2021 — How to Start Fresh (and Make the Right Choices)

First, I am going to toss out the old “blueprints.”

Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD


Photo courtesy of author

What a year. Everything was different.

And, I don’t know about you, but I really needed a break.

It’s time for reflection, but also to make some hard choices. And I don’t mean the usual New Year resolutions we make every year. Less sugar. More gym.

We need something totally different.

But big life choices are harder when there is so much uncertainty and we don’t know what the future will bring.

Day-to-day routines are constantly changing. What will happen with work-from-home? And what about travel? Schools? Shopping?

I see the confusion with my students. They had it all figured out before, but now they suddenly find that their dreams and plans might not work anymore. The uncertainty makes them nervous and more and more of them are considering remaining students and enrolling in another school or program.

Taking a pause seems to make sense but isn’t always possible. Waiting for everything to go back to normal, or at least, settle down, may even be a mistake. What if radical uncertainty has become a permanent condition of our lives?

This is scary, worries me, and makes me feel uncomfortable.

3 Strategies to Turn the Page and Get You Going

Most of us can’t wait to end 2020 and start fresh.

But this year wasn’t all bad. The power of communities was one thing that clearly stood out for me. The year showed that people have the ability to help each other in creative ways.

I saw communities stepping up and helping people who most need it in difficult times. People who alone in lockdown get lots of cards from “strangers.”

My wife owns a restaurant and the support from the community has been overwhelming. It makes me feel me good and reminds me to stay positive for 2021.

And we have witnessed the emergence of an environment for experimentation and innovation. This environment is conducive for developing our talents and interests in new and unanticipated ways.



Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD

Prof (law) exploring the collision of life, work, and technology, with a current project in the works - a sci-fi novel.