Taking some lessons from 2020, here’s some inspiration about what you could focus on in 2021: 

1. Dare to innovate

If there’s one thing we learned from 2020 it’s that a sense of urgency helps us to be more innovative. We had no choice but to adapt to the new circumstances of working online, we had to improvise and experiment with new tools and ways of working. Projects were adapted, meetings were moved online. It may have been a bit scary, but did it lead to great results, products or services? Challenge yourself to keep up that brave mindset and continue experimenting. Determine why it remains urgent. Allow yourself to fail and think outside of the box. Look at your projects, and reflect on questions such as: How can I do this differently but better? What else could I use my project resources for? Who else could I reach with this service or product? Which unusual suspects could I collaborate with? 

2. Aim for sustainable impact

Last year it may have felt like a struggle to complete everything on your to-do list. There were many distractions and hurdles to overcome. Project plans had to be re-written or ambitions reduced. Now is a good time to reflect on your key activities and the impact they have had or might have in the future. Is it enough? What can you do to maximise the impact of your projects in 2021? One way of getting more out of your projects is by determining which elements of your project offer the greatest added value. Does your project have a sustainable business model so that you can continue to offer this value even after the project has finished? What can you do to gain more monetary, social or environmental value? What can you do to sustainably reach those who are most in need? 

3. Share your learning 

We learn a lot from sharing with others. Who could have successfully sailed through 2020 without sharing their success stories and failures with colleagues and peers? By sharing more, you waste less time on reinventing the wheel. Through sharing your struggles, you may open up new doors for collaboration, while the positive and negative feedback you receive may help you to achieve more and faster. Although the physical events may still be limited this year, ask yourself what other ways you have to share, connect and grow your network. Can you join online events, sign up for a course or organise a peer-review session with colleagues? In what other ways can you share your learning and get feedback from others? What lessons can you share with others to help them to move forward?


Whatever you decide to do, it can be quite challenging to make those resolutions stick! It might help you to write down measurable goals, determine concrete actions, plan for obstacles, and track your progress. And finally, and keep telling yourself: don’t give up when it doesn’t work straight away, it’s all part of the process! 

Make your plans concrete straight away by signing up for the online course on Enterprising Project Design. The course will be held online from 10-12 February 2021 and you can register now on our website. In this practical online course, you learn how to use an entrepreneurial mindset to maximise your social impact. For more information, contact Lisa Freiburg, lfr@mdf.nl.