2021 was the year we all hoped the world would emerge from the COVID pandemic. Instead, for many, it felt like simply more of the same from 2020.
Certainly, for our friends on the east coast of Australia, lockdowns and restrictions were either an ever-present threat or a reality. Poor Melbourne endured over 260 days of lockdown and became the most locked-down city in the world. Meanwhile, here in Perth, we were fortunate to experience only a couple of short and sharp lockdowns. Those were enough to keep us on our toes, remind us that COVID was never far away and ensure we were very grateful for the freedoms we were enjoying. (Freedoms that, unfortunately, came at the cost of people being unable to see friends and family in other states and overseas.)
As we head into 2022, uncertainty around the new Omicron strain of the virus is currently dominating news headlines. There is that constant reminder of the importance of never taking anything for granted and not investing too much hope and emotion in future plans!
On individual levels, however, there are a vast array of lessons learned in 2021 that can be taken into 2022. Curious, I asked some of our HPH team members what their lessons from 2021 are. Here’s what they shared:
1. The importance of nutrition
In 2021 I gain a renewed appreciation of the importance of nutrition to good physical health. I learned this because I turned 50 this year and wasn’t content with the 90kgs I was carrying around. I decided to join a local gym. Along with a strength training program, the gym instructors helped guide me on nutrition with the assistance of the MyFitnessPal app. The result has been a 7kg drop in weight while improving my overall physical health. Having made this change and getting good results, eating well and making training a habit is something I will continue to prioritise in 2022 and beyond.
Rob Pyne – Managing Director
2. The benefits of meditation
In 2021 I was referred to an app by Sam Harris called ‘Waking Up’. I use this to do a guided meditation for 10 minutes, two to three times a week. Like most people starting out with meditation, I felt like I was ‘crap’ at it! But the app and the practice of meditation has helped me become a better husband, father and colleague in 2021. In 2022 I’ll be looking to expand the habit to being one I do daily – probably by integrating it into my daily exercise program. In the same way I’ve worked hard on my physical fitness over the years, it’s important to continue to work hard on my mental fitness. I look forward to seeing what an improvement in that area brings in 2022.
Michael Pyne – Director
3. The importance of excellent physical health
Earlier this year I had a sporting accident that resulted in a ligament tear in my knee. And I had to admit that, up to that point, I hadn’t taken good care of my body. Being in my forties and having to spend three months recuperating made me realise the importance of health, mobility and taking care of yourself!
That’s why in 2022, exercise is going to be one of the first things to go in the diary each week. I’m getting back in the pool and will continue doing yoga to ensure I have a good chance at a full recovery from my knee injury.
All the money in the world doesn’t matter if you don’t have a good health base to work from!
Jeff Petrie – FINANCIAL PLANNER AFP®
4. Find a way to make things fun
In 2021 I managed to install a lift in the garage for my car (not a small job!) because working on my car is something I love doing. But I struggled to find time to do other work that was needed around the house. It’s clear that I always make time for the things I enjoy doing. So in 2022, I’m planning on figuring out a way to make gardening more fun so I can spend more time doing garden-related jobs!
Nick Bordi – CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®
5. The importance of strong support
This time last year I felt completely overwhelmed by my workload and the lack of support I was receiving in my then workplace. In 2021 I took the big step of changing my work environment and the outcome for me has been incredibly positive. Not only is it amazing to be working as part of a highly supportive team, I also have a life outside of work now!
2021 taught me the importance of working with supportive people and I’m going to continue to enjoy that in 2022 while also paying things forward by finding ways to better support those around me. Having experienced the benefits of strong work-life balance, I want to make sure it’s part of my life and those around me as much as possible going forward.
Emma Cork – CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®
6. The importance of focus
Early in 2021, I was consistently feeling overly busy and lacking in time to do things I wanted to. I came to realise that I always had time for the things I was highly focused on. So finding time to do the things I wanted became a matter of focus.
In 2022, having learned that lesson, I’m going to continue to monitor where my focus is, and ensure it’s pointed towards the things that are really important to me and that I really want to do. No excuses!
Jodie Wickham – CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®
7. A little bit of help can go a long way
I was pretty crushed in 2021 when I broke my shoulder two days before going on a 14-day scuba diving trip to Cocos Islands and Christmas Island. I was severely restricted in most daily activities when I went on the trip, but with the assistance of a fantastic divemaster, I still managed to go diving in the second week and had a great holiday.
What I learned from that is a little help goes a long way. I’m going to take this learning into 2022 by ensuring I participate and engage with others, offering help or asking for help. Things work better when we all work together.
Elaine Forrester – Compliance and Operations Officer
8. The power of reflection
It’s so easy to fill up days, weeks and months with work, spending time with family and friends and exercise. All too often we find ourselves following a routine and not feeling a sense of progress.
Throughout 2021 I tried to apply a favourite quote of mine “reflection transforms experience into knowledge” into my life in many ways by:
- Reflecting on my personal fitness and health goals with a personal trainer on a regular basis.
- Reflecting on how I was feeling regularly and making sure I took care of my mental health.
- Reflecting on the awesome experiences I was able to have through recording them on social media and having something fond to look back on.
- Reflecting regularly on progress made at work, what I think has worked well, what hasn’t worked so well and how to apply this knowledge in the future.
In 2022 I’ll be looking to build on the accomplishments of 2021 by using reflection as a means to build upon my knowledge.
Thomas Sweeny – FINANCIAL PLANNER AFP®
9. The power of nature
The first half of 2021 was totally crazy for me. I was horribly overcommitted in several aspects of my life and the ability to take time out for myself was non-existent. Something I particularly love doing is getting out in nature, either with a friend or by myself. I had very limited capacity to do that in the first half of this year. It was September before I was finally able to book a day for myself to head into the hills and spend several hours walking in the National Park. It had such a profoundly positive effect on my outlook on life and general wellbeing, I made a promise to myself that I would take a day every month to do the same.
I’ve managed to do it in both October and November so far this year and will ensure I do it every month in 2022 as well. The mental health benefits and the fact it makes me a better mum, friend, family member and colleague are not to be underestimated. As is the fact that we are seldom gifted this time – we need to schedule it and make sure we take it.
Kelly Exeter – Marketing and Communications