For the past 7 years, I set aside time in late December to reflect on the past year and choose a theme for the year ahead.
Note: Every year, I’ve shared my theme for the year ahead in a blog post. My theme in 2014 was change and resiliency. In 2015, it was vulnerability. In 2016 it was mindfulness. In 2017, it was honey over vinegar. In 2018, it was process. In 2019, it was focus. And, last year, it was momentum.
Needless to say, I wasn’t looking forward to this reflection like I usually do. I kind of dreaded it.
I mean, it was 2020 – the craziest year that I think most of us have ever lived through. You read the news or go on social media, and you can’t escape all of the negative and depressing stories. More than 370,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. alone. That’s more than the entire population of Honolulu.
Millions of people are unemployed and struggling to pay their bills and risk getting evicted in the middle of a deadly pandemic.
Meanwhile, countries like Taiwan, Vietnam, and New Zealand locked down hard early but are now basically back to “normal.”
For as tragic as this year has been, it is far too easy to let the news you consume affect an outsized portion of your life. I have little to no control over how the U.S. government handles the pandemic. All I can do is follow the CDC guidelines to the best of my ability. Instead of doomscrolling, I can adapt and move forward.
While this was far from my best year, it also wasn’t even close to my worst year. Sure, my personal life was kind of a dumpster fire.
But, I also managed to grow my business in a freakin pandemic – and even launched a second site – The Remote Work Tribe. (Technically, the latter happened in December 2019)
Here are a few things I’m most proud of from 2020.
- I doubled down on the solopreneur path and wound up growing my business by 15% year over year.
- I leaned in and got a lot more active in small masterminds with fellow entrepreneurs and copywriters.
- While I panicked when the pandemic first happened in March and April, I didn’t stay stuck in a holding pattern. I found ways to adapt and still make progress on my goals even when it looked completely different than what I initially envisioned.
While I’m grateful that my business fared pretty well in 2020, there are a lot of things that I want to improve or, in some cases, stop doing this year, including:
- Every year, I set a goal for the number of books I want to read. In 2020, I chose 20 books. I somehow managed to miss that target. Given it was 2020 and “shelter-in-place” was a thing for a significant portion of the year, I have no excuse for how I managed to somehow read less in 2020 than in either 2018 or 2019. I certainly spent loads more time on Netflix and TikTok this year than in past years.
- I also want to get better at building processes in my business. For example, I’m holding onto a lot of administrative tasks that I know I shouldn’t be doing anymore, but I need to build out better processes and SOPs so that I can delegate it to my VA.
- While I made some progress, I didn’t hit my email subscriber goals for Remote Work Tribe this year. A lot of it came down to not sticking to my original strategy (shiny object syndrome, anyone?) and not delegating as much I could have.
So when I was thinking through my word for 2021, I chose CONSISTENCY. A lot of the goals that I have for this year involve showing up, doing the work day in and day out, and/or building out more processes. All of which require focus and consistency.