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Lessons from 2020: Controlling the Controllables

By: Tiago Ribeiro

Approximately 2mins Reading Time

 

The New Year period is typically full of earnest excitement for the year ahead, as well as a reflection on the previous year. 2020 was set to be quite the inflection point for us here at Common Purpose. In march 2020 (just before the first lockdown), we were actually breaking many of our own records and had grown our roster of clients from 32 to 53.

 

We were achieving some truly remarkable transformations (aesthetic, health and lifestyle) and some amazing athletic feats including marathons, 600KM + cycling tours across Europe and 100kg dumbbell bench presses!

 

Behind the scenes, we were growing our team and making moves towards acquiring our very own Common Purpose facility! Much of this may seem trivial in retrospect given how 2020 eventually panned out.

 

2020 has been difficult for us all to tolerate and I’m sure we’ve all experienced struggles of different magnitudes and durations. Routines we all worked so hard to develop and maintain became obsolete. It changed our perception of time and, in that, I believe there are silver linings to be had. There were perhaps more moments of stillness and nothingness that we so rarely experience. It taught us that perhaps the only way to live is (forgive the cliche) to focus on the controllable variables. The amount of “controllables” seem to have reduced more and more. Yet, it has been amazing and incredibly uplifting to see how we’ve all adapted and innovated to create a sense of stability and predictability within these uncertain times.

 

We stopped trying to grow our Personal Training roster and instead doubled down on looking after our clients’ health & fitness through whatever means necessary. We launched our training app within 14 days, giving our clients access to their personalised training programs. Since May alone we delivered just shy of 1,500 park and virtual sessions. We developed and launched a Corporate Wellness Platform that we’re extremely excited about (more on that to come). We sought to simply “control the controllables” as best as we could.

 

Although it has been disheartening to enter the New Year with more restrictions and some very sobering national health statistics, it’s also been inspiring to see the number of people reach out to us determined to demonstrate a really resolute attitude. Goals & objectives have been reassessed and modulated. Expectations have been managed and there has been a positive change in tone, with people focusing more on the things they CAN do rather than what they can’t do.

 

If there was a message to be taken from this, it would be something along the lines of; it may be longer than we’d like before returning to our previous normality and it may be different when we do. In the meantime, focus on the things you can do. Consistency trumps perfection. Something is better than nothing. Double down on everything that is within your control. Be kind to yourself. Do this not only for yourself but for those around you. Do the best you can to be an example for others. 2021 may not be the best year ever, but let’s make it the best we can. 

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