woman wearing a mask looking away in hope


2020: Lessons learned during a tough year

There are many reasons people are ready to welcome a new year. 2020 was a year of fear, grief, pain and unique challenges. It was also a year where many found hope, inspiration and resilience to overcome those challenges. 

Before you change your calendar and greet 2021 with a hopeful “hello,” it’s important to reflect on and be grateful for the lessons you learned in 2020. Here’s how to carry those lessons into the year ahead.  


You may have surprised yourself by what, or how, you “got through” this past year. This year has likely made you more resilient, enabling you to overcome and learn from unexpected challenges. 

Continue to build your resiliency by reflecting on: 

  • What has helped you during difficult times? 
  • Who did you turn to for support and encouragement? 
  • Who has been a source of comfort for you? 
  • How can you live more fully with an appreciation of the things that helped you stay “okay” and resilient in 2020?

Allina Health’s Resilient Life Program can help you thrive in your personal and professional life. 


On your most challenging days, remember what gives you hope, a reason to smile, pray or get out of bed in the morning. Some people find hope through their faith, loving relationships and a sense of community. If you have never considered this, the question might feel “basic” because these hopes are embedded deeply in who you are and how you encounter each situation. Use your sources of hope to discover and pursue your inspirations in 2021 and beyond. 

Find hope during challenging times by: 

  • Living in the moment and being grateful for what you have. Mindful movement can boost your mood, improve your well-being and enhance cognition. 
  • Journaling about what gives you hope and gratitude. 
  • Looking for positivity instead of worst-case scenarios. 

New Year inspiration 

Allow yourself to grieve about everything you and your loved ones endured in 2020. Grieving can help you grow stronger and move forward. Find inspiration from the things you have grieved, as that grief can convey the depth of your love and appreciation for what was lost or changed. 

Discover new inspiration by asking yourself: 

  • Who inspired you in 2020 and why? 
  • What did they have in common? 
  • What inspires you right now? 
  • What are your goals?
  • How will you pursue your inspirations in 2021? 

2021 will be what you make it

This year, focus on what you can control and know that it’s okay if you don’t always feel okay. Create a plan to incorporate your resilience, hope and inspiration into 2021 with intention and gratitude. Keep track of your new learnings every day and build on them in the year ahead one step at a time. 



Share this article


Gratefuls and Grumbles: Helping kids develop an attitude of gratitude

People who approach life with gratitude experience many mental and physical health benefits. Your kids can incorporate gratitude into everyday life in three easy steps.

Continue reading


Get fun, inspiring, provider-reviewed articles sent to your inbox.

Sign up for our email newsletter