Finding inspiration for '21 - despite rocky start

The best advice I encountered for 2021 as 2020 came to a close was hilarious. And prophetic.

"Nobody claim 2021 as 'your year,' " the Facebook post advised. "We're all going to walk in real slow. Be good. Be quiet. Don't. Touch. Anything."

Unfortunately, a whole bunch of people didn't get the memo.

We're still recovering from the events that took place at the nation's Capitol Jan. 6, but I for one refuse to believe this country is irreparably broken. Nor do I feel discouraged from looking to the year ahead as one of hope and promise.

Fortunately, New Year's advice isn't limited to a single Facebook post. It comes from a plethora of sources. I found several suggestions I will try to follow to make 2021, if not the best year ever, a bit better than 2020.

• Practice positive self-talk

Forbes offers these suggestions to help silence your inner critic.

"During tough times, be as kind to yourself as you would your best friend. Underscore your triumphs. Replace bludgeoning yourself and using put-downs and criticisms with the practice of self-compassion. Affirm positive feedback instead of letting it roll over your head. Give yourself 'atta-boys' or 'atta-girls.' Throw modesty out the window, and remind yourself of all your personal resources."

• Keep the best innovations (of 2020) for the new year

These words of wisdom are from Mushfiq Mobarak, professor of economics at Yale, as quoted in Yale Insights.

"The pandemic was difficult on all of us, but it also taught us new things about ourselves, helped us identify news ways to be productive, forced us to innovate and brought us closer to some family members and friends. I'd like to take forward these new lessons and innovations that make life better than it was in 2019, as we slowly shed the layers of constraints that diminished our lives in 2020."

• Take time to dance

I wouldn't have thought of including a professional dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" in the piece. Fortunately Google directed me to this suggestion from Britt Stewart.

"I would say start by having a solo dance party in your room, lights low and play your favorite song. Remember no one is there to judge you so however your body starts moving, follow it. As you're moving remember to love yourself and speak positive affirmations to yourself. Over time you'll begin to feel more liberated to move more and be free."

• Stop making excuses

A piece from said now is the time to stop - and suggests picking up a copy of Mel Robbins' book "The 5-Second Rule" or listening to her Ted talk to help make it happen.

• Fulfill the highest, most truthful expression of yourself as a human being

And don't forget to stand in someone else's shoes, counsels Oprah Winfrey in the "Best motivation video for 2021" on YouTube.

I don't know if she was talking specifically about 2021, but she's Oprah, for crying out loud, so I will take it.

Everyone, she says, wants to know the same three things after an encounter with another human being: Did you hear me? Do you see me? Did what I say mean anything to you?

If we really listen to others, we will "help make sure that the speed and distance and anonymity of our world doesn't cause us to lose our ability to stand in someone else's shoes and recognize all that we share as a people."

- Pamela Lannom is editor

of The Hinsdalean.

Readers can email her at

[email protected].

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean