And it’s finally thaaaaat time again! A brand new year for ‘reinventions', corny ‘New Year, New Me!’ posts, and attempts to drop all our bad habits. Almost like all the terrible instances of the year before suddenly *poof* disappears when January 1st comes around.
Or at least that’s what we like to tell ourselves.
Making a resolution is great, no matter what time of the year it is. But it’s a little more, well... special, when it comes to a new year. The new year offers a fresh slate and an abundance of unpredictability, and from what we’ve seen in the past year, unpredictability can change the course of our life in a drastic way. Sure, we don’t have a looking glass into the future but that’s what makes it all the more important to have some plans in mind and to be prepared for anything. Now, more than ever, it’s essential we figure out how to get our lives on track and move on from past grievances with fresh and new mottos filled with hope for the year.
In 2021, we’ll be lying in the wake and with bated breath of sunshine and rainbows all year round, with absolutely no life-threatening virus in sight. This is, after all, the least we can hold on to after the rollercoaster that 2020 put us through.
So, it’s time we learned how to get our resolutions right before the ball drops on 31st December!
I think most of us get swept up in the moment and go overboard with our resolutions, sometimes setting unrealistic goals or placing the bar far above our capabilities. Sure, it’s always good to set high standards for yourself — but it has to be logical and achievable by you. Say if you’ve got two left feet but expect to master 10 styles of dancing by the end of the year, that might stretch a little far from achievable. It’s certainly an ambitious goal, but maybe not something that can be just as well attained in such a short amount of time. Though you’ll never know if you never try!
Yet that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think outside the box. Rather, it’s more about understanding where your limits and abilities lie. Resolutions, like learning a language or two or perhaps visiting more, would probably be more achievable within the course of a year.
You can even bring forward what you learned in the past year. 2020 gave me more family-time at home while still being able to connect with friends virtually and attend classes online. Not everyone in the world can share the same sentiment. It’s the little things like this that makes me want to put effort to stay connected and close with everyone important to me in 2021. That’s a resolution in itself — Making more time for those we love. Don’t worry about making them seem elaborate, make them meaningful and something that will give you lots of positivity for the year ahead.
Everyone has different interests and expectations so it’s important to realise that one size does not fit all. What may be an objective set by others may not necessarily apply to you. A lot like tip #1, knowing your limits helps you recognise what is it that you think suits you best. Simple questions you could ask yourself are:
What do you want to change about yourself in the New Year?
What do you want to improve about yourself/your lifestyle?
Is there something lacking/missing?
Is there something new you’d like to try or master?
This helps you self-reflect from within and see what suits you best. We’ve had a lot of time (too much time in fact!) to be alone with our thoughts this past year and experience all the lows and highs daily. Sometimes, it’s okay if we take some days to treat ourselves or tend to our mental well-being over achieving goals or being productive. Remember, no one knows what you want or need better than yourself, and even if you settle on the most basic or cliche resolution, it’s okay! Your New Year’s resolution is meant to benefit you no matter what and is not a measure of your productivity. No resolution is a bad resolution as long as it brings about positive change or vibes to your life.
So here’s a reminder to all of us: Whenever we encounter days where we’re feeling less than peachy or drowning in the blues, let’s put a more conscious effort into into taking better care of ourselves this 2021. Silence that negative voice in your head with some feel-good activities or practices that can make the upcoming year a little more shinier than the last.
Another thing to note is the essentials. We’re in an awkward period of our lives, not quite sure where we fit in the adult world yet no longer feeling the charms of a teenager. So, take this opportunity to list out your priorities in the form of this year’s New Year’s resolutions as well! Take healthy eating or budgeting your money for instance, which aren’t only self-care resolutions but an added bonus on the road to successful adult-ing.
If you plan to take on multiple resolutions that may or may not need to follow a schedule, then drawing up a plan seems like your best bet. Don’t worry, nothing too elaborate or overly-complicated (we’re still in our semester break, okay?) but more like a guide that’ll help you realise where you stand towards your goal. Fixing a start and finish date for the resolution is one way to go. Dedicating a specific time of day to religiously follow a ‘resolution routine’ is also another. In the case of sticking by resolutions, consistency and will is always the key. You cannot be consistent if you’re not willing. Yet being willing isn’t enough if you’re not consistent. In order to balance both on the scale, construct a rough plan on how you plan to carry out your resolution.
How long should it be? When’s the best time to start? Can I finish it by next year? And how often can I do it? These are some of the questions that go into the account of planning. Like I said, don’t overthink this and crack your head over finding the perfect resolution. Just factor in the logistics of completing a resolution by your own standards. Whether you prefer to follow a snail-pace or perhaps whizz through your resolutions, keep in mind that your pace and timing are crucial to your success.
It’s a given that we skip or sometimes fall back on holding a promise. It’s natural and human. Some of us end up giving up on our resolutions after a number of cheat days, mulling over how we simply don’t have it in us to go through with it. Don’t worry, this is the perfect time to reflect, self-educate, and evolve with the new year. Remember, it’s not exactly cheating if you’re clocking in time for yourself!
Failure is inevitable, cold, and conniving. Everyone has experienced a type of fear in their life at some point. Yet, living in fear’s shadow sucks out all the fun and excitement you get when making resolutions. So, cheat days and failure are perfectly okay, especially for those trying out something new. But the whole point of a resolution is to RESOLVE something by the end of it by placing a full stop, ticking a check-box, or closing a book on something you wish to achieve and actually ended up achieving. No matter how grey the result turns out, keep persevering! It’s always worth the shot!
Incentives are always the way to the heart! Resolutions are a lot like ambitions that require a little sweat and tears (okay not that dramatic) but ultimately reap so many rewards. Remember to treat yourself every now and then for the good work and effort you put into following a resolution. Even allowing yourself a cheat day is a treat believe it or not! Insert some self-love and self-appreciation to keep the positive momentum going. Jazz up the experience — it’s not meant to be taxing or tiring but a celebratory moment of achievement. It stands as your marker of success in a time where achievements and accomplishments are on the low and not really appreciated. It’s a feat in itself.
Personally, I like to build my resolutions based on all the things I missed out or never got to try out the year before. Perhaps, I could try out a more sustainable lifestyle or maybe opt for trips with friends (post-MCO of course!), with how much 2020 itself has changed my perspective. Your resolution doesn’t have to reflect the change in years to come, but can suit the choices you make during that time.
Remember, don’t take it too seriously or it loses all its yearly charm. It only comes once in the year and should be used to all it’s worth! If you’re still stuck in a rut of what you could possibly take on for a resolution, here are some choices to pick from or maybe spark some inspiration:
Following a regular workout routine
Becoming a plant or pet parent
Learning a new course or picking up a new skill
Taking time off for yourself
Donating old and unwanted items
Exploring your artsy side
Adopting a skincare routine
Starting a journal
Meeting your friends virtually more often
Have fun planning and all the best in creating your own resolutions!
Here’s to 2021, a year of hope and happier beginnings!
Karen Grace Prince is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication (Honours) at Taylor's University. She is also the Director of Events Committee for the Taylor's Model United Nations Club (TLMUN) and Director of Ext. Operations for TLMUN 2020 Conference Secretariat Team.
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