New Year’s Resolutions Will be Important in 2021
We made it through the rain. 2020 is behind us and I do not believe that it is a stretch to say that most people are happy to see the back of it. The year has been like the long lost relative that you never missed coming back into your life. It was a year of challenge and now, at 00:01 am (UK time) we have arrived in 2021.
Will this year be any different to last? You would hope so. It by no stretches of the imagination will be a complete 180 and return to pre-pandemic life, but it will be different. We have a vaccine, we are more than a year forward and we have a shared focus.
2021 will be a year of rehabilitation for the world. Each country will have its priorities but one of the most common will be the largest vaccination programme in history.
In the United Kingdom, we are now two months into our vaccination programme, knee-deep in a slow shutdown of the country and hovering over the reality that is Brexit. Where there is a challenge there is an opportunity and the goal of turning a negative into a positive.
Where do you begin? By looking at the past and the number one consideration that we all look for at the start of a New Year. 2021 is the year of New Year’s Resolutions that for the first time, we have time to complete.
New Year’s Resolutions Before 2020
Before 2020 the idea of a New Year’s Resolution was treated as a nice to do. One of the most common of these was losing weight and or joining a gym. The result of which was typically a loss of money through being tied into a yearlong contract that would be used for a month and then forgotten about.
According to a YouGov poll at the end of December 2019, the most common New Year’s Resolution for Americans was exercising more.
‘Among Americans who are making New Year’s resolutions, the most common ones are exercising more (50%), saving money (49%), eating more healthily (43%), and losing weight (37%).’
Exercising more and saving money are the most popular 2020 New Year’s Resolutions, YouGov
This I imagine was one of the top resolutions across the world. My fiancée having spent two years tied into a Virgin Fitness contract, which she was too embarrassed to cancel.
Whilst I imagine that fitness will top the list once again in 2021, I imagine that others will arrive to challenge its dominance. Saving more is one that I believe will drop from the list as most families are struggling to stay healthy and afloat, survival will be of more relevance here.
2020 was a wake-up call and in 2021, whilst the situation will improve, it will not be the shot to the arm that takes us straight back to normal. I imagine that through this more people will make resolutions, as they will want to make the most of the additional time they have.
Think of Others First
The world we live in is a beautiful one, but it is one in which we sometimes forget the beauty. Accusations of a world on the edge and turmoil in society follow every nation around like a bad smell. If you open your eyes to the beauty and the wonder in which it contains, then I am certain that you will be pleasantly surprised. All you need to look at is 2020.
‘In the space of a few weeks of coronavirus lockdown, England has acquired a million-strong network of social volunteers — surpassing demand and prompting speculation: is this a new sign of social solidarity, and can the newly acquired community spirit survive?’
A million volunteer to help NHS and others during Covid-19 outbreak, The Guardian
The example is English but the comment is for humanity. We all banded together this year and sometimes that was not newsworthy as good stories don’t make the news. I am however confident that the vast majority took a step back this year and looked to see how they could help others.
Thinking of others is a trend that I foresee coming through within resolutions for 2021. Before we can help others, we need to think of ourselves though and mental health is something that has taken a beating the world over.
Do Not Forget the Self
I want to help others but before I can do so I recognise that I need to help myself first. If you are unhappy as a person, then how can you possibly help others? This is one of the key lessons that I have learned in life and recognise the need to be ‘selfish’. I will include a mixture of resolutions this year, those that address imbalances in my life first and then those that help others.
‘One of my favourite Buddhist principles is the need to take care of yourself before you help others.‘
In Buddhism, when you practice “meta” meditation, you always begin with yourself. You say “May I be happy. May I be free from Anger, hatred, animosity…’
Take care of yourself before helping others, Troy Erstling
You need to clear your mind and ensure that you are where you want to be before you help others. If you are unhappy in your job or relationship, or wherever it is then you will only be a hindrance to others.
It is with this in mind that I believe that many will look at what they truly want and go for it in 2021. It will motivate many, who will then in turn look to give back. It will for me at least.
New Year’s Resolutions in 2021
These will be more important than ever before as people have lost time. We have in effect pressed pause on life, we have been unable to live in a manner for which we are accustomed to. It has been frustrating and through this isolation, we have seen the holes in our life become manifest and many will have seen great change.
We will all have seen the world crumbling around us, helping us to be grateful for what we have and through this has emerged a desire to help. The apocalyptic films and dramas have it wrong. We have not resorted to violence and anger, we have chosen patient frustration. This will continue in 2021, so when we are allowed out we will approach life with determination.
Our determination will be to right the wrongs of 2020 and lead the lives we want to live. We will not let the world dictate our future, that is in our hands, as well as the power to give back.
New Year’s Resolutions will be a hybrid of self and selfless, with the desire to enact and stick to them being stronger than ever before.
A Final First Thought for 2021
2020 will be a year in which many of us wish we could forget. This would, however, be a mistake as you should not wish your life away and through all of this, we have learnt.
As a species, we have learnt to be grateful for what we have. We have seen what we want and what we don’t want and will move through 2021 with the goal to right the wrongs in our lives. This is my hope at least after seeing the outcry of support for those who are vulnerable.
My New Year’s Resolutions will at first look to the self before looking at the selfless. Together we can all move beyond COVID-19, ensure the vulnerable are protected and build for the future. Together we can make a difference and make sure that this does not happen again.