New Year’s Resolutions
New year’s resolutions. Those three words we all make a list of but never quite stick to for the whole year. Whether your new year’s resolution is to exercise more, read more books or drink more water, I think we can all agree that 2020 has taught us to reflect on life more and not plan too far ahead. I agree it’s great to set new year’s resolutions, but I also think more than ever we should reflect on the year 2020 and what it has taught us going forward about ourselves and about life in general. Our lives have all been affected by 2020 whether that’s now learning online rather than in person or not seeing your loved ones. I know I am not alone when I say for me personally, I have found it upsetting that I haven’t seen my grandparents since February. We are not all necessarily in the same boat, but we are all in the same storm. Now more than ever we need to use this time before 2021 to reflect on 2020 and use these reflections to embrace what matters most.
I am a believer in using the start of the year to improve yourself and set new year’s resolutions. This past year, I promised myself to run 5 kilometres three times a week. By July, my ‘couch to 5K’ run was finished, and I stopped running. Keeping up my new year’s resolution for 7 months I look back on as an achievement and I did not put too much pressure on myself to continue as I needed to be kinder to myself especially in a year that was so unprecedented. The challenges 2020 has thrown at us has given us the opportunity to learn, become more resilient and overall, more grateful. We realised that all that matters in life are the things we take for granted: our loved ones, our happiness and our health. 2020 showed us how short life can be and how important a hug is. Small things like going for your one walk a day, facetiming a loved one or doing a Zoom quiz with friends became big things in 2020. These small things we took for granted in 2019 became things we cherished in 2020. This year has taught us that life certainly does not wait for anyone but also consequently showed us how much time we can have.
Gone are the 2020 days of perfecting your banana bread recipe, virtual Zoom quizzes with friends and tackling at-home workouts. We look towards 2021 and have learnt this year to be much kinder to ourselves because at the end of the day, our health and happiness are much more important than anything else. I encourage you to write your new year’s resolutions down but have in the back of your mind to not overstretch yourself or put too much pressure on yourself. We have learnt life is too short and if presented with an opportunity take the leap rather than watch life pass you by but remember to always put YOU first and look after your health.
A new year will bring new focuses we can all do for our mental health and wellbeing. Having a new year instead can be the opportunity that we need to take things slow to ease ourselves in, focus on the small things that make us happy, enjoy nature again and perhaps focus on realistic goals we want to do for ourselves this year in 2021 and do what we love in the ways we can right now as things start to heal, and we can slowly see the light at the end of a dark tunnel.