How to Make and Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions for 2021
There’s no denying that seeing in 2021 was a unique experience, with limited opportunities to mark the occasion with others. Equally, there are few certainties about what the 12 months ahead may hold, but we can count on the fact that restrictions in some form will likely continue for a while yet. That unpredictability can make the setting of long-term goals a challenging business. Here’s how you can still make and keep your resolutions in these uncertain times.
We’re certainly in a situation that none of us could have predicted this time last year. So you could be forgiven for not quite feeling the usual optimism and positivity that a fresh year typically brings.
Nonetheless, this time of year still marks a chance for reflection, assessment and yes, even a degree of celebration – if only at seeing the back of some challenging months. (After all, would you want to live through 2020 again?)
In fact, setting goals is arguably even more important at a time like this, to stay productive, focused, and feeling in control. You may even find the activity a welcome distraction at a time when it can be easy to feel anxious.
So, in this odd New Year, here are some thoughts on making New Year’s resolutions for 2021 – so that you’re more likely to keep them and not join the 80% of people who (according to the University of Scranton) fail to keep theirs.
Set short-term goals.
Given the lack of certainties, it may be best not to look too far ahead when you’re setting your goals. Aim for weekly or monthly targets, rather than thinking about planning out the whole 12 months. Try and get into the habit of focusing on short blocks of time.Here's how you can still make and keep your resolutions in these uncertain times. Click To Tweet
Keep resolutions simple and specific.
We know we’ve said before that goals need to be specific, but it’s a surprisingly easy thing to forget. Equally, of course, you’re more likely to keep the more straightforward pledges.
Instead of the vague goal of drinking more water each day, for example, aim to replace your second coffee of the morning with fresh H2O. Download a fitness pedometer, and resolve to walk one mile a day rather than just vowing to ‘get fit’.
If you want to start a diary or journal this year, rather than trying to write a whole page every night, focus on jotting a few lines down, or even just one. It could be about how your studying is going, how you’re feeling about work, what you’ve achieved, or what you need to do the next day.
Another good way of keeping things simple is to vow to decide things only once, whether that’s when you’re going to study, how you’re going to organise your notes, or anything else. That way you’ll free up your brain a little because you’re not spending time thinking about what you’ve already decided.
Structure your time.
It’s been easy for schedules to slip throughout 2020, with no gym classes or office hours to give the day a structure. Sleep and work start times have been among the biggest casualties of this.
If having unstructured days free of face-to-face appointments has seen you getting and staying up later than would be ideal, set clear goals for when you will start work each morning and stop in the evening. Similarly, ring-fence your study time to give yourself some boundaries and structure.
Whatever your goals are, share them with others, write them down, and monitor your progress as you go through the year. Maybe a friend or colleague has similar goals which you can encourage each other towards? Give yourself credit for every small step forward, and every achievement, however minor it may seem.
There may be a lot that we don’t know about what 2021 holds – but you can still set and meet targets as you embark on 12 months of positive progress.