2019 year in review

2019 Year in Review: Successes and Setbacks – Part 1

Until few years back, I never really bothered about year-end or a new year; so there was no question of 2019 year in review. For me, year-end was just another time when I would get holidays from work; I would plan a trip to home for some quiet time with family; or I would go to some place nice to celebrate with friends. That’s it. That’s how my new year celebrations used to be.

I still do the same. But one thing has changed for sure. Now, I find year end as a great time to look back, take stock of things, analyse what I have done, see where I need to work and improve, make few goals and chalk out a rough plan for the coming year accordingly. In corporate life, we undertake performance appraisal annually; so why not do the same in personal life!

May be such shift in my thinking and approach is only due to age factor; after all, I am indeed getting old. Or may be its due to the realization that if I don’t act on things I want to do, nothing is going to happen automatically.

So, here it comes – my 2019 year in review. Let’s start with some positivity!

Read also: 2019 Year in Review: Successes and Setbacks – Part 2
2019 year in review - enjoying the coastal view of Konkan
Exploring and enjoying the coastal route of Konkan, Maharashtra

Success No. 1: Improved my Physical Fitness

Two years of constant travelling (2017 & 2018) resulted in gaining almost 12 kgs of weight. On one hand, I was hogging on local delicacies, and on the other hand, I was not doing enough physical activity. And honestly, I started missing my workout routines badly. So, my most important goal for 2019 was to regain my physical fitness.

Throughout the year 2019, I focussed on eating clean and homecooked food more often. I became regular with my workouts. I finished my three months MMA sessions. Later, when I couldn’t continue MMA sessions due to constant travelling, I became regular with strength training in gym.

By the end of 2019, I am 7 kgs lighter; and even though my cardio and endurance levels are not at best, I am lifting my heaviest weights and my muscles are stronger than before. Definitely a highlight in my 2019 year in review.

Read also: 10 Awkward questions a married female solo traveler needs to answer
Sweating it out in the gym!

Success No. 2: Became a Certified Yoga Instructor

I wanted to learn yoga for a long time. My initial thought was to learn from a good ashram at Yoga’s mecca, Rishikesh. But, since that plan was taking ages, I decided to go ahead with a yoga course closer to home. Thankfully, I found The Yoga Institute in Mumbai.

So, in June 2019, after undertaking full-day classes for a month, I successfully completed Classical Ashtanga Yoga Course (RYT 200 hour fully accredited with the Yoga Alliance USA), popularly known as One Month Yoga Teachers Training Course from the Yoga Institute. I am now certified to teach yoga to healthy children and adults, who don’t have any ailments or special conditions.

More Yoga to come!

Read also: 25 Safety Tips for solo travelers
What a lovely month spent learning the basics of yoga at the Yoga Institute, Mumbai

Success No. 3: Became confident and comfortable in driving car solo for long distance

I properly learnt driving a car in the year 2018. However, I was only comfortable in driving within the city or for a short distance. Since I have always been a lover of road trips, I wanted to be able to drive on highways and for long distances.

So, in February-March 2019, I drove from Mumbai to Raipur and back in my Hyundai i20 all by myself. I covered a total distance of around 2500 kms on both national and state highways, alongside fast-moving vehicles, on hills and on plains.

What a ride it was!

I don’t miss any opportunity to drive care for long distance

Success No. 4: Experienced fresh snowfall for the first time

I have been to many mountains and cold areas, but I could only see snow, not snowfall. The closest I came to snowfall was – reaching a place where it snowed the previous night.

In January 2019, I visited Himachal Pradesh for the first time. I chose to spend time in Shimla, Manali and Jibhi (Tirthan Valley).

Manali became lucky for me as it was here that I witnessed the magic of fresh snowfall. I still remember dancing and playing alone in the courtyard of Zostel Manali at the sight of feather light snowflakes when they fell at 3AM. As days passed, I watched brown and green mountains getting covered by thick white blanket of fresh snow.

My luck continued even when I travelled to Jibhi, Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh. I reached there at night and it started snowing from the very next morning.

Truly a magical experience!

What a magical night of witnessing my first ever snowfall!

Success No. 5: Finished 100 Saree Pact and reached 10k Followers milestone on Instagram

If you follow me of Instagram, you must be knowing how much I love sarees. However, with triathlon training (2015 & 2016) and constant travelling (2017 & 2018), my saree love took a back seat.

So, when I missed sarees for too long and strong, I chose to participate in #100sareepact challenge. It is not about wearing 100 different sarees, but simply to wear a saree 100 times. Consequently, I started wearing sarees even while traveling. Finally, in December 2019, I finished my 100 saree pact on Instagram.

And this little achievement coincided with another small milestone of crossing 10,000 followers on Instagram. At the time when people take short-cuts by buying followers, I relied only on organic growth. And slowly and steadily, we became a family of 10k on Instagram in December 2019.

What a lovely way to end this year!

My 100th saree for #100sareepact was a 36 years old Kanjivaram from my Mom’s wardrobe

And, there is more!

There are many other small success/positive stories for me in 2019.

Few worth mentioning are – finding Mandala art form and making them regularly, seeing Bodhgaya and the Bodhi Tree where Gautam Budha achieved enlightenment, spending summer time in cool Darjeeling, exploring coastal route and empty beaches of Konkan region, staying for the first time in an organic farm (Farm of Happiness) and relishing homemade local delicacies, having great time with friends-like-family at the creative property of Zostel Panchgani, and experiencing luxury at The Machan, Lonavala.

Even on professional front, I made a shift from working totally offline in a freelancer mode to getting into more practical aspects. In legal terms, it means I shifted from doing only desk job or paper work and drafting or vetting to start appearing in Courts and arguing cases before Courts.

A wooden cabin at The Machan, Lonavala

But don’t be fooled by all the positivity. There have been many setbacks as well in 2019. I am sharing them in detail in a separate blog post – 2019 Year in Review: Successes and Setbacks – Part 2.

How was your 2019? Share with me your success or setback stories in comments below.