Happy 2021! I think I’m happier on NYE than on Christmas because I’m so ready for this year to be over!
While 2020 came with a lot of ups and downs, I also grew a lot. In this episode, I will be outlining my top 2020 investments and what really was worth my time, money, and energy.
In no particular order (because that is too much stress to try to categorize) these were the best investments I made in 2020:
1. Mental & Physical Health
I’m going to start off by saying that before I start this countdown, I’ve also had a lot of ups and downs this year offline as well. Health (especially mental health) is not an investment I’ve prioritized a lot when I was younger, but now I understand the importance as an adult. This year, I went to counselling and a lot of physio because for the last half of the year, I couldn’t run due to an injury. I’m really lucky that my work covers a large portion if not all of these services – my counselling sessions were free and physio was covered 80%. This year I learned how to take care of myself in different ways and how incredible of a difference it makes in life.
2. Personal Growth + Coaching
I’ve learned and grown more than I could even imagine or could describe in words but I’m so grateful to be a part of the community and have Sam as my coach.
For YEARS I told myself I would start investing and in 2020 I actually did it. Not only did I learned about the market but also learned how to assess my own risk tolerances and create strategy that works for me and my goals.
Thank you to Liz from @ambitiousadulting for getting me started! I took her Investing Bootcamp in April and I’m so happy I started investing then! It was great to understand it from a Canadian perspective and really refine my strategy and answering really stupid questions about how to invest in Canada. She taught me more than my financial advisor at my bank did.
Furthermore this year I also really learned patience and resilience when it came to my real estate investing. It was a very tumultuous year, and I feel like the news on real estate was extremely volatile. This year, I really also invested in learning patience and how to ride out markets no matter what happens. Investing in learning about the stock market I feel like is one of those 2020 investments that will really pay off in the future. Time in the market > Timing the market.
4. My instant pot (and other cooking tools)
I like to think that I’ve always been a good cook but I think 2020 really upped my cooking game. I bought a new instant pot (my old one was really dying) with an air fryer option and all the wonderful things I’ve made! Because of lockdown, I’ve really tapped into my Asian heritage for recipes I always thought I couldn’t make (because my mom used to make it for me or I would go to a restaurant). So much fun.
5. Supporting small businesses
A few weeks ago, I DMed a food blogger to buy her e-cookbook. She messaged me back and gave me a discount code and I told her I bought the book without the discount code because I’m happy to support small business/content creator (esp since she’s from Vancouver). I used to always go for the discounts, but nowadays I feel like I’m in a place in life where I’m far more conscientious of who I’m impacting and helping more and what a dollar means to my budget and what it means to another person.
6. Black Lives Matter
I’ve also been more conscientious about supporting black small businesses and voting with my dollar by not supporting businesses that are not allies of Black Lives Matter. In June, I decided to make a reoccurring donation to an organization because I’ve been on the other side of nonprofit. While donations are great, it can be hard to plan for budgets when you don’t know when the next wave of support will be.
There’s a reason why so many businesses move towards a subscription model like Netflix, Google, and Spotify. Monthly reoccurring revenue is small amounts that make a big impact and especially when it comes to a movement like BLM which is an ongoing battle and requires support from lots of people, not just one community. There’s a lot we are leaving behind in 2020 but BLM is not one of them. Black Lives Still Matter.
7. My Career
This year, I took leaps and bounds in my career. I did scary things and reached out for help to pursue things that made me feel really uncomfortable. At the beginning of 2020, I changed my career and left a comfortable, cushy, easy job that was paying for my education to stay. Looking back on Dec 2019, my life looked so incredibly different. I spent almost 4 years floundering and in 1 year, my career path drastically changed. To be fair, this was also a result of the lessons I learned over many years and the hard decision I made in Sept 2020 that my old career path was no longer something I wanted to follow.
8. The MLA Community
And lastly, one of my top 2020 investments is this community. Thank you to everyone here. This year has come with a lot of ups, downs, and growth! I am most proud of my investment in this community. In Aug 2020 I was able to provide free career assessments to members of the MLA community and from May to November, I was able to coach clients on how to break out of self-doubt to truly live up to their career potential. I’m so proud of this community and appreciate every single member and every single conversation. I’m also super proud of this investment because I was able to work with coaching clients who’s transformation is not only going to change their careers but also the world. I work with women in public service, and it’s been an honour to be a part of their career journey. If you are looking to live up to your career potential – applications for my Promote Yourself 1:1 Career Coaching Program are now open for 2021!
Thank you for an incredible 2020. Even though it was a difficult year, I am so happy to have made these 2020 investments. If you are wondering what my 2021 goals are, I’m still creating them! I actually allow myself to spend the holidays relaxing and start goal setting in Jan. I firmly believe you can start goals at any time of the year (I started my podcast on a random date in May!) and because I’m Vietnamese, I use the lunar new year as my start date.
Goodbye, 2020! Let’s never do this again.