Some phrases I have heard repeated over and over again in 2020 have been:
“What a crazy year it has been”
“I can’t wait for 2020 to be over”
“I’m so exhausted”

Many would say these are understatements. Some would say even worse things about this year. I’m hoping that more people would say “I have learned a lot about myself, my family, my colleagues and my clients this year.” As this extraordinary year draws to a close, it is important to recognize that it is quite possibly only the end of a chapter in a new book about these “crazy times”. This dramatic story is expected to continue in 2021 and we can either dread each page turn or get excited about what we will discover next.

I am choosing to remain excited about how this amazing story of my life unfolds. What is your choice?

Here are some simple thoughts on how you can muse more positively about 2020 and how you can achieve greater joy and prosperity in 2021.


  1. Celebrate Your Wins

    Even in the most challenging of years, there is always something to celebrate. Consider some positive personal and professional outcomes this year. Write them down. Send yourself (and the people you positively impacted) a congratulations card.

    It’s easy to dwell on the negative, but it’s more fun and beneficial to celebrate the positive.

  2. Reflect Upon Your Learnings

    This year (probably more than ever before) we learned a lot about ourselves, our personal relationships and about our clients. We learned how we all confront adversity. And we all confront it in different ways.

    Reflect upon what coping strategies worked and what didn’t. Take the time to ask your family, friends, colleagues and clients what they learned and how this will impact their approach in 2021.

    Reflect and apply these learnings.

  3. Recognize New Habits / Skills

    Many of us this year discovered how to work remotely and how to engage our clients and prospects without in-person meetings. Sure we made some mistakes along the way, but as Einstein said “if you have never made a mistake, then you have never tried anything new.”

    Congratulations on discovering new habits / skills to do your job more effectively and to generate greater success.

  4. Value Your Relationships

    Clearly we could not celebrate any wins in 2020 without the wonderful support of our family, friends, colleagues and clients. Show them your sincere appreciation (especially during this holiday season) and look for ways to connect on a deeper personal level.

    Their support will be needed again next year …. and don’t forget, they need your support too! Never take these relationships for granted. Call. Write. Meet.

  5. Make Time To Relax & Revive

    Naturally we are all feeling stressed and burnt out. It has been a year of extreme anxiety and change. So make time to relax and revive by doing something you love. Even heroes need time off, and your efforts this year have been truly heroic (even if you don’t think so).

    Do something for yourself this holiday season that makes you happy. Guilt free fun. And encourage others to do so too. Then share your stories. Smile. Laugh. And then sleep in. You deserve it.

HELLO 2021!!

  1. Set Goals & Expectations (Not Resolutions)

    During 2020 I encouraged my clients to reflect upon their personal WHY. Why do you go to work everyday? Why do you want to be successful? What motivates you to keep moving forward?

    With all that you learned in 2020, have your life goals changed? Stay focused on what is important to you – your family, your health and what makes you happy.

    Perhaps you need to adjust timing expectations?!? But never lose sight of your personal goals, desires and ambitions. They CAN be achieved if you want them to …. regardless of any challenges.

  2. Diligently Take Action

    With all that you learned in 2020, and the new habits / skills you embraced, it is time to take further action. If 2020 was the year of discovery, then 2021 should be the year of action.

    Create an activity plan. Choose the best activities for success and execute. Seek ways (help) to hold yourself accountable for performing this activity.

  3. Continue to Embrace Learning

    Of course you should never stop learning. I strongly recommend that one key activity for success in 2021 should be personal training / development. 2020 forced you to discovered the power of learning new habits / skills and you are immensely better for it. So why stop now?

    Establish a coaching cadence for yourself and your team. Good consistent coaching is far more powerful that occasionally great training.

  4. Build Better Relationships

    You learned so much about your contacts in 2020, now it is time to learn how you can better them help in 2021.

    Take the time energize, enlighten and encourage your family, friends, colleagues and clients to take action and achieve their 2021 goals. You will build better relationships by finding ways to help your contacts achieve these goals.

  5. Take Time to Relax & Revive

    No …. I did not repeat this by mistake. This tip is critical for 2021 too. But don’t wait for the holiday season to have some fun. Schedule time to relax and revive every week and month. It’s not only ok ….. it’s essential.

    As highlighted earlier, we experience stress (and burn out) when we forget why we are working so hard. Remind yourself regularly by doing something you truly enjoy. Please DO NOT sacrifice this important step.

So as we say goodbye to 2020, I encourage you not to lament but to celebrate all the successes …. and get excited for the greater accomplishments and thrills to come in 2021.

Joe Micallef
Sales Coach, BankTalentHQ