Looking Back to Plan Ahead: Preparing for Success in 2021

Jesica Johnson Mackey • December 18, 2020

Like most people, I’m looking forward to closing the book on 2020. While this year has been full of challenges, disappoints, and fear, it’s also brought learning moments, growth opportunities, and plenty of successes in their own right. Even if you don’t typically make New Year’s resolutions, I challenge you to reflect on your year – consider what you’ve overcome, or how you have adjusted, and which of these new skills may well stick with you into 2021 and beyond.

Here are some thoughts to get you started:

What goals did I set for myself this time last year?

Personally, this year began the majority of my first year with NP Strategy. I had plans to settle into my new career path, meet with new clients, and even execute several large-scale, in-person events. If nothing else, this year proved that even when you think you are 100% prepared for all options, you never truly are.

When the year started going sideways, how did I adapt?

Like many people, this year forced much of what I do to go virtual. From day-to-day work to my children’s virtual learning, we adjusted to virtual meetings almost from the jump. Add to that the challenge of a political campaign during a pandemic, and it’s safe to say I have never used so much hand sanitizer in my life as I had this year.

Seriously, this year, we helped clients take their events online, reaching new audiences, and building new kinds of relationships with stakeholders. Virtual events and digital stakeholder engagement may not fully substitute for in-person interaction. Still, we can continue to build these skills, whether as ‘the new normal’ or a helpful back-up plan.

Finally, what did I learn or accomplish this year?

Everyone’s definition of success is different but be forgiving with yourself this year. I learned to juggle virtual meetings while ‘mom-ing,’ and, despite the challenges, I won a campaign race during a pandemic. I’ve learned to work with clients in new ways that I would never have imagined before this year.

No matter how your year ends and how different it may look from how it began, I encourage you to reflect and consider setting new goals for 2021; these could be personal or professional, long-term or immediate. Let’s continue to invest in ourselves and the people around us –our clients, our communities, our family, or our friends.

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