According to Forbes magazine, (and let’s be honest, most of our own experiences) studies show that around 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Why? For lots of reasons actually, but perhaps the primary reason is as a collective most of our resolutions are the same if not similar, and are almost always massively ambitious.
Giving up smoking, doing more exercise, being less stressed at work – these are all examples of huge life changes that you can’t expect to be driven by the meagre arrival of January. Especially when January is considered by many of us to be the worst month of the year.
Why Most New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work
Deep down, you could argue that most people are actually completely resistant or quite fearful of their New Year’s resolutions – or fearful of failing to achieve them at least. Often, it’s consciousness that needs to change before behaviour, and that’s hard enough as it is without considering the times we currently live in. The year 2021 looks as though it will be just as testing and as unprecedented as the last, so there is no reason to put any extra pressure on yourself.
“I’m going to lose weight and get shredded,” or “I will stop buying junk food,” are resolutions that are notoriously hard to achieve and not always beneficial. These types of resolutions are really easy to give up on, which in turn will make you feel mentally worse. Mental health is a huge concern during the pandemic, so 2021 is definitely the time to reconsider your New Year’s resolutions.
Be More Holistic in 2021
More holistic resolutions are what we need this year! Consider the whole of yourself, including mental and social factors, rather than just single-minded ambitions targeted at a certain aspect or area of your life that you dislike. For example, instead of vowing to lose weight, your resolution should be to be more body positive. This way, you remove the potential to be disappointed if you do not lose weight, and gain positivity by learning how to be happy with who you are.
This approach may sound like you’re giving up on losing weight, but this isn’t true. Getting fit and becoming healthier is as much a mental battle as it is a physical one. Positive thinking and positive vibes will cause positive effects, in all aspects of your life. Telling yourself you can’t have something makes you want it more. Putting pressure on yourself to achieve something is not always effective, especially with New Year’s resolutions.
New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 that Don’t Suck
With all this in mind, here is a short list of New Year’s resolution ideas for 2021 that don’t suck!
Get up and Make Your Bed
Okay, granted, our list of ideas that don’t suck has started with one that sounds like it sucks. But hear us out, there are plenty of mental and physical health benefits of getting up early in the morning. First and foremost, it can be known to boost productivity in both your work and personal life. If you rise early, you can get some work done before the mad rush of the standard 9-5 and also have more time to spend with family in the evening.
Don’t forget to make that bed! Making your bed encourages discipline, lowers stress and can encourage better decision making throughout the entire day. You can go ahead with the rest of your day knowing that you’ve already accomplished something, even if it is something as small and simple as making your bed. Start as you mean to go on!
The term mindfulness is becoming more widely used for a number of reasons these days. One of them is down to society’s recent drive to remove the stigma of mental health and offer more services and support to those suffering with mental difficulties. The other obvious reason is the affect of the Coronavirus pandemic on everyone’s mental wellbeing as we go into the new year.
Practicing mindfulness involves paying particular attention to the present moment and your own thoughts and feelings. Focus on the immediate world around you and this can improve your mental wellbeing. This can help you understand yourself better, enjoy life more and learn how to develop. It’s not quite meditation, but more the act of noticing the everyday things and appreciating them more. Things like the feel of a breeze against your skin, may sound very small, but focusing and appreciating this more can provide a fresh perspective on life.
Do One Thing Outside of Your Comfort Zone
This one should be easy to achieve as you have 12 months to do just one thing that is totally outside of your comfort zone. Face a phobia, experience a different culture, try some strange food or join a club you wouldn’t usually go for. Anything that is against your norm will help you grow and develop as a character, even if you do it just the once.
For example, if you suffer from aerophobia, your resolution could be to take a flight somewhere local or nearby in Europe (when we are allowed again). You have all of 2021 to prepare yourself to face your fear and you only have to do it once. But if you do it, the amount of pride and satisfaction you will gain will be far greater than if you embark on a failed diet plan, that’s for sure!
Become Someone’s Shoulder
The pandemic, lockdown restrictions and lack of human contact have made and will make a lot of people feel extremely lonely at the start of 2021. As important as it is for you to talk to someone when you feel low or lonely, it is equally as important to be there for those who also may need a shoulder to cry on.
You should make a list of your closest friends and create a plan for how you’re going to maintain communication with them over the course of the year. Even just a phone call a week can be enough to lift someone else’s spirits, and your own at the same time. Good feelings all round!