As 2020 draws to a close, we look back and see it has been a difficult year for almost everyone.  There has been much turbulence and change, some good, some terrifying.  Tough economic times have seen many people laid off work and for some, it has meant fast-forwarding retirement.

We are hurtling into the eleventh month of the year, and for those of us in the southern hemisphere, this is the last ‘real’ working month before the majority go on summer vacation.  As a retiree who is not working, this may not affect your life much, but as we close one of the most unreal, unusual, torrid years in our lifetime, it is good to take stock before moving on into the next year and where possible try to make a bid for completing your goals in the time that is left.

Time to dust off your goal

If you are a goal-setter, now is the time to take out your goal and evaluate what you have achieved this year.  Even if you did not specifically write a goal or a New Year’s resolution, think back to pre-COVID times and try to remember what you planned for 2020. I know I went into it with very high expectations for a really good year.  Pat yourself on the back and be grateful for what you did accomplish, as it was tough for everyone, retired or not.  Those who had a bumper year are few and far between, like Geoff Bezos of Amazon and the developers of the Zoom platform!

Now, look at what you have not yet achieved.  Put to one side the things that were out of your control (and there was much of that in this year of pandemic).  Do not discard your dreams, put them back on the list for next year when, hopefully, we might have some idea of where we are headed.  I am writing this at the beginning of November because you still have 8 weeks to attempt to achieve what is left on your list.

Evaluate your goal through the lens of “new normal”

Then, through the lens of the “new normal” look at the goals you will not achieve, and ask yourself if they are still important?  I know I have had to shift direction and I am hoping it will be for the better.  It has meant that I have to discard some parts of my goal that have got lost in the pivot.

What have you learned?

For me, 2020 has brought time for introspection and the opportunity to learn about myself and from others.   I count myself extremely lucky that I managed to sell my house in the city and am a few weeks off completion of my dream retirement home in the country, which was the cornerstone of my goal for 2020. I could also have chosen to dwell on the loneliness of living alone in Lockdown or the difficulties around integrating into a new community in times of COVID, but where would that get me?

I am looking fo suggestions on content for my online courses

In 2021 I am planning to devote time to creating online training material on transitioning to retirement.  Can I call on you, my trusted community, to send me suggestions for what would be useful (or in hindsight might have helped you) for your transition to retirement?  Please post them in the comments below or email them to me at hilary@nuhorizons.co.za

I look forward to reading your suggestions,