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Setting New Year's Resolutions for 2021

Most of us are used to setting resolutions for the New Year.

An estimated 74% of Americans are determined to learn something new, get healthier, or achieve a personal goal to better themselves in 2021 [*].

Yet despite this promising start, many resolutioners fall off the wagon after a few months of progress. And they fail to get back on until it’s time to make a new resolution for the next year.

So before you rush into setting New Year resolutions this time around, we have a few tips to help you begin differently (and better!) then ever before.

 

Scrabble tiles reading happy new year

Read These 5 Tips Before You Start The New Year

These five tips will help you create better New Year’s resolutions and enjoy the progress you make each month:

 

1. Forget the Old Saying, “New Year, New Me”

You’ve probably heard this overused phrase or a variation like, “New Year, New You,” whenever people discuss resolutions.

But we encourage you to shift away from this thinking.

Just because the clock strikes 12:01 doesn’t mean you have to leave your old self in the previous year to accomplish your new goals.

Instead, think about how you can improve yourself from last year.

Trying to completely revamp who you are isn’t going to make you happy, and it’s a lot more work trying to overhaul everything all at once.

So, this year, focus on leaving your bad habits in the past, not your entire self.

To do this, write down three bad habits you’d like to stop. Then, think about how you can counteract these with good habits.

If you’d like to stop eating out so much, for example, make it a habit to stock your pantry with healthy, protein-packed snacks you can grab on the go.

If you want to slash your social media time, consider swapping it for a daily walk that will energize your body and help relieve stress.

These small tweaks to your everyday routine will eventually replace your bad habits so you can become an improved you, not a new you.

 

Goal journal on desk

2. Focus on Making Progress, Not Reaching for Perfection

A New Year’s resolution is fantastic for providing a goal to reach for. But don’t let your goals become all-or-nothing.

If you cheat on your clean eating plan or can't squeeze in a workout one day, don’t throw your entire resolution out the window.

Just like getting over a mid-week slump, you can’t let one hiccup define the rest of the week, month, or year. It’s okay if you skip a day. It’s also okay if you don’t feel 100% every single day. You’re human!

Focus on making progress with small steps instead of striving for perfection immediately -- which isn’t achievable anyway.

You may commit to working out two days per week at first, then three, and gradually work up to your daily goal. Or you may start off using light free weights before moving up to heavier sets.

Each small step you conquer will empower you to take on the next challenge. Each achievement will make you stronger than the day before.

As long as you keep striving for progress, you can always jump back in or pick up where you left off if you happen to pause for a day or two.

 

3. Try Not to Obsess Over Your Goals

Working on your New Year resolutions should make you feel excited, determined, and confident.

But if you start obsessing and stressing over them, you’re going to feel the opposite. And the more unpleasurable these become, the more likely you’ll be to quit on your goals sooner than later.

When you let go of being so rigid and enjoy making progress (see tip #2), you’ll find it’s much easier to stick with your plan and achieve your New Year wishes.

This means you don’t have to cram your schedule with HIIT workouts if you’d rather mix it up with yoga or dance classes, for example. Sure, these activities may not budge the scale as quickly, but they’ll make the road trip to your fitness goal more fun so you’re more likely to continue.

 

Woman meditating in a field

4. Aim to Be More Mindful

Most people spend so long thinking about their finance, health, and fitness goals that they completely forget to set mindful goals. And in these hectic times, that’s a big mistake.

Setting mindful goals helps you practice the art of mindfulness, or focusing your awareness on the present moment. In this mental state, you’ll have the chance to acknowledge, connect with, and unpack all your thoughts and feelings.

Simply living in the present moment and prioritizing mindfulness is enough to create a positive difference in your life this year, whether that’s in the middle of your workouts, while you eat, or when you’re with your friends and family.

So try to add mindful goals, such as taking 10-minute meditation breaks throughout your day, to check-in with yourself.

 

5. Practice Self-Love and Find Activities that Decrease Stress

Finally, please take this friendly reminder to practice self-love and self-care as you strive towards your goals.

Find small ways to reward yourself for your hard work with activities that decrease stress and nourish your soul and body.

As we discussed in our guide of self-care tips to manage stress, you can go for a long walk alone, enjoy a nice bath, relax with essential oils, cozy up with your favorite book, or unwind with a massage.

Whatever you need to do to feel good, weave in those activities throughout your week to reward yourself for everything you accomplished.

This will help you feel better physically, emotionally, and mentally, which will make it much easier to stick with and reach your New Year resolutions.

 

People standing on top of a mountain

Final Thoughts on Starting This New Year Right

Follow these five tips, and you’ll not only set better resolutions for the New Year, but you’ll also become a better person than last year.

Don’t put so much pressure on achieving every goal you create that you lose sight of enjoying the process. And try to help others stay motivated when they’re being too hard on themselves.

Extra mindfulness and self-care rituals go a long way for building positivity, which you can spread to everyone you meet. Then we can all rise together on a positive note in 2021 (and finally forget 2020).

 

Author: Devan Ciccarelli 
Email: devan@behappynothangry.com
Instagram/Facebook Group: @behappynothangry/Be Happy Not Hangry
Website: www.behappynothangry.com 
 
 

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