let's be realistic about: New Year's resolutions.
2020 was tough, I’m sure we can all agree on that statement. Although we may be entering a new year with lots of new beginnings and opportunities to come our way, we are still dealing with a pandemic. Once the 1st of January hits we all reach for brand new notepads or open up the notes section on our smartphones and we make a long list. We subconsciously attack ourselves for all that we didn’t do the year prior and scrutinise every bit about ourselves to come up with a list of improvements for another year. Self-improvement is important, it’s good for us, but focusing too heavily on it can come at a cost to our mental wellbeing.
If you are dead set on creating New Year resolutions then go for it, but keep in mind your reasoning for setting certain targets or goals. Will working towards them benefit you? Or will it be another reason to beat yourself up even further? Question where your need for this specific change is stemming from, whether it’s a pressure to follow the latest trend shown on Instagram or deciding to finally take the plunge on a career change, the former does not stem from a place of realistic, healthy planning - remember that.
No year is smooth sailing for anybody, but 2020 has certainly defined uncertainty and has left the rest of us staring into space in anticipation of what’s to come next. It’s worth noting that no matter what any of us have or haven’t achieved, we’ve survived a pandemic - something that the majority of us haven’t experienced in our lifetimes before.
It may be a fresh start, but be mindful of the pressures you are placing on yourself. A new year encourages a sense of new goals, new beginnings, and new directions. Whilst this may be what you need in your life, it’s equally as important to ensure you don’t push yourself to a point of burn out. Slow and steady wins the race, as the saying goes, and accepting that you have time to achieve your aims and goals makes for more efficient use of your own energy!
Sadly, we are still in the midst of a pandemic. Normality is yet to be returned and so when looking at goals regarding career, personal life and more, it’s crucial that this is taken into consideration. Motivation levels may be, understandably so, running a lot lower than usual and certain restrictions in place due to the lockdown may provide a barrier to fully achieving some goals. You can of course look beyond this and carry out work in the meantime to better your chances of achieving that goal or goals. But cut yourself some slack when you wake up wanting to stay snuggled up in bed or you struggle to find purpose in the work you are doing, your mental wellbeing comes as a priority above all else. No goal is worth sacrificing your mental health.
Choose to reflect on 2020 and the progress you made rather than focusing on what you didn’t get done. What can you learn from your mistakes to take into a new year filled with endless possibilities? We may not be able to predict the next 12 months nor what they have lined up for us but we can take the milestones made and the tools and resources collected under our belt into 2021.