This past year has had plenty of dark moments. With vaccines on the horizon, there is finally at least some form of light at the end of the tunnel. Life might not be immediately amazing in 2021, but it does have the potential to be a year where we can begin rebuilding.
And rebuilding can be exciting. It’s a time when we can expand on our potential, readjust our expectations of life and maybe even make our little corners of the world that much better.
As you rebuild your own life, here are five New Year’s resolutions nearly everyone can set their sights on.
Get on top of your health goals.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s how important it is to take care of our health. This is an area where a lot of people procrastinate. But you can make 2021 the year you make progress on your health goals.
Exercise has physical and mental health benefits. Everyone’s exercise goals are going to be different. For some, walking in and of itself will provide health benefits and serve as a good starting point.
Others may have goals to routinely do more intense cardio workouts, build muscle, build stability or engage in activities that will help alleviate anxiety.
Similarly, your diet goal may be as simple as drinking more water and less soda. It may be as specific as meeting dietary needs or restrictions resulting from a medical condition. Or you might set a vegetable-intake goal just for your overall general health.
A lot of people put off routine healthcare. Annual doctors and dentist visits. Sometimes even specialist visits you know you should be making, but are just too afraid to hear what that specialist has to say.
Here’s the thing about putting off healthcare costs, though: The longer you put them off, the worse your health is going to get. And the worse your health gets, the larger your medical bills grow.
Include routine healthcare in your New Year’s resolutions, even if it feels scary.
Get on top of your financial goals.
Finances are another area where your goals may seem so overwhelming that it seems easier to put them off. If you can push past the initial fear and get stock of your financial situation, though, 2021 could be the year you get a handle on your money.
Organizing your personal financescan mean many different things depending on your individual situation. Some areas where you may want to focus your resolutions include:
- Making more money or pursuing educational opportunities that could lead to making more money.
- Paying off debt.
- Saving for a 12-month emergency fund.
- Investing for retirement.
- Saving for children’s college education.
Another big lesson we’ve learned in 2020 is that life itself is fragile. We never know when disaster could strike, and it’s best to be prepared.
To ensure your family is okay financially in case of the worst, make sure you’re up on your estate planning. Estate planning includes things like:
Getting your estate plan together is easier than you may think. You can get started with a free legal will and living trust today.
Create space for mindfulness.
Setting mindfulness as a resolution can help you achieve so many personal goals. If you’ve been short on patience this year, mindfulness can help you interrupt your anxiety and deal with life in a more even-keeled way. In addition to anxiety and stress reduction, mindfulness can help with several physical health conditions and improve your personal relationships.
A big part of mindfulness is practicing some type of meditation on the regular. Mindfulness also means being able to stop yourself and notice your feelings when you get most stressed. By noticing those feelings, you can then consciously choose to act on them or not, rather than acting on the emotion without thinking.
Give to others.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, giving to others also has significant health benefits. And right now in particular, there are so many in need of help. Those who give on a regular basis tend to live longer, have higher self-esteem, lower blood pressure, less stress and less depression.
Giving to others can take many different forms. You may set a resolution to perform small acts of service for those in your circle at regular intervals. Alternatively, your resolution could be to give financially, or volunteer your time with a nonprofit organization.
Pursue those dreams you’ve filed away.
We all have dreams. Those things we would definitely do if the opportunity ever presented itself.
But as life goes on and becomes more complicated, those dreams often get filed away. Sit down with those dreams and see if any of them would make good resolutions for 2021. Is pursuing the dream really impossible right now, or is there a way you could move forward with some forethought and planning?
Even if you don’t fully meet your resolution, starting and experiencing new things is good for us. It provides opportunities for learning, allows for self-discovery and can build self-confidence as we step out of our comfort zones and conquer fears.