Expand Your Vision 2021.
Across our industry, 2020 has been a year of damage limitation and reactive quick thinking. While some attractions have managed to rescue parts of their peak seasons by offering scaled back experiences, the impact of COVID-19 on the attractions industry overall has been severe. Recent reports from the U.S. show that as many as 40% of attractions jobs may be lost in the near term. For individual attractions, preventing these short term losses from turning into a long term trend means taking proactive action now.
The long-term viability of our industry now depends on attractions thriving in 2021 and beyond. While many aspects of tomorrow’s world still seem incredibly uncertain, attractions can help ensure their survival in the medium to long term by looking towards their future now. Doing so is essential because returning to growth cannot be done by taking only reactive measures. The medium-term economic recovery might be less V-shaped than initially hoped. But flexible, safe, and innovative attractions that stay ahead of changing trends will still entice guests regardless of what the new normal looks like.
A new, transformative mindset is essential.
2020 has been a very challenging year filled with difficulties. While it might be tempting to simply count down the days until the year is over, now is actually the perfect time to start looking to the future and proactively plan for the year to come. Take steps right now to set yourself up for phenomenal success in 2021.
Make Time to Reflect
No matter how busy you are, reflection pays off. When you take time to reflect on the past, you can move into the future with a renewed sense of purpose and direction. Ask yourself what goals you achieved in 2020, and what obstacles you encountered. There’s no need to beat yourself up if any goals fell by the wayside. Be honest and take stock of where you are right now to assess what you need to move forward.
Find Your Focus
In difficult times, we can lose our way. In “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill taught that in order to be successful, you must really think. Ask yourself: Where are your thoughts and your energy directed? What do you want to achieve in 2021? If you don’t take the time to figure this out, you risk drifting along with no real sense of purpose, constantly making short-term decisions, feeling overwhelmed and never living the life you want. Zero in on your focus and then build a solid plan around it.
If there’s anything this year has taught us, it’s the importance of reserves, both financial and emotional. Peaks and valleys will always be a constant in life, which is why it’s crucial to get into the habit of saving so that you have the ability to cover personal, home and even business expenses in difficult times. In addition to financial reserves, you also need emotional strength, which you can build by committing to ongoing personal growth and development. If you didn’t have the financial or emotional reserves to draw on this year, start building them now, so you always have a safety net going forward.
Reflect on 2020
Think about 2020. Take a minute to write down those things that were really hard in 2020. What things do you hope to change for 2021? Write down the things that were awesome in 2020. What things do you hope to build on or keep for 2021? What things has your family done well? What things hasn’t your family done well?
Why do you do what you do? Life is short. Are you focused on the why? The decisions you make as a family, the job you work, the house and home you are building should all be pointing to your why. Is what you are doing going to help you accomplish your why?
Make a plan
If there are things in your column that were hard for 2020, think about how you can potentially make them better or easier if they continue in 2021. It’s important to be honest that not everything is going to be perfect, but consider ways that you can take those negatives and make them better. Are there areas of your life that have hit you hard? Do you need to make a plan to take care of yourself?
Let Go A Little
Focus on what you can control. I think if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the future can be unexpected. Set goals, plan for the future, but also be flexible, embrace change and mentally prepare yourself to let go a little. You may want to consider goals in two ways. Those that you know you can accomplish regardless of the world around you, and those that you desire to do but will be dependent on what the world around you does.
I don’t have answers on what 2021 will hold, but I am hopeful. I am hopeful that we have learned some valuable things in 2020 even amidst the dumpster fire it was that we will carry with us into 2021. As you think forward, think forward with hope, expecting good things, being grateful for the good that is around you and the good that is coming. 2021 here we go! You’ve got this!