Year 2020 was one for the books, and many Americans were eager to finish this chapter. While there may not be parties, parades or concerts, most people are ready to ring in the New Year and start fresh. Nearly 75% of them have determined to learn something new, make a lifestyle change or set a personal goal to better themselves in 2021.
If you’re one of the millions looking to start the new year off right, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking to kick start your career, breathe new life into your fitness routine, or invest in your financial health, the following tips will help you make 2021 your best year yet.
Conduct a Yearly Review
While it’s natural to look forward to the new year, it’s also beneficial to reminisce on the old one. Take a look back at 2020 in all of its chaos before putting the past behind you. Did you accomplish your resolutions? Have you attained every goal you set out to achieve? Conduct a review and write your failures and successes down on paper.
Once it’s laid out in front of you, you can begin to analyze your decisions and goals. What might you have done differently? Which decisions will help you accomplish your 2021 resolutions? Reviewing your year as a whole will allow you to identify bad habits so you can create better ones the next time around.
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Only 8% of people ever achieve their New Year’s resolutions. In fact, most people give up on their goals during the second week of January. Researchers believe that a lack of motivation is to blame, but what if the real dilemma is that their goals are simply too unrealistic?
Determining to lose five pounds in a week or hit the gym every day sets you up for failure. Your life probably isn’t conducive to the amount of commitment it will take to achieve those goals, especially on day one. Instead of setting unrealistic expectations, set small, achievable goals. As you accomplish each one, you’ll gain momentum and the desire to press on.
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Rearrange Your Priorities
Resolving to do something and actually doing it are two entirely different things. To get from point A to point B, you must be willing to put in the work. More importantly, you must be able to rearrange your priorities to make time for these new goals.
Take a long, hard look at how you spend your time. How many hours do you dedicate to scrolling through social media or watching Netflix? When was the last time you sacrificed sitting on your couch for an hour at the gym? Analyzing your habits will help you rearrange your priorities so you can begin putting your New Year’s resolutions first.
Invest in Yourself
Speaking of priorities, your physical and mental health should be at the top of the list. After all, you can’t help others — or improve other areas of your life — until you help yourself. Therefore, it’s best to turn inward and reprioritize your wellbeing first.
Begin by reflecting on your current physical and mental states. Where do you feel empty or lacking? Is there something you could do to reinvest in yourself? Maybe you need to take more baths, get more sleep, or show yourself some more grace in 2021. Whatever self-care looks like for you, strive to incorporate more of it into your life this year.
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Nearly 80% of working Americans aren’t drinking enough water and odds are neither are you. If you consume less than 64 ounces a day, you can suffer dehydration, which can affect every aspect of your life and every effort to achieve your dreams. From reducing productivity to robbing the body of oxygen, dehydration can become your biggest enemy.
Therefore, hydrating your body is absolutely essential and has some incredible hidden benefits. After a few days of upping your water consumption, you’ll likely notice a boost in energy, clearer skin, smoother workouts, and even whiter teeth. Switch out coffee and tea for water and carry a reusable bottle with you everywhere to easily increase your water intake and start the new year off right.
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Volunteering might be the best-kept secret to starting the year off right. It may also be the most powerful. Roughly 30% of Americans volunteer through an organization each year and millions more spend countless hours supporting their friends and family. In doing so, they strengthen the very fabric of the nation — as well as themselves.
Volunteers also enjoy a slew of health benefits. From lowering stress to boosting self-confidence, volunteering can make the coming year your happiest and healthiest. Spending time serving others can also decrease the risk of depression, give you a sense of purpose and help you develop new relationships that can enrich your life in ways you never thought possible.
Making 2021 Your Year
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to appreciate the little things. In between goals is a thing called life that you’re meant to live and enjoy, so take your time and learn to notice the simple things. Once you master this key element and begin taking those above to heart, you’ll be well on your way to making 2021 your best year yet.
Jennifer Landis is the founder of Mindfulness Mama, a blog where she talks about all things #momlife, marriage, mindfulness, and everything in between. A thirty-something mom of two, Jennifer spends her limited free time practicing yoga and pilates, sipping tea, and reading with her littles. You can find more from Jennifer on Twitter, @JenniferELandis.