What a year 2020 has been! I’ve been around now for 41 years, and while that is not that long, I still can’t think of a worse year. It has been terrible for everyone across the globe. Thanks to COVID-19, we’ve had to adjust to a life of wearing masks, social distancing, and missing school and work. Many people lost their jobs, and many lost their lives or the lives of their loved ones. We’re coming up on the end of the calendar year, and hopefully 2021 will have a better outlook than what we’ve experienced so far.

In fact, 2021 could turn out to be a great year if you think about what has been forecasted thus far. There is the promise of a COVID-19 vaccine being released to most if not all Americans by April of 2021. At this point, it’s looking like we will have a Super Bowl since the NFL is still going strong. It may even mean that 2021 will be a great rebound year as we learn to live with COVID-19 and hopefully see things become less restricted.

Career in Focus as You Finish Out the Year

Whether or not 2021 is an amazing year or another terrible one, what is important is focusing on where you are right now and finding ways to end 2020 on a high note. It can be done. Here are some ideas of how you can end 2020 on a high note regardless of how it has gone so far.

1. Learn Something New

Many of us have been stuck at home during this pandemic having to rely on Zoom meetings and VPN connections to continue working. Some of us have had work slow down, or we’ve had to find other streams of income to stay productive and keep paying the bills. If you have downtime and you find yourself at home, instead of binging the latest show on Netflix, learn something new. Learn a foreign language, learn yoga, learn how to paint or draw, learn a new technical skill, use your free time at home to improve yourself. This will help to take the focus off the bad stuff and will make you feel better about yourself.

2. Make New Healthy Habits

A lot of people have been stuck at home working remotely, and that has made making frequent trips to the fridge super easy. Have you experienced the “Quarantine 15?” It’s a real thing; people are at home gaining weight because our routines have been all mixed up and our stress is likely higher than normal. That is a recipe for disaster! Instead, try ending 2020 by not waiting until January 1 to work out, or make better choices nutritionally. There is nothing magical about January 1st; you can pick tomorrow to start making healthier choices – that way you can end 2020 on a healthier note.

3. Cherish the People Around You

Not much to expound on here, but I think the pandemic has shined a light on the fragility of human life. Do you take the time to call your mom and tell her how grateful you are for her? Or maybe a grandparent or a dad? Whomever you consider a loved one, stop and take the time to tell them how much they mean to you, you’ll be glad you did. And encourage the team members around you, as well. Family situations are different for everyone, and there’s never a bad time to pour into others around you. The pandemic has highlighted the reality that people are behind everything.

4. Enjoy the Holidays

The holiday season is here. Take some time off if you can, and enjoy the holidays (responsibly). Visit with friends and family where you can while social distancing of course. Buy someone a gift, make someone a gift, either way, be giving and find time to relax and recharge. The holiday season is stressful for some, but try not  to let it be. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we need to find ways to eliminate stress and enjoy who or what is around us.

5. Do Something for Someone

Lastly, do something good for someone other than yourself. Give a coworker a gift card to their favorite drink spot or lunch spot. Donate some old clothes or furniture that you no longer need. For at least one day, before the end of 2020, only think of others and what you can do for them. You will be surprised at how this can turn around negative thinking and feelings about your current situation. The recipients of your service will be happier and so will you.

Finish Strong

The end of 2020 is near, and we’re going to make it through. In a short podcast, Simon Sinek talked about having an Infinite Mindset helps us to see beyond what is happening right now. If we could live for thousands of years, we would have experienced multiple pandemics, and we would be better prepared. It’s hard to see that when we are only focused on what is going on right now. We’ll get through this together, and 2020 will pass. But in the meantime, do what you can to end 2020 on a high note!

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Greg Stuart is the owner and editor of vDestination.com. He's been a VMware vExpert every year since 2011. Greg enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids. He has 20 years of IT experience and currently works as an IT Consultant both in the private and public sector. Greg holds a BS in Information Technology and an MBA degree. He currently resides in Southeast Idaho. You can follow him on Twitter @vDestination, read his blog (vDestination.com) and listen to his podcast (vDestination.com/feed/podcast).