2021 in focus

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face” – this Mike Tyson quote is one of my favourites and I refer to it often, but it feels especially relevant when we think back on 2020; a year that could definitely be described as a sucker-punch!

For my first blog post of 2021, I’d like to share five learnings from 2020, and a few journal prompts to help you create the space for yourself to thrive in 2021.


2020: A year of learnings:

  • Even the best of plans can come undone… and sometimes that’s a good thing!
    In my last blog, I talked about adaptability, and why ‘pivoting’ is one of the most important skills we’ve honed this year.
    They say complacency is a killer, and in 2020, there was no room for that! We saw innovation and new ideas everywhere: the huge uptick in webinars, video conferencing becoming the norm, companies switching from their core product to hand sanitiser and face masks, and fine dining restaurants offering in-home catering. I even started a podcast to share how elite athletes were adapting their dreams to deal with the postponement of the Games in Tokyo.
    Contingency planning, risk mitigation, gratitude and resilience have become more important than ever, and they’re skills that will serve us into 2021 and beyond.

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” Tony Robbins

  • Make the most of what you have, and create a life you don’t need to escape from
    From cancelled travel plans, to postponed house moves, illness, isolation, and missing loved ones from afar – we all had our share of heartache and disappointments last year.
    However, there were a few silver linings – many took the opportunity to spruce up their living (and working) spaces, explore local areas, diversify their cooking repertoire (hello, sourdough!) and find new ways to connect with family and friends via apps like Houseparty, and Friday knock-offs via Zoom!

  • Slow it down
    Once we remove ourselves from the hamster wheel of our day-to-day, we usually see the bigger picture more clearly. Ideas and solutions flow more freely. That’s why we (or I do, anyway) often get our best ideas in the shower, on the massage table or while on holidays – like when I’m floating down the Pottsville creek! And while many frontline and essential workers were sadly stretched more thinly than ever, for many of us, 2020 forced us to slow down and take stock.
    We had the rare opportunity to ditch the 9–5 office day and re-design our workday in a way that suits us better… and is more productive! With less time commuting and extracurricular activities put on ice, I saw heaps of stressed-out corporates relaxing into family life, riding their bike they found tucked in the back of the shed with a flat tyre, going for a walk and even (finally) taking some time to themselves. The discourse around mental health has also opened up, which can only be a good thing. The correlation between moving your body and mental health is becoming more and more obvious.


  • Count your blessings
    I’m big on gratitude and celebrating the small (and big!) wins. In my work as an inspirational and motivational speaker, I encourage people to try this one simple, daily habit: when your head hits the pillow each night, think, “What did I win at today?” It doesn’t have to be big. It can be anything you did well, that made you feel powerful, or brought you closer to one of your goals. 

    Another proven way to boost your happiness is by writing down three things you’re grateful for each day. The added bonus is that you create something special you can look back on whenever you need a smile.

    Consistency is key here… it is not a one-off exercise!


  • ‘The new normal’
    Last year, across all areas of life, we had to strip everything back to its essence and focus on the most important bits. To say it’s been a learning curve is a massive understatement! For many of us, the spotlight has shown us that the most important things in life are not ‘things’ – it’s the relationships we share with our families, friends, colleagues and neighbours.
    In 2021, let’s keep that energy going: paring it back, streamlining our processes, questioning everything, and focusing on the essentials. 


A time to reflect:

Reflecting back on past successes and failures is one of the best ways to move forward. We can use our learnings to replicate what went well, or alter our strategy for the next thing.

To close out the year, I invite you to take some time to write down, draw, doodle even or cut out pictures to help you describe:

  • Something you learned in 2020
  • Something (or someone) that made you smile
  • Three things you’re grateful for
  • One thing you want to start doing in 2021
  • One thing you want to stop doing in 2021
  • One goal you completed this year, or took steps to completing
  • One goal for 2021, and the first step you’re going to take to get yourself there
  • One goal for 2022, and what you’ll do in 2021 to set your strategy in motion


Finally, I’d like to thank you for your support in 2020 – whether you listened to the podcast, engaged with me on social media, participated in one of my events, or read my blog. I hope there were some messages or ideas that resonated with you, and that you’ll take those with you as we step into a new year.


Image: Jude Beck via Unsplash

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