Circle In parents on the best and worst of 2020

Oh, 2021! We have such high hopes for you after the dumpster fire that was 2020. But before we run like hell into the new year, let’s take a moment to reflect on the year that was and try to untangle our observations and experiences; the chaos and the joy.

We asked Circle In parents to look back on 2020, to make sense of the struggle, and to take a pledge for 2021. Go on – try this little reflection exercise at home to set your intentions for the new year.

Jodi, Circle In Co-founder
My biggest challenge of 2020… Managing a global business and trying to homeschool at the same time. At times I thought it would never end and I had no idea how we would make it, but we did. It’s about taking one day at a time, and celebrating making the end of each day!

A pleasant surprise from lockdown… That we understand and have connected with our children on a new level. Life was so hectic previously and the lockdown has forced us to stop and spend more quality time together.

A new habit I’m sticking with in 2021… Gratitude at the dinner table every night. It’s a simple thing but really does bring so much happiness and forces you to see the positive in each day.

A thought for the new year… 2021 is the start of a new chapter. A fresh new start and new outlook on life.

Kate, Circle In Co-founder
My biggest challenge of 2020… Juggling two little kids through 16 weeks of homeschooling and running Circle In!

A pleasant surprise from lockdown… Taking the time to slow down and not be over scheduled. It was actually nice not having any extracurricular activities.

A new habit I’m sticking with in 2021… I’ve started running. I’m loving how much better I feel for regularly slipping on the running shoes.

My intention for the new year… Appreciate the little things and feel the joy in everyday moments (i.e. the kids going to school, catching up with friends face-to-face. There is so much joy in the little everyday life moments).

Jules, Customer Success Manager
My biggest challenge of 2020… Being witness to the heartache of others struggling with income and/or job loss and the increase of feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety as we try to navigate such a difficult and uncertain period in our lives.

 A pleasant surprise from lockdown… The gift of slowing down for more self-reflection and discovery about the life I want to continue creating for myself.

 A new habit I’m sticking with in 2021… Becoming a strict steward of my time – I’ve become much more aware of where my time goes and how to maximise it, and I’m getting so much more done with, ironically, more time to spare!

 My word of the year for 2021… Abundance!

Bea, Customer Success Manager
My biggest challenge of 2020… BALANCE. I totally lost my balance during lockdown in all aspects of my life. I am grateful I had my husband to support me and that I was also brave enough to ask for help when I realised I could not do it alone anymore.  

A pleasant surprise from lockdown…  We did our front yard and backyard, including a pergola and decking that I had always dreamed about. I thought all that work was going to be done in two to three years’ time (one step at the time). Instead, we are now enjoying the beautiful outdoor space we created. My husband and I figured that as we were not going to be able to go anywhere, we better make that time at home worth it, so we took one week of leave to do the garden and spend some time together as a couple, as our little one was still going to childcare. Best week of 2020!

A new habit I’m sticking with in 2021… Bringing a mask with me for my morning walk. Even though wearing a mask is no longer mandatory, I bring one in my pocket – best solution to avoid flies getting in my mouth. 

My intention for the new year… Be where I want to be!

Ness, Content Editor
My biggest challenge of 2020… What, only one?! Losing a loved one, keeping two primary schoolers motivated to learn while our toddler did everything in his power to distract them, watching the struggles of others and the increasing disruption and divide in society, and keeping good mental health.

 A pleasant surprise from lockdown… Discovering that all it took was a few good nights’ sleep to feel clear, motivated and positive. It had been so long, I was seriously wondering if I’d ever feel like that again!

A new habit I’m sticking with in 2021… Daily yoga practice. An old passion that fell disastrously by the wayside when kids turned up. But with a (finally!) sleeping toddler and a hot tip to check out Yoga with Adriene, I found the space to bring yoga back, baby!

My word of the year for 2021… Vitality!

What do you have planned for 2021? What is your word or intention?


If you’d like to share your own Real Story with us, email us at

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