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Categories: Career, Coaching, Leadership

Consciously Closing 2020 and Planning a Brighter 2021

I am sure we can all agree that 2020 has been a year like no other. The words “unprecedented” and “challenging” have been used so many times that even those terms have begun to seem normal. Time has been elastic – in some ways it seems like March was only yesterday, and at the same time, this year has seemed endless. We’ve lived weeks filled with Blursdays, where every day is Tuesday and every day is Saturday. And now, the end of this crazy, chaotic, and yes, unprecedented year is rapidly approaching! Here’s my guide to consciously closing 2020 and planning a brighter 2021.

Consciously Closing 2020

For most of us, the plans we had for 2020 were at least somewhat, if not completely, derailed by the pandemic. Regardless of whether you accomplished what you set out to achieve, I feel sure you have accomplished a lot this year. And, if you are like me, you may not have recognized those accomplishments in a meaningful way. After all, who has had time to reflect while attending Zoom meetings, preparing home cooked meals and keeping up with the news!?

This year, more than ever before, you have also likely suffered disappointments, challenges and setbacks. Many have been ill and far too many lives have been lost. Business goals have been upended and strategic focus has shifted away from long-term goals and into day-to-day tactics to avoid layoffs and keep employees safe. Some of us have had our personal plans cratered too – graduations, weddings, vacations and even funerals have been postponed or cancelled.

We can gain a lot by reflecting, being as grateful as we can be and learning from what is now in the rear-view mirror. At the same time, there is also tremendous value in looking ahead at the year to come with as much hope and optimism as we can muster.

Planning a Brighter 2021

2021 is on the horizon and will unfold quickly. No doubt, change will once again be a constant. I take time to reflect each year and have been encouraging my clients and friends to do so as well. Given the unique circumstances of 2020 – the pandemic, protests and election to name a few – reflection is more important than ever.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you wrap up 2020 and begin to consciously prepare for 2021:

  • What are the silver linings you have found amid the pandemic?
  • What did 2020 teach you about life and about yourself?
  • How do you want to experience 2021?
  • What habits, routines and rituals from 2020 do you want to continue in 2021?
  • What new habits or practices will you need to establish in order to bring about the experience you want to have in 2021?

I encourage you to take the time to work through these questions or to engage in a similar reflective exercise. I’d love to hear from you about what you’ve learned during 2020 and how you will apply that learning in 2021.

And, as this year closes, I wish you joy, peace and abundance during the holiday season and next year! Be safe!

To read more of Debby’s thoughts on leadership, please visit
Five Keys to Develop Your Active Listening Skills
Interviews to Gather Stakeholder Feedback