The world tends to be divided into two groups: Those who enthusiastically embrace the idea of New Year’s resolutions and those who don’t. I’m typically in the second camp, but this year, at the nine-month mark of the pandemic, I’m intrigued by the idea of a 2021 restart.
If you, like me, are newish to the idea of viewing the New Year as a clean slate, I thought you might enjoy my four scaled back ways to approach it. Happy New Year to you!
Think small. Big goals are great, but they can also be overwhelming. Pick something small and actually do it. I’ve gotten a warm glow for days after cleaning out my junk drawer (try it and see—so rewarding every time you open that drawer). Or keep that big goal but break it into manageable chunks. “How do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time.”
Learn something. Has there ever been a better time to learn something? YouTube is chockful of instructional videos (Don’t tell me you don’t know how to fix your leaky sink—go find a tutorial!). Harvard, MIT and many other universities are offering classes for free during COVID (check out this link). Wikipedia is a great source for research, fun facts and more (go ahead, poke around and see). And even if you can’t go into your local library, you can reserve and pick up resources at the curb.
Get outside. Yes, it’s cold out. Yes, it’s dark at 4:30 in the afternoon. And, yes, we all wish it were spring. But get out into the fresh air and I can almost guarantee you’ll feel better. And here’s a fun fact: Just being outside is good for you, you don’t even have to exercise (though certainly don’t let me discourage you from that). Check out this interesting article about “forest bathing” to learn more.
Connect. We can’t meet for a cup of coffee. Lunch dates are a thing of the past. And many of us didn’t see our loved ones face-to-face over the holidays. Frankly, it’s a bummer! But there are so many ways to connect, and it’s so important we keep doing it. Here are some not-so-original ideas that I’ve been trying in recent weeks. Family Zoom calls getting old? Play a game (lots of resources for this online) or post a weekly question (this can be an especially good way to get grandparents involved). Pick up the phone and call someone who can’t get out—even 10 minutes makes a big difference. Send something by mail. A quick note says “Hey, I’m thinking of you!” and who doesn’t love to find something besides bills in their mailbox after the holidays?
Have other great ideas for kicking off your New Year right? I’d love to hear them (see my email below).