Reflect on 2020: Focusing on the Good


What a year it has been! As we enter the last few weeks of the year, it has me reflecting on 2020. There were a lot of obstacles this year that we faced as individuals and businesses. And to be honest, there still are a lot of obstacles that we’ll continue to face in 2021 as a result of the events of this year. But there has been so much focus on the bad, that it can be overwhelming and exhausting.

People are fatigued right now. I think we’ve hit a point of exhaustion from caring about so many things this year. And don’t get me wrong, the events of this year were and are important. We need to care about the health of people. We need to care about racial equality and social justice. And we need to care about and pay attention to what’s happening in the government. The statistics and predictions of the challenges to come—like the mental health pandemic that they’re predicting—need our attention.

But the media has run us ragged in 2020. They’ve tugged on our heartstrings until we just don’t feel like we can take it anymore. So, today I want to encourage you to take a few minutes to shift your focus.

We know what all the challenges were from the year. I’m sure you had challenges in both your personal life and business. We always do, even without a global pandemic. But let’s not keep our focus on that. Let’s spend some time reflecting on the good things that happened.

Was there good in 2020?

You better believe it! It can feel a little hard to remember after the last few months of people heatedly disagreeing with each other but think for a minute back to March and April. Our country came together the most that we have since 9/11. While under lockdowns across the country, people did what they could to help those around them. Food was delivered to hospitals, police departments, and other first responders. Signs were put up to encourage the community and show that we were “in it together”. People bought and delivered groceries to the elderly and high-risk individuals.

That’s good! We were able to see the heart of people coming together. Let’s not forget that.

We also learned to pivot and adjust. SPEARity pivoted immediately when lockdowns started going into place. It’s part of the SPEAR process to make adjustments as needed when the old way of doing things isn’t working anymore. We saw that happen on a large scale in 2020. Those that were used to pivoting and “realigning”, as the SPEARity team likes to call it, were able to jump into action. That’s an incredible skill to have. If you were able to pivot your business this year, that’s awesome!

We also had time to refocus on discovering our priorities. Some people realized they hadn’t been giving their families enough time. Others realized that they hadn’t appreciated getting to spend time with coworkers in person. Some were able to cut things out of the budget that they discovered weren’t really important. And many people and businesses took steps to work on spending dollars in a way to promote social justice.

Those are all good things.

Don’t get stuck in survivor’s guilt

Here’s a quick message for all of you who didn’t take a financial hit this year because of the pandemic—it’s OK to celebrate your successes.

Some people and businesses are struggling with survivor’s guilt right now. Things went well for them this year, but they don’t want to say it because there are so many that don’t share the same story. When you feel like you’re one of the only people that excelled during a difficult year, it can be tempting to feel a little guilty. That’s survivor’s guilt.

Maybe you were able to pivot your business quickly in a way that saved it from taking the hit that others around you experienced. Maybe your business is one that saw a higher demand than ever because of the pandemic and you saw growth that you never could have expected. If this was your best year ever then celebrate it!

I know that it might feel a little wrong to enjoy and acknowledge your success when so many are hurting, but it’s important to do so. Society as a whole needs people and companies to be doing well. Celebrating your success doesn’t mean you need to go out and shout it from the rooftops. You can celebrate it in a way that feels more appropriate to you and your company.

If you had a great year, or are just proud of the way you were able to sustain what you had, make sure to celebrate that with your team. They put in hard work to make it happen, so acknowledge them for it. Thank your customers and clients that supported you throughout the year.

Reflect and document

Think through this year and look for your successes and failures. What went well and what fell flat? Write it down. What did you intentionally do that led to the successes that you had? And, what could you have done differently to avoid the failures that you experienced? Write it all down.

We’re quickly approaching another new year. And while there have been plenty of memes this year talking about never speaking of 2020 again, we know it really doesn’t work like that. Unless you’re intentional about making changes, January 1, 2021 will be just like December 31, 2020.

The real difference comes in reflecting on the past, learning from it, making adjustments, creating a plan, and getting to work. That’s where SPEARtiy shines. If you need a little help implementing needed change in your organization, give us a call. Our mission is to help you overcome obstacles to reach greater success.

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