10 Ways to Make the Next 142 Days Really Count

Michelle Okafor
5 min readAug 12, 2020


Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

For most of us, the last time anything made sense was in March. It is now August. Five months have gone and we can’t account for where that time went and what we did.

I know this is a generalization and hopefully, for most of you, there is something to show. Like a new job, starting a business or a side hustle.

What we all agree on is that we cannot waste away another minute. Life is just too short. We have already lost 5 months of 2020.

There are exactly 142 days left to 01 Jan 2021. The next steps will show you how to make those 142 days really count.

1. Stop waiting for it to end. It won’t.

We cannot live our lives for the day that things will go back to normal. There is no normal. That is gone. The sooner we start facing some real truths, that the circumstances we currently find ourselves in can only be solved with the tools we have at our disposal at the moment. There is no going back. To anything.

That is gone. That was yesterday.

Look forward. That’s where you’re going.

2. Show gratitude

Be grateful for what you have. If you still have a job, be grateful for that. If you can keep relatively the same lifestyle as before without any major changes, you are lucky. Show some gratitude. If you still have a business and did not have to lay off 50% of your workers, you are in a better position than some other businesses.

Count your blessings. Every day.

3. Make peace with WFH (working from home)

It was exciting in the beginning to work from home. No more commuting. No more sitting in traffic for 2 hours. You can have a 2-hour lunch break. You decide which hours you work. When you are most productive.

However, the blending in of work and home makes you feel like you can never switch off. You should be always on, always connected. Online meetings have become the norm. Get used to it.

4. Make peace with having your children around

There were days if you can still remember when you could drop your kids off at the school gate and get on with your life. Go to work, do your thing and get back to them later in the afternoon.

Now you have to deal with homeschooling and online learning and Zoom meetings. And making sure tasks are completed. Wait, is that not the teacher’s job?

School was never meant to be a daycare centre. It does allow for the parents to go to work though. The sooner we stop feeling flustered and get the children into a routine that works for everyone, the better. All children need are rules and boundaries. If you don’t set them, they will.

And yes, those without children won’t have a clue and that’s ok too. It is what it is.

5. Pay off your debt

I know everyone says it, you’ve heard it so often, but with lay-offs being the order of the day at most companies, debt is a real threat to your survival and wellbeing.

Pay it off as fast as you can. Get rid of that car note. Think twice before getting a big-ticket item. Nobody cares, nobody is looking.

What about a challenge? What if you decided that you are not going to buy anything new for the next 142 days until 01 January 2021. Nothing besides the essentials. Let’s try that!

6. Build up your emergency fund

If your boss told you tomorrow that you don’t have a job anymore (that is a reality), how long would you be able to cover your monthly expenses? One month, three months, 6 months. At a bare minimum, you should have 6 months’ expenses saved up.

It will buy you time. You can decide on the next steps without hyperventilating or feeling like an anxiety attack is imminent every single day. Remember, you are doing this for yourself.

Photo by Artsy Vibes on Unsplash

7. Visit your parents

But they said no home visits. You don’t want them to get sick. Yes, of course, that should be your main priority. If now is not the right time, that’s fine, but do it as soon as the opportunity allows.

Years later when they are not around anymore, you will either cherish the memories of the good times you spent with them, or you will regret that you did not spend more time with them. You don’t want it to be the latter.

8. Cut toxic relationships

Just because someone was your friend since high school does not mean you still have to hang around with them. People grow up and grow apart. Priorities shift. The same goes for family. There is no need for hangers-on who just drain you and hinders your progress.

It sometimes is an emotional decision to stay with the crowd. No-one else knows you like them. Don’t let your whole life pass by and realise all this time that you were a crowd-pleaser.

9. Get your body in shape

Not for anybody else, but for yourself. As we’ve said before, if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.

It also means wearing a mask, not because the government says so but because it is the right thing to do.

We are not sure whether masks work, but shouldn’t we rather err on the side of caution? Rather wear a mask and look ridiculous than end up with a ventilator. It’s a no brainer.

10. Become a philosopher

Make time to reflect. Make time to be alone and just think. Think about where you are in life. What you want to achieve. Where you are heading.

There is so much noise out there. One can quite easily carry on and not even realise that they’ve hardly had a coffee with themselves lately.

Make that date with yourself. Schedule it in your calendar. Meditation helps. It calms the mind. When you have a calm mind you can achieve anything. Unless you make a concerted effort to stop and take time out, it will just pass you by. Make the time.

11. Smile (bonus)

You’ve got this!



Michelle Okafor

Writer of short, inspirational pieces. Make the most of your time here, for we pass this way only once. See the good in yourself and others.