The Word For 2021 Is… Planning

Just like I’ve done for the past 3 years, I’m taking a 2-week sabbatical on this blog after I write this article. I’ll still be putting together something for my business blog and my accountant’s blog, and I’ll pre-record videos for my two YouTube channels. Once all of that’s done, it’s time for a bit of relaxation; I need it!

planner for 2021

this year’s planner

It’s been a heck of a year. Some things y’all know about because indirectly you shared them with me: Covid, Black Lives Matter, the presidential election. Some were more personal: divorce, Mom, house issues. I’m lucky to be able to say I’ve survived it all, but I definitely need a mental break.

I don’t relax well; that’s nothing to brag about. I sleep badly, even if I sleep 7 or 8 hours, which is rare. Other than NCIS, Fuller House and Sister Sister, I haven’t watched a TV show in multiple years, and the only reason I’ve seen those shows is because Mom likes watching them on Netflix; does that count? I’ve only sat down at a TV to watch a few movies (though in stages), the NBA championship, the Super Bowl and the Michael Jordon documentary, which I recorded via DVR.

What do I do? I walk… a lot! It’s helped keep my weight down, especially since I started binging on a lot of dessert items once the pandemic hit and we couldn’t go out as often as before. I rediscovered candy other than Snickers, and I rediscovered pints of ice cream from a local bakery after my friend Kelvin told me about a flavor I didn’t know existed; yeah man! 🙂

In any case, my goal for the next two weeks is to try to relax, not sit at the computer all the time, definitely not write anything… but we’ll see if I can pull it off. I’ve got a lot of work to do this week before I can give it a shot. I’ll still be seen on social media, but nothing like normal; I just don’t want to be forgotten.

But when I come back… it’s back to work, and hopefully with more efficiency. I hope to do better with next year’s word than I did this year, though it wasn’t totally my fault. Last year’s word was socialization, and I was working my way there until the state shut down. Then I went totally in the other direction; I didn’t do my first Zoom call until September and I barely talked to anyone on the phone. I’m just starting to work my way out of that, but I’ve got a long way to go.

This year’s word in “planning”, which I was also doing really well until… you know… Once I couldn’t do a lot of things I had in my planner I pretty much shut down and didn’t use it again, which is a major shame. I was getting a lot accomplished up until then, but once my mother was home every day for 10 weeks I lost whatever mojo I had. Now she’s back to leaving the house 3 times a week, and even though I have some personal things to get through I need to start planning those and everything else on a more regular basis.

To that end, I’m only working on two major categories, with everything going into one or the other. One is “personal”, the other is “business stuff”. Both of these will be crowded, but let me give you an example of what those two titles actually mean.

Personal obviously means personal, but there’s a separation between “daily” and everything else. Back in September I started a stretching program, but I tend to do it after 11PM, when I’m ready to go to bed, which means I don’t do it for long. That’s a daily thing I need to plan for earlier in the day so I can concentrate on it better, get it done better, and reaps the benefits of it for a day instead of doing it before bedtime.

Everything else includes putting washed clothes away, which I often leave for 4 or 5 days, which is a shame. It’s for reaching out to doctors or anyone else who needs to hear from me. It’s for responding to my email, which I sometimes leave for upwards of a week; I miss a lot of stuff doing that, both personal and business.

Business means things like blogging, marketing, branding, posts for LinkedIn and occasionally more direct sales, something I’ve always been reluctant to do, knowing my industry a bit too well.

I’ve learned over the years that writing things down and looking at them daily helps me get a lot done. I figure it’s got to get going this year; I’m getting older and I need to have a more stable income before I reach 65 (ouch!). Since I know that planning works, and that hopefully most of the pandemic issues will start fading away, I can get back to “my” normal; hopefully everyone can.

In any case, I wish y’all a happy holiday season, and if you’re planning on a word or goal for 2021 I’d love to hear it. 😉

26 thoughts on “The Word For 2021 Is… Planning”

  1. Hi Mitch,
    I love your word – planning. Yes, if you write it down you get much more done. Glad you made it through 2020 okay.

    I’ve got to put my plans in writing as well. I have them in my head but that’s not enough. Too many things in the head never make it to paper and hence don’t come to fruition.

    I hope you have a better 2021 and Merry Christmas and Happy 2021.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I certainly have plans on getting things done. It’s always that initial step that messes things up, if you know what I mean. One step before the other, like in Rudolph. lol

    1. Thanks Sharon, and welcome to the blog. Goals, tasks, processes, and even thoughts to help coalesce everything works better when being written down. After I finish this comment I’m pulling out my gratitude journal and jotting a few things down in it before getting the rest of my day going. Think positive steps; have a wonderful week and holiday!

  2. Happy R&R, Mitch. I think you gave me an idea for my word for 2021: EXECUTE. This year, the word was FOCUS. I did that very well, especially once I started using the Workona extension that you shared with me (thanks again!!)

    Funny that you don’t check email for up to week. Prior to Workona, I never did that! Two week with that thing, and my email is spilling all over my desk. LOL

    Do try to get some rest. Happy holidays!



    1. I like your word as well, but I need to plan first.

      Funny thing about email is I used to check it often every single day. That wore off after getting home from Memphis, but I need to at least respond to my private and fun stuff.

  3. Hey Mitchell, I haven’t written my to-do list on pen and paper in so long. Perhaps I ought to give that a shot for the next few days and see if I will become more productive in the subsequent days!

    I am beginning to realize that I am the opposite of most of you. I treat my semester breaks as opportunities to get on with all the work I’ve been dying to get to during the semester. Rest just does not come easy to me. And that’s bad because when I do try to work during my semester ‘break’, I start dragging my feet. Most days, I’m stuck in a limbo between work and rest. I get things done at such a snail pace that even I infuriate myself.

    Thanks for sharing your goals, and I hope that you get some well-deserved rest for the next two weeks as we close out 2020. It’s been a heck of a year, hasn’t it?

    1. It’s definitely been a heck of a year Ming; truthfully, I’d love to give back the last 4 years! lol

      As a young guy you probably have more energy than many of us do, but you can still wear yourself into the ground without a proper rest period. I noticed on your blog post you never mentioned getting away or doing anything fun. All of us need some of that in our lives… even if it’s just going to the bakery and buying a cake (my kind of fun lol).

      The thing about a list, which Mitchell and I have talked about, is you show yourself that you’re progressing, and it encourages you to do more. Even if you only accomplish two tasks a day, it’s progress. Just something to think about; thanks for commenting!

  4. Hi Mitch,
    Planning…and especially writing things down is a sure fire way to get things done. 2020 has been a whirlwind of a year both business wise and also personally for me. I like to keep a (pen and paper) notebook and plan the year out and then break it down to month by month, week by week, day by day. But this year screwed it all up.
    With my mom in hospice at home, I had to let go of so many things with my business. Family first Ehh?
    It is great to know you are taking some R&R for yourself. You do so much between your business and taking such good care of your mom.
    I wish all the best for you in this new year and have a wonderful Christmas season. Blessings to you, Donna

    1. Thanks Donna. I wish you a wonderful holiday and a better 2021 than 2020 was for both of us. I’m definitely going to be putting my plans together to make 2021 much easier than this year was. Course one never knows about Mom, but I’ll do my best in figuring her out. 🙂 Take care of your mom and yourself; wishing the best.

  5. Enjoy the holiday season, my friend. I will also be taking my annual leave this Monday. I hope I will be able to do some planning for the next year and set some goals. Let 2021 be better than 2020.

  6. If anyone deserves a “mental break,” it’s you. Do that, and enjoy it. Mental breaks are better than mental breakdowns, any day.

    Have you ever had a sleep study? I’m doubting you have, what with your mom there. Might you have sleep apnea? If so, your exercise and weight loss should be helping. Still, talk to your doctor – it could be a factor, and you’ll rest better for eliminating all the little factors.

    Here’s another odd thought – I get RLS if I eat raw onions at dinnertime (any time after lunch, really). It’s okay if they’re very well cooked and in something. But raw ones, and I’ll have a devil of a time getting to sleep or staying there.

    Maybe avoid sugar in the evenings? (Most mothers swear the boost of energy is a BAD thing before bed.) Peanut butter puts me right to sleep – so maybe a spoonful at bedtime? (Apparently, it’s as loaded with tryptophan as turkey – it’s a well-known sleep aid I discovered by accident.)

    Reading, watching something lighthearted on TV, listening to classical music – those, too, may help. I found a playlist, “Chimes and Bowls,” on Spotify, that puts me out like a light and keeps me there. It’s not really music – more like listening to low, soothing windchimes. Most “meditation sounds/music” annoy me, but these are peaceful and pleasant.

    Socialization – that’s right! I have inadvertently helped you with that goal. 🙂 See you later this morning, I hope!

    Planning is a good word. I don’t know that I need it (much) these days. Reflection – I do want to keep a journal and I want to do it in a pretty journal and write in it without judgment, without ripping out pages where I don’t like the way I wrote the letter “t” or something stupid like that.

    I’ve seen people mash words together for this. It’s only cheating if you think it is. #GetTheMojoBack might be a good one. Simplify and focus are also good words.

    Try the stretching in the morning, before you get up and are active for the day. You lose some of the benefits by doing it only at night. Stretch to ready yourself for the day. Eat peanut butter, relax, and veg to get ready for sleep.

    Oh! You live out of the dryer, too, eh? I don’t know how people survived before “permanent press” (but I suspect you know, just as I do, that nothing’s “permanent.”) If you had to choose between cleaning things or putting them away after they’ve been cleaned, which do you prefer? I prefer to load the dishes than to put them away. Feels like the big job’s already done. I think it’s a weird psychological quirk. I don’t understand it, but it’s good to know I’m not alone in this.

    I’ve been much more active on LinkedIn since retirement, which is kind of hilarious to me. For most of my corporate career, a signed NDA was sacrosanct. And the rule, for YEARS, was that we weren’t even to have a LinkedIn account at all. (Funny to think what a wise rule that was, eh? SO MUCH SOCIAL ENGINEERING over there. My GOD, that place is a nightmare.) But these days, the comments like, “What’s this doing on LinkedIn? This stuff belongs on Facebook. THIS is a PROFESSIONAL site!” just crack me up – the 2020 version of “Stop hitting Reply All to say ‘Don’t Reply All!’!”

    As if that’s ever worked in the history of email.

    Happy holidays, Mitch! May 2021 be bright and prosperous, and may we all be kinder to one another.

    1. That’s quite a comment Holly; let’s see how many people can keep up with something like that! lol

      I’ve had two sleep studies and I sleep with a CPAP… since 2007! lol I thought you knew that; I’ve written about it multiple times and have done videos about it. I breathe better but I don’t actually sleep better. My entire body kind of hates my mattress (which I bought in ’18) and has always hated mattresses, but I can’t sleep on my back so I can’t use a chair.

      Peanut butter’s one of my “love” foods, but it doesn’t help put me to sleep (you didn’t know that there’s a study that disproved the tryptophan thing?). As for not having desserts at night… I thought you knew me! lol That’s one I’ll probably never give up as long as I live; it’s the reason I keep living! 🙂

      Falling asleep isn’t my problem; staying asleep is. My routine lately is to get off the computer, brush my teeth, do my stretching and go to bed. I usually just lay there for a bit before rolling over and going to sleep. I’m a “fight” sleeper. I sleep on my side and hug my pillow tightly, getting into a fetal position. I think that’s why I wake up tired; I fight all night, waking up multiple times, and having a torn tendon in my shoulder and a finger problem hasn’t helped much.

      In any case, I hope that planning helps me get some kind of routine going, especially since I’m going to plan rest periods when I can. I also hope to do more stretching throughout the day, but first thing morning stretching probably will never be a thing since Mom comes first… always. Let’s hope for the best for both of us in 2021!

  7. Mitch, this is a great post that I am just reading now. Don’t we always say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger? This year we will all be coming out of this nightmare much, much stronger.

    The parts that particularly hit me were 1) your stretching at the end of the night. I had a similar routine going where I said that before I went to sleep I needed to do 3 things and check off my chart that held me accountable. It could be things like plank, pushups, stretches. I found that when I did it after 10 PM, I just hurried my way through them.So I will be doing it earlier as well.

    I also loved your focus on planning. It helps to have a plan, and then go to execute it. If nothing else, it makes us feel that we are in control and that is at least half the battle.

    I look forward to reading more about your journey in 2021. And about that mom of yours, it took me back to my trips to visit my mom every 6 weeks (I am on the east coast and she was in the midwest). I did this for 4 years as I watched her get weaker over time, but all that time we spent, was a gift to us both. I lean on that so often when I hear her words…

    Sending wishes for a meaningful and fulfilling year ahead.

    1. Thanks Jill, and welcome! I’m going to work hard to stick with my major goal of planning this year, but it’s definitely going to take a major mindshift after all that happened in 2020. I haven’t quite relaxed yet, which is terrible, but I’ve taken care of a few things that might help me get to that point. As long as we push forward, it’s all good. 🙂 I wish you great success in 2021!

  8. Hey Mitchel,

    You have written a great article. I have read that 3 out of 5 individuals are suffering from Pandemic Depression still. The major reason to that is downfall of business community which result in unemployement and depression.

    We have to made a perfect plan for 2021 like you said above to survive.

    1. Actually, the plan doesn’t have to be perfect but it does need direction. I was watching a video earlier today where the host said she plans for the entire year on day one, but she reviews the plan every 90 days because things change that we can’t always control. I think 2020 proved that; no one expected what came. Still, having a plan going forward is always a good thing.

    1. What you do Nina is create the plan, then make adjustments as time goes on. We do that now on a weekly basis because things change from week to week, so it’s not a big deal. 🙂

  9. WOW… That was some to-do list for what was supposed to be a sabbatical, Mitch!!! Truly hope you are happy with your accomplishments – however big or small they might be.

    Happy New Year!

    PS Stretching at 11pm?… I guess a few minutes is better than nothing, as is 11pm! 😉

    1. Hi Ana; glad to see you. Thought you’d disappeared; glad that’s not the case.

      I’m still in compilation mode. I’m up to 30+ on my task list and keep coming up with more tasks daily. It’s one thing to list these things; it’s harder to get to some of them. And I only started Monday! lol But I’ll get there; I have to.

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