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New Year’s Resolutions to Ring in the New Year
With a new year comes new possibilities. What better way to start 2021 than by thinking about New Year’s resolutions! Perhaps having lived through the uncertainties of 2020, we can appreciate the opportunities each day offers, especially when we’ve learned not to take every day for granted.
In most regions, January comes at one of the darkest and coldest times of the year. Yet, it can also be a time when we reflect, reset, and redefine our lives. Goal setting can be one of the most crucial tools to life-changing transformations. We can choose to make 2021 the year to apply what we learned from 2020 and recover the purpose and fulfillment in our lives.
What New Year’s resolutions should you make, and where to start? It often depends on where you are socially, medically, financially, and emotionally. First, perform a personal audit. How do you feel about your health, relationships, career, hobbies, and environment? You may benefit from the advice of another person, who knows you well. A good friend might point out the things that you don’t see.
After a personal audit, brainstorm and list several things you want to achieve or improve. Examples might include decluttering, improving diet or fitness, reconnecting with those you lost touch with, gardening, or working on a project like writing a life story.
Next, clarify your goals and decide which ones you want to work on first. For the greatest impact, experts recommend selecting two to three goals. Starting with a few prioritized goals will improve your chances for success.
Make sure your top goals are important to you, motivational, and focus on what you value. This can include volunteering, mentoring, donating your time or resources to charities, or taking a course to learn a new skill. In addition, self-care and relaxation goals can reset and redefine your life.
One useful method to approach goal setting and achievement is the SMART goals criteria. These provide useful guidelines to help plan and implement goals and resolutions.
Specific: the more precise, the better – “save $200 more per month and lose 2 pounds a week” is better than “save more money and lose weight.”
Measurable: keep track of regular short-term intervals along the way. Paper or electronic journals allow you to log your daily progress. You can use devices and monitors, or a traditional paper log.
Attainable: make sure your goals are not too easy, but not too much of a stretch. Deciding to be a billionaire may be a worthy goal, but you’re better off setting shorter-term goals.
Relevant: despite several areas that many need attention, what two to three goals would provide fulfillment and bring meaning to your life? After the past year’s events, working on reconnecting with others and having a human connection could be a vital priority. Remember, achieving goals that others have set for you can be alluring, but remember to make these resolutions about your goals.
Time-Bound: choose a deadline. This gives you a sense of urgency that time is limited. Set some rewards to further incentivize achieving your goals. This is why calendars are so popular with goal setting. As each day is crossed, the deadline comes within sight.
You don’t need to wait until the New Year to start new goals. It’s well-known that at least one-third of New Year’s “resolutioners” give up their new goals by the end of January. Any holiday, next Monday, even tomorrow, can be the right day to decide to restart your goals and resolutions. What’s important is that you continue to move toward greater health and well-being, and feel exhilarated instead of discouraged by challenges.
New Year’s Resolutions Inspiration
If you’re a caregiver, consider these ideas for staying healthy and happy in 2021.