5 Surprising Lessons Learned in 2020

This last year, 2020, is certainly a year that will go down in history. As we celebrate the new year, it only seems appropriate to reflect back upon the surprising lessons learned in 2020.

Listen to “5 Surprising Lessons Learned in 2020” read aloud by the author.

First Lesson Learned in 2020: Find Gratitude

When the world is literally in the midst of a global pandemic, it would be easy to focus on all of the illness, the loss, and the heartache all around. The more difficult choice, however, is to focus on gratitude.

Gratitude is defined as “The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”

Our world has seen so much kindness both near and far during this global pandemic. Front line workers have been shown appreciation through donations, meals purchased, and words spoken. Communities have come together to support one another. Countries have united has a disease has spread that knows no border.

In my own life, I am thankful for technology. Technology has allowed me to continue working as a 5th grade teacher, has kept me safely connected to loved ones, and has provided me an outlet during stay at home orders.

Second Lesson Learned: My Husband Rocks

Shortly into the pandemic, I wrote a blog post titled “The Coronavirus Saved My Marriage.” Was my marriage on the brink of destruction prior to the pandemic? No. But did the stay at home orders force my husband and I to spend more time with one another and rekindle our love for one another? Yes.

We have been blessed to both keep our jobs and work from home. He is a computer programmer and I am a distance learning educator.

Every day we take two 15 minute walk breaks together. We look at our neighbors’ homes for ideas on what to do with our own home, we vent about work, and we dream about the future. I can truly say that my husband is my best friend and my confidant.

Third Lesson Learned: Vision is Key

How do you know where you’re going without vision? This is the question I found myself pondering in the spring of this year. I, therefore, hired a life and business coach, K.T. Martin.

How do you know where you’re going without vision? Without a vision, we die. But with vision, we come alive!

I began our 90 day one on one coaching with the intent of finding direction for “Run Strong Run”. Run Strong Run began in 2012 when I crossed the finish line of my first marathon. This is so much more than just a blog or just my Instagram handle. Run Strong Run is a way of life.

Through our coaching, K.T. helped me to hone in on a vision for Run Strong Run. A vision of community, of coaching, and of supporting others to run strong in their own lives. In 2021 I am becoming a certified personal trainer as well as a certified nutritionist and I’m so excited to support you in your health and wellness goals!

You’re not going to want to miss all of the exciting things to come in 2021 for the run strong community, so be sure to follow the Run Strong Community on Instagram and join the Run Strong Community newsletter.

Fourth Lesson Learned: Salespeople Aren’t Bad

On March 9th, literally a week before stay at home orders went into effect, I signed up as a network marketer. Through quarantine, I grew my network marketing business and moved to the top 2% of the company by November 1st!

One big limiting belief I had to overcome was “I’m not a salesperson.” I’ve always hated fundraising and never considered myself to be a salesperson. When I took the enneagram test, however, it concluded that I am a three.

In the description of what it’s like to be a three, it says that threes could persuade Bill Gates to buy a Mac and then it later goes on to say that threes make phenomenal salespeople! As I read this, I immediately thought, “What? This isn’t me. I’m not a salesperson!”

After some contemplation and growth, I realized that I am a salesperson. I am selling this blog to you, my reader. The products I choose to promote and sell, I’m offering them as a service to you.

Not all salespeople are bad. Good salespeople are those who serve their audience, improve other’s lives, and give generously. I am a good salesperson.

Final Lesson Learned in 2020: Live Intentionally

Every year I choose to focus on a word, rather than a resolution. I’ve been doing this for at least the last five years. My word, or phrase for 2020 was “live intentionally”.

I began the year with the desire to be intentional with both my time and my resources. Little did I know that three months into the year, our world would enter a global pandemic that would test my intentionality to its core.

Be mindful of intention.  Intention is the seed that creates our future.
Constantin Stanciu/Shutterstock.com

Remember how I said I signed up as a network marketer on March 9th and then moved to the top 2% of the company 9 months later? Well, there came a moment in which I had to ask myself if I was being intentional with my time and resources as it pertained to this network marketing business. I also had to ask myself if it was in alignment with the vision that I had created with my coach, K.T.

Ultimately, I decided that I was not being intentional and it was not in alignment with my vision for the future. Tough decisions, or as my mom likes to say, “Right decisions”, are an important part of life. I’m still a good salesperson and I still believe in the power of network marketing. I’m thankful for the people I met in my first network marketing business and the lessons I learned.

Lessons Learned in 2020

As a teacher, we are taught to plan, teach, reflect and apply. Ultimately, this model can be used for all parts of life. We make our plans for the new year, time passes throughout the year, at the end of the year we reflect, and then we apply these lessons learned for the following year.

I look forward to taking these five lessons learned in 2020 into 2021 and applying them into my life. May you do the same.

I’m curious. What lessons have you learned in 2020? Drop a comment below and tell me. I’d love to hear from you!

Love Stephanie of runstrongrun.com
5 surprising lessons learned in 2020


Christian, wife, mom/stepmom, no meat athlete, runner, teacher

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