News Flash!  We are interrupting our regularly scheduled posting to take stock of 2020 through positive lenses. Notwithstanding incredible challenges this year, as we approach 2021, we can consider some positive things about 2020.

Before I launch into the positivity, I want to acknowledge those who may have suffered losses this last year. I offer support for those experiencing personal, family, or friend illness and loss, those juggling and balancing work demands – maybe unemployment, with child home-schooling or care, and those enduring loneliness, discouragement, and disillusionment from the massive influx of change and sadness. 

Here are four ways to assess 2020 – all having a positive approach: acknowledge things learned from 2020; know your ABC’s; put a positive spin on 2020; and self-reflect.

Acknowledge Things Learned or Confirmed in 2020[1]

1. Change Illuminates Character.  Adopt a “role-model mindset.” Be ready for challenge, ready to serve, ready to remain open and kind, ready to push to be the best. Cultivate humility, compassion, and centeredness – look for opportunities amidst challenges.

2. Judge Less, Feel Better. Allow other people to have their opinions. Don’t feel the need to dominate others with your values or beliefs.  Learn to observe and think and communicate without losing your emotional center or compassion. Don’t judge (yourself or others) harshly, quickly, or unfairly. People are capable of transformation every day.

3. Family and Health First. Interact with others and honor them. Optimize your own health to position yourself stronger and healthier in a pandemic. Be even more intentional and disciplined in 2021. Don’t be hard on yourself about this year.

4. Confidence Matters. Have confidence in your ability to figure things out. Enter each day ready to figure things out.  You can set the reality and progress of your year. Gain confidence from within, not from “out there.”

5. Build and Invest. Keep building and investing in what’s next. Take opportunities to be ready to build.  Don’t drown in pools of pessimism.

6. Community Matters. Friendship, groups, and communities matter.  Make friendship and interaction a priority. Be thankful for friendship and use friends or colleagues to help you keep motivated.

7. Leaders Show Up. Keep moving forward even during challenge.  Acknowledge that in many ways, we are very lucky.  People can rise, unite, and serve.

8. Primary Aspirations Are Important. Consider these four desires: being, relating, creating, and growing.  They bring us aliveness and authenticity, connection and caring, contribution, fulfillment, and enrichment.  Leverage all these desires.

9. Wellness and Productivity Habits Matter. Use breaks, meditation, exercise, diet, and sleep. Identify and use productivity hacks and practices where you can.

10. Knowing Matters.  Know the difference between signals and noise. Don’t overly rely upon others for signals on how to be, who to be, what to think, and how to feel. Know and listen to your own sound above it all.

Know Your ABC’s

List each letter of the alphabet (A, B, C, etc.) and think about one thing that you are grateful for that begins with that letter.[2] Do this for each letter. You might even think of multiple items under each letter – all the better!  I’ve started this list and sometime later will think of an addition, so will record it on my growing list.  I now have several items for some of the alphabet letters.

Put A Positive Spin on How You View 2020

Here is a list of questions to consider about this unusual year of 2020. Pose them to yourself. Pose them to your friends. Pose them to your colleagues. Answers may indicate that we HAVE experienced positives during this unique year.

  1. Name something that you have now, that you did not have before 2020 or before COVID19.[3]   
  2. Name a new friend that you met this year.
  3. Name something good from this year.
  4. Name something this year that made you happy.
  5. Name something that you learned this year.
  6. Name something that you liked this year.
  7. Name a good memory from this year.
  8. Name something good that surprised you this year.
  9. Name something from this year that made you smile (or laugh).
  10. Name something from this year that you did for someone else.
  11. Name the best thing that happened to you this year.
  12. Name something from this year that made you think.
  13. Name a good (clean) joke that you heard this year (Example: what kind of joke do you tell during COVID19? Answer: an inside joke!).
  14. Name the most important thing you did this year.

Use Self-Reflection

I include my personal list of self-reflection actions. Regular readers may recognize them as having been in prior postings or publications. Sorry for the duplication, but they have been so helpful to me in times of challenge.

  1. What is really important to me?
  2. What am I meant to learn from this experience? What can I learn from this situation?
  3. What should I do more of? What should I do less of?  What should I do differently?

Indeed, we have learned some lessons from 2020.[4] The lessons include realizing our opportunity to:

  • Test resilience in the face of stress,
  • Be creative in solving problems,
  • Use time for reflection,
  • Find gratitude in every situation, and
  • Look for something discovered from the 2020 experiences.

One individual quipped: “If you just make it through 2020, you did your job and what you were supposed to do. Give yourself a break. There is no pressure to do anything but be and make it through this.”[5]

All the best to you. Let’s expect a calm, peaceful, healthy, productive, and fulfilling 2021.  Armed with our lessons from 2020, here we come!

[1] These are adapted from a posting from Brendon Burchard, high performance coach, in an email dated December 14, 2020. His material on high performance can be accessed at

[2] Appreciation is extended to Scott Colby, who is leading a gratitude effort to benefit charitable causes. This “gratitude game” is taken from a posting by Scott Colby from Say It With Gratitude on April 7, 2020.  See

[3] Acknowledgement is given to Scott Colby for question number one received in an email on December 5, 2020. See

[4] Noelle Knell, “Year in Review 2020: Lessons from a Most Challenging Year,” accessed from Government Technology, on December 12, 2020.

[5] Attributed to actress Rene Elise Goldberry on September 27, 2020.

2 thoughts on “We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program – Let’s Recognize Positives About 2020!

  1. Janet

    Great article about moving forward and honoring our individual needs as well. IF yiou cannot take care of yourself, you cannot lead others.

    Eric Silverberg


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