How to Plan for 2021 After a Chaotic Year

What are your big plans for 2021? After a year like this one, it feels like “having plans” could be a bit of a stretch. With new restrictions coming into place here in California and in places around the world, it seems we’re not out of the woods yet. Although that backpacking trip around Europe will certainly have to wait, you don’t have to put a hold on your life. In fact, there are plenty of things you can still adequately plan for, regardless of whatever 2021 has in store for us.

Plan for Health

A new year’s resolution favorite, there’s never a bad time to start trying to be healthier. The great outdoors has much to offer in this regards. And if you’re lucky enough to live in California, you don’t have to put your exercise on hold just because the gyms are shut down. There are plenty of activities to be done outside, and the weather permits it. If you’re in an area with a colder climate — well, pick up a winter sport. Or maybe your gyms aren’t even closed. The point is, in 2021, we’d be best off focusing on what we can control, not on the places we can’t go. So get in shape and get ready for what life will be like in the not so distant future when airlines don’t reserve the middle seat for nobody.

Plan for Good Times

I know 2020 had its terrifying moments, but for me, at least, it also had some great ones. I’d be willing to bet that 2021 will also have some incredible moments. Whether that be impromptu meetups with friends, a particularly astounding sunset, or even watching your new, favorite show — sometimes its the little things that matter most.

Update Your Resume

The pandemic has caused a lot of people to rethink their lives. One of the aspects of life that people are rethinking the most just happens to be work. In the not so distant past (like just last year), there were too many job openings and not enough employees to fill them. While on the whole that is still the truth, it can feel a little bit odd out there to job seekers. Interviews are now being done virtually, and a lot of people are looking for work or at least just moving around.

For this reason, now might just be the perfect time to update your resume. Even if you aren’t looking for work right now per se, taking a good look at how far you’ve come in your professional journey might help give you clarity on your own goals moving forward into 2021.

Start Saving for that Trip Now

We’ve all been on those trips where it feels like we’re just bumping by on a hastily thrown together travel budget off of minimal savings. You can’t go where you want right now — or at least traveling there won’t be fun for some time. So why not start saving now for the not so distant future when airplanes stop serving prison rations and actually start letting you order alcoholic beverages again?

Set a dream destination, and a dream budget. Stop ordering takeout and start adding to your savings instead!

Reevaluate Your Living Situation

I know this one has occurred to you if you’ve recently switched to being a remote worker. The pandemic has led to a massive migration of workers away from where they currently set up permanent residence to more remote, rural locations. The mountains, the ocean — you name it, remote workers are flocking there. Some places are even giving incentives to people to set up shop in their out of state locales.

Despite what paralyzed office managers and people who make money off of companies having in person offices might have you believe, this trend towards remote work will only get larger moving forward. Don’t expect it to simply go away. In fact, if you don’t want to work in an office ever again and your career goals don’t align with being in one, there’s no reason why you have to go back. Plenty of jobs are going remote. So take one of those. Or maybe do some soul searching and get the skills you need to pursue a remote job.

Additionally, you might want to reevaluate your current living situations and decide if it is really what you want. I used to live in a relatively small condo before the pandemic because I liked to travel so much. Now that I’m not traveling anymore, I’ve moved to a bigger, single family home. And I love it. Maybe where you’ve been living was only circumstantial to what your circumstance was, and it no longer suits your new life. That’s okay! Feel free to make changes that you can control. They will make you feel empowered.

Plan to Fall in Love

With yourself, your dog, your spouse or someone new — falling in love over and over again is what life is all about. Creepy masks and incessant sanitation don’t have to stop you from rekindling that spark in your life. Maybe there’s a passion that you once had that has burned low, or maybe you find you have the time now to pursue a romantic relationship even if before you never did. 2021 will be a great time to explore the many paths of love and find the right one for you.

Learn a New Skill

No pandemic in the world can keep a good guy or gal from picking up a helpful new skill. That skill can be a life skill, like learning how to chop wood, or a work one — like coding. Whatever it is, learning something new is the proven way to keep your brain sharp and your emotions agile.

Pick Up a New Hobby

You don’t need to have the goal of being a tennis champion to pick up a tennis racket and have some fun. Likewise, there may be no ultimate end goal in sight for your favorite new hobby. But 2021 is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby regardless. Is there something you’ve always been curious to try out but never found the time? When is a better time than now?

Do Something Bold

A lot of times in life, we get caught up doing what is familiar and safe. If 2020 has forced us to realize anything, it’s that life is short and nothing should be taken for granted. So why not do something bold and crazy that you never had the nerve to do before? Take that trip to the grand canyon, give a speech, start a blog — simply challenge yourself! If there’s a dream alive in you that hasn’t come to realization yet, why are you keeping it from happening?

Originally published at on December 5, 2020.

Content Guru in Chief of

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store