New year, new mindset?

Signpost with sign 2020 with a line through it point in one direction. The sign 2021 points in the opposite direction.

Welcome to 2021! I hope it is going to be a productive, successful and happy year for all of us.

I don’t like the term “New Year’s resolutions”. It reminds me of all the usual things that millions of people put on their list every year. Get fit, lose weight, save money, get organised, spend more time with family. And so on. I’m sure a few of those have made it to your list in the past. And probably never made it off your list either.

But I do believe in setting goals. So I’ve spent a lot of time over the past month thinking about the challenges of 2020, and my goals for 2021. And I made one fundamental decision.

This is it

This is it. This is our normal. It’s not even new anymore, because we’ve lived it for 10 months.

1 January is just the day after 31 December. Nothing actually changes. So 2021 is not going to be that different from 2020. We still have the pandemic. We are still in lockdown.

The truth is that we all spent part of 2020 waiting. We waited for the end of lockdown. We waited to go back to “normal”. (Some of you waited in very long queues for alcohol. I didn’t. But I would have if the government threatened to stop the sale of chocolate.)

So I’ve decided to stop waiting and accept that 2021 will be another year of lockdown.

The serenity of acceptance

We’ve all seen (a version of) the Serenity Prayer:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Once we accept our reality, we free ourselves to work on the things we can change. Intellectually, I understood that the pandemic would be with us for at least 18 months. But that wasn’t the same as accepting it as the basis for all my future planning.

Agility is not the same as acceptance

I am proud of how quickly we changed our way of work in March 2020. We started virtual training even before lockdown, and I had an emergency plan in place in a few days.

But there’s always been that question of “when”. When will we start classroom training? When must we come back to the office? Every time the government made a new announcement, somebody asked: “When?”

I’m not asking that anymore. In 2021 all our training will be virtual (and maybe some online). Everybody will work from home. That means that we don’t waste energy thinking about “when” anymore. We just settle down and get on with things.

Compliments – and a little rant

I’m impressed by how fast some of our clients got bookings processed this January! With a little dedication, it’s clear that you can move mountains (or procurement) if you want to.

Now if only government and certain other institutions could get their act together. I’m tired of every call centre telling me that it will take longer than normal to handle my query.

The South African Post Office decided to change our postal address by (literally) demolishing our postbox. We don’t use it very much – everything is digital – but I still have to update our details with banks and other companies. You will not believe what a struggle this is.

After 10 months, I think it’s time to stop making excuses and start making things work.

Quick reminder

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As always, I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts.

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