March 5, 2021
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Three ways to optimize 2021

By: Steven Campbell
January 1, 2021

Yes, I know that while 60 percent of Americans do make New Year’s Resolutions, only 8 percent of them succeed.

However, having some resolutions is healthy for our minds. Wayne Gretzky’s observation fits perfectly here. (Mr. Gretzky is regarded as the best hockey player in the history of National Hockey.)

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you do not take.”

So! It’s the end of a year which the world wishes had never happened. However, the awfulness of 2020 may help us achieve our goals in 2021.

Consider this! The fact that you are reading this indicates that you are a survivor of 2020 and its stressors.

• Homeschooling while also trying to work

• Loss of employment

• The deaths of friends and family

• Personal illness

• Quarantines and restriction of movement

• Severe financial hardship

• A hectic political landscape

• Civil unrest 

• Natural disasters 

However dear reader, think of this:  Maybe you didn’t do it flawlessly, but none of us did! And with a vaccine on the horizon, we can literally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So setting some goals for yourself can help you during this recovery period. Setting some goals can also set you up for success once we start emerging from the pandemic. In fact, now is a great time to think about where you want to be after COVID. 

And you have three motivations:

• The vaccine 

• The strength and resilience to make it through 2020

• And 2021 should be far better than 2020 

So with those three motivations, here are three ways to optimize 2021!

Set a few overarching goals (e.g., get healthier, get a new job).

And then set achievable and measurable steps to achieve the goal.  Success towards the overarching goal through the achievement of smaller steps to get there makes people more likely to stick with the process and achieve the goal.

Make your resolutions realistic. 

Many of us want to be brilliant, ironman billionaires. Alas, for most of us, this isn’t going to work out. 

So what is actually within your grasp? Create of series of steps and sub-goals and work towards them. If you want to lose a lot of weight, for example, maybe a 20-pound weight loss in increments of two pounds a week is the best place to start, as opposed to immediately trying to get to a size 2.

Make your resolution measurable.

Ambiguous goals (e.g., get healthier, improve finances) make poor resolutions in and of themselves. Getting healthier or improving finances are great overarching goals, but they need achievable and measurable steps to help you get there. 

For example, if finances are your goal, go through your debts and priorities and make a detailed plan to get there. Make the milestones concrete (for example, work with the utility company to pay off the overdue electric bill, or pay a specific amount above the minimum payment monthly in order to pay off the credit card bill). As you tick off specific bills, debt, or meet investment milestones, you will not only gradually achieve your overarching goal, but you will be able to celebrate victories and observe progress along the way. 

And the act of recognizing success as it occurs makes it more likely that you will continue to build on the progress.

Here are some concluding thoughts.

1. Yes…2020 has been a rough year, but the entire nation is on the cusp of change. 

2. Be kind to yourself. 

3. Set some realistic goals. 

4. Celebrate small accomplishments. 

5. And use the current perfect storm of vaccine hope and the clean slate of the New Year to gain momentum to start off 2021 and prepare for your post-COVID self.


Steven Campbell is the author of “Making Your Mind Magnificent.” His seminar “Taming Your Mind, Unleashing Your Life” is now available online at  For more information, call Steven Campbell at 707-480-5007