We have all heard the phrase, “New Year, New You,” right? Well, who are we going to become in 2021? What goals are we going to set for ourselves? Where have we been, where are we now and where are we going? It is kind of exciting to think about, right?
Yet, how many times have you said, or heard others declare, “Man, I can’t wait for things to back to how they were before COVID!”? A lot, right? Understandably, after the twists and turns of the tumultuous 2020. It is beyond safe to say the pandemic truly changed life as we know it and has rattled our lives and routines, challenged us mentally and physically and downright ticked us off at times. Yet, it has also made us more resilient.
It is definitely time to look at ourselves now, accept where we are at and embrace that right now is the new normal; we may never get to go back to how it was before. So, it is much healthier to recognize time is not slowing down and we have a lot of living to do! We need to try to reframe our thinking, because if we stay stuck with thoughts about how things were in the past, we may stifle our current potential for joy and future growth. It’s a new year, and a new chance to evolve and emerge even stronger than ever!
Here are some tips to help stay on a positive path and redefine yourself in 2021:
1) Keep being resilient
Just like in the movie Dodgeball, we must dodge, duck, dip, dive, dodge the obstacles coming our way! We became GREAT at this in 2020, and it’s almost like we all have the “What’s next?” and “Bring it!” mentality because of all we have already endured…toilet paper hoarding, juggling full-time work along with kids doing virtual learning, murder hornets, political scandals, social gatherings destroyed, overall normalcy decimated and much more. So, let’s just continue to embrace reality, adjust as often as possible and try not to let change or stress get the best of us.
2) Realize it’s ok to not be ok
There is something liberating about realizing it is ok to sometimes not be ok. Ultimately, it is good for our minds and our bodies to embrace being comfortable with being uncomfortable and for us to maintain control of our attitude and our effort (the two things we can always control, no matter what comes our way). So much of your life relies on attitude! Wouldn’t you rather go through life laughing at the nonsense and acknowledging your blessings?
3) Be present
Being present physically and mentally daily, with work, family and friends, despite conditions not always being ideal, is so important. We deserve to be kind to ourselves and to others, and to feel a sense of purpose and excitement about the present as well as the future, even if that future does not perhaps look like the “normal” we once knew.
4) Ditch the “I can’t wait until the weekend” mentality
Part of us redefining the new “normal” and being sure to enjoy all the moments and experiences happening now is dispelling the “I can’t wait until Friday/weekend” mentality. We are all guilty of this, right? Yet, it can be dangerous because think about how much time lapses between Sunday and Friday! Making the most of our daily living is essential to finding joy.
5) Eliminate the “Only if” mentality
Ok, so while we’re at it, let’s also eliminate the “Only if” mentality. You know what this is: “I would be happy only if I lost 20 pounds” (or had a bigger house or got that promotion at work). Again, we can miss out on a lot of living and perhaps stifle our potential growth and happiness with this “only if” way of thinking.
6) Prioritize your health and self-care
No matter how clean your diet is, or how often you work out, if you are mentally drained or bogged down, you won’t be able to operate at your best. So be sure you are making YOU a priority, that you are recharging your own battery and are not trying to pour from an empty cup. Health is self-care, and self-care is the medicine that both prevents and treats disease and keeps us afloat.
Feel free to journal any time, yet, especially during these changing times. Get your thoughts down and process, reflect and embrace the feelings coming your way each day. You will benefit from the “writing therapy.” You can help strengthen your ideals, envision new opportunities, celebrate victories and reflect on any sadness or obstacles. Witness how much better you feel after journaling; it is your chance to be bold, authentic and most of all, heard and validated.
8) Set goals
Goal setting promotes reflection and creates a vision for our ideal future. A Harvard Business study revealed that we are 42% more likely to accomplish our goals if we write them down; we are making the goals more of a reality and are more likely to take action steps towards achieving them! What are some of your personal and professional goals for this new year? What comes to mind? Write down a list for yourself!
9) Be the gatekeeper of your joy
Finding and embracing joy in the big, small and all the in-between moments can add substance and quality to your life. Maybe you went for a longer walk the other day, or your child made the honor roll or you ran into an old friend and got to catch up. Revel in these moments, and recognize individuals are the gatekeepers of their joy! Not to mention joy improves mental, physical and emotional health. It’s a win-win to seek, find and spread joy as much as possible!
10) Be realistic
Remember, life truly is about striving for progress, not perfection. If we maintain the right mindset and stay focused on our growth and our future, even when conditions are not ideal, we can keep becoming the best versions of ourselves.
2021 is a new opportunity for ALL of us. Let’s do this!