New Year’s Eve was a little bit different for most of us than the usual. We substituted parties with friends from all over for smaller gatherings, social distancing or even zoom calls toasting to a new year. It was a change many of us have grown accustomed to, spending the holiday at home, a place where we’ve been quarantined by choice or necessity for most of the year.
It’s been a tough year for many of us, adding masks and temperature checks to our daily lives. No, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon but for 2021 we can accept that these extra safety precautions are necessary steps for us to get past the same challenges that COVID pressed us with in 2020. So here’s to 2021, a year that we can all make the best year we’ve experienced. A year that we can rebuild and reopen businesses that were affected by the pandemic. A year that we can revisit friendships and enjoy our time with friends and loved ones that we haven’t been able to see for months or even years.
We face many challenges in 2021, but each of us can vow to change one thing in our lives for the better or learn something new. New Year’s resolutions may be cliché and overlooked but they can be grouped into categories to make them a little easier to accomplish every year. Break down your goals and resolutions by daily and weekly tasks. For the long term goals, establish monthly or quarterly challenges for yourself. Push yourself to be better, and make progress towards achieving things you couldn’t in 2020. Develop a plan for yourself, so when we have this conversation next year you can push yourself to even higher limits.
Here are some simple goals that you can include in your daily or weekly agenda that will help you make 2021 the most successful year of your life:
Cook one new food each week. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions for Americans is to eat healthier foods and watch their calories. The sad truth is that many people lose track of these goals because they get bored of the food they are eating. Spice it up a bit, cook something new each week and it’ll be a lot easier to stick to those healthy eating habits. Variety is the spice of life as they say. Make time in your week to find a new recipe or try a new food that you see at the grocery store. Challenge your cooking skills, you never know what you may discover! You’ll become a better chef and you’ll impress your friends with your plethora of recipes and dinner ideas.
Drink more water! I know it sounds so easy but the truth is the average person doesn’t drink enough water! Challenge yourself to drink a gallon a day. If you’re not even close, then progressively increase. Start with 64 ounces, and progressively add more water to your day. Before you know it you’ll be drinking 128 ounces (1 gallon) a day. Just adding more water to your day will make you feel better, you’ll have more energy and you’ll even sleep better!
Get out of the house! 2020 kept us inside for a majority of the year, preventing us from doing many of the things we love. Challenge yourself to pick up new hobbies. Maybe you go for a walk every day. Step outside your comfort zone and try something new. A little fresh air is always good for your mind and your body. For those of you working at home, take a break from your new office and switch up the scenery. It’ll give you some reprieve from your new work environment.
Schedule time away from your phone. This one is everywhere but it really is something we all can work on. So much of our time is invested into our mobile devices or other technology that we lose track of some of the most important things in our lives. Spend more time with your loved ones or friends. Take up a new hobby, similar to my last suggestion. Read a book, start a journal where you can jot down all your thoughts, meditate, try a new workout…the possibilities are endless!
My last daily suggestion for your New Year’s resolutions is simple, make your bed every morning. This is one of those you hear all your life, most of the time from you mother, but hey she’s right! It’s time to get past that messy look in your bedroom.
US Navy Admiral William S. McRaven has a secret to changing the world,
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
Something as small as making your bed each day can catapult your productivity and it allows you to start your day on a positive note each day. It can transform your space and you’ll be a little bit happier going to sleep every night jumping in a neater and cleaner bed.
For your long term resolutions my suggestions are a bit different.
Learn a new skill. This is more of a long term goal because it may take some time to master, depending on the skill. Physical exercise keeps your body healthy and mental exercise is key to keeping your mind sharp. But developing skills necessary to perform a specific craft or job helps to put your mind in a different state. Maybe you devote your time to learning how to ski or play a new sport. Or maybe you learn to cook. These things may take some time to learn but devote yourself to progress, and getting better each day.
Plan plan plan! Plan your days and weeks. Grab a planner or journal and write down everything you do in a day, then do that for the week. Get it all down on paper so you can hold yourself accountable for the things you want to accomplish daily, weekly and monthly. Planning is something many people struggle with so don’t feel like you’re alone. It definitely helps to set and agenda and follow it. It’ll make you more efficient and allow you to take advantage of time you never thought you had. It’ll keep you focused on what needs to be done in your personal and professional lives and you’ll notice the progress you make in a matter of weeks.
Don’t let 2021 be another year where your New Year’s resolutions go out the door by February. Put these goals into categories and tackle them one step at a time. Challenge yourself to be better each day and give yourself a break every now and then. Sleep is important too! 2020 may not have been the easiest year to navigate but we made it through it and many of us learned a lot about ourselves. So brush off those champagne glasses that you didn’t get to use this year and let’s make a toast. Here’s to 2021, a year unlike any other, a year we’ll all talk about at this time next year, a year with endless opportunities.
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