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Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2021

15 December 2020

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Celebrating the New Year is a time-honoured tradition around the world. It’s about new beginnings and the hope for a better future, but it seems especially poignant when the year we’re leaving behind has been so difficult. New Year’s Resolutions are therefore likely to be at the top of many people’s to-do lists this holiday season. If you, like so many others, are looking to reprioritise old commitments and grasp new opportunities in 2021, here are 10 resolutions you could consider.


1. Focus on improving your health

One of the biggest lessons to come out of 2020 is the importance of staying healthy, and this is why a healthy lifestyle should be your number one priority for the New Year and beyond. You will need to determine what success looks like in order to set the right goals. Do you need to quit smoking or drinking? How much weight do you want to lose (or gain)? How often are you going to exercise? Do you need a nutrition plan? Be specific and maybe keep a record of your progress - because reaching little milestones along the way will help you stay on track. You’ll also need to make the journey realistic and enjoyable; for example, try to find activities and healthy foods you actually like. Whatever your ambition, make 2021 the year you take control of your health.


2. Look after your finances

The second biggest lesson to come out of 2020 is that the only certainty in life is uncertainty. No one could have predicted a global pandemic would strike and yet the events of this year make plain the importance of preparation: both for the future and the possibility of falling on hard times. This is why it’s a good idea to focus on improving your financial security. This goal will require careful financial planning; such as reviewing household spending, managing debts, increasing cash flow and building up savings. Creating financial security will not happen overnight but with enough patience and dedication, you could achieve stability and peace of mind – both of which are also vital to your general health and wellness.


3. Pursue an aspiration

Everyone has a list of aspirations, dreams and grand ambitions. If there’s one thing at the back of your mind however, that you’ve always talked about doing but somehow never found the time for, then make 2021 the year you really pursue it. Do you have an idea for a book? Have you always wanted to research your family tree? Do you long to learn a language? Or run a marathon? If you’re going to stick to this resolution, you’ll need to pick the goal that excites you the most – and then find a way to set it in motion by taking small steps towards it every day.


4. Invest in your relationships

We’ve come to appreciate, now more than ever, the simple joy of being with the people we love, which is why you should show appreciation to them in ways big and small. Try to make time for family and friends, but remember the quality of time spent together is what matters most. If distance proves an obstacle, even a simple phone call could mean the world to someone you love - and it’s a chance to ask how they’re doing and if they need any support. Moreover, as we get older and life gets more hectic, we can too easily forget how important it is to have friends. Challenge yourself to invest more in your friendships, look to build new ones and perhaps reach out to someone who once meant a lot to you but with whom you’ve since lost touch.


5. Look after your mental health

In addition to making time for other people, it’s also vital to keep some for yourself to avoid burnout. To get the most out of your downtime, you should do things you enjoy - such as take a bubble bath, listen to relaxing music or watch a feel good movie. Self-care isn’t just about pampering either - it could be going for a run, practicing yoga or meditating. You could even consider taking on a pet, as caring for a pet has many emotional, mental and physical benefits. Whatever your method, it’s time to shake off the stress of this year and look forward to feeling refreshed in the new. The most important thing to keep in mind however is if you find yourself struggling with your mental health, don’t be afraid to ask for help.


6. Live more sustainably

The New Year is the perfect time to change your lifestyle and start living life the way you want to live it. It’s become increasingly obvious that human activity is having a detrimental impact on our planet, but there are things you can do to help tackle environmental challenges. Even little changes could have a big impact; for example, you could eat less meat, use reusable utensils and shopping bags, shop locally and leave your car at home on certain days. As a consumer, you also have the power to decide what corporations your cash supports. An argument could be made that there’s no longer room for brands that don’t do the right thing, and you can become an advocate for change simply by purchasing from companies that are sustainable, pay fair wages and are committed to being cruelty free.


7. Disconnect from your phone

Today it’s almost impossible to look around without seeing at least one person on their phone. Likewise, if you find yourself constantly reaching for yours it might be time to cut back. There are plenty of apps you can use to track your weekly screen time and, once you have a grasp of the current situation, you could schedule blocks of time to put your phone away and bring your average down. If social media has stopped being fun, you might want to take a break from that too – or at least unfollow the accounts that make you feel bad about yourself. It’s important to recognise if you’ve become addicted to your phone and then to slowly disentangle aspects of your life from it. Above all, make it your mission to reconnect with reality and focus on living more in the moment.

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8. Read more books

This year more people than ever have found solace in books. There is pure enjoyment and escapism to be found in reading. Even if you didn’t discover a love of reading during lockdown, there are many reasons to make it a resolution for next year. Reading can teach you something new and expands your worldview, it’s proven to lower stress levels, improve memory and concentration, and contributes to better writing skills. You could set a numerical goal - reading say 30 books by the end of the year. Alternatively, you could diversify your bookshelf by trying out new genres or selecting works by authors from across the world.


9. Get out of your comfort zone

As 2020 draws to a close, there is a sense of high anticipation that things will soon get back to ‘normal’, but New Year is also the chance to change things up a bit. Reflect on what you’ve learned about your old routine this year and challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone in 2021. The beauty of this resolution is that it can be accomplished more than once and your goals can be literally anything: take a class in something you know nothing about, try out for a sports team, join a dating app, or work towards conquering a fear. If you keep trying new things, keep learning, and keep going you might find 2021 to be the most fulfilling year of your life so far.


10. Plan that once in a lifetime trip

Everyone has a dream destination – the 1 place that you would give just about anything to visit. Undoubtedly, your wanderlust will have been stoked by the inactivity of this year and now that a vaccine has arrived, the New Year is definitely the time to finally think about travel once again. You will have to be realistic about where and when you can go as well as what you can afford. Still if travel is your priority, you will find a way to make sufficient preparations to turn your dream into a plan of action. So what are you waiting for? Take the plunge and start planning that once in a lifetime trip.