The Community

Looking Back on 2020 and Looking Forward to 2021

January 4, 2021

We can officially say that the year 2020 is behind us, and for many (if not most!), 2021 is a sight for sore eyes. Our Bar Method studios are looking forward to opening their doors and getting back to doing what they do best: delivering the magic of barre to people of all ages, backgrounds, and fitness levels.

While you may be tempted to tip-toe into this next year with cautious optimism and low expectations, we encourage you to start 2021 the way you start your class at The Bar: with the expectation that what’s to come will include challenging parts you will have to grit your teeth throughout, but it will also be filled with moments of triumph, progress, and celebration.

To help you set reasonable, realistic, and yes, hopeful resolutions for this year, three of our Bar Method owners weigh in with what hit them hard in 2020, what this past year has taught them, and what resolutions they’re setting for themselves for the year ahead.


Meghan Cooney, Owner and Master Instructor at The Bar Method-Livermore

“2020 has taught me that I am able to persevere and maintain my optimistic attitude despite all the negativity and stress the year brought. I opened my studio to help others feel healthy and build confidence, and this year I fought passionately to achieve that goal despite the obstacles. My resolutions for 2021 are to grow my business savvy by continuing to innovate, evaluate, and adapt, as well as to maintain a good balance between operating the studio and being fully present during my time away from the studio. Running a small business is more work than you may expect, which makes time with family and friends essential for refreshing the soul!”


Lillian Osborn, Owner at The Bar Method-Miami

“2020 was the year that I learned how much I can take—and, good or bad, it is a lot!  Our new studio was under construction when we were forced to shut down, so Bar Method Miami was homeless from March until August, but we made it work.  Our incredible instructors and I taught from home, from parks, in and around people’s pools in the Miami summer heat, which is no joke!  Meanwhile, I had to go back to work full-time so while I have not been able to perfect my work/life balance, I sure am getting better at my work/work balance!  While I would love to be at my studio as much as possible, this situation has forced me to let go a little bit there and trust my staff, who are all doing great!

For 2021, I have so many hopes!  I would like for SOMETHING to be easy, whether that is growing our clientele, training new instructors, or even figuring out the schedule!  OK, OK, I know that those are pipe dreams, but maybe we can just sail smoothly and worry less about everything in 2021.”


Carolyn Williams, Owner at The Bar Method-Vancouver

“Wow 2020 certainly was an interesting year! When lockdown first happened back in March, it first felt like the impossible had happened—the world had shut down. I instinctively went into “go” mode, pivoting my studios into a virtual company and creating an online community. Because our actions had to be so reactionary, I didn’t take time to check in mentally with myself and at the time, I applauded myself for my resilience and my ability to adapt to the new world we were living in. Fast forward to five months, my studios were open, running at limited capacity, our online classes were evolving and we were even training five new instructors, I was re-framing my thoughts back to a growth strategy rather than one of survival. I thought I had the mindset that “we had done it”, we had made it through the pandemic and then one night when getting ready for bed, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw a huge bald spot on my head. I was shocked, I was horrified.

 After getting the diagnosis of alopecia, an auto-immune disease brought on by stress, I began to realize that while my actions reflected “in control” and resilience, my internal body clearly didn’t feel the same way. The “fake it til you make it” wasn’t holding true and instead I needed to spend some time acknowledging the stress and fear I was feeling. I have always been a relatively vulnerable person, sharing my feelings, my fears, my insecurities, but despite the sharing, I wasn’t acknowledging my inner conflict. As I move into 2021, first of all, let’s hope for a better year, but it will be a year about acknowledging the feelings rather than focusing on my resilience. I remember once hearing in a talk at a conference, thoughts=feelings=actions. I thought I had the ability to act differently than my thoughts and feelings, now I know it was my body that felt the actions. My thoughts impacted my body. 2021 is the year of working on my thoughts and feelings so my body can truly be strong, not just a facade of strength.

My resolutions for 2021 first start with myself and the above story. Instead of living in a place of fear, I want to live in a place of mental strength. If I am mentally strong, my body will function in a stronger way and I can lead both my company and my family with that strength. On a more global scale, my hopes are that we as humans take the time to focus on our mental and physical health. We have created a culture of “go” and want to do everything as quickly as we can so that we can check it off the list….I’m pretty sure that’s not what life is supposed to be about.”