We Can Make 2021 Our Best Year Yet

When 2020 roared in, we had such high hopes. It was the beginning of the decade, (or the end, depending on your perspective) a leap year, an election year—our plans were big, and our dreams were bigger. Then came COVID-19 and everything normal and logical got turned on its ear.

Businesses and restaurants closed, we stayed home to work and didn’t hug or embrace—the list of changes got long and old real quick. We had worship on the computer in the dining room, visited with the generations electronically, masks became part of the required accessories, and in the midst of it all, we saw death and destruction like never before.

The old movies depicting bread lines and despair became current and in living color. So many of our plans and dreams were left to die on the cutting room floor but like the song from the musical Annie, the sun will come up tomorrow and 2021 is bound to be better.

As we prepare for this shiny new year, here are four points to ponder:

Change your attitude. I’m a glass half-full person and I believe attitude is everything. I believe people are inherently good and will ultimately do the right thing when given the opportunity. Even when that’s not the case, I still look for a glimmer of hope, a rainbow at the end of the storm—you get the picture. In 2021, let’s model excellence, share grace and mercy, and expect the best. It will help us stay focused on possibilities and not disappointments.

Retool and reimagine. If this slower pace has shown us anything, it’s that some of our time can be better spent. Now may not be the time to start your dream business, but don’t forget about it either. Seeing a need and filling it has never been more important and in this environment, the possibilities are absolutely endless.

Look for ways to sharpen your skills, refresh your resume, and add a new dimension to yourself. Early in my career I applied for a job didn’t get it. My boss hadn’t thought of me in that position so I decided to acquire different skills so when another opportunity came up, he would think of me first.

Stop complaining about work you hate and find something you’d do for free.

Do it when it comes to mind.  I’ve come to a place when if I don’t stop and do what’s on my mind right then, it’s gone with the wind. I am sending notes today that I meant to send last week but tomorrow became next week and next week became the week of Christmas, and so on.

It’s easy to plan but it takes commitment and a particular set of skills to do every day what needs to be done. These “skills” can be learned, practiced, and lived into. Procrastination is easy but is detrimental to efficiency so if we begin with new, fresh habits for 2021, we’re bound to have a more productive year.

Remember everything and everybody is connected so connect the dots. My parents put it this way: pay attention and don’t burn your bridges. It’s good advice as the world gets smaller and smaller. Connect and work harder to get important stuff done. Phone a friend, call in the favors, use your influence—all of it—and make the world a kinder, gentler place. It’s possible if we believe.

In 2021, please see, love, and care for each other more deeply, pray more fervently, and seek God’s guidance as we strive earnestly to be our best selves.

I am all ears to know how you plan to make 2021 your best year yet, at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook.

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

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