As I reflect on this past year (consciously trying to focus on the positive), I realize that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us all to do things outside our comfort zone. A person’s “comfort zone” is called that for a reason: it’s comfortable and safe. However, your comfort zone can also be a place of stagnation – one that keeps you from growing or becoming a better person, just because it involves something unfamiliar.
For good or bad, 2020 has forced us all out of our comfort zones and in a way eliminated the fear and risk typically associated with doing so. Think about all the things you did differently this year. Things that you normally would never have done or at least never have done without grossly overthinking it.
Let that sink in.
What did you differently in 2020 that you never thought possible?
I bet you can count at least three things! Here are mine:
- Hired and trained a new employee completely remotely
- Conducted client meetings in yoga pants
- Acquired new clients without meeting in person
Taking this inventory is important because, although it may not seem like it, you have grown this past year. And maybe your limits have been pushed, but recognize that you are living through a historical time. Take a moment to acknowledge this has been an incredibly demanding year and show yourself some grace. You may not have met all of your goals, but there is a lot you can find in 2020 to be proud of.
This year has affected us all in different ways, and many of us may be experiencing challenges to our physical, mental and emotional well-being resulting from personal and professional changes and pressures. The upcoming holiday season may be an additional stressor, since many of us will be missing some of our favorite traditions and people; but there are ways to bring joy and hope to the holidays. Some ideas to embrace the season of giving and safely celebrate with family and friends include:
- Plan a virtual holiday event to reunite with loved ones while staying at home. You may be chatting with family over Zoom instead of across the table, but it can still be a celebration to remember (and hopefully reminisce about together next year).
- Spread holiday joy by thanking the people who make a difference in your life, whether it’s your children’s teacher(s), a co-worker or team member, a pastor or community leader, etc. Too often, our favorite people don’t realize how much they mean to us.
- Manage stress by scheduling some time for yourself to help you reset and be ready to take on opportunities and challenges in 2021.
- Identify a charity whose mission relates to a cause that you care about and consider volunteering your time or making a monetary donation. There is no denying that many families and organizations are experiencing difficult times – ‘tis the season for being generous!
One constant in this difficult year has been the value of personal and professional relationships. Despite uncertainty over the pandemic, election, markets and more, I hope that I have helped you feel a greater sense of clarity and confidence when it comes to your finances.
Based on my conversations with many of you, all that unused vacation time will be fully utilized in the last couple weeks of 2020! Enjoy every moment!
Wishing you a holiday season full of connections with family and friends, whether near or far.
Good Bye 2020!