There is no denying that 2020 was a turbulent storm of the unpredictable. From the rise of a global pandemic and a national lockdown to protests for social justice and one of the most polarizing presidential elections in recent times, the events of 2020 were anything but relaxing. It is understandable that many would feel unmotivated to partake in the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. In fact, it is quite likely that most resolutions from last year were left unfulfilled due to less than ideal circumstances.
Creating goals during this time can be quite overwhelming, and the start of the new year likely does not feel like a fresh start. That is why for 2021, it is recommended that resolutions are kept small and attainable. It may feel strange striving for the trivial, but the confidence boost and sense of pride that comes with achievement is something that we all need this year.
First, shift towards smaller resolutions that are actually achievable. Give yourself time, and if you have a more long-term goal in mind, do not expect things to pick up as soon as possible. Perhaps studying for long periods of time is something that you want to start doing more of, or being better at. If it has been a while since you studied extensively, it is not realistic to expect yourself to be at your desk, completely focused for several hours at a time. Divide the goal up into bite-sized chunks and keep your expectations reasonable. Start with thirty minutes and increase this time slot as you go. Reaching a closer finish line will still feel like a win, and your brain will feel motivated to do it again.
Try to shorten your list of goals. Having too many wishes for the new year is often the reason why resolutions are difficult to achieve. People can’t help but want to do their best to become an all-improved version of themselves by the end of the year, which usually leads to a long list being made. This year, take a moment to decide which resolutions you feel are necessary to keep, and which aren’t. Reflect on which parts of yourself you are truly dedicated to working on, and the tasks that you feel that you are most committed to. It is important not to overwhelm yourself from the get-go. Even just one clear and defined resolution is better than a wide variety of vague areas of improvement.
Most importantly, remind yourself that you still have time. Resolutions should not feel like a impending deadline, and they definitely should not stress you out. Oftentimes, life gets in the way of the journey to productivity; 2020 was a great example of this. Resolutions should serve as a guide, and whether you are able to accomplish them or not does not say anything about your worth. Rather than worrying about how fast you can accomplish for your goals, celebrate the simple fact that you are choosing to make the journey of self-growth. Being here, in this moment, doing the best with what you have, is an achievement in and of itself. Pause, breathe, and set your own pace. Make 2021 a year of both relaxation and productivity!
Isabel Hahn / OCSA 10th Grade
<Isabel Hahn / OCSA 10th Grade