How to Make 2021 a Strong Year from Our Learnings from 2020

I could not let the end of this year pass without writing about a significant transition this new year will represent for so many people. 2020 has been a Pandora’s box in many ways. Personally, in Honduras, we had to deal with the pandemic as well as two hurricanes just ten days apart. We had not had such extreme weather in 22 years, and then we got two storms in two weeks. I think that many of us will be happy to start a new page in 2021, but before we do that, let us take a little bit of time to appreciate what we learned from both the good and the bad in 2020.

[Photo: Evie S./Unsplash]

[Photo: Evie S./Unsplash]

What we learned

2020 was a dislocating year in so many ways. It brought a lot of pain and change. By being so disruptive, however, it might have uncovered a lot of hidden and vital information. Because we have spent so much more time at home, it might have helped us develop new, healthier habits. For example, I know many people who lost weight because they are simply not eating out every day.

Take the time to sit down with a journal to reflect on this year. These are some questions you might want to ask yourself:

  • What new data did you find?

  • What worked well, and what did not?

  • What did you learn about yourself?

  • How do you want to grow?

  • What chapters do you want to end?

Close out the year. Whatever you were unable to complete, that is okay, as this is the moment to let it go. You may also find things that you may have wanted to do at the beginning of this year that no longer interest you. Every year we change, and this year we probably changed more than others. Let go of anything you will no longer be doing, relationships that no longer work for you, and patterns you want to leave behind.

You may have found as I did with my newfound love of baking, new hobbies and interests you want to pursue. You may have also seen many things for which to be grateful. I recommend taking the time to acknowledge all the good that came with this year and choose to cultivate it even further in the next year.

Once you are ready to close out the year, turn the leaf, and let it go. 2020 was unforgettable, and it is now behind us, in the literal past.


And we are finally here, 2021, the new year! It is exciting to be starting a new chapter and getting the chance to start anew. I always like to take this time and pretend like I have a blank slate. I know that it is hard to change deeply rooted things, but I like to picture starting from zero. If I could, what would I love to have?

  • What do you want in this new year?

  • If you could start from zero, what would it be?

  • What do you want to leave behind?

  • What tweaks do you want to make?

  • Would you want a different schedule?

First, dream about 2021. Let yourself brainstorm and take the opportunity a new year gives us to imagine what you want. When you have all your ideas, organize them in order of priority. We only have a limited amount of energy, and making a significant change is not easy, so think critically about these choices.

[Photo: Andreas Dress/Unsplash]

[Photo: Andreas Dress/Unsplash]

You may choose one item, or you may select more. Once you have a clear idea of what you want to do for the new year, it is time to make a plan. Most New Year’s resolutions fail because changing ingrained patterns takes time, so having a solid plan is essential. Set out milestones throughout the year so that you will have easily achieved your goal by the time you get to the end of the year.

I wish you a happy 2021. May it be full of joy and blessings for you and yours!


Pamela Ayuso is an author and the co-founder and CEO of Celaque. She is a real estate entrepreneur and developer who has executive leadership experience in two of the most successful real estate developers in Honduras — managing operations at Alianza and leading Celaque. Celaque develops office and residential buildings and manages a broad portfolio of properties. Pamela’s focus is on growing Celaque into a model for the 21st-century company.

In addition to her role as CEO at Celaque, Pamela is the author of Amazon best-selling book, Heptagram: The 7-Pillar Business Design System for the 21st Century. She offers practical business and personal development insights for other entrepreneurs and business leaders on her blog and LinkedIn. Her husband and her three wonderful daughters inspired the story of her first children’s book, Alicia and Bunnie Paint a Mural.       

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