What words sum up 2020 and will you take into 2021?

Here’s my 7 list:

  • Authentic Leadership
  • Keep Perspective
  • Health Matters
  • Be less Judgemental
  • Live less in Fear, and more in Freedom
  •  Build, Just go for it
  • Be Kind and Ask for Help

Some thoughts and reflections on each of those:

Authentic Leadership

This year leadership was about reaching out talking to people, being kind and making sure that people are okay. Think of the healthcare workers this year and the teachers and the people that had to change in order to continue to service their community, or their families.

The true leaders in 2020 will be judged by the way they showed up for people. The empathy they showed. The time they took to keep in touch. The decisions they took, and the willingness to say sorry if the decision turned out to be wrong.

The characteristic of a high performer is that they can still be aware of their own frailties. But when you analyse that and you come out of that, it’s important to have confidence and conviction in your way forward.

Leaders did not have to be CEO’s, Presidents or Prime Ministers.  Look at Sir Tom Moore.  100 years old. WW2 Burma veteran. Knighted by HM the Queen. Raised £39 million for the NHS. Front cover of GQ, looking dapper in a dinner jacket, medals, draped in the Union Jack.  What a legend.

Keep Perspective.

Be grateful for the fact you got to the end of the year.

Have gratitude for the fact that you can still take a breath and you can consider what 2021 means for you.

Be grateful for the fact you can still look forward to hugging your family, your relatives, your loved ones and your friends.

Be grateful for the fact that you can have a party and celebrate when this is all over. For many will not have that luxury. For many they can’t have that dress or black tie party, they can’t look forward to flying in an aeroplane again. The fact that you reading this suggests you can.

As a species, we are the only living thing that has the ability to look forward, and strive to improve and learn from the past.

If you didn’t like the character that showed up in 2020, rewrite the script.

Did you whine and moan about 2020 or can you put it in perspective? Blissful for the fact that you’re allowed to show up in 2021.

Don’t forget what 2020 taught you.

Health Matters

Did you make 2020 your best year ever for your health?

Did you move well, eat well, sleep well and live well? If not why not?

Your family need you to be at the peak of your performance. Your family expect you to do what is necessary to be there for them and if this year taught us nothing else the virus had more serious consequences for those that were not in good health. Accepted, many could not influence age, or a debilitating condition, but what of obesity, or general poor habits?

Whether it is through meditation, journaling, morning or evening routines, make sure that you take time to commit to losing stress from your system daily. The body needs a balance of mindfulness, exercise, nutrition and rest. Don’t compromise any one of those four pillars.

You have to be absolutely committed to looking after yourself, making sure that you find ways to relieve and release the tension that exists inside of you. We all have pent-up stress and it has to be given the chance to vent

Take personal responsibility to make your own health to be at its optimum. And it’s not a New Year resolution to overlook. It’s a habit that should be an everlasting commitment to those that depend on you.

Be Less Judgmental

Or as Stephen Covey would say “Seek first to understand before you are understood”.

This year was about looking at the big picture things. Understanding how we can judge others so quickly and make an instant decision. The person not wearing a facemask, but actually can not do so due to a medical condition.

Black lives matter is an important moment, and one that must go on for not just 2021, but forever.

We sometimes are so desperate to create momentum for an opinion and yet we despise others that don’t want to accept it, or pour scorn on it. People don’t have to accept your opinion, and just because they don’t accept it, that shouldn’t make them an enemy, or a bad person.

Live less in Fear, and more in Freedom

The news channels this year have had a great year. They have built on our human instinct to be looking for danger. Fear is defined as “An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm”. We were only born with two fears, loud noises and falling. Then came abandonment as we depended on our parents to look after us. Everything else (e.g. Rejection, missing out, not liked) is something we have decided to be fearful of.

You can choose to live in fear, or live with freedom. If someone says “I’m fearful of going live on video” (for example), they are not really imagining danger, or harm, they are thinking “I might fail”. The ego is in charge here.

Fear rules us if we let it. We can decide to overcome our worries, our anxieties, and be free to be comfortable in our own skin.

Build, Just go for it!

Don’t wait for the opportunity to come knocking, create your own destiny.

What did you do this year to make sure that you carried on staying ahead? What did you do this year to make sure that you were still building initiatives? What will you carry on creating from this year?

Some people this year froze for a while, like a rabbit staring into the headlights, frozen, flattened. Did you create? Did you try and fail, and try again? Did you give without expectation? As Dr Spencer Johnson talks about in his book “Who Moved My Cheese” … don’t sit around waiting for new cheese to come along, when someone moves your cheese, go and find new cheese.

Be Kind and Ask for Help

You don’t need to wait for permission to have signals from other people to say that you should go forward sometimes with kindness and consideration. Follow your heart and take time out to consider “Should I be doing this? How would the best version of me react to this situation? Follow your course, your beliefs and commit. Don’t wait for other people or be put off by the first no. Have a look at some of the stories here that might make you smile: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/tag/kindness/

Hopefully, 2020 taught us that if you are sad, it is ok to ask for help.

If you didn’t know what to do in your business ask for help. If life is tough, ask for help.

We have to concede that we need to learn and somebody else somewhere will probably be doing something better than we do it ourselves and therefore be willing and be brave and be humble enough to ask for help. Don’t suffer in silence

Summing up

Reflecting on 2020, I am convinced it will eventually be a year that we look back on with mindfulness. Working routines changed, family dynamics were disrupted and the important things surfaced as the important things.

I look forward to 2021 with a sense of Optimistic Realism.

Some of these thoughts are inspired by reading Brendon Burchard’s own summing up of 2020.

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