Each year I write my “Memory Lane and Crystal Ball” email reflecting on the year past and the year ahead. I share it with you because I have been told that oftentimes I see things on the horizon that might still be out of view for others. After four decades now, I am realizing that working in the wellness industry has felt like a calling and I have learned to trust the reflections and predictions that drop into my head.
This year, I thought I would start out with something personal, which makes me think that “turning personal” might be something others are experiencing as well.
It was one day over the holidays that I went through my closet to prepare for my annual end-of-the-year give away. In the spirit of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” (Marie Kondo) I went through everything to see what no longer “sparks joy” and ready it for gifting or donating. It was an especially massive job this year.
In the back of my closet was the wedding dress I wore when I married my husband, Peter, 36 years ago. And this year, it needed to go. Peter walked out of my life at the end of 2020 letting me know that he no longer wanted to be married. Now, with a year of time to reflect and after some efforts at reconciliation, the marriage seems destined to be over. This was not something I wanted, but what I have come to realize that I must accept.
Wellness became the toolbox to which I turned during this past year. 2021 also included the unexpected death of my closest girlfriend, in addition to what we all experienced–another year of uncertainty due to COVID. I am happy to report that there seems to have been enough tools in that toolbox and I am finding a new, good place.
My guess is that I was not alone in reaching for wellness practices to make it through 2021. For me it was physical activity, mental wellness, healthy nutrition, self-care, spa and healthy sleep that played the greatest roles.
Family and friends—the support of my personal community—has also been a lifeline this year, and will continue to be enormously important moving forward. I have spent more time with my children, my granddaughter, my New York family and others, and I’ve made more of an effort to do so.
I also welcome the continued importance of faith in my life. Stay tuned for more on that coming in 2022.
Memory Lane for 2021:
- Expanding our global wellness world that includes the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) and its sister organization, the non-profit Global Wellness Institute (GWI), through virtual events; master classes, sector spotlights, reverse pitches, the Doctor is INclusive series, podcasts, etc.
- Spearheading our first one-day Symposium on Wellness Real Estate and Communities that took place in New York.
- Helping to orchestrate a very successful GWS gathering–in person and virtually– via the Summit in Boston. Kudos to chairs Dr. Michael Roizen, Victor Koo and virtual host Anna Bjurstam. Hats off to Nancy Davis.
- Appreciating the great work of our non-profit GWI 2021 research team who completed The Global Wellness Economy: Looking Beyond Covid. It answered the questions regarding which sectors of the wellness economy expanded during COVID, which contracted, and what is the outlook for 2025.
- Accepting the outreach from the BBC to partner on a first-of-its-kind film series about the world of wellness.
- Growing our databases and continuing to promote the message of wellness for all around the world.
- Realizing that the 2021 GWS theme, a NEW New Era of Health and Wellness has indeed ushered us all into a new reality. We are now at the table with medical professionals, the pharmaceutical industry, technology giants and many other industry sectors around the world. Opportunities abound.
Crystal Ball for 2022:
- Our GWI research shows that much of the revenue loss of 2020 for the Global Wellness Economy will have been made up within a year and the five-year forecast is rosy indeed with a prediction of reaching almost $7 trillion by 2025.
- The 2022 GWI research focus will be on Wellness Policy. While this topic was selected more than a year ago, as is so often the case, our timing is ideal. We have cities, countries, and regions reaching out to us for help in incorporating wellness and we sense that will accelerate. TAKE NOTE: Wellness Policy will engage governments and, I feel, will result in the kind of landmark impact that many of our previous research reports have had.
- Our GWS Trends 2022 will be unveiled in New York, February 8th. These push the envelope with new ideas and thoughts. In all honesty, many trend reports I read recently predicting for 2022 had me thinking…but, what’s new?
- Our upcoming 2022 GWS in Tel Aviv, October Oct 30–Nov 2 will have a focus on innovation and its pavilion will showcase cutting edge health and wellness technology that we all need to know.
- Technology will factor in heavily for this new year. Michelle Gamble and I are heading to CES (the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) this week to check out the latest. (Please let me know if you will be there as we would like to invite you to meet us for a Global Wellness toast on Thursday evening!)
- Several new one-day Symposium gatherings will be added to this year’s calendar: Wellness and Music; Mental Wellness; and we are planning a second Wellness Real Estate and Communities Symposium.
- The GWI website will get a microsite on the Geography of Wellness so that countries can showcase how they are expressing their wellness assets.
- A membership model for those who want to do more business with others in our ecosystem is in the works.
- I also feel it is time to attract a company with big vision and more resources to fund the non-profit GWI with additional researchers so that we will have global economic figures every year (rather than every two or three years).
And finally, please allow me to end as I began this communication on a personal note. I am looking forward to celebrating my friend and mentor, Deborah Szekely’s 100th birthday with her in May at Rancho la Puerta which she co-founded in 1940. She has lived an extraordinary life that has modeled resilience for me–and truly for all of us. Navigating many losses throughout her life, she has remained vibrant, optimistic and visionary to this day. It seems that the wellness toolbox from which many of us are able to draw in these times is indeed up to the task. Wishing you health, resilience and continued dedication to furthering wellness’s impact for all around the world.
CHAIRMAN & CEO