I brought in 2019 at home with my husband while my son slept. It was perhaps the most uneventful New Year’s Eve celebration I’ve had, but it was wonderful. On January 1st, we whizzed off to Goa for a family holiday, where I recuperated from a spinal injury I got at the end of 2018. The lovely family-focused beginning to 2019 heralded a lovely year overall, and I’d like to look back and take stock of this year’s achievements and setbacks. This will help me, and you in turn if you’re inspired, to plan for 2020!
Started the year in Goa on a family vacation
My health concerns were uppermost in my mind at the beginning of 2019. Acute pain in my back led to a debilitating, radiating pain in my right arm. An MRI disclosed that four spinal discs were protruding and pressing on a nerve. In order to avoid surgery, I explored my options by visiting a nerve specialist, a physiotherapist, and a chiropractor but all of them prescribed long-term, expensive methods of treatment. A friend of mine recommended acupuncture with Dr. Khan of Nizamuddin, and I decided to test it, just for a lark.
Six weeks into daily acupuncture sessions, at 1/10th the cost of chiropractic and ½ the cost of physiotherapy sessions, my pain had disappeared completely! I can’t praise this ancient Chinese practice enough.
Would you like me to dedicate a full blog post to my experience with acupuncture? Let me know in the comments below.
Though my back was much better, I was wary of working out. A long break of 7 months without exercise or a balanced diet, led to sudden weight gain. Finally, Neeraj David, my trainer from 10 years ago, contacted me on Facebook saying he had worked with spinal injury patients in the past, and knew what to do. I began working out at Craft Fitness Gym in July 2019. Though I have lost only a few of my targeted kilos, I am much stronger and fitter than I was this time last year.
The weight gain had resulted in hormonal acne too, which I battled successfully by eating healthy and working out.
My goal for 2020 is to lose some weight, with a focus on being strong, fit and toned- which will help my overall health concerns too.
Though blogging is my main focus, I also work as a lawyer.
Of every category listed here, my blog saw the most phenomenal growth this year. At the beginning of 2019, I had published over 150 blog posts. My content was appreciated but my reach was minimal. After connecting with other bloggers from the Indian blogging community, I learnt the importance of marketing one’s posts.
I began by participating in Prerna and Vartika’s Valentine’s Day Blog Train, which I won. From there I took part in many blog hops, trains and challenges and surprisingly wonmost of them. This gave me immense confidence in my writing skills, and made me engage meaningfully with other bloggers.
The biggest event/ game-changer was the A-Z Challenge hosted by Blogchatter. I learnt about this epic challenge merely two weeks before it was set to begin. Without thinking much, I signed myself up and wrote 26 travel posts, each with an alliterative title corresponding to a letter of the alphabet. During the entire month of April, I read and interacted with many bloggers for the first time. My reward at the end of this challenge was the publication of my first e-book “Tales From My Travel Treasury: An Alliterative Anthology”. After being re-stocked once, it has now crossed the limit of 500 downloads and is no longer available.
Though I love this book with my heart and soul, I later realised that I rushed into publishing it. An important lesson from this experience was that things must happen in the right manner and at the right time.
In September 2019, I participated in my first #MyFriendAlexa campaign, which taught me the significance of regular posting and engagement.
By implementing these practices, I was able to increase my online rankings and get a significant following on my blog. This led to sponsored content, allowing me to earn money from my blog.
It wasn’t all rosy though- I faced cyber stalking by a deranged follower, and dealt with it strictly.
In 2020, I’m hoping to take my blog to the next level. I would love for my content to reach maximum number of people, and I would love to write for other platforms too. However, my primary agenda is to publish my first novel.
Anchoring an event for the 1947 Partition Archive
Since 2016, my legal career had taken a backseat. However, in 2019, I was elevated to the Senior Panel of lawyers that represent the Government of India at the Delhi High Court. I was assigned a few cases, which ensured that I don’t lose my legal practice.
Further, I began legal work from home, such as drafting contracts, drawing up documents and offering legal opinions.
I’m unsure where 2020 will take me, but I have a strong feeling that my legal career is going to pick up again!
A new feather in my cap was added this year, as I was invited to MC a few events. I love being on stage, and hosting events is always fun. Though 2019 was just a beginning, I’m hoping 2020 will see my name grow in this sphere.
Glimpses from my travels in 2019. From L-R: Elephant safari in Kaziranga National Park, Assam; farm staycation at our family friends home in Bilaspur, UP; at the heritage property Clarke’s Hotel in Shimla; with my friends at the Jaipur Lit Fest
To say that I love travelling would be a gross understatement. I thrive on travel and if it was up to me, I would constantly be on the move! As pointed out earlier, we began 2019 in Goa and will end 2019 there too. Additionally,
-I took an epic trip with my girlfriends to Jaipur for the Lit Fest
-A family vacation to celebrate my son’s birthday with a safari in Kaziranga National Park, Assam
– A couple of farm stays in village Bilaspur and Laksh Farms in village Mangar
– A weekend getaway at ITC Mughal Agra
– A luxurious birthday staycation at The Oberoi Hotel, New Delhi
– A staycation for my friend’s bachelorette at Andaz Hotel, Aerocity
– Re-visited Goa for a wedding and Landour towards the end of the year to chill.
Here’s hoping 2020 brings even more opportunities for travel and leisure!
When I started blogging, my reading habit took a backseat. This year, however, I picked it up again. I began 2019 with a Goodreads goal of completing 25 books in the year, and to my immense pleasure I have surpassed that by reading 36 books and counting!
This was only because I received many books to reviewon my blog. Though I am honest to a fault, and sometimes harsh with my reviews, I am glad that people like and trust my reviews. That’s the only reason I feel publishers send books to me, despite the low ratings I may give their publications.
I hope to read much more in 2020 and of course, I will keep reviewing too!
As for other hobbies, I watched a few amazing TV shows but the best one by far was “Dark” on Netflix. I’m eagerly waiting for its 3rd and final season in 2020.
Scenes from 2019. At a family wedding; partying with Badshah at Dragonfly Club on my friends bachelorette party
PERSONAL (FAMILY/ FRIENDS):
I intentionally saved the most important category for last. There were some big life changes for members of my family that affected me too.
-My son began proper schooling, which led to major life changes. Not only do I wake early every day, but I also volunteer my time as a parent for various school activities 2-3 times a week.
-My husband submitted his Dissertation after two years of pursuing his Master’s degree at the University of Cambridge.
-My brother appeared in a hit TV show, “Made in Heaven” on Amazon Prime.
-A couple of my close friends and family members got married
– I met and partied with my favourite Bollywood singer Badshah, one lucky night at Dragonfly Club
-I made new friends with the parents of my son’s schoolmates
-I enjoyed some fun times with my old friends
These may not seem like big, noteworthy achievements but I’ve come to realise that it is the little things that count.
An overall assessment of 2019 shows me that it was a positive year of personal and professional growth. There were a few setbacks, but I chose not to let them overshadow the good stuff. Here’s hoping 2020 is better in every way- I’m manifesting positivity in the hope that it translates to success!!
How was your year? I would love to read your personal 2019 year recaps- do tag me if you end up writing them 🙂
Do check out my blogger friend Cindy’s New Year Resolutions on her website.
*This is not a sponsored post.
**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action.