Happy January 4th! You have survived four days into the new year, and you deserve a pat on the back. 2021 will hopefully be a year full of love, happiness, reflection, and Covid vaccines 😉
2020 was rough. There were times of loneliness, despair, grief, and an itch for something new to happen in the months of quarantine. But I am so grateful for the things many people did not have access to last year and still don’t now: shelter, food, family and friends, and good health. Hundreds of thousands of people had empty seats at the dinner table for New Year’s Eve, and that pains me beyond belief. Gratitude can be difficult to achieve and implement into daily life. This year I want to work on that more than ever.
With the new year comes New Year’s Resolutions. I am a big believer in resolutions for the new year and always have a sheet of construction paper and markers ready on January 1st to jot down my list for the year. But keeping New Year’s Resolutions can be so HARD! Life whips you off of your feet, and by March, you’ve already forgotten what it is you want to achieve this year. According to the researcher Richard Wiseman, 88% of Americans do not follow through with their resolutions. Sometimes it feels as if New Year’s Resolutions are meant to be broken.
But I’m here to offer you five tips to make sure you stick with your New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 !
#1 Create Specific Goals
“Drink more water” is not enough. It is too vague, and this is just a resolution waiting to fall through the cracks. Look at the past resolutions you have attempted but did not complete, and examine why they weren’t successful. For example, one of my 2020 resolutions was “To get better at makeup.” I did not get better at makeup, and with all that time stuffed up in the house, I had time! But my goal was way too vague! What does “get better at makeup” really mean? Does that mean I’m able to do a perfect cut crease, impressive eye shadow looks, or I’m James Charles status by the end of the year? I have no clue. I can quickly fix that resolution if I drill down to what exactly I want to perfect in the makeup realm. For example, I could say: “Improve my eyeshadow skills by watching one makeup Youtube video every day” or “Practice makeup for 30 minutes every day.” The key term there is “every day (week, month, etc.).” Now your resolution is no longer just a resolution. It is a habit.
#2 Be Reasonable
The more practical you are, the more likely your resolutions will get done ! You know your schedule better than anyone else. If you don’t think you can read 100 books a year, as @BookyBecky encouraged you to do on Instagram, that is ok! Start small. Count how many books you read last year and make your resolution to read ten more books than that. Baby steps!
To write resolutions, you have to have hope and faith in yourself. There are only so many hours in a day, and it’s challenging to get every little thing done, but that doesn’t mean you can’t always try to do a bit better.
Take a second to think about what you want to accomplish this year and fly. No matter how silly or embarrassing, if it matters to you, it matters.
#3 Write Your Resolutions Down On Paper
Don’t write them down in your notes app or speak about your goals once the clock hits 12. Write them down on something physical! It could be on a looseleaf sheet, fancy scrapbook paper, or a literal napkin. Anything counts. Every year I grab a sheet of either colored poster or construction paper, grab a sharpie, and list my goals.
You should also keep your list in a place where you can see it every day. In August last year, I redecorated my room and made the mistake of moving my 2020 resolutions list into the corner wall in my room that faces my dresser. I could never see the list unless I got up and craned my neck into the corner, and naturally, I forgot about my goals. This year, I placed my 2021 list on the wall in front of my desk. That is the section of my room that I am in the most. A constant reminder of what I should be working on.
#4 Make Your Resolutions Public
These are my ten New Years Resolutions :
Read 40 new books
Watch (and finish) five new television series
Get in touch with my soul and spirituality
Drink 32 oz of water every day
Fine-tune and establish my writing persona
Strengthen my poetry skills by examining different poets
Finish 100 movies list!
Listen to 20 new music albums
Collage and journal more often
Now I am relying on you to hold me accountable for these resolutions! At the end of the year, I will make a blog post updating you all on my success rate with each goal.
Making your New Years Resolutions public is a great way to express your seriousness on completing each activity. It's always helpful to let other people in on your goals because they might even help you!
You can post your resolutions on social media or just tell your parents or friends. I told my mom my seconds after I completed my 2021 list, and it was quite exhilarating. If you want to, you can have one person in your life, hold you accountable for completing each resolution. Say one thing you want to achieve is not straightening your hair for the entire year. It would be a good idea to text your friend who’s obsessed with hair care and update them about your progress. They can be your sponsor.
#5 Do not write too many resolutions !
For 2020, I had fifteen resolutions. But I think the perfect number is ten. Not too little and not too much. As I mentioned before, you never want your goals to be too broad, so having three resolutions might not work. However, you also don't want to write fifty new years resolutions because that puts a lot of pressure on yourself! One year I had 25 resolutions, and I divided each up into specific categories. Way too complicated! If you see that you've completed one of your resolutions halfway through the year, you can always add another one. Improving yourself doesn't end with writing these resolutions. This is only the beginning.
All of these tips and tricks will set you on the right track to complete your New Year's goals. I plan to create a monthly follow up sheet that tracks the progress I've made on each resolution in that period. And if you don't complete everything you hoped for by December 31st, it is ok! After all, we are only human.