Having spent most of 2020 indoors has given us some time to reflect (cause really what else is there to do?) and optimistically plan for 2021. It’s time to pull out those tried-and-true New Year’s resolutions and think about the ways you want to level up. As we enter the new year still on lockdown it’s hard to focus on big changes so this year the resolutions are centered on self-care and growth.
Resolutions for 2021 will no doubt resemble resolutions from years past: focusing on our health, saving money, and learning a new skill among them. But, they will have a different filter, given all the things we have been forced to endure this year. What matters comes to the forefront. What we had the luxury of putting off now seems more crucial than ever. We are ready to look at 2021 with new eyes, and finally, live the life we envision in our minds and in our hearts. Here are some common New Year’s resolutions, and how they matter more than ever right now.
Self-care has never been more important than in the midst of a pandemic. We are under a lot of stress this year, and are staying at home now more than ever which can exacerbate certain stresses. This combination of frazzled nerves and confinement means self-care should be paramount. Hopefully, you’ve been practicing some self-care in 2020, but in 2021, this can mean anything from making a soothing cup of tea, to meditating, to wearing hydrating face masks that will improve the condition of your skin.
Saving (and Maybe Investing) Money
Saving money is one of the top New Year’s resolutions. But in 2020, we have learned to be as frugal as possible, as many people have lost their jobs, had their hours reduced, and we don’t know what’s happening next with the economy. It’s imperative now more than ever to save what we can, because a rainy day ended up being all of 2020. It’s also important to invest whenever possible to maximize the money you do have.
Losing weight is one of the most-heard New Year’s resolutions, but it’s not about shedding pounds (unless you really need to/want to). It’s about eating healthy, so you feel your best physically, emotionally, and mentally. Although we aren’t taught nearly enough about food, it is medicine, and has the power to heal. Eat like our ancestors did – plant-based and some protein avoiding processed foods whenever possible. Every diet is different and it’s important to talk to a doctor to ensure you’re doing what’s best for your body. Following a year when everyone’s health was at risk now is the time to take steps to take better care of yourself.
Learn Something New
The mental, or maybe also written-down list of things you want to learn, is ever-growing so now it’s time start crossing things off the list. Most of us have more time now, whether we like it or not so why not utilize it by learning a new skill. There are many online resources that have popped up during the pandemic, offering free or discounted online classes, video tutorials, and communities that also want to learn the same thing(s).
Use Social Media Less
Social media is the first place most of us turn to when we’re bored, and/or have extra time on our hands. But what are we really getting from it? Endless scrolling, comparing ourselves to others, and a sense of having been slightly entertained but also having wasted time? It’s healthy to not have your phone in your hand all the time. Take social media breaks when you can (you can even set alarms to remind you to step away); you’ll find you have more time for fun new things that will truly fulfill you like that new hobby you’ve taken on.
Creativity isn’t just something that we outgrow once we stop being kids, it’s something that’s within us for life, and a resource that gives back to our health and happiness. You may daydream about painting, writing a book, or knitting a cozy winter blanket, but haven’t yet made it a reality. Now’s the time! Put on a helpful YouTube video, get some books from the library, or simply Google whatever you want to get artsy with. The most important thing is to have fun and just try.
Do More of What You Love
What truly makes you happy? Are you doing enough of that? Are you in the career you want to be in? These are questions we often ask ourselves at year-end. Take whatever’s happened in 2020 as the opportunity to take risks you may not have before. We learned that we can’t control everything around us, that things can be changed in an instant. Maybe that setback was a way to clear the way for a new beginning? Why not look into doing what you love?
Gym memberships go up once January 1 rolls around but many of those same people stop going to the gym a few months into the new year. Fitness is always important; not so much for how you look, but rather, how you feel. Exercising releases endorphins, dopamine, and seratonin, among other things that instantly make you feel better. It releases stress, which we all have more of in 2020. But you don’t have to sign up for a pricey gym membership to be fit, you can easily watch a YouTube fitness video that works for your schedule, exercise level, age, and more; take a brisk walk outside; or research your optimal fitness plan online and find health coaches like Massy Arias.
Spend More Time with Friends and Family
It’s always restorative to spend as much time as possible with your loved ones. But, with coronavirus, we can’t spend as much in-person time with family and friends as we’d like. But thanks to technological advances, we can see our favorite people virtually face-to-face through apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Houseparty.
Find Moments of Gratitude and Happiness
The best thing you can do in 2021, and every year from then on, is to find moments of joy and remember what you are grateful for. Although many things have made us stressed, sad, and anxious this year, there were also moments of happiness that helps us get through. It’s important to remember, that even in the darkest moments, that we can choose to see the brighter side of things and remind ourselves to focus on what we do have that’s good. Honor and feel the negative emotions, but make sure to shift back to the wonderful you have within you, and around you.