)

3. Consistency is Key

It’s super easy to get caught up in numbers and compare yourself to others, especially if you’re in the creative industry. But, growth doesn’t happen overnight.

It took me 3 years of blogging and instagramming to get to this point. I had no idea what I was doing, but I had an idea that I wanted to do — write about my experiences in Japan and share my love of J-Beauty.

Writing that first blog post, or uploading that first video can be scary, but all it takes is that first step, followed up with consistent, informative/entertaining updates. Over the summer, readership for The Wagamama Diaries skyrocketed, thanks to a few beauty posts. It was the push that I needed to keep me going in the right direction, even when I felt like giving up.

Self-doubt is awful, but it can help in identifying strengths.

I always felt I was at a disadvantage by not being a native Japanese speaker or even Japanese for that matter. But, instead of focusing on what I lack or the things I can’t control, I just work on what I can control.

I work on improving my product photography and writing informative product descriptions and captions. I read up on skincare ingredients, and read up on new brands and products.

Recently, I even started playing around with video editing and making Reels in order to expand my portfolio.

Eventually I want to get to the point where I can do tutorials and live chats, so keep an eye out for that in 2021!

I still feel that I have a long way to go. Still, getting here and being in this moment, is all the encouragement that I need to go further.

3 Major Life Lessons I Learned in 2020

2020 was a wild and chaotic ride for many of us. These 3 major life lessons that I learned in 2020 are my way of gaining control of my life narrative and weaving a new future for myself.

Are there any lessons that you learned in 2020 that you’d like to share? 


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