The start of a new year brings us visions of new beginnings, a fresh start and an outlook of hope and optimism. We would all say that 2021 is certainly looking like all of that and more!

This past year has certainly brought its challenges to every one of us in all phases of our lives: family, work, and overall lifestyle. Who would have thought we would spend the majority of the year, homebound or very close to home, finding, adapting and pivoting to new ways of work, of managing time, and balancing all of the daily roles that we play?

As some of us may say, never let a good opportunity to grow, change or improve one’s life, even if it is a “once in a lifetime pandemic” pass me by! How many of you/us were in such turmoil in March of this year, with the markets tanking again due to the possible meltdown of our US economy and the global economy at large? Let alone the spread of this sinister new virus that had no boundaries and still is ravaging communities worldwide.

For the most part, we were forced into new rhythms at work, at home and in-between as well. We had to change our daily regimes. And for some of us, it may have forced us to look deeper inside and ask ourselves, “what is serving us well and what is not”.

One of the areas that hit me is the fact that while my work is hybrid-half at home and half at an office, I did not need to invest as much in clothing as I did just 6 months earlier. That my “Zoom Room” outfit could be much more comfortable and yet still look sharp! As a financial planner and wealth manager, that was a big AHA! moment for me and I am sure for many of our clients and colleagues. While our  “outer look” may be very important, what was critical were the results of our daily work, our collaboration over Zoom/Webex, etc. and not what we were wearing that day.

Additionally, for many of us, we did learn to be very adept in our own kitchens, while working from home and, perhaps, better planners with overall food and household needs. I would bet that our budgets and cash flows are in better shape with this pandemic as it forced us to be more mindful of time, of our health and our daily needs. We may not have had time to do the casual drop in shopping and browsing and oh, let’s stop by and get a Starbucks or similar treat. And for some of us who were furloughed or lost our jobs, this was a stressful time, and yet we all learned how to enjoy more with less.

As we close out 2020, I am reviewing all that we have experienced this year at work and at home. I look to see what new habits have made a difference in my life. Let’s take stock of how we have adapted and pivoted to new ways of living each day. And while we both love and hate technology, I know that it has made a big difference in my overall ability to accomplish the important things in my life.

As I look back on these past eight to nine months and the experience of this once in a lifetime pandemic, I know that I am blessed with my family, my business, my friends, and my community. While I want to return to a lifestyle with some sort of normalcy, I do believe that we will not return to what was. My hope is that we will see a very new beginning, perhaps mid-year, and that we can all see that fresh start that we are accustomed to each and every new year.

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and Hope-Filled New Year!