If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that life can be unpredictable and we can’t take anything for granted.

Of course, the high street and many businesses were already facing some tough struggles before coronavirus, but those challenges couldn’t have prepared us for this year and the global pandemic.

Having the mindset to bring on a positive 2021 means being receptive to new ideas, suggestions and ways of doing business.

Many businesses have adapted well and moved to working more online, learning to keep in touch with customers, suppliers and colleagues in a none face-to-face-way, whilst successfully supporting and maintaining those relationships. From buying, selling, sharing advice and enjoying friendly contact, online has become an important way of communicating. And that’s certain to continue into 2021.

Whilst we’ve reflected and revised our priorities we also know that it’s still important to set goals that stretch us, that motivates us to grow and develop. But in order to engage fully those goals have to mean something to us and not have us simply following someone else’s agenda. Consider bringing on board someone who holds you accountable for your progress, who perhaps suggests skills you would benefit from acquiring, who recognises each stage of your success and encourages you to appreciate those results.

On a personal level, many of us have had to cope with isolation, loneliness and the fact that much of life throughout 2020 has been put on hold. We’ve perhaps been inspired to try viable, interesting options to care for and support ourselves, becoming more creative, interested in spending time in nature. Finding effective ways to be healthy and look after ourselves, nurture our relationships, acquire new skills and be more adaptive has been a valuable lesson gained in 2020.

Moving positively into 2021 means continuing to incorporate those lessons learned, which also involves appreciating the importance of our relationships and having our own ‘team’. The New Year is about reinforcing and valuing the different ways we can connect and keep in touch. Let’s continue to be supportive of the vulnerable within our family and local community and be mindful of those who perhaps need additional help and support.

Don’t forget your relationshipsEnsure that you remember throughout the new year, to set aside regular time for the important relationships in your life. Being available for date nights, quiz and games evenings, walks and get-togethers demonstrate that you care about your relationships and are prepared to commit time to enjoy them.

What about perspective? Many of us have, over this past year, discovered a more grounded, balanced outlook. Having become more reflective and revised our priorities let’s aim to continue that approach into 2021. When we’ve witnessed so much unrest and uncertainty in the world why not also review those typical day-to-day irritations and concerns and question if they really warrant getting stressed or unsettled about; all working towards a positive 2021.

The global picture throughout 2020 has brought a different focus to many of our worlds and highlighted how much time we’ve typically spent fretting and worrying about things that have little or no real significance. Instead of mulling things over ask yourself do you need to quickly address or deal with an issue, is it worth making the emotional investment or is a healthier option simply to walk away and let it go?

Time for yourself has become especially important of late. It’s a crucial part of self-care and mental wellbeing. Yes, being absorbed in a routine piece of work, driving somewhere familiar or drifting off in a boring meeting can be trance-inductive as you glaze over and mentally check out for a while but it’s not the same as taking dedicated personal time.

Setting aside time to focus on your interests, have space to pursue your hobbies, catch up with friends or family for a little quality time on a reasonably regular basis are all important investments. Be firm about having some ‘me time’ for yourself and remember that if you’d booked an appointment with an important customer or adviser you’d be certain to keep it. Scheduling time for yourself is equally high priority too!

Bring on a positive 2021, as you determine to keep a hold on the benefits and lessons gained during 2020; the flexible approach to work and business, the commitment to self-care, eating healthily, the importance of quality sleep, tuning in to your moods so you’re able to look after yourself better. Making time for yourself is important. Yes, there’s always another task, something else that could be done, but when you determine to look after yourself well you’ll soon discover how every area of your life, business and relationships improve.

Susan Leigh, South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.

She’s author of 3 books, ‘Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact’, ‘101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and ‘Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’, all on Amazon. To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit http://www.lifestyletherapy.net