Preparing for the New Year either professionally or personally feels very different to me this year. Again, thinking outside the box is needed because this isn’t a “normal” year we are going into. So how do you plan for 2021? There are so many unknowns with the pandemic, the political changes and the turmoil the world.
Importance of Reflection
Before you start planning for the future, my Pacific Perks team feels that the most important thing to do is to reflect on what was accomplished in 2020. In normal years, of course you would look at the previous year. But this year, I challenge you to really spend some time on reflection. And of course for many of us, it won’t be the numbers we are looking at, but the actions that took place.
There is so much good in looking at all that our team did to pivot, pivot again and again, pivot. We collaborated, we reinvented, we created and recreated. At times it did seem like survival mode, and at times – it was. But we never stopped thinking and doing!
Perseverance in 2020 was Commendable
Looking forward is necessary, however it can be overwhelming with all that is going on in the world. But, I think this year, more than ever, it is important to look back on all the unprecedented accomplishments that were made. Take a moment to list out all the things you personally and professionally persevered through, all the challenges, all the creativity that might have taken place and reflect on the fact that you survived it. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t still loss, heartbreaking changes and pain. But even in those things, you are still standing and there is growth in those challenges.
Silver Linings of 2020
I am a big believer in the silver linings in life challenges. That is another thing to look for in 2020 and be grateful for. In my world, Pacific Perks company’s values include life balance. I give that to everyone on my team, except I have a hard time feeling “okay” about it when it comes to myself.
An Unexpected Transition to Remote Schedule
Before 2020, when I did occasionally work from home, I found myself more focused on the guilt, than the work at hand. I always thought things like, “I am the leader, I can’t be doing this!” or “Am I doing enough?” or “What does my team think of me when I work at home?” I had a really hard time relaxing in the one amazing thing business ownership gives you, flexibility!!!
So in 2020, when we decided to close one of our Portland offices (we still serve the Portland area ;o)) to reduce costs, I was forced to work from home. My original office became the store room for what was in the Portland office, so I had no choice! I no longer felt the guilt of working from home, it was a must. That is one of the things that I am grateful for in 2020! It also slowed life down, created more time with my family and I was able to concentrate on the little pleasures in life.
Take Stock of Your 2020 Accomplishments
So I ask you to take a minute, and brainstorm on all the things starting back in March that happened in 2020. What did you have to shift, recreate, hard decisions that had to be made, and things you didn’t think you would have to do? Make this exercise a brain dump on paper or with your team on the virtual whiteboard… just let it spill out! Then stand back and take a look at all that was accomplished in the year. Take a deep breath, let it soak in pat yourself on the back.
You did amazing! You did things you didn’t think you would or could do in 2020. That includes the hard decisions and losses as well. It might include closing some doors and dreaming about others, learning a new skill, checking off something from your list that has been there for years… you get the idea.
When I look back at that list, it gives me hope and strength to get through 2021. With all the survival that was done in 2020, we can get through 2021. I predict that we are still going to be in this for a while. I also know there will be small advances that will also give us hope. I think that we will be at a new normal, and that some of the changes we made, are here to stay.
As Alicia Keys sings, “More Than We Know” – we can do hard things. The year of 2020 has proven that to us. So put on your headphones, crank up the music and celebrate your strength and your accomplishments in 2020.
My gift to you is “grace” – give yourself and others around you grace in all that we have been through and are going through. And remember to find gratitude in the little things… Like watching your pet sleep or silly things you find yourself or others do. They are all around us! Try and find three things today that put a smile on your face or make you giggle a little;o).
PS – In order to get this blog posted, you may find some errors. We call them “Natalie-isms”. I hope they make you laugh ;o)
Chief “Inspriationational” Officer
Pacific Perks Coffee, LLC