How to Change Your Life in a Year: 2021 Edition

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Time is relative. For some people, one year is a long time and for some, it goes in a blink of an eye. For me, it’s the perfect duration I needed because I changed my life in a year.

I joined AIESEC not long ago in 2019. In a span of one year, I see myself as a different person for the better and I’m eager to grow even more!

In this blog, I will point out the things that have changed my life in a year. I hope you will find the urge to change your life in a year too.

A brief background about myself

My name is Carissa from Indonesia. I’m 21 years old and I’m currently attending my third year in university. I started my AIESEC journey in 2019 as an Organizing Committee of a Global Volunteer project at AIESEC in Trisakti, Indonesia. I was an Incoming Global Volunteer for one year and now I’m a writer for the AIESEC blog!

I’m happy to share how AIESEC changed my life in those 365 days. So, these are the five things I was doing that changed me to become a better person.

#1 Having a routine schedule

Being in AIESEC, it’s the norm to have a routine meeting at least once a week. Believe it or not, these routine meetings were the first steps that changed my life.

Knowing that I have a meeting every week at the same hour, changes the perspective on how I see the time. I used to eat whenever I want, go to the cafe whenever I want, basically just do stuff on impulse since I don’t have to follow any rigid timeline.

Since I have a routine schedule, I have to calculate my activities to make sure I can deliver my tasks and be present at the meetings. Planning my schedule makes me feel that I’m in charge of my own time! Do I still slip up here and there occasionally? Of course, I do. But trust me, trying to have a decent schedule will help you in the long run. You can use Google Calendar to start, though an old-school agenda can work too!

#2 Opening up to other people

When I started in AIESEC as a member, I used to be very secretive. I didn’t want to admit my flaws or fear to anyone. I was in constant worry that other people would use them against me.

Thankfully, AIESEC forced me (in a good way) to communicate! At the beginning of every meeting, we have a check-in to let everyone know how we’re feeling. Every month, I have to attend a one-to-one session with my Team Leader to discuss my performance.

After a year, I feel that I’m much more articulate. Whether in writing or speaking, I find it much easier now to express my opinion to other people. I guess I have to thank AIESEC for pushing me not to bottle up my feelings.

#3 Learning how to empower others

Six months into my AIESEC journey, I was terrified to find out that there were new members joining my team and I had to be their Team Leader.

The experience was totally new for me. I had to make sure that I could share my knowledge with my members, I had to make sure that I assign tasks fairly, and most importantly I had to make sure that they’re having the best time in AIESEC. It was very hard but super rewarding to know that they enjoy being part of AIESEC.

Empowering others is hard, but there’s a reason why it’s one of the four leadership development qualities that AIESECers strive to develop in everyone every single day. I’m glad that AIESEC gave me the chance to learn how to do it, therefore changing my life for the better.

#4 Striving to give out the best, even if I don’t have to

Let’s be blunt here, I am only a volunteer in AIESEC. Do I have to be all out, all the time? When I talk to my friends outside AIESEC, they usually say no. The AIESECers? The answer is always yes!

Different AIESECers might have different motives. For me, I just feel satisfied when I’m able to deliver my best and be punctual. I am even more satisfied to know that I don’t even have to be. This feeling extends to my academic life as well. Now I have a voice inside me that says:

 “If I can deliver my best when I don’t have to, then I can absolutely ace university!”

#5 Gaining confidence

This is the endgame of the previous points. One year in AIESEC has given me the feeling of control over my time, pushed me to express my opinions, taught me to empower others, and made me strive for the best. These things combined are the perfect recipe for confidence, the thing that I truly lacked before my journey.

Knowing that I strive to give out my personal best with the energy and resources I currently have, I’m not that afraid of failures anymore. I’m confident to seek out new opportunities, even if they seem “outside my reach.” After all, I’ll just try my best, right

One of the examples I’d like to share is when I applied to be a blog writer for AIESEC. Initially, I thought it was impossible for me to get accepted, as I felt that my writing skills weren’t good enough. Nevertheless, I tried my best to complete all the tasks I received. I told myself that I already did a great job, whether I got accepted or not. Voilà, here I am writing this blog for you to read!

Last words

My AIESEC journey has been nothing but full of empowerment! Sure, it’s hard to balance my responsibilities in university as well as my other side jobs. If you ask me if I’d repeat the year all over again, I might say yes!

There were numerous occasions when I wanted to quit. I felt drained, incompetent for the position, running out of time, etc. but I’m lucky that AIESEC provided me the space, as well as the friends who support me throughout the year. 

It was surprising to see that one year is enough to change my life. Is it enough to change yours? You are the only one who knows. Keep in mind that changing your life is not an instant process. To change your life, you have to change the small things in life because they will affect your future. Most importantly, you have to feel each day that goes by without rushing to the finish line.

Does this blog inspire you to change your life in 2021? I hope you now realize that it’s possible to change, even in just one year. If you also want to change your life in an AIESEC way, make sure to check out and find out how to join!


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