How to Stay Resilient, Strong and Positive Into Next Year

2020 has definitely been a challenging year for everyone, but we’ve seen people rise up to create some great things as a result of the pandemic and the struggles it had produced.  Shifting to accommodate the restrictions that many have had to endure and coming together to help each other to grow and thrive.

I thought this would be a great time to share some of the articles you may have missed in the hope that you will find the necessary inspiration to carry you throughout the rest of 2020 and into the New Year. Here are the top 10 articles of this year:

Recognition & Gratitude

How do I recognize people I don't like with Sarah McVanel1. One of the questions I am most often asked is “how do I recognize people I don’t like?”  One great way is to recognize their progress and potential.  You’ll learn more in the full article:  How to Appreciate People You Don’t Like


How to deal with emotions at work with Sarah McVanel2. Have you ever had an emotional hangover?  You know what I mean. You are exhausted. You have a headache and might feel sick. You feel unmotivated and just want to lie on the couch and watch Netflix, hiding from the world until you recover.  This blog post just might be your cure:  How to Deal with Emotions at Work and Beyond

appreciation in 2020 during COVID with Sarah McVanel3. When COVID first hit us, did you wonder what you should be doing and how you could contribute?  I really struggled for the first couple of weeks with “what can I do?”  Are you curious about what I learned?  Here are some tips that might help you:  Finding Meaning and Contribution During COVID


Thank a healthcare worker in 2020 with Sarah McVanel4. There are thousands and thousands of healthcare workers working around the clock during COVID-19, as they do every day of the year, 24/7, 365 days of the year.  They are the frontline and absolutely the best place to start with our gratitude.  I share some ideas here:  Who to Thank During the Coronavirus Outbreak?    Healthcare Providers is a Great Place to Start

Positivity and Motivation

focus with Sarah McVanel5. We’ve probably all had someone in our life, at some time, tell us that it’s okay to not be okay.  It’s true though. It’s okay to struggle, try things and fail.  Particularly during times of strain like now, we may find ourselves struggling with things we had on track six months ago – healthy habits, socializing, separating work and home – because nothing is normal!  Learn how to turn that around:  What You Focus on Grows (So Choose Wisely)

6. It’s time to figure out how to keep our optimism going strong…we’ve been in the thick of it for a while and I think could all use a glimpse of how to stay positive when times are tough.  Here you’ll find more insight:  How to Stay Optimistic (Even When There’s Every Reason Not to Be)

stay motivated7. Now that we’re feeling a little more positive, it’s time to get our mojo back.  What happens when you’re feeling less than motivated?  Here are some suggestions that I use in my own life and share with my coaching clients when they find themselves unmotivated:  3 Hacks to Get Motivated in Uncertain Times

virtual recognition with Sarah McVanel8. Recognition and motivation go hand in hand.  That being said, I am frequently asked, “How can I sincerely, sustainably and supportively appreciate my team, especially when we’re all working virtually?”  Here, you’ll find references to deeper dive resources that I believe will both inspire you and make you excited and hopeful of the power of recognition3 Ways to Recognize and Motivate in Uncertain Times

reducing negativity with Sarah McVanel9. Who among us doesn’t have that one or two folks (or dozen) who seems to make it their mission to make us and everyone around us miserable?  You’ve heard me say it before and I’ll say it again…a complaint is a poorly worded request.  In this article, you’ll find a downloadable resource that I’m certain you’ll find helpful in figuring out what this person most wants:  Strategies for Reducing Negativity in the Workplace

Nobody’s Perfect!

perfect in 2020 with Sarah McVanel10. If there was EVER a time to give ourselves a break, I’d say 2020 where we’re working differently, more isolated, worried, and unsure of the future is as good a reason as any to cut ourselves and others some slack. Perfection trips us up all the time. We don’t want to make a mistake.  However, it’s not reality, is it? Learn why imperfection can be perfect:  Why it’s Perfect to be Imperfect 

I hope that you’ll find some of these ideas and strategies useful to help ease some of the stressors you may have been feeling and enduring for the past several months or to motivate and recharge your team.  I know that the pandemic has affected us all in different ways and if you’re needing anything at all, please feel free reach out to meI find my greatest pleasure in helping others and serving in times of need!   

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve