There’s no denying it: 2020 turned out much different than we imagined it.
On New Year’s Eve 2019, what goals did you dream up for 2020? Perhaps you were bright-eyed and optimistic, looking ahead to a year of discovery, travel, and career opportunities. Or, perhaps your goals were more personal, and focused on time with family and friends, or fitness and wellness. Right now, those goals might feel awfully far away. In some ways, it feels like a decade has passed since the last holiday season. It is almost a surprise to be here, now, looking back on a full 12 months. Are you even the same person who made those original 2020 goals?
Likely, no. Any year brings change and encourages us to grow. Of course, in 2020, change was not always positive and growth was sometimes forced. The year has been challenging and historic – shaped by a global pandemic, social justice issues, and politics – and more change and uncertainty still lies ahead.
But the year has also brought a focus on gratitude and connection. Never before have we learned so much about creating and sustaining connections, especially from a distance or virtually. While there is no denying it is difficult to be positive about 2020, there is still an opportunity to be reflective and hopeful. Afterall, it is hope that drives creativity, and inspires us to come up with the bright ideas that become the light at the end of the tunnel.
Why Make Resolutions Anyway?
Goals can be great, right? They drive us forward and, when we accomplish our goals, we get a sense of achievement like nothing else. But, when they are left unaccomplished, goals make us feel awful. After a year like 2020, when outside forces dramatically shaped our lives and habits, any resolutions might be hard to track. Why do we make resolutions anyway?
Well, blame it on the Babylonians. According to the History Channel, roughly 4,000 years ago the Babylonians were among the first to make New Year’s resolutions and celebrate the coming of a new year. Later, the Romans jumped into the practice. The month of January brought specific significance and symbolism, being named for Janus, the two-faced god. What better time to look back and look forward?
While such traditions can help anchor not only our calendars but also our lives, goal setting is no holiday party. In fact, it’s a bit of homework before the celebration can begin. Although you may feel pressured to set goals that are competitive, goals can come from a place of positivity. In setting smart goals, or ones that are specific and can be measured, you help motivate yourself. Goal setting can also be important for mental health, among other benefits and values.
We keep coming back to resolutions again and again, over thousands of years. But if goals are so great, why do they fail? In a so-called “normal” year, it could be because the goal is too big or not specific enough. A fresh start can feel like the time for big change, but sometimes micro goals are better. Here, instead of completely uprooting your life on January 1, the focus is on one small change you can make.
So, What Were Your 2020 Plans?
Whether you had micro or macro goals in 2020, life likely got in the way. As 2019 faded away, one reported top 2020 goal for Americans was to get finances in order. Traveling, volunteering, disconnecting from technology, and spending more time with friends and family was also on the list. Looking back on the past 12 months, those goals….um, okay.
But wait! Even if Zoom kept you from disconnecting from technology, it might have helped you spend that time with friends and family, albeit virtually. There were some silver linings to 2020. And there were goals that could still be accomplished and were, such as learning a new skill, exercising more, organizing the home, and getting a pet.
So, with 2020 heading out the door (and we are wishing it a not-so-fond farewell), try to focus on what you were able to accomplish. Your 2020 goals might not have turned out as you imagined them. But, especially during times like these, we hope you will celebrate successes big and small.
Focus on What You Accomplished
At Epic Marketing, 2020 reminded us that we can still exchange big ideas, cheer one another on, and provide support during all of life’s moments. As your 2020 comes to a close, we encourage you to gather round (virtually and at a safe distance, of course) with your coworkers or loved ones and think of what you were able to do.
Treat your time together like a brainstorm and set a timer, and then encourage everyone to write down as many wins as they can in a minute or two. Think on it, and don’t be afraid to add whatever pops into your head. For your office, it could be as small as posting a popular pic on social or as big as landing a new client. For yourself, it could be about baking bread or simply getting out of bed.
Can you come up with 20 wins from 2020? When you share your lists, you might surprise each other – and be pleasantly proud of what you were able to do.
20 Epic Wins From 2020
Here’s a glimpse of what we discovered we were able to do at Epic Marketing in 2020:
- Successfully transitioned our remote team to a new chat and collaboration space
- Welcomed new members to our team and saw individual roles grow
- Hosted our first Epic Marketing Digital Conference
- Created a free guide for small businesses to thrive online
- Launched our Theory of Marketing Relativity podcast
- Began sending a bi-monthly newsletter
- Kept our social media channels active
- Continued posting on our Epic Insights blog
- Did a digital “spring” cleaning and reorganized our shared files
- Joined the Cooperative Credit Union Association to better serve our CU clients
- Won a Delaware Small Business Chamber Blue Ribbon Award
- Named a finalist in the business consulting category for the Readers’ Choice Awards
- Named a finalist in the Delaware Business Times’ Family-Owned Business Awards
- Continued to help students and nonprofits through the UD PCS Social Media Marketing courses
- Saw the marketing course 2020 recognized in the UPCEA Mid-Atlantic Region Conference
- Networked and represented Epic Marketing at virtual webinars
- Connected with new clients and strengthened relationships with existing ones
- Celebrated staff birthdays, anniversaries, and life events remotely
- Began the planning process for 2021
- Wrote this list!