A very happy New Year to you all!

I hope that you have all had a very Merry Christmas so far and have had fantastic New Year’s celebrations. After what was another rough year for us all in 2021, I know that we are all hoping that 2022 is going to be a much gentler, calmer and friendlier affair.

I will be posting my look back at 2021 in the days to come, but one thing I want to touch on with this short piece is how we need to look after ourselves much more in 2022.

Learning to look after ourselves

2021 was still full of COVID. Then we had supply chain chaos, huge price inflation, lack of staff and labour, which all led to a massive increase in workloads for us all. It was a very tough time for all of us.

Yes, the extra revenue was good, and many had record years when it came to sales. But it was painfully obvious throughout the year that it was taking a major toll on our health, both physical and mental. Social media was often full of posts describing how tired and frustrated people were. No matter how much money you’re making, sacrificing yourself and your body is not worth it. Remember, we work to live, not live to work.

I suffered as well and I’m not afraid to say it. I was both physically and mentally exhausted and it has shown up in many ways. My diet has not been great, both with food and drink. I have certainly looked better than I do right now! Even with DGB, my content production was not where I wanted it to be in 2021. I wasn’t posting as much as I wanted to. I had a mental block quite a bit. Some ideas that I started remain unfinished. The fact was 2021 and all the problems it threw at us held me back on some of the other things I wanted to do.

During my various conversations throughout the year, it was sad to see so many people sounding depressed and stressed due to work pressures. So many were getting caught up in the whirlwind of work and trying to do as much as possible every waking hour that many were losing sight of what was most important.

For 2022 we have to learn to step back from the world of work and remember to look at the bigger picture and what is most important in our own lives. We work to earn money to live and to do nice things with our family and friends. Therefore we have to take the time to actually do that. We have to put the laptops away at the weekend. Stop taking work calls at 10pm on a weekday. We need to make plans with friends and family when we can. Get into the outdoors and enjoy what is around us.

I am very much guilty of not doing the things I have said we need to do. The laptop has been on much later during the week than it should have been. I have taken calls way too late into the night. I have worked too much on a weekend. Did I make more money last year? Yes. Was I in a good place about it all? Certainly not. And that has to change.

After a very well deserved Christmas break away from screens, quotes, blog posts and everything else, I feel in a much better place to make changes to my lifestyle and my approach to work. I am already starting back at the gym and will be looking forward to getting into a good routine with that. A healthier body creates a healthier mind. My diet has to change and I hope that by improving what I eat and drink I’ll feel more motivated and productive. I have not enjoyed feeling lethargic and sluggish these last few months. I am putting plans in place to ensure my work is done more efficiently and structured so that I can get more done but without having to work longer than I need to.

If I can make a good crack at all of that then that should leave me more time to enjoy some more time off to spend with family and friends. This is going to be even more important when baby number two arrives at the end of March!

I would urge all of you this New Year to take a look at what is important to you all. Understand that work is a means to an end and not a way of life. We are selling and making windows and doors, not saving the world. Work hard, earn your money, but then make a genuine effort to look after yourself, your body and mind, and get out there and do the things you enjoy doing. Whether that is going to the gym, going out to a restaurant or just seeing friends. It’s what we do outside of work that renews us.

A very happy, safe and prosperous New Year to you all and I am very much looking forward to bringing you a host of new and exciting additions to the DGB ecosystem in 2022!

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