If I measure success by adherence to my New Year’s resolutions, 2020 proved to be a mixed bag tilting toward failure.
Of course, that can pretty much sum up all of 2020 for many of us. The global pandemic, social unrest and fractious national election have left us reeling – and that’s just for starters. Toss in the presidential impeachment, raging wildfires, catastrophic job losses, overburdened hospitals, remote everything and murder hornets.
It’s little wonder I have no stomach for any of the year-in-review articles so popular with the media this time of year. There’s virtually nothing I want to relive or remember. Even Dave Barry couldn’t redeem this dumpster fire of a year, although his lead made me laugh aloud.
In an effort to remember and better adhere to my resolutions, I started each Monday in 2020 with a calendar reminder. Actually, two sets of calendar reminders. The first for my SPR resolutions, and the second for my personal resolutions.
The latter came in the form of two questions that seem almost quaint as this year draws to its can’t-come-soon-enough close: Are you cooking at home? (Yes, forced to.) Are you working to balance your life? (What’s balance?) If you average the two, we land at 50%.
If I grade myself on my professional resolutions, the answers are just as polarized – and the cumulative average a fair bit lower. I feel I did a better-than-hoped-for job with “people first.” Our one-on-one meetings, or O3s, shifted to Zoom, providing much-needed weekly visual touch bases with our team during the nine months we have been working remotely.
But schedule less? Fewer emails? Be present? My best efforts on these fell short time and again when demands from COVID-19 eclipsed all else.
The good thing about last year’s resolutions – and resolutions in general – is their elasticity. They bend and stretch to accommodate, much as we all had to do throughout 2020. And with each Monday morning calendar reminder, I had the opportunity to refocus and to re-engage.
So, here we are again, just starting one of my favorite weeks, the crease between Christmas and New Year’s. I only have four meetings – four! – scheduled this entire week. If the rhythm of past years holds true, my phone will be blessedly silent. I’ll be able to tackle those lingering projects and skinny down my to-do list.
And I’ll have the time to finalized my resolutions, both professional and personal, for the year ahead. Despite 2020’s best (worst?) intentions, I’m committed to the idea – the necessity – of resolutions as aspirational beacons.
For 2021, I plan to narrow my focus. Rather than seven (what was I thinking?) professional and two personal resolutions, I’m leaning toward just one on each side of the fence. And while I won’t finalize my thoughts until New Year’s Eve, the leading contender seems to be: practice grace.
There’s a lot riding on 2021, perhaps too much for any given year to bear – and all the more reason grace is a must. The promise of the vaccine and the hope of civility returning to political discourse give me cause for renewed optimism. However, we have a long way to go.
I remain grateful for our wonderful team and clients, for their good humor, resiliency and determination. I look forward to Jan. 2, when Sabo PR celebrates our 18th anniversary.
As we near the collective finish line, I congratulate all for persisting through this dreadful year and fervently wish you, your loved ones, your colleagues and your friends the 2021 of your dreams, with a little – or a lot of – grace sprinkled in.