Forget New Year Resolutions, Here’s 3 Things We Need to Take Into 2021

Blank diary and e-book reader flat lay

A year ago I was working in an office, free of face masks, sharing chocolates out of a tin and man-handling tea bags without fear of passing on COVID-19. I sucked in my tummy and made myself as straight as possible as I squished past people in crowded pubs and stayed out drinking past the 10pm restriction, singing Christmas songs as I journeyed on. Fast-forward to 2020, I’ve gained more than I thought I ever would (including some unwanted pounds – not the money kind) and sadly lost one of the most important people in my life.

My New Year Resolutions for 2020 went out the window as soon as the lockdown hit in March, and even that feels like years ago. And so we now come to “that” time of the year where we list all the things that are wrong in our lives, we forget to take a couple of moments to reflect on the wonderful things we DID achieve and focus on the next task at hand – chasing the need to feel good enough in another year long spiel.

The Challenges You Have Overcome

The one thing we all have in common is that we have faced and come through many challenges of a global pandemic, it hasn’t been easy and it doesn’t quite fit on the list of things to celebrate this year but it has changed many of us in a myriad of ways. Reflecting on what we’ve faced and what we’ve overcome is of high importance as we welcome in a new year.

The Progress You Have Made

The more we face challenges, the more we overcome them, the more we make progress towards the people we want to be and the lives we want to live. Progress looks different for everybody, but individually we can reflect on the progress we’ve made in various elements of our lives such as social, family, relationships, career, physical and/or mental wellbeing. This could be taking some time to sit down and make a list of the progress you’ve made in one or more spaces of your life. Focus on this progress you’ve made, whether it’s little or large – it’s still progress – rather than pondering what goals you need to set (based on an old tradition, may I add) in a week or so’s time.

The Ways You Have Grown

On the 1st of January, the last thing anybody would have predicted to await them would be a pandemic. A good chunk of the year has proved testing, uncomfortable and worrisome for us all. But the good news is, discomfort is where the most growth happens. It’s a space where we are forced to face up to all we’ve run from and discover parts of ourselves we’ve not before had the self-confidence to fully explore.

Physically we have grown older or perhaps a little taller, and similarly our minds have adapted to facing many challenges and building up various tools and resources to cope. We have grown in more ways than one and we can positively reflect on this, entering into a new year as our improved selves.

The end of a year, whether overall successful or not, should be positively reflected on. It is the perfect opportunity to be self-compassionate and understanding with ourselves. Forget the COVID-19 madness, no 12 months is ever smooth sailing for anyone, there will always be ups, downs, and flats within a year long period of time – it’s how life tends to work! Choose to show yourself compassion and gratitude for making it this far. It’s okay if all you did this year was survive, that can be tiring in itself.

I hope 2021 has better things in store for us all, but if not? We will hold our heads high and get through it together.

Do you have a positive news story or inspiring tale to tell? Get in touch!

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Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.

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