11 Secrets to making 2021 your best year yet!

Author: Mark Lambert

7th January 2021

11 Secrets to making 2021 your best year yet!

As we turn the corner out of the turmoil that was 2020 and into a fresh new year, there is one thing we can all agree on; We all want to make 2021 better than 2020. Sure, there were some amazing personal and social moments in 2020 that we can hold on to but there’s no escaping that on the whole this was one to push to the memory bank.

As the old saying goes, ‘there’s no use crying over spilt milk’ and that may well be true. BUT on the flip side, there’s no denying there have been some awesome learnings and takeaways from the year that was. Simple lessons to ensure that our 2021 sets us up to be the best that we can be and take on anything through 2021 and into the years ahead.

We’re not yet at the new normal and arguably won’t be for some time yet but these steps will set us up for all that the new normal has to offer and any hurdles on the way. So what are they;

  1. Smile more –This will naturally make you feel better and even those around you! This is one of the single most powerful and rewarding items on your to-do list. With all of the negativity, sadness and stress of 2020, the sight of a smile on an unmasked dial is an amazing and powerful reminder for us all.

  2. Appreciate the little things – Life isn't the big things, but what happens in between. Appreciate the major milestones but be mindful that ‘life’ is what happens day in, day out and it’s the little things that become the important things in the end. Take a step back sometimes.

  3. Spend your time wisely – 2020 has been a reminder that our time is precious and not to be taken for granted. Make the most of all the hours in the day and all the days we have. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, nor is our ability to get outside and live life as we know it. No one should tell you how to spend your time but it’s worth thinking about what’s really important to you and whether you’re using your time and energy to achieve and support that, making the most of the time you have. You will never have more time than right now!

  4. Own less – What you own, is NOT important - It never will be. What IS important is how you spend your time, the experiences you have, how you ‘live’, whether that be with or without ‘things’. If the things you own are not providing you genuine joy and adding to you living your best life either through being integrated into your ‘way of life’ or financially supporting you, don’t own them. When it comes to understanding what drives quality of life, accumulating physical things cannot compete with the real life-giving goings-on.

  5. Appreciate others – Say thankyou more often. The distance and strain on relationships and social interactions in 2020 brought on by travel bans, lockdowns, social limits, general social anxiety and the loss of face to face contact in our day to day lives should be a massive reminder that our relationships and interactions with others are not only important but precious. Appreciate those around you and show them so.

  6. Try to understand – Try to understand and make educated assessments to avoid panic and arguments. Very rarely is anything as good or as bad as we think at the time in our emotional response. Trying to understand physically and emotionally to make objective decisions will undoubtedly help us all. Understand ourselves, understand the situation and understand the views and needs of others.

  7. Save more – With the huge and almost overnight global economic impacts seen in 2020 with the shutdown and closure of many business’ and even global industries it should bring home the importance of having solid savings or ‘financial buffers’ to help see us through the unexpected. Financial buffers provide a safety net of funds that can buy us precious time to get back on our feet.

  8. Control your finances – Take control of your financial position and look ahead. Know where your funds are coming from and where they're going. Financial buffers are super important but should never be part of your normal spending routine, they’re a safety net. Make the promise to yourself to build multiple income streams and know your spending patterns and needs.

  9. Love more – Love yourself, love your kids, love your spouse, love your family and friends. Don’t just love them but just as importantly, make them know it. The world can always use more of this.

  10. Let go – This is especially important for the ‘control-freaks’ out there, you know who you are. The feeling of needing to be in control of anything and everything, every step of the way just doesn’t add value to anyone. In fact, the opposite is very true. With all the best intentions we want to make sure that we are in control of any and all outcomes and nothing can go ‘wrong’ but the inevitable result is a bunch of stress and anxiety that causes more harm than good. While it’s important to care intensely and want the best outcomes, there are always inputs that are simply out of our control (consider much of 2020 in this bucket) and no matter how much you try you can never control all possible outcomes. What to do then? Focus on the important bits to control as best you can and have the contingencies and processes in place so you can be flexible and respond should the unexpected happen. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

  11. Give back – What is something that you can do to help make the life of someone else that little bit more fulfilling, a little easier or just help put a smile on their face? This doesn’t necessarily have to be financial or giving up your time, think outside the box. What have you got to offer and give back in your own way? A skill or resource that you can offer to others online? An asset to share or hire out? Items that you no longer need that you can pass on?

So, what’s the big secret? Well that’s just it, the only secret is that there is no secret - that’s the whole point. If 2020 teaches us anything; it should be that it’s up to us to appreciate what we have and what we have to offer. The best person to set you up for your best life is you, far more than what anyone else can do for you and that will never change. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever. We all know we should be but how well have you actually done these things? What can you do to get back in the driver's seat and make 2021 your best year yet?