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Learn from 2020 for a productive 2021

Dec 11, 2020

2020 was an unusual year, and 2021 will likely be just as strange. Moira Dunne emphasises the importance of setting your goals as usual, however, and gives some tips on how to stay on top of them.

As we reach the end of an extraordinary year, our focus is switching to 2021. Most years we make new plans in January for the year ahead. And even though 2021 may still present plenty of uncertainty during this global pandemic, it is still important to do this to get motivated for the future.

Here are some practical tips for goal setting to help maximise your chance of delivering your goals next year.

Reflect on 2020

Before moving on, it is useful to reflect on what we learned in 2020. Most people were forced to rethink how they work. We adopted new working habits and routines, and found new ways to connect with each other. For many, this new way of working had benefits as well as down-sides.

Consider what you learned from the changes you made in 2020. What do you want to bring forward into 2021? Here is a list of some of the key changes we encountered. Which ones are relevant for you?

  • The power of uninterrupted time to get work done.
  • The benefit of clearer communication with colleagues.
  • How making quick decisions benefits business.
  • Streamlined business processes that reduce time waste.
  • The importance of planning ahead.
  • The value of team interaction for problem-solving and creativity.

Setting goals for 2021

Before you set your goals for 2021, review the status of the goals set for 2020. Some may never have been completed or even started given the circumstances of 2020. Some may not be relevant due to a change in business focus. Re-evaluate your priorities for the year ahead.

Be realistic

Take a realistic view of your workload and schedule. Where can you find extra time to work on your goals? Plan to achieve one goal at a time to avoid overwhelming yourself. Once you make progress on one goal, you will be more motivated to tackle the next one.

Making progress

It is hard to find time in our busy day-to-day schedules to work on extra projects or goals. The key to making progress is to work out the specific tasks or actions required to achieve the goal.

With a list of tasks, it is easier to make some progress each week. Find a time block within your week that you can set aside to make progress on you goal task list. These time blocks can add up and, if well planned, will result in regular progress on your larger goal.

Making a plan

To help stay on track, I recommend that you create a simple goal plan with targets. This helps you stay motivated. It also provides a sense of achievement as you complete the work.

Be productive

Now is the time to focus on 2021 so you can finish this year feeling motivated and organised. And while 2021 may be another unusual year, having a purpose and a plan will help you get up and running in January.

Happy New Year to you all.

Moira Dunne is the Founder of