Many of us entered 2021 with a sigh of relief. 2020 was a hard, long year and there is something about being able to turn a page and say, “This is a new year!” And yes, it feels good to declare the end of one phase and the beginning of a brand new one. 

At the time of writing this piece, it’s been a day and a half since we saw the nation’s capital being stormed by angry supporters of Donald J. Trump. We have never seen anything quite like this in my lifetime; it was truly a spectacle. I spent the day reading and watching as much news from as many different places as I could. 

2021 starting out like it ain’t got no home training. 

One of the most remarkable aspects of humanity is its ability to persevere. Humans have this way of surviving, even in the most dire of circumstances. And especially for our people — Black people — our ancestors went through slavery, Jim Crow, and the list goes on. But we are still here. Still making ways to provide for ourselves and our families. 

We endure.

Every year, we set goals and objectives to guide us for that year. This year we need to get focused. We don’t have to describe all that was happening in 2020 — you were there. So much of the way we lived our lives had to change. As a result, it may have felt like we were taking some steps back. But sometimes slowing down is necessary for our growth. 

The last year was painful and confusing. We had to relearn how to interact with the world. Some of us lost jobs, businesses, careers, etc. Some of us had to rethink childcare and struggled through hours of virtual learning with our children.  There is a pain associated with change. But there is also pain in birth. 

2021 is a year to rebuild. The key is going to be eliminating distractions. We encourage you, in 2021, focus on what you can control; focus on you and your family and your community. There will, for as long as we are alive, all manner of distractions meant to capture your attention and dominate your energy. 

But you have a choice. 

Choose your focus for 2021 and hold onto it at all costs. We have work to do.